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“I’m Back in the Saddle Again”

Posted by glennled on April 24, 2023

My last post here was in last July, about 9-1/2 months ago. Why so long ago? For a whole variety of reasons, but let me name the Big Four:

  • Too busy/lazy in most of July 2022
  • Traveling from August to mid-October
  • Fracture in lower back, plus sciatica, on 1 December
  • Recovery/rehab from December to present

Last December, I was forced to cancel four trumpet shows at retirement communities in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, and La Conner, and neither could I sound “Echo Taps” at the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle, as I have done since 2011. For three months, I had to cancel all by trumpet lessons with my students.

And now, finally, after a total of almost five months, thank God, “I’m Back in the Saddle Again,” as Gene Autrey crooned in my youth. Proof? A bone-density test showed that I don’t have osteoporosis. Recent X-rays revealed that the fracture has healed. I don’t have to wear a back brace anymore. I still use the walker or cane often, for safety, but not always, as I had to for the first three months. I’m getting out-and-about more and more!

And the best proof of all is that on 21 April, I performed my one-hour trumpet show, “In Retrospect,” at Aljoya, Mercer Island, driving myself on the freeways, both to and fro. It consists of about two dozen hit songs from the residents’ era, and they get to sing (and hum) along! I used four of my five horns—trumpet, cornet, pocket trumpet, and flugelhorn, but not my bugle. It was my third appearance at Aljoya, M.I. They have now seen/heard two of my six shows. This was the first time I’ve been able to play my new flugelhorn in public. It was a Christmas gift from my wife. I used it for “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “Alfie,” and “St. James Infirmary Blues.”

Meanwhile, just for the record, here are the 16 articles that I could have written and posted during the past 9-1/2 months, if this or that had or had not happened:

  • 2 July – “I Stand for the Flag” at The Bellettini in Bellevue
  • 17 June 2022 – “Where Were You, Back Then?” performed at Merrill Gardens at Renton Centre
  • 4 July – “I Stand for the Flag” at Aljoya, Thornton Place in North Seattle
  • 5 August – Attended 71st Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland (our fifth attendance)
  • 30 September – Performed “Taps” for my high school classmate, Eddie Ray Hendrikson, USAF Veteran, at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery in Texas
  • 1 October – Performed abbreviated show for my classmates at our high school reunion in Texas
  • 2 November – “I Stand for the Flag” at The Bellettini
  • 10 November – “I Stand for the Flag” at University House, Wallingford in Seattle
  • 11 November – Entire ceremony at Veterans Park cancelled by the City of Lynnwood; no “Echo Taps”
  • 12 November – One of my trumpet students played “I Ain’t Worried” at Lessons In Your Home’s Fall Recital in Phinney Ridge in Seattle
  • 14 November – “I Stand for the Flag” at Fairwinds, Brighton Court in Lynnwood
  • 2, 5, 16, 17, & 22 December – the five cancellations mentioned above

So far this year, I’ve been very cautious about committing to my usual busy schedule of performances. Right now, I’m booked for only 8 more performances. But now that “I’m Back in the Saddle Again,” I’m ready for more!

By Angel Johnson of Aljoya, Mercer Island:

By Greg Asimakopoulos:

Flugelhorn, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”
Pocket Trumpet, “Get Me to the Church on Time”
Cornet, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”

Courtesy of Aljoya, Mercer Island:

6 Responses to ““I’m Back in the Saddle Again””

  1. Christi Damico said

    Wowzers! I’m glad you are feeling better, Mr. Ledbetter!


  2. key4u said

    Loved it all. Delighted to hear familiar tunes played on those different instruments. Seeing and hearing you do what you love brought a smile to my face and gladness to my heart. Thrilled you are “Back in the Saddle Again!”

    • glennled said

      And I’m thrilled that you’re thrilled! Yes, I do love playing those great, familiar songs for all of you. Hope to return for another of my trumpet shows.

  3. Dave said

    I (we) are so happy you are gaining strength and bone density. We cannot wait to see you both.
    We love you very much!

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