OVERWHELMED BY APPLAUSE

On reaching the bandstand I was greeted with a degree of applause which almost staggered me- I had to be led up to the judges. One of these made a nice speech, complimenting me on my playing and stating that I had won first prize. Turning around, he introduced me to dear old Henry Distin, the celebrated instrument maker who, coming forward and shaking me by the hand then presented me with the award, a baby cornet, one of his own make-the smallest B flat cornet ever made measuring only six and one half inchs long and five inches high, with an oval bell, and gold-plated and elaborately engraved. Mr. Distin, enthused over my playing as being remarkable for a boy, and asked me to play some suitable song on the small instrument. Again completely staggered and unable to open my mouth in response, I took the cornet and endeavored to play on it. I was astonished at the power possessed by the miniature instrument; it made a hit with everyone, both audience and bandsmen. It was the only one of its kind ever made, andI still have it by me, a carefully cherished possession.

The big contest being over, all the boys gathered around me, making a lot of fuss over my success, and I was really proud that our band had taken both first prizes in the 1886 competition. We left for home the next morning and upon reaching Indianapolis marched all the way from the depot to the band room as winners of the State Championship, being cheered all along the streets by the people, who took a great interest in our success. Our popularity in town increased after the reputation we had made at Evansille, with the result that some concerts given by us netted a good sum of money.