Recovering from the Squash Racquet

Nasty things happening to your teeth needn't end your playing career. But it sure puts a crimp on things.

I'd played a dopey shot that was coming right back to the T. I stood right behind Ken as he took a mighty swing at it. His follow through followed through to my incisors. I was spitting out pieces of embouchure infrastructure all over the floor. Lost the point too.

I went to the dentist. He made a partial denture, and explained that the gums would have to heal before a bridge could be made. Ironically enough, I could play pretty well on the denture. But I massively hated the feel of it for everything else.

Finally had a bridge made. But it was too weak to support proper playing. Okay for low notes, but not really viable. By this time I was preoccupied with raising young daughters, moving to the States, and other distractions, so music took a back seat.

Didn't think about playing for a while. Then my cello-playing (now ex-)wife played a pit gig for an amateur group. They needed guys in the chorus (don't they all?) So I went on stage and made an idiot of myself, singing and prancing around, having a great time. Did that for a few more shows, and got involved with a theatre group. Even did a year as treasurer. Then someone was looking for a trumpet player for a show. I volunteered for second trumpet (with my dodgy bridge). But I'd sold all my horns - I had nothing. Someone produced a battered Selmer Pan American cornet from an attic, which I bought for $50. So I played the pit gig. And I thought "Man, this is great. Gotta get back into this." So I went to a dentist, had an industrial strength bridge made, and picked up where I left off.

Bill Buffam, musician