Afterward, we packed up our chopsticks and headed for Baylor University, where Mike and I were greeted with a surprise: since Tony had already done several sessions with the students, he and Wiff had decided the afternoon’s talk would feature Mike, Tony, and me, discussing music, math, writing, and our friendship. (Glad I didn’t order that beer for lunch.)
I started off the talk by describing my years as a young trumpet player in L.A. where, along with Tony, I had a front-row seat to a golden age of brass playing. I told how my dream of a career as a symphony trumpet player had crashed and burned at the University of Southern California, clearing the way for my career as a writer.
Mike, shown here with Tony, stood up and basically told the kids I was crazy—that my life could have headed off in any number of directions, and so could theirs. He followed up by exploring The Five Elements of Effective Thinking, a wonderful small book he wrote.
Tony pulled it all together under the rubric of music and life, then closed out the afternoon with more brass stories, and we were done. The students seemed to enjoy it, or at least that’s what they said as we posed with them for pictures. The photo at the top of this page shows (left to right along the front row) Mike, Tony, me, Mark, and Wiff.