Milton Fields

Milton Fields

Bugle resonates as a holiday gift

By Milton Fields
Life Columnist

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I still remember my most favored Christmas present from childhood. We were living in Palmyra at the time, and I was a Boy Scout in Troop 150 centered in Hobgood.

We lived in an old house with no central heat. It did, however, have a wood fired heater in a room or two. The room we used mostly was Mama and Daddy’s bedroom. The heater would be fired up and we would gather there on cold evenings.

My favorite pastime was lying on the floor propped up on my elbows reading mail order catalogs. It was there I discovered what I wanted for Christmas – a bugle. It only cost $3.29, so I showed it to my Mama. She continued crocheting. The subject was not dropped.

On Christmas morning, there with the gifts was a bugle! To say I was thrilled is an understatement. I started trying to play it immediately. That day, as we visited friends and relatives, each time we passed somebody, I would toot the horn!

This was day one with the bugle, and I sounded it each time I could SEnD even into the night! It was silent on day two. My lips were so swollen and sore that I had to take food through a straw.

Time passed, and I became fairly good at three of the calls; assembly, reveille and taps. Taps was by far my favorite and still is. You hear it most often at funerals. At a funeral’s conclusion, taps is sounded in the background. As it is playing I remember the lyrics and still have strong feelings.

“Day is done, gone the sun,

“From the lake, from the hill,

“From the sky.

“All is well, safely rest,

“God is nigh.”

Milton Fields is a raconteur and retired lawyer.