Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Roadside finders, keepers

In my years of traveling Nebraska’s highways and byways, I’ve seen lots of strange things on the side of the road.

Most of what I find is nothing more than trash: fast-food bags sheltering unwanted french fries, liquor bottles and beer cans sucked dry as a bone, dirty diapers left to litter the ditch and music CDs scratched badly enough to drive any listener a little bonkers.

Once in a while I see things that make me contemplate the story behind their demise: a toothbrush, a television, underwear and more single shoes than I could count.

Really, how does one work boot, tennis shoe or high-heeled pump find its way to the pavement without the other? I’m sure there are all sorts of explanations.

It’s strange and funny and sometimes sad to think about how some of that stuff ends up on the road.

It makes me wonder what the Sandhills highway worker is going to think when the snow melts up north and a trombone appears in the barrow pit somewhere along Highway 61 between middle-of-nowhere Hyannis and Ogallala.

The only response I had when my son told me his trombone fell out of the luggage compartment of the school bus during their snowy ride home was, “Wow! Can that really happen?”

Apparently it can. The band director assured me that it is honestly a feasible explanation for the horn’s disappearance.

The only thing that prevented more of Brady’s band instruments from being strewn along the road home from the conference music gathering was an oversized and odd-shaped baritone case that had been wedged in right behind the faulty latch.

Just our luck. The long, skinny trombone case had barely enough room to jiggle free. Now the brass slide sits lonely and cold, waiting to give someone a good laugh.

Meanwhile, the signature song from “The Music Man” will be one short until the insurance company can sort it out.

There will have to be just 75 trombones leading the big parade.