My favorite Christmas gift this year was given to me by my dad before I even got home...
The Back Story: My grandpa, Leland Grant "Gus" Shields, use to play his saxophone in a dance band at BYU called the Y's Men Band. I loved imagining my grandpa playing his sax in that band and to this day still listen to his recordings. I loved my grandpa with all my heart and because of his love of jazz, then my dad's love of jazz, I too fell in love with jazz at a young age.
One day my aunt was telling me about the time her dad (my grandpa) had played the saxophone at her wedding and I thought that was awesome. So I asked my dad to play the saxophone at my wedding. This was so many years ago that I barely remembered asking my dad.
Years ago my dad found his dad's sax lying around collecting dust in the basement of his home and asked his mom if he could have it. She said yes so my dad took it home and it began to collect dust for a years at his house. My dad eventually bought a case off craigslist for the saxophone but the mouthpiece was missing and the sax needed a lot of work, if anyone was ever going to play it again.
|Leland Grant "Gus" Shields' Saxophone|
Then one day my dad began an unlikely friendship with a man, Don Degrady, that used to play in the Y's Men Band at BYU with my grandpa. Don gave my dad a beautiful mouthpiece for my grandpa's sax and told my dad of a wonderful place in Oakland, CA where they could fix up my grandpa's saxophone. So my dad sent it to that store.
|Mouth piece given by Don DeGrady|
The Christmas Story: So a few days ago my dad drove to Oakland early to pick up my grandpa's saxophone and then to pick me up from the airport to come home for Christmas. On the way home he told me the backstory of my grandpa's saxophone. He also told me that he had been praying for me to find a good man and get married but that he felt like he needed to do his part. So he decided to get the saxophone all ready to play, picked out a song, and is going to practice and prepare to play at my wedding!
I love my dad and LOVE his faith!