Slushy, a talking trombone, relates the sad plight of his master, Slide Hooper, a professional trombonist who becomes ill. One of Slide’s compassionate young students takes it upon himself to help him in his hour of need. Young readers will learn from this story that “life is not a “bed of roses.” The next Slushy story will be more uplifting and humorous, but read this first.

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I was burnt-out and hadn’t written any prose for quite awhile realizing I had “writers block,” as ideas just wouldn’t flow. After six different attempts at writing this story, I thought I ended up with a version I could use. After letting it sit a few months, I read it again and it was terrible. My wife, Shirley, suggested I write it with Slushy telling the story. It worked, but when I restarted the story, my mind took a different track. I began writing about experiences I had witnessed, including my own, where I had a devastating case of Bells Palsy that ended my professional playing career. A trombone friend of mine contracted M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis), which slowly decreased his ability to earn a living. Other talented musicians with whom I worked became addicted to drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, alcohol, and a few died at an incredibly young age. Slushy in the story is an integral part of this, but I still tried to keep it entertaining. It is written almost totally in narrative style. I take a more humorous tack in the next Slushy story where he’s involved in different escapades that are funny. When you finish this story you’ll have a better understanding of the problems that can seriously affect musicians and their careers.

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