In 1973 I graduated from elementary school and was heading to Port Moody Junior Secondary School to continue my education. I was thrilled to be at a school that had all the things I always wanted; a wood shop, a metal shop, a theater group, and at that time in my life, a band class.
My parents had allowed me to begin drum lessons in 1970 (poor mom & dad), which I would pound away at, night after night, banging out the same beat to every song I knew over and over. (I only really knew one beat when I first got started). I was going to get to play the drums with a real band and I was elated.
I remember when we all took our seats in this massive band rehearsal room and the teacher was asking everybody what instrument they wished to play/learn. One by one he went around the room and asked each student for their desired instrument and it finally got to me. “The drums” I announced loudly. “I’ve been taking drum lessons for almost three years” I bragged. No one else in the room had ever taken a drum lesson so my confidence began to soar. I was going to be the school band drummer. It couldn’t get any better than this.
We all filled out a form that had asked us to pick another instrument in case there were too many students wishing to play the same one. I looked over the form that asked you to pick three with your favorite being the first selection. I wasn’t going to fall for this trap so I filled out the form with drums, drums, and of course, drums. A few days later we all reconvened in the band room to hear what instrument we had been assigned. Around the room we went in alphabetical order listening intently until my name was called. “Scott Parry” the instructor belted out, “3rd trombone”. What? How could this be? There must be some mistake. I was a drummer. The beat guy. Not some horn blower in the back row. After the class was over and the instruments were handed out to the students I approached the instructor and asked him, “How come I didn’t get to play the drums? I know how to read some drum sheet music. I have been practicing for a couple years now. What gives dude?” He looked at me and said, “You already know how to play the drums so I thought I would give you an instrument that could give you some diversity”. Just so happened that his instrument of choice was the trombone. What could I say? I had been pigeon holed into the brass section with no escape. RATS.
At the very next band class everybody was assigned to their seats in the band stand. As expected, I was in the back row on the top tier, about 10’- 0” high in the air. It wasn’t awful. I had a good view and I knew that I wasn’t front and center in any of the music we would perform.
There was a girl sitting beside me with long dark hair and horned rim glasses, no makeup, and very shy. Back in those days girls wore mini-skirts all the time. It was the style of that time period. So every band class I would sit beside this girl who always wore mini-skirts and began trying to learn the art of the trombone.
One day when I got home from school my sister Laura said, “You have to meet my new friend from school. Her name is Beverley”. I walked around the corner into the living room and there she was. The geeky chick from my band class. She smiled and said, “Scott and I already know each other. We play in the trombone section of the high school band together”. She was always smiling and polite and was always keen to do whatever everybody was into.
A couple months later I was sitting in the back row trying to keep myself amused while the instructor was working with the flute section and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t be hilarious if I was to hook my spit valve (a little valve on most wind instruments that allows the user to clear the excess spit out of the horn) on the front of Beverley’s skirt, lift it up and then everybody could see her underpants?” I started giggling to myself. What a revelation this will be with lots of belly laughs for the entire class. I started sliding my trombone into position and readying myself for this act of pure genius. I slid once, twice, and finally I had made the connection. My spit valve was in the perfect position. I hooked onto the front edge of her skirt and began the prank of a lifetime. Within a split second she could feel that something was happening and immediately pushed her skirt down and did something I never saw coming. She turned and gave me a push on the shoulder with her elbow and before you could say WTF I was losing my balance on the top row of the band stand and I couldn’t recover. Over I went with my trombone held firmly in my hands.
Unfortunately, I was 6’-2” tall and about 180 lbs. The horn never stood a chance. I landed on it with a mighty crash and it was over. I had killed the junior high school’s trombone. I laid there for a moment just trying to get my bearings back, and then I realized the trouble I was in. I was lying on top of a flattened out piece of school property. This should be easy to explain. I rose to my feet and took the walk of shame from around the backside of the bandstand until I appeared on the far side only to be met by the band instructor. I held out in my hands this bent up offering that once was a fine instrument and offered up the first thing that popped into my head. “Oops”. “Mr. Parry” he bellowed out with great agitation, “You are out! No more band classes for you. And I will be calling your parents to discuss the replacement of one trombone”. I stood looking at him and my fellow band members. “GET OUT!” he shouted one more time. I hung my head and headed for the exit door.
After that horrible experience I said to myself that I would get back at that girl Beverley if I ever had the chance. So, in 1984, I married her.
Beverley was then, and still is, my sister Laura’s best friend. Over the years she became a staple in the Parry home as much as salt and pepper, coming with the family on countless trips and outings and became a good friend to the entire family. I was standing at a bus stop with her one day in 1977 and when I looked over at her, something changed that day. I was only 17 years old but I knew that I had fallen in love with her. I loved everything about her. Her sense of humor, her laugh, her looks and her infectious smile. Still to this day I can tell you she wakes up every single day, looks around for a quick moment and then smiles at me. It still gives me such a warm feeling in my heart.
We moved into our first apartment together in June 1979 and we have living together ever since. We got married in 1984 in our home town of Port Moody and this year celebrated our 31th Wedding Anniversary. We have been best friends forever and as a testament to that, we worked together at our own furniture company for almost ten years.
Many people talk about finding their soul mate and you wonder what are the odds of it actually happening. With all the couples we have had the pleasure to meet and know over the years, some have had countless breakups and divorces due to so many different reasons, but here we are still united and going strong. So it can happen.