It was the second night of playing the circus. I was on the floor, just inside the end ring and the band was all lined up in front of me.
Suddenly a clown came running up to me. (Remember, its a circus.) Dressed in traditional clown garb, complete with facepaint and the red applique nose. "Mike! Mike! Do you know who this is?"
I knew immediately what I wanted to say (are you some kind of clown?) but I resisted the temptation. His voice was kind of familiar, but I would never have guess just from that. It turned out that the clown was an old acquaintance from high school. I am not sure if I have seen Dave much in the last 40 years, perhaps at a reunion or something. We played in the band together, and he was a clarinet player.
Even before I could ask Dave if he still had his clarinet, he volunteered that he did not know where it was. I did offer to organize a search party to help him find the clarinet and a few of the fingerings. We are woefully short of reed players, and any we can get, even years out of practice, would be welcome.
I now have a lead on where to come and look for him. If the Syrian clowns see a BandMaster lurking around, they will know who I am looking for.