Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

I know now what it is like to be the Moon. I know what the warmth of reflected light truly feels like. I have felt the love directed at someone else bounce off that person and cover me with waves of pure energy. I know what it is like to bask in the glow of a “Standing O.” Not for me, of course, for I am just the Moon.
The handsome figure standing with baton poised, resplendent in an ebony tuxedo, was my eighteen-year-old grandson, and he was very handsome. And he was the Student Conductor at the March concert featuring the Starr’s Mill High School Bands. To me, he was the Student Prince!
Carter has been a percussionist since he could first sit alone and, with mixing bowls and tin pots and pans in a half circle around him while simply clad in Pampers pull ups, he could pound out a very acceptable rhythm with wooden spoons. There are photographs in albums (and probably some video somewhere) which attest to this child’s fascination with drums.
Okay, I know that all kids like to beat wildly on anything that isn’t moving until they are about five, but this boy was finding a rhythm Xavier Cugat would have been proud to Cha Cha to by the time he was three! Simply put, we believe the boy has talent. We should know, and it is not surprising as we are his grandparents and one of us won First Place at the Mid South Fair in Memphis playing a mean cornet in The Flashy Five Jazz Band. His great-great-great uncle won a shiny Golden Eagle coin at the same fair seventy-five years earlier playing a fiddle. How’s that for inherited talent?
I should not fail to mention that Carter’s mom was an All State stand-out; played piano, flute, and oboe, and his dad was a dedicated band dude, too. The other granddad plays “by ear” (why can some people do that and some of us can’t play a triangle, for crying out loud?!), and he taught Carter the rudiments of the acoustic guitar and gave him his first shiny red electric instrument. The young man now can tear up a bass with the best of those Rock and Roll aficionados out there in Musicland. He played in the Starr’s Mill High School’s most excellent Jazz Band last year until he smashed his clavicle (collar bone) while skim boarding in Costa Rica. Big Ouch!
Thankfully he had completed the long and grueling marching season before the Christmas Holiday accident. Dragging those Quads around for six hours a day for four months probably gave him the strength and endurance to survive the obstacle of driving an hour and a half to a hospital that had an X-ray machine on roads that were torturous on a good day. Unfortunately, that day, the person with the best handle on Spanish was Carter, who after three years of high school language study still did not have the vocabulary for dealing with medical emergencies, plus, he was in excruciating pain and couldn’t even speak English! Well actually, I’m told that he did do most of the communicating during the emergency and was very helpful in expediting his care. Hey, I just didn’t want to make Carter sound like some master of all situations; he is really a pretty humble guy to be so darn smart and talented. (He is going to Kill me if and when he sees this…).
Anyone who has had the pleasure and honor of being a grandmother knows the feeling of pride when one of her “own” does something wonderful, or the terror when learning of their involvement in an accident a continent away, or the joy when they darken your doorway for a visit and seem sincerely glad to see the old folks.
But there has been nothing quite like seeing that young man standing in front of an audience of parents, friends and peers, directing a very fine band of forty plus students who performed the rousing Robert Sheldon piece, “Blaze of Glory.”  How appropriate, for it was a “glorious” occasion.