After a year or so in Washington, I weaseled a gig back to Pittsburgh where I spent the next several years working my way through night school at the University of Pittsburgh. I left the Bureau after almost 7 years as a clerk and eventually became a policeman. I'm still trying to figure out why I thought that was a good idea. I spent a short time in Freeport, Pa., and nearly 5 years as a patrolman in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1984 I went back to the FBI where I spent the next 20 years as an agent, first in San Diego then New York, with a side trip to Philadelphia. My career was notable only in the sense that I discovered my true calling - constant bitching and generally being disgruntled, although, to steal from P.G. Wodehouse, I might not ever have been completely gruntled in the first place.
In my mid-forties, as a way of coping with the stress of working in New York and living in New Jersey, I decided to start playing my trombone again. It didn't take long to figure out how much I'd been missing and I'm still trying to make up for 25 years away from horn. I retired in 2004 and at the age of 53, enrolled at the University of South Florida where I earned a BA in Music. In 2012, my wife Cynthia and I decided we liked France better than Florida, packed up and moved to Bordeaux. I now spend my time writing this blog, articles for the Journal of the International Trombone Association, where I'm an associate editor, and, when I'm not contemplating melting it down for cufflinks, playing my trombone.
My playing experience includes my high school jazz band, then called "The Mellowmen", and I'll always be grateful to its founder, Duke Wareham, and Jack Lapato, my first teacher, for turning me on to jazz. Since the mid-1990's I've played in New Jersey with the Lawrenceville Community Band, the Blawenburg Band, the Westminster Community Orchestra and the Swing Street Big Band.
At USF, I played in the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Ensemble II (The Deuce) and small jazz combos.
After USF, I played in the Pinellas Park Community Orchestra, I did some gigs with the Helios Orchestra of St. Petersburg College, subbed regularly with the Tomcats Big Band and the Frank Parsons Band. By far, my favorite experience was playing every summer in Dave Pate's jazz band at St. Pete College. Here in Bordeaux I'm playing with Carrémont Jazz and the Merignac Big Band, the Big Band de Aquitaine and a little group that calls itself Lester's Memories (the founder digs Lester Young).