The Founding Fathers Would Have Jammed All Night
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Last Monday, I found myself at Sonic waiting for a Blue Coconut Cream Slush when, for the first time in my entire life, I actually took a good long look at a one dollar bill. And do you know what I noticed? I noticed that George Washington could have been a great trumpet player.

It was his lips that gave it away. They’re on the thin side. He could have played the French horn or the oboe, but I think if it had been up to George, he would have chosen the trumpet. Trumpet players are outgoing, they are natural-born leaders, unafraid of the limelight, able to play “Charge!” at the drop of a hat – anybody’s hat. And that’s why I believe the trumpet would have been the perfect instrument for Good Ole George.

“But what about the other presidents?” I hear you asking me. “Is it possible they, too, could have had wonderful careers as musicians?”

  
 
Well, of course. Just take a look at Abraham Lincoln on the five dollar bill.

Our tall, lanky, 16th president would have been a great clarinet player. And how do I know this? Because he actually looks like a clarinet. Don’t tell me the thought never crossed your mind. Of course it has.

Let’s move on to the ten dollar bill and Alexander Hamilton. Now, dear cousin Al never was a president (he served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1789-1795), but if you take one look at his brow, the way he holds his head, and his fancy attire, you’ll see that he could pass as a drummer. Well, maybe not one of today’s drummers, but way back then, it’s not hard to imagine him walking around with a pair of sticks, the girls following him everywhere, and him thinking, “I am drummer, hear me roll.”

Now, if you so happen to have a $20 bill in your wallet, pull it out right now, take a good look at Andrew Jackson, our 7th president, and see if you can figure out what instrument he could have played. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(Guessing what kind of instrument a person might be good at playing is a talent that is wonderful for helping beginning band students decide what they want to play, but lousy for picking up dates at a bar. As soon as you say, “Excuse me, has anybody ever told you that your lips are perfect for playing the tuba?” then the chase is over.)

Okay, back to Jackson. Did you notice the long face, the messy hair, and the full lips? Sure signs that Andy could have been a monster of a trombone player. If the image of him holding a slush-pumper didn’t jump out at you, then don’t worry. With practice, it will. Oh, and by the way, don’t you owe me $20? No? Well, I thought I’d ask.

Moving right along, have you ever noticed that Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president, looks like he just got home from playing the tuba at Oktoberfest?

You’ve never noticed? Well then, grab a fifty and see for yourself. I’ve known a lot of tuba players and every last one of them could pass for Grant. Except for Sheila Knudsen. (There’s always an exception for every rule). Oh, and by the way, Ulysses would never go by his first name. He’d want to be called Grant. All you tuba players out there would agree with me 100 percent.

Finally, did you know that Benjamin Franklin is on the one hundred dollar bill? I see so few of them myself that I wouldn’t have bet on it, but he is.

And without a shadow of doubt, I know he would have been a great banjo player.

Don’t believe me? Then pull out a Bennie and see for yourself. He looks like he’s just about to tell a joke. And with that bald head, long hair and hint of a grin, he wouldn’t have been taken seriously for anything BUT a banjo player.

So, let’s see what we’ve got. George on trumpet, Abe on clarinet, Andy on trombone, Grant on tuba, Al on drums and Bennie on banjo. I could be wrong, but that sounds like one heck of a Dixieland Band to me. They’d call themselves The Founding Fathers and play every Friday night at Willie’s Tavern.

And to think, all this came about because I was thirsty for a Blue Coconut Cream Slush.

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