For years, my oldest son has wished for an accordion. I always figured it could be one of those things he would find on his own, later in life, so I wasn’t spending much time looking for one to give him. He’s a music major in college, plays the euphonium and other low brass instruments, as well as piano, ukelele, and almost anything else that makes a sound.

While I was visiting a hospice patient the other day, I talked with her son-in-law who had an accordion to sell, asking price of $100. It’s hard to reconstruct how the conversation evolved to reveal that, but it came out of the blue and before I knew it I had a fine 1958 accordion in a case in the trunk of my car for Jack’s birthday at Thanksgiving.

The first month of school this year has been a bit tough on Jack this time around, and he decided to come home this weekend for some recharging and home cooking. So I decided to give him his gift early as a sort of spirit booster and because I didn’t know if I could hold in my excitement for two more months. It turns out that he’s actually recovered from his blue mood in the last week, is feeling good and happy and healthy. So it was really icing on the cake to watch his face when he took the case and opened it – I think it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever given in terms of pure joy. Here he is trying it on.