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"Song of India"

By Katie McN <>
A lot of folks at the University of Texas think casual Friday happens
everyday of the week, but not Ken Jenkins. There's a story about him
wearing a black suit and red bow tie the first time he stepped into a
classroom way back in 1968. People who know him figure he'll be wearing
something similar on the day he dies.

It was Friday around three in the afternoon so most folks were already
gone for the weekend. Finding five students sitting in a third floor
practice room was more than unusual. They weren't thinking about life
changing experiences. They didn't know that part yet. They were waiting
for Ken because he asked and that was enough for each person in the
room. They wouldn't know the rest of it until later and then it would
be too late to turn back.

Music students want to play and the school set up over a hundred rooms
in the Music Building to make sure they could. The practice room on the
third floor wasn't much different from the other places where music
students toiled and dreamed about their futures. The four boys and one
girl had already spent more hours than they could count in rooms like

Ken was the last one in the room and he seemed a little bit out of
sorts. He ran his hand through a full head of white hair and
straightened a stack of sheet music that was laying on top of the
upright piano. He hesitated awhile and then said, "I'm going to tell
you a secret. It's important to me and something no one else knows."

Ken was standing up front by the piano and the rest of the people were
in chairs facing him. Paul James sat next to Rawleigh Parks and Ed
Dixon was behind the two of them. They were seniors and knew each other
well. They spent the last four years working off their music
scholarships in the Longhorn Marching Band. Playing the fight song in a
burnt orange and white uniform wasn't their first choice for something
fun to do, but it beat following Bevo the mascot longhorn around with a
broom and dustpan.

Bill Monroe was sitting away from everyone else. Pretty typical for
him. Paul couldn't remember Bill stringing more than a few words
together at one time and it didn't look like he planned to exceed
expectations on that day.

Every guy in the room knew the luscious blonde babe sitting right up
front next to Ken. Linda Hatfield was a sophomore. It would be hard to
find a better looking girl and certainly not one with her talent. She
could sing any kind of song with the possible exception of opera. She
played the piano better than just about anyone and there was talk she
might be able to max the orchestra auditions for five or six other
instruments if she felt like trying out.

Maybe "every guy knew of her" was a better way to say it. A guy might
be able to get out one "Hello darlin'" before she said "Goodbye cowboy"
and was on her way. Paul never saw her with a guy and there was talk
that maybe she was into girls instead. He'd never seen Linda with a
girl either so hard telling.

She looked hot. Paul admired her peasant blouse mostly for the way it
didn't hide her well-shaped boobs. He liked the paisley thong sneaking
out from the top of her flared hipster pants and he couldn't help
thinking if she was a lesbian it sure was a waste of one sexy woman.

Paul stopped day-dreaming when Ken said, "You're the first ones to know
I'm going to retire at the end of the year." He took some manila
envelopes out of his old brown leather satchel and put them on the
chair next to where he was sitting. "And, since I've been in the Music
Department longer than anyone else, I decided I'm going to plan my own
retirement party."

Ken was a Music Department institution. He could have been the
department chairman, but he liked teaching too much to put up with all
the political bullshit. He taught senior level classes and helped
anyone he thought had enough talent to make a go of it. Paul wanted to
ask a question, but Linda talked first. "Doctor Jenkins, everyone
thought you'd be here forever. Why are you going to leave now?"

"Forever is a long time, Linda." Ken made sure the stack of manila
envelopes was straight before he finished his answer. "I made a mistake
forty years ago and now I have a chance to make up for it."

A twenty-one year old college boy doesn't want to think much farther
ahead than the beer bust he'd be going to after finals. Paul wondered
what mystery happened forty years ago that could still be important. He
had no idea what it was, but the look on Ken's face said there was
something that had a hold on him big time.

Paul was the next one to talk. "Hey, Ken, what can we do to help you
out?" The smile on Ken's face said that was the right question to ask.
Then he did something way out of character. He took off his coat.

Ken still looked formal in his white shirt and red bow tie, but his
classroom demeanor got hung on the chair along with the black suit
jacket. He seemed more relax when he said, "Hey, anyone know my
favorite music? Anyone?" Paul didn't have a clue and none of the rest
seemed to know either. If this was a multiple choice test 'all of the
above' or 'I don't now' would be getting most of the votes. "Jazz, the
kind of jazz with roots here in Texas. Yep, music that started up in
the 50s and is still going strong in small clubs all over the country.
The kind of music I took on the road when I was your age. Music you
probably never heard once in your lives, but it's still damn good

Heads turned when Bill spoke up next. "Maybe some of us have heard it,
Ken. Who plays this stuff anyhow?"

"You ever hear the Jazz Crusaders?" Ken asked. Bill shook his head back
and forth and no one else owned up to knowing anything about them
either. "They used to be called Blackhawk when I heard them play at
club in El Paso. A friend told me we could get served underage there
and that's all a wild boy from West Texas needed to hear." He caused a
stir with that remark and a little bit of laughter, too.

An old person had to be young once, but it's not easy for a young
person to imagine an old man like Ken pounding them down in a bar in El
Paso while he listened to Texas Jazz. Ken's story was like an extra
edition of a tabloid newspaper and there wasn't a sound in the room
once he got into it.

* * *

I decided to go to school in California. My folks wanted me to try
community college for a couple of years and stay in town, but I already
knew everything there was to know about Big Spring, Texas and I was
ready to move on with my life. When the acceptance letter from UCLA
arrived, I decided it was time for me to leave.

1958 wasn't the best year to go to college. Straight-laced would be one
way to say how things were in those days. Some people think the clothes
I wear when I teach are funny. Imagine a time when all the faculty and
a lot of students wore the same stuff to class on a daily basis.

Straight music was the only kind being taught and while you might hear
about jazz in a survey class, that was the extent of new and different.
A lot of students listened to what was called race music on segregated
radio stations. Yep, black music on one station and white music on
another. Elvis changed some of that, but not in the halls of academia.
"Kenny, didn't you say you liked the Crusaders?" Patty Savard was my
idea of a big city girl. She was a Junior and for some reason she found
this country-boy freshman from Texas interesting. We'd been hanging out
since the third week of school. I remember the day I found her playing
piano in one of the practice rooms. The music was new to me. She called
it cool jazz and I got out my sax and tried to join in. I caught on
pretty fast and then showed her what we were doing in Texas. We played
until the building closed that night and then went over to my place to
listen to the record albums that helped me make my way from Texas to
California. We went out a few times and played music together a lot. We
weren't a couple at first. We were two people who weren't looking for
anyone and got lucky when we found each other. "They're playing on
Sunset Boulevard tomorrow night and since you probably don't have a
date, you might as well take me."
My two-door 1953 Ford was considered an okay car for a student to drive
in those days so we made a night of it and splurged on valet parking.
The cocktail waitress was around our age and told us, "It's a one drink
minimum per set. What are you folks drinking?" Patty didn't hesitate
and ordered a Rum and Coke. I figured I might as well see if they'd
serve me and ordered the same. The girl knew we were underage, but
didn't seem to care.

The Crusaders were getting national attention by 1958 and the room was
full when they took the stage. I had a couple of their albums in my
collection and that night I got to hear them play all my favorite songs

"Hello folks, how do you like the music so far?" When the band took a
break most of them went to the bar for a quick one between sets. Wilton
Felder stopped at our table and talked to us on his way back from
having a taste. Having the sax man from my favorite group say a few
words to me made my day, week and year. Patty and I both started
talking and he acted like our gibbering was making sense. "I have to
get back on stage now, but do you folks want to hear something

Everything the Crusaders played was special. Wayne Henderson blew
trombone and seemed like the leader of the group. He announced every
number and introduced the other players at least once during a set.
Near the end of the last set Wilton stepped up to the microphone and
said, "We have a special request from a nice couple I met during
intermission so now we're going to play a tune that Kimsky-Korsokov cat
laid down more than a hundred years ago, The Song of India."

I don't think the booze had much to do with it. I was still high on the
music, but that wasn't the cause either. My mother would have said it
was loose women in the big city, but I figure it was time for me to
loose my virginity and a perfect way to end the evening. Patty invited
me in when I took her home and I ended up staying at here place for
another four years.
"I got the job, Patty. Ace Winslet wants me to go on tour with his
group." I'd been playing a lot around the LA club scene and was getting
a reputation as a good side man. Ace was into rhythm and blues and
thought 1962 was the time to add a white boy to the group. "I'll be
making good money and it's only for two months."

Two months became four and when the band did get back to LA, we went
right into the studio and cut an album that made number one on the R &
B charts two months later. We had to go back on the road again to
support the album and bookings poured in from all over the country. I
kept telling Patty I'd be home soon, but our going home time kept
filling up with new gigs. I figured things were okay since I didn't
fool around with the girls on the road and sent my money home for Patty
to save or spend as she liked, but it turned out I was wrong.
"Ken, I know you're going back out on the road as soon as you guys cut
the next album." We'd been talking about me traveling all the time and
how much she didn't like it. I was trying to tell Patty things would be
different, but she wasn't buying in. "Music is your life now, Ken, but
I have to have a life, too."

Patty was going to finish grad school and accept a faculty position at
UC, Santa Barbara in their music department. I was surprised when she
told me about the plans she made on her own and then realized I missed
a lot being gone all the time and could see why she might want to try
something new that didn't include me.

* * *

When Ken seemed finished with his story, Paul wondered what he'd do if
he had to decide between the perfect woman and playing with a top band.
It was only a few months until graduation and it didn't look like that
would a problem he'd have to solve. Paul was trying to pick a grad
school to attend next and decide where he'd apply for a teaching
position after he got his Master's degree.

Ken got back into teacher mode and handed an envelop to each of the
students. "Don't open these until you get home. Let me tell you what
they're about first."

Paul could feel a sheaf of music and a cassette tape inside the
envelop. There was a large label pasted on the front and Paul
understood what Ken was up to when he read

Retirement Party Play List

Work Song - Cannonball Adderley, Sax
Poem For Brass - JJ Johnson, Trombone
Moanin' - Art Blakley, Drums
Better Get It In Your Soul - Thelonius Monk, Bass
Take Five, Dave Brubeck, Piano


Song of India - Jazz Crusaders

We were waiting to hear what Ken wanted us to do and he didn't waste
time getting to the point. "In a little over two months, you're going
to be playing these six songs in the Bates Recital Hall. Yep, most
students would give an arm and a leg to play a recital there and you're
going to do it to a full house." Paul wondered if he heard it right. It
sounded like Ken wanted them to play songs none of them had heard, in a
style that was from way back in the day, and do it in the best venue a
UT music student could hope to play. In two months? Yah, right. "You're
five of the best players I've ever taught and I know you can do it. If
you look at the play list you'll understand why I asked you to join the

There was more of course. He was already setting up practice sessions
before anyone had a chance to say no. He told them to be ready to play
Work Song by next Monday. They were supposed to listen to the tape and
learn their parts as best they could from the arrangements he'd given
them. Paul knew he'd be changing a few weekend plans when he noticed
the featured instrument on Work Song was his sax. Playing for Ken and
playing in Bates Hall made it all worth while.
The six people split up after the meeting was over. Paul told Raleigh
and Ed that he wouldn't be catching them at the blues club in downtown
Austin that night. Bill seemed to disappear into the afternoon and Ken
waved to the students before heading over to the faculty parking lot.
That left Paul and Linda walking toward student parking.

"Hey, Linda, I was surprised to see you at the meeting." Paul thought
he hit on a safe topic, but of course he was wrong.

"What do you mean, Paul? You figure I can't play music with the boys?"

"No, no, I just meant Bill was probably going to be on piano and I know
what the rest of the guys play so it doesn't seem you have a part."

Paul noticed the look on Linda's face change from what his mother would
call 'peeved' to something else. "Maybe I'm the girl singer? You know,
sitting up front in a strapless cocktail dress trying to inhale in time
to the music while you boys show your stuff."

"Hey, lighten up. I know you can play. I just didn't see where you fit
in and was only making conversation."

"You better hope I can play, Paulie, because you and I are going to be
featured together on the most important song."

Paul had to agree to something before they went to an off campus tavern
for some long necks and discussion. Linda told him to think of her as a
boy, and after considering it for a second, she told him to think of
her as not just a boy, but his much younger brother. Paul got the idea
she didn't want him to even think about making a move and hard as that
was to deal with he figured he'd go along.

"You can do my a favor, Linda. I hate it when people call me Paulie.
Maybe you could stop doing it?"

"Certainly, Mr. James, anything for you, sir."

"Hey, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I like my name and 'Paulie' sounds
like you're making fun of me."

"Look, Paul, I have nick names for everyone I like. I don't know what
yours is yet, so you get an obvious one for starters. I'll try to
remember you don't care for it."

Paul heard the part about her liking him and didn't pay much attention
to the rest of what she said. Linda Hatfield liked him. My, my.

"Ken didn't mention this at the meeting, Paul, but there's a reason I
was asked to be there besides me being able to play," Linda said. "Ken
and my grandfather jammed together in the sixties and they've been
close ever since."

"You grandfather play Texas Jazz, too?"

"Yes and he's the reason I'm here at UT. My parents think music is a
hobby and told me they wouldn't put out a dime for my education unless
I got into something like business. When Grampy found out what they
were trying to do he wrote a check for the whole four years and here I
am, much to the dismay of my folks."

"I couldn't imagine being in something like business. A bad sports
jacket, bolo tie and hanging out at the Petroleum Club is not my idea
of a good time."

Linda was giving Paul a look that said he'd got it right. "It's worse
than that for girls. My folks want me to marry rich and hang out with
my mother at the country club until I give them two or three grand

Paul's folks got by okay, but never would have the kind of money that
Linda grew up with. The Hatfields lived just outside of Midland in a
mansion designed to look like the White House only it was bigger. They
referred to the place as a spread, but it was over 15 thousand acres
with 500 head of Santa Gertrudis cattle, 40 horses and more chickens,
goats, pigs, cats, and dogs than you could shake a stick at. Ranching
was not a big money maker. No, it was the 37 producing oil wells that
made the property valuable. The family also owned a piece of 28 other
producing properties, a share of the refinery out by Big Spring, some
control over the pipeline that moved oil to the east and all the rest
of the things you'd expect an oil family to dabble in. Rich was not
enough word to describe the Hatfields.

"Grampy went to work for his father when Ken moved to California. It
broke up their band, but not their friendship." Linda must have heard
the story more than once because she was telling it like she was
someone else. "There was a time when it seemed like our drilling rigs
could punch a hole anywhere and make a strike. Grampy never did change
much, but my dad got to like being a rich man. He married a woman from
Kansas City because he didn't think the girls around Big Spring had
enough class. Didn't take long before the family was part of Texas
society and no one much remembered the wildcatting days where one day
Grampy didn't know where his next meal was coming from and the
following day he started on the road to being one of the richest men in

"Tell me about the music, Linda." Paul was impressed by her stories of
wealth and power. He knew why Linda was so aloof because there had to
be plenty of men who'd want to cash in on her looks and money. "Why do
I have to hope you can play?"

Linda flashed Paul a smile that got him thinking he might not be able
to remember he promised to treat her like his younger brother. "I've
heard every one of those songs a million times. My Grampy must of worn
out a bunch of albums listening to them over the years. He and Ken knew
the guys who played that music and Ken traveled with a couple of those
bands during the sixties. Grampy told me about flying his plane off to
Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York to hear Ken play, and how they used
to party when they got together."

Paul ordered them a couple more beers and asked for menus. It was
getting to be dinner time and he didn't want to call it quits just yet.
"Since you've heard all those songs you must know what instrument
you'll be playing in our band."

"Sure trombone, same as always. When I was a kid Uncle Ken used to stop
by our place and Grampy always wanted to jam on piano while Ken played
his sax. My older brothers played bass and drums so, if I wanted to sit
in, it was trombone or nothing. I learned the trombone and that's all
there is to it."

"I can't imagine you playing trombone, Linda."

"I suspect there's a lot about me you can't imagine, Paul." She said it
with an emphasis that indicated she was saying his name right on
purpose. "Anyhow, when you hear the Song of India you're going to find
out that we have to play together like we're one instrument and if
either one of us screws up, we'll sound like crap."

* * *

The trip from the airport didn't take long, but it seemed like the end
of a forty year journey to Ken. "Patty, I can't believe you decided to
visit me. You're still beautiful after all these years."

"I'm an old lady, Ken, so quit trying to flatter me. Why wouldn't I
want to see you again? You were a hunk in college and it doesn't look
like you turned out too bad now that you've grown up."

Patty was going to stay for a week and Ken had every minute planned
out. He put her suitcase in the guest bedroom and broke out a bottle of
wine along with some snacks he had waiting in the fridge. "Do you
remember this wine, Patty? Thunderbird. Yep, the only thing I could
afford to bring the first time you asked me over for a visit. I was
hoping the evening would lead to something more, but it was too much
fun getting acquainted for me to remember to make a pass."

"You didn't do bad in that department, Kenny, once you got started. We
were like bunnies if I remember correctly. I couldn't get enough of you
even though I tried to pretend otherwise."

"You pretended otherwise? I don't remember it that way. Seems to me you
were expecting to have sex just about every time we were alone, not
that I'm complaining of course. You remember the time at the beach, or,
that time when we played strip poker and you were the first one to get

"A girl my age isn't supposed to know about such things, but I remember
them just like they happened yesterday. You think I didn't love having
you guys get turned on looking at me? You didn't see me trying to cover
up like some of the other girls did when it was their turn to take off
their last piece of clothing."

An hour after they sat down in the living room of Paul's home it seemed
like they'd never been apart. Conversation flowed easily. Paul never
did marry. There were women, but it never seemed like the right time.
Patty was married to the same guy for 23 years. He was a teacher and
the father of her two children. He started drinking after they were
married and it changed him. She didn't like being slapped around, but
somehow couldn't get up the courage to leave while the kids were still
at home. The day she was sure her daughter was going to stay in college
she told him to get out. It was a nasty divorce, but finally it was
over and she'd been by herself ever since.

"What are your plans, Patty. Selling your business must leave you a lot
of free time."

"Believe it or not, my condo is on a golf course and I plan on being a
low-handicap player, and there are a lot of other things I do beside
work. Painting, decorating, meddling with my grand children, the

"You ever think of getting married again?"

"I used to think about how it would have been if we stayed together. I
think it helped me get through some of the worse days with my ex. Would
have been fun."

"We could still pick up where we left off, Patty. It's something I'd

"You're so sweet, but I think it's way too late to recapture something
that died a long time ago. Let's forget about that and you tell me
about the recital you're having on Saturday night."

* * *

"Dammit, Paul, your screwing up again." Linda and Paul had been
practicing for two hours and neither one was satisfied with what they
were playing. "We only have three days before the recital and you still
aren't getting it right. The Song of India is the featured number and
Ken's favorite song. What's wrong with you?"

"It's not me, Linda. So let's try it again and this time you get your
part right."

The dress rehearsal was on Friday and neither one thought they were
ready. Someone standing outside the practice room could have thought
differently, but musicians are never ready until after they've played
and then it's time to pick out all the little mistakes that no one else
could hear.

* * *

Ken sat next to Patty. He had worked on dinner for hours before he
picked her up at the airport. Everything was simmering in the kitchen
in the two crock pots he used when he made a Cajun meal. She didn't
know if she'd like gumbo or jambalaya until she tasted them, but
pleased Paul when she asked for seconds. They only had a couple of
glasses of T-Bird before switching over to an expensive California wine
Paul picked out for the occasion. They weren't drunk, but there was a
glow that said the wine was going down real smooth. "Do you remember
how we used to sit on the couch, Patty, pretending to watch television
or talk about what we thought were important matters of the day?"

"Sure, and I always acted like I wanted to you to stop the first time
you tried to kiss me, but that never lasted for long."

"Kind of funny how people acted in those days. Even though we were
living together, we still had to start out shy before we could get on
to the real thing," Ken said.

"Yes and I felt like a strip teaser with you giving me all those long
kisses with a button being opened here and a zipper pulled down there.
I always ended up completely undressed before you took off a single

"It wasn't always like that, sometimes we'd just run home and jump into
bed. Neither one of us knew a quickie wasn't politically correct."

Ken put his glass down and pulled Patty into his arms. She didn't hold
him, but she didn't push away either. The kiss reminded Ken of days
gone by and he could feel heat in places where he hadn't known it for
quite awhile.

"Ken, I thought we weren't going to be doing anything like this. Maybe
you should finish your wine now."

"Is this one of those times when you might be saying no and waiting for
me to try again."

"Well, there's only one way to find out."

Ken kissed Patty again and this time she responded. There were two or
three more passionate embraces before Ken slipped his hand under the
hem of her dress. He moved his hand slowly up her leg until he
discovered the snap of a garter. He moved on to find the soft flesh of
her upper thigh. It contained hot magic that moved through his hand and
up his arm where it was lost in some hidden place a thousand miles into
his mind.

Her panties were silky fluff. Her butt was a little bigger than her
remembered, but it still felt good and his briefs were beginning to
fill up as his cock noticed something interesting was happening.

They both knew what came next, but neither one wanted to rush into it.
There was a lot more kissing. The zipper on Patty's dress was pulled
down to let Paul find that her back was still smooth to his touch. A
arm was released from the sleeve of her dress. Both garters were
visible and Patty made no effort to hide her red panties when they
finally came into view. Kisses, touches, holding, more, more, more.

He took her hand and led her into his bedroom. She saw the water bed
and was reminded of the one they shared in her little apartment in
Westwood. "See, I've changed. I didn't take all you clothes off first."

"Ha, ha, ha. I guess wearing a garter belt, stockings and high heels
means I'm not completely undressed, or, does it mean that you still get
turned on by this kind of underwear. Maybe I should leave this stuff

"I was surprised to see you still wear stockings and a garter belt. I
thought women were more into panty hose these days."

"I haven't had stuff like this on in more years than I can count. You
figure you're the only one whose been thinking about what once was? Why
don't I lay here on the bed and watch you take your duds off, big boy?"

Ken started to remove his shirt and noticed Patty wasn't taking her
eyes off of him. She let a finger move over one of her nipples and it
wasn't long before he saw it get hard. When he finally got his shirt
off he saw her hand trail down from her breast to the round shape of
her tummy. Her body was a few years older, but it certainly wasn't worn
out. Ken could feel his erection trying to force it's way through his
pants and hurried to finish undressing. His cock sprung out when he
pulled his briefs down and Patty applauded his little show.

He wanted her to show that he still knew how to make love and decided
to take it nice and slow. She spread her legs to make room for him and
he felt her hand pull his cock into her pussy. Her body moved up and
down and set a pace that would cause him to get off much faster than he

"I'm sorry I only lasted a couple of minutes. I really don't know what
to say, Patty."

"You don't have to say a damn thing, Kenny. Sometimes a girl likes a
guy who gets so excited making love to her that he can't control
himself. That would be particularly true of a girl my age." The rosy
glow on her face said that he had made some impact. "Let me go to the
bathroom for a minute and you think about an encore."

Ken watched Patty walk out of the room. He didn't think she knew he was
looking at her until she wiggled her ass just before she went through
the door. His cock was coated from the pleasure that was inside her
pussy. Well, maybe it had been a long time for her, too. Nice.
"Let me clean you off with this warm washcloth, Kenny, and then we'll
find out if I still know how to give head."

She took her time wiping Ken's cock clean. He wasn't hard at first, but
it didn't take long before he felt the blood rushing back into his
penis. Her hands felt good cleaning his cock and he liked how thorough
she was. He noticed that she was working on the same places more than
once and pretty soon she gave up all pretense and started giving him a
hand job.

She kept playing with his dick until it was hard as a rock once again.
She lowered her face and started licking his dick and balls. She
wouldn't let him do anything but lay there while she teased and excited
him. She buried his dick in her mouth and held it in place as she
slowly pulled back. When he thought his cock would jump out of her
mouth, she changed direction and let her face move toward his body. She
was very slow at first and then picked up the pace. He thought she was
getting him ready for another fuck, but he soon realized she didn't
plan on stopping until he got off in her mouth. He didn't think a man
his age would be able to cum again so quickly, but as soon as he felt
her concentrating on giving him pleasure, he exploded for the second
time. He felt her move up and down just enough to suck him dry.

"You certainly can't control yourself, Ken. You didn't last three
minutes that time. If I didn't know better, I'd figure you for a

Somehow she was able to get him hard again. She climbed on top and this
time she moved her body up and down at a comfortable pace. She was able
to put tiny kisses all over his face and then they locked in a fiery
embrace that brought both of them to a wonderful conclusion.
Ken saw the morning sun start to shine through his bedroom window.
They'd been making up for lost time and sleep wasn't part of what they
needed. "Do you have to teach class today, Kenny?"

"Nope, took the day off and don't have to get out of bed until the
dress rehearsal tonight."

"Okay, then why did you stop? I'm just getting in to it myself.

* * *

Paul couldn't believe how good the band played. They went through the
first five songs without a single error. Ken wanted everyone to play
the five numbers just as he had them arranged. They'd get their chance
to improvise during the Song of India.

The stage in Bates Hall is made of highly varnished wood. The wood
panels surrounding the expansive surface give the illusion that
musicians magically appear and disappear as they make their entrances
and exits. The back wall is an enormous pipe organ that looks good even
when it doesn't play.

The hall was set up stadium-style with 800 empty seats watching the
five players put down the sweet songs of Ken Jenkins' past.

They decided to wear school colors since it was a retirement party.
Everyone looked good in their burnt orange polo shirts with the big
longhorn on the shirt pocket. Paul was worried he'd get his white pants
dirty, but so far so good.

When they got to the intermission, Ken said they'd done just fine and
should keeping going so he could time the show. They decided to change
costumes for the last number and set it up so Bill and Ed went off
stage left, Rawleigh exited near the back, and, Linda and Paul left
stage right. There really wasn't a good place to change stage right, so
Linda had a screen set up to give her some privacy. The players were
going to switch from school colors to black suits and red bow ties for
the final number of the night.

Paul's suit was on a hanger next to the screen. He got out of his
school colors and started to put on his dress outfit. He could hear
Linda undressing next to him and tried not to imagine what she looked
like as she took off her clothes. Somehow he'd been able to make it
through two months without hitting on her, not that he hadn't thought
about it. He didn't want to ruin Ken's big night by making Linda upset
so he kept his desires in his pants.

The screen was two seven foot by ten foot opaque panels moved next to
each other. They were set at a slight angle to fit into the room and
that's why Paul got into trouble.

He was standing next to the intersection of the two panels and noticed
that he could see Linda on the other side. Her polo shirt couldn't hide
the fact that she didn't wear a bra so he wasn't surprised to see a
perfect expanse of white flesh where her shirt used to be. He sucked
wind when she dropped her trousers and he found she wasn't wearing
panties. He'd thought about her perfect moon shaped ass more than once
and now he had a chance to see that hidden treasure up close and

She turned to get her suit and he had a nice side view of a perfect
breast. She had a way of standing that disguised how big her chest
really was, but now he could see that her cups certainly would runneth
over if she ever did wear a bra.

He turned away so she couldn't see that he was checking her out and
hoped the suit coat would hide what was going on in his pants. Ken
called them back on-stage and Paul made sure he went first so Linda
wouldn't see the impact her body had on him.

* * *

"There's no one out there. We're playing to an empty house." Bill
Monroe seemed panicked He hadn't been able to shut up since he arrived
at the Hall and he was beginning to get on everyone's nerves.

"Billy, don't freak out." Paul noticed that Linda was trying to act
cool. He guessed someone had to do it and was glad it wasn't his job.
"The doors aren't open yet. I'm sure people are going to come to the

Ken had introduced them to Patty. They didn't know if they were
supposed to know the details of their relationship so they acted like
college kids and did some polite mumbling without saying much at all.

Paul was wondering if anyone was really going to show up when the doors
opened to what looked like a stampede. The room was going to be full,
no doubt about that. There were people of all ages moving toward the
seats. college students pushed toward the front wearing the same
clothes they wore to school on a regular basis. There were some older
people dressed up like they do when they go to a special event. There
was a lot of salt and pepper hair and a few white manes in the crowd.
Paul figured Ken had kept track of all his favorite students and
invited them back to his retirement party. Paul felt they might be in
big trouble having to play for a room full of musicians who'd be able
to hear every bad sound and off-key note.

It took longer to get through the first five songs then it did during
dress rehearsal. Ken was introduced at the start and he decided to let
everyone know about him and Patty getting married. That news brought
the show to a stop before it ever got started. Ken said a few words
about the recital and finally, they were underway. Paul was surprised
to hear that they were playing better than they did at dress rehearsal.
Applause interrupted the songs after every solo and went on forever
after each of the first five songs. Paul felt like he'd found a new
drug that was taking him to a higher place where he wasn't playing
anymore, but now he was part of the music.
Paul decided he wasn't going to look when she changed clothes at
Intermission, but found himself taking a peak just in time to see
another strip tease. Well, it would be the last time he'd get to see
her naked so he decided it was worth looking even though he knew he
could be sorry.

After they changed their clothes, Linda and Paul listened to several
people toast and remember Ken who seemed to be crying at that point.
There were a few war stories from some of the musicians who played with
in the 60s. Paul was surprised to see how many of them made the strange
and winding journey from 1962 to present. Finally, it was time to go

"Good thing there were so many speeches, Paul. You'd look silly
standing in front of 800 people with a hard-on." As soon as she said
it, Linda walked on the stage and took her place. She acted like
nothing happened. Paul could feel the heat of a blush come up from his
neck to paint his face bright red. The first note of The Song of India
got his attention and he forgot about everything, but playing.

The Crusaders developed a style designed to fit the members of the
band. The core was made up of Wilton and Wayne on sax and trombone.
They played in a way that they sounded like one instrument. Linda and
Paul were able to capture that quality and the rest of the guys
complemented them perfectly.

The first part of the arrangement was played exactly the way the
Crusaders played the song in the late 50s. This was followed by each
person doing an individual solo. Ken told them to play something
original that fit with the song and to take three minutes to do it.
Linda and Paul played individually and then finished off the
extemporaneous section by playing together as one instrument. There was
heavy applause after each person finished and the show came to a halt
when Linda and Paul stop playing.

Eventually, the group was able to start into the final bars of the
song. They were doing a reprise of the first part and the audience knew
the concert was coming to an end. That's when it started.

One of the old musicians sitting near Ken took a horn out of a case and
started to join in with the music. He added a trumpet part that was
never there before, but sounded pretty good to the people on-stage.
More instruments appeared and soon there were people playing in the
aisles, standing on seats with the tools they brought with them, and
rushing the stage to add new twists to Ken's favorite songs.

Eight sax players waited for a solo turn. Three people sat at the piano
and came up with a new way to tickle the ivories. Guitars, horns, and
band instruments never intended to be part of the song forced their way

A lot more music filled the auditorium. The Song of India made way for
someone else's inspiration and as soon as a player kicked off a tune,
twenty other people knew how to join in. The band of Ken look-a-likes
tried to keep up with music that went back forty years. Everyone found
a way to jam. It mostly worked and no one cared when it didn't.

Ken's solo finally put an end to what was now morning. He'd been
sitting back watching everything with Patty right at his side. He
finally took the stage and went on playing for five minutes by himself.
The crowd went wild of course and when he was done he thanked everyone
and said let's all go to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast and pretend
we're back on the road. A hundred or so people took him up on it and
Paul figured it would be a big surprise for the folks at the restaurant
when those people showed up.
"Wow, I never had so much fun playing, Paulie." Paul decided that she
would be allowed to call him that name after all. He kind of liked the
way she said it and hearing her sweet voice took his mind off the fact
that their time together was coming to an end. "Could you do me a
favor? I can't leave my stuff in my car and I'm too tired to carry it
in myself. Any chance you could give a girl a hand?"

When Paul got to Linda's parking place he could see why she couldn't
leave anything in the car. She was driving a Porsche Boxster that
didn't have enough trunk room for much more than the car's running
equipment. They finally got her stuff loaded up in the passenger seat
and he followed her over to her apartment.

"Your place sure doesn't look like something a student would live in,
Linda." The rooms were huge and filled with furniture that looked like
it was expensive. It certainly beat the rummage sale specials that Paul
used to furnish his rooms.

"It's my mother's idea. She decided that even though I was breaking her
heart by taking up music instead of homemaking, she couldn't have me
living in something tacky. I believe you're looking at two Neiman-
Marcus truck fulls."

"Hey, I'm sorry I checked you out while we were changing. I don't know.
I'm a guy. You're hot. Couldn't help myself. You know."

Linda had made coffee and they were both on their second cups. The suit
jackets and bow ties were long gone, but they still looked like dress-
a-likes in their white shirts and black pants.

"Paulie, your acting silly. Don't you know me well enough to realize if
I didn't like something I'd have no problem saying so?" She was giving
Paul one of her smiles and he couldn't do much more than stand there
like a deer trapped in a headlight. "You figure it was just your luck
that I happened to be standing by the opening between the panels both
times we changed clothes?"

Paul thought he was going to get an earful from her about watching her
change. He was relieved to find out she wasn't mad at him. "Look big
boy, what makes you think I don't like being looked at?"

"Well, we sort of agreed that I wouldn't make any moves on you and it
seems like that would be a move of some sort."

"Dang boy, I haven't been seeing anyone at school because I'm here to
learn how to play music and not here to play around. Even if I was
going to start seeing someone it wouldn't be a student because that
would just encourage a bunch of jelly beans looking for a hot babe with
money to start making their moves. And, I didn't figure it was a good
idea to start something new with the recital coming up, but being
looked at never once wore a girl out so don't worry about it."

She picked up their coffee cups and brought them to the kitchen. Paul
was feeling much better about things and hoped they could remain
friends. He hollered out to her when he heard her moving around in the
kitchen. "Thanks for being so nice. I had a different idea about you
before all this and I'm glad I was totally wrong."

Linda walked into the living room as he finished talking. "Thanks,
Paulie, but you forgot a couple of things." She was standing in front
of the couch where he was sitting looking as good as she did when the
long day started fifteen hours ago.

"You don't seem to be bothered by the fact them I'm rich and that's a
big plus for you." She pulled her shirt tails from her pants and Paul
noticed that the shirt was already unbuttoned. "We worked well together
practicing for the recital." She shrugged her shoulders and Paul
watched her shirt slide down her arms leaving her bare from the waist
up. She wiggled her shoulders in case he missed the part where she took
her shirt off and her breasts reacted just the way she planned.

"You're going to graduate in a couple of weeks, Paulie." He noticed her
hand work at the button on her pants and when she wiggled her butt back
and forth a couple of times, they slid down to her ankles. He could see
her pussy with highlighted by just a tuff of hair pointing to the good
stuff, that didn't hide a thing. She stepped out of the pants and said,
"The only problem I've got is that you don't seem to know what to do
with a naked lady. Do I have to drag you to the bedroom or can you
figure out how to make it there on your own?"
The End
Tell me what you think about my story!

Katie McN <>

Read more of my stories at my website\~Katie_McN\


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