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Pass the hat---or the horn.

Monday evening I was closing in on band practice, rolling down Newhall Avenue; it was my night to drive for our duo carpool. The cell phone rang for a voice call and I told my passenger I was about to be illegal, at least to see what the number was.

Not just a number but one of my names: it was the music store to which I'd taken my baritone sax for a look by either or both fellows who did repairs. Jazz band had been "dark" that day so the it had been in for a few days under the proviso, "No hurry."

Okay, I carefully answered. Yes, the sax was ready and they had "found a few things"; leaks, loose keys... It's always reassuring to know some kind of improvement often results. In this case, he said in addition to the general swarm "we found something you'll like". Why, sure, you find something and make it go away and it's no longer---something.

No, "a" something I'd like.

"A vintage coin."

An 1899 half dollar was in the saxophone, thought they said "neck" but it wouldn't fit there, and working loose; the weekly mechanic who visits two days a week couldn't get things optimal when he played on it, which sounded like my own moderate restlessness with the horn of late, and, as the charity shills say, dug deeper. There it was after me having this old Conn since roughly 1987.

So in the middle of a Tuesday run, the zany part of the day.

The repairs were $75. You could say $74.50 but perhaps the surprises aren't over.

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