Friend #185: Carl

Friend #185: Carl
Date and Location of Visit: Thursday, October 20, 2011, Naked Tchopstix Sushi, Indianapolis, IN
Known from: My brother’s friend from college marching band
Last seen: 1997ish?

Carl and my older brother, along with Shag, were good friends in the Michigan Marching Band.  Carl is an excellent trombone player who double majored in trombone performance and music education at Michigan.  I remember attending a band concert with several different groups, and there were only 1 or 2 groups out of 6 that Carl wasn’t playing in. He did a stint as a band director, and now spends his time playing latin/jazz/salsa gigs and working a day job to fill in the gaps.  Check out his website.

I was grateful to intersect with Carl when I did because he had endured a lot of hard events in his family in the few weeks prior to my visit.  I was amazed at how well he was doing given the circumstances.  And I was grateful that he entrusted some big pieces of his life to his friend’s kid sister.

Carl is 6’9″.  When the Michigan went to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego (1994?), the marching band got to make the block “M” on the deck of an aircraft carrier while a photograph was taken from a helicopter up above.  The people are tiny, but you can tell which one is Carl because his shadow is longer than anyone else’s.  And no, he doesn’t play basketball.  If you ask him that, he’ll ask if you play miniature golf.

They say the bigger they are, the harder they fall, but I don’t think that’s true with Carl.  A lesser man would have crumbled under what Carl is going through, but witnessing his level-headed perseverance taught me a thing or two about enduring hard times.  I guess he’s an educator after all.


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