My grandpa was an old-school music man, beginning with the dance band he led as a clarinet virtuoso in high school and culminating in a full career as the head of the music department at the high school in the little southern Illinois town where we lived. He also conducted the city band, which I believe is the longest continually performing municipal band in the state of Illinois (the Cummins Band in Olney, formerly populated by musicians who had played with John Philip Sousa).
One Wednesday evening in late July of 1992 my dad walked over to his house as he got ready for his retirement concert, the last he would direct after 40 summers at the town park's bandshell, to give him a bit of news about me. Well, Grandpa replied, maybe on the night I lay down my baton I'll get a great-grandson.
It didn't happen that night, but it did on the next. So happy birthday to my now 16-year-old son, who I shamelessly claim as the best boy ever. Grandpa would be beyond proud. Shout out!