Do you know what’s more disappointing than looking up “modern-day mysteries” on google and not finding “the reasons that determine older people’s YouTube recommendations” on the list? Neither do I.
Each time my technologically handicapped grandfather asks for any device related assistance, I make sure to exploit that opportunity by getting a sneak peek into his YouTube, and trust me when I say this, it is the most bizarre compilation of video recommendations ever; ranging from scores of variations on how to cook prawns to how to literally build a car from ground-up.
This one time, however, I found a series of Saxophone instrumentals on the app; intrigued, I asked grandpa about them. “John Coltrane”, he replied with a smile as bright as daylight. Now, while I didn’t know who or what it was, I understood that they meant a lot to him and that stayed with me.
On further discovery, I found out Grandpa used to be a saxophonist in his days. He played in different lounges and weddings as a freelancer, long before gig economy was even a thing. But as fate would have it, he had to give up this one thing he loved doing the most.
“Sometimes I miss the saxophone, only because it reminds me of when I had hair on my head”, he jokingly remarks.
Apparently, it was the need to support his family that compelled him to take up a job as an ostler at a nearby ranch, a more ‘stable’ job (pun intended). He had to sell Lisa (yes, he even had a name for his saxophone) the following year owing to some financial issues, thus ending the last vestiges of hope of having a career as a saxophonist again.
“Lisa was an alto saxophone, bright gold and very reliable”, his eyes beamed as he described her.
“Did you ever think of getting another one?”, I asked.
“No, I eventually forgot how playing it made me feel. Life happened”
I felt terrible after the conversation. Grandpa often talked about the price of regret and not following one’s passion; I felt now I knew where he was coming from. He had given up so much for us!
I went online, did a little research, and found a saxophone offered by a company called Kadence that matched Lisa’s description. I had some scholarship money saved up that was luckily enough to purchase the product, so I placed an order.
Fast forwarding a week- Kadence had it delivered to my doorstep.
I had Grandpa open the box, attaching a note inside that said: “Here’s your Lisa 2.0 for your new, bald-head journey”.
My otherwise reticent old man let out a shy little smile (all teared up) and gave me the best hug ever. I still remember the day like it was yesterday.
I had never anticipated a saxophone to be a contributor to how I shall remember my grandfather but it sure looks like this is how it is going to be.