Dale and his friends continue their musical adventures in book three of the Adventures with Music series as American involvement in World War II winds down. The band has its first concert, Chrissy plays a solo, the group learns to play jazz, and Dale confronts a bully. In celebration of their 12th birthdays, the friends decide to do 12 things they’ve never done before. These events lead to an unforgettable summer of thrills and challenges, culminating with a trip to Chicago to hear the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia.
About the Author
Paul Kimpton is a former band director with more than 30 years of experience. Ann Kaczkowski Kimpton is a former musician, a teacher, and a high school administrator. They are the authors of Dog Tags and Starting Early. They live in Downers Grove, Illinois.
Read an Excerpt
Summer of Firsts
World War II is Ending, But the Music Adventures are Just Beginning
By Paul Kimpton, Ann Kaczkowski Kimpton
GIA Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2013 GIA Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Dale lay wide awake as the first rays of sunlight began to filter through his open window. He had hardly slept after all the excitement with his dad's surprise return from the war and Scout's unexpected homecoming. Scout, Dale's beloved Border collie, was sleeping soundly at the foot of his bed, softly panting, his paws moving as if he were running in his dreams. Dale hummed the Dogs for Defense anthem as he stroked Scout's fur:
From the kennels of the country,
From the homes and firesides too,
We have joined the canine army,
Our nation's work to do;
We serve with men in battle,
And scout through jungles dense;
We are proud to be enlisted
In the cause of the Dogs for Defense.
Dale smiled as he thought about yesterday. Grandma Rodine, who never did anything spontaneously, organized a backyard party for neighbors, relatives, and even Dale's friends. Within two hours, word had spread throughout Libertyville, and the yard was full of tables, chairs, food, and people celebrating the return of Dale's dad, Jake, and the family's faithful dog, Scout.
The guests wanted to hear why Jake was home from the war in the Pacific. Leaning back in his chair, surrounded by friends and family, Jake explained that the U.S. was slowly winning the war against Japan island by island. He returned home to train other Rangers for a possible invasion of Japan. Dale sat proudly at his father's feet as Jake relayed stories of his four years in battle that would allow other soldiers to learn first-hand what to expect. He was relieved to know his father would be stationed a few hours away, allowing Dad more time to be home before possibly being called for a future invasion.
While Jake continued his war stories, Dale's friends gathered around Scout. P.J.'s dog Smokey ran up eagerly and licked Scout on the nose. Chrissy and Bridget baked a special dog biscuit that Scout gobbled up. Victor, P.J., Karl, Dave, and Tommy wanted to hear about Scout's journey on the train after his escape from the Dogs for Defense training facility in Nebraska. Dale proudly showed his friends the letter from Private Artie Klimza, Scout's handler, that the train conductor had given Jake. On leave, Artie told of finding Scout herding sheep near his Montana home. All wanted to see Scout's ear tattoo, which helped Artie identify Scout. Artie decided the right thing to do would be to return Scout back home via train. Ironically, the train would be the same one Dale's father returned on!
Dale sat up in bed and reached down to pat Scout. He heard a soft knock followed by his father poking his head into the room.
"It looks like you couldn't sleep either," Jake said. "Why don't you and I get some PT before church?"
Dale swung his legs to the edge of the bed. "What's PT?"
"PT is what the military calls physical training. We do it early each morning. After the long train ride and party last night, I need some fresh air and exercise." Jake tossed a green Army Ranger t-shirt to Dale. "Put this on and some gym shoes and meet me downstairs in five minutes."
"Wow," Dale thought as he jumped out of bed, "A real Army Ranger t-shirt!" In two minutes, Dale was dressed and bounding down the stairs into the kitchen. Dad smiled. "You've learned that to be on time is to be late and to be early is to be on time. Let's get going."
For an hour, father and son ran, did push-ups, sit-ups, and used the beams in the garage as a chin up bar. Dad explained that the military has two types of chin-ups. "The first one is when your palms are facing you. This type is easier and works your biceps more," Dad said as he demonstrated several chin ups.
"We do those in Mr. Cabutti's gym class."
"You mean Mr. Cabutti is still teaching? I had him when I went to school, and I thought he was old back then!" Dad dropped back to the floor of the garage. "The second kind of chin up is called a pull up and it's done with the palms facing away from you. It uses less bicep muscles and more back muscles. It's harder and will take time to master." Effortlessly, Jake jumped up, grabbed the garage beam and pulled himself up and down several times, "I want you to do both kinds each day. Don't worry about how many you do, just do them to exhaustion. Over time, you'll develop stamina."
"What's stamina?" Dale said as he finished doing six chin-ups.
"Stamina means you can keep doing something that takes a lot of effort. It's similar to the word endurance. In the military, we don't lift weights. We run, lift our body weight, and carry our equipment to get in shape. When I'm gone, do these exercises every other day. You're twelve and ready to begin building your body."
Jake rubbed Dale's head, "I've missed being with you and your mom a lot." They walked out of the garage and across the lawn, Jake with his arm around his son's shoulder. Dale could feel the hard muscles of his father's arm. "Come on I smell coffee," Dad said.
Dale's mother was standing at the kitchen sink. Dad quickly walked over to her and wrapped her in his arms. Dale enjoyed seeing his mom and dad together again. Just then, Dale's stomach made a loud, rumbling noise. "Hey, you two lovebirds, after all that exercise, I need to eat."
Mother blushed and said, "OK, let me get my two favorite men some coffee before we have breakfast."
Dad winked at Dale and said, "A full cup?" to which Dale nodded enthusiastically.CHAPTER 2
Scout's First Service
Grandma bustled into the kitchen where the family was having breakfast, urging Grandpa to move more quickly so they wouldn't be late for Sunday service. Dale took a bite of a rusk and said, "Is Scout still upstairs in my room?"
"I looked in and Scout was sound asleep in your bed." Grandma frowned; she didn't believe animals should sleep in human's beds. "I heard that dog snoring!" Grandpa stood up so Grandma could adjust his tie. "I think that dog is mighty exhausted from his train ride and last night's party." Grandma cut grandpa off, pointing at the clock saying, "Why don't you all run upstairs and get dressed for church." She winked at dad and said, "I want to leave by 0900 sharp."
Dale ran upstairs to find Scout snuggled under the covers at the end of his bed. Scout lifted his head as Dale rummaged through his closet to find his Sunday clothes. The dog stretched his paws and flopped back onto his other side. "That's OK, boy. I don't blame you for wanting to sleep in." Dale zipped down the stairs to join the family in the living room.
Dale wished he had a picture of the Kingston family walking to church in the warm, March sunlight. Chrissy's family joined them as they passed the Rule's home. Chrissy was in Dale's class, at Emerson School, and both of them played in the school band. Dale played cornet, Chrissy played flute.
Chrissy smiled at Dale as the parents greeted one another. Chrissy's dad shook Dale's father's hand heartily. "Jake, that sure was some party last night." The grown-ups continued talking on their way to the church, leaving Dale and Chrissy to follow a few steps behind.
Dale said, "How's your list coming?"
"I'll have it done for tomorrow's meeting with the gang after school. You said two firsts for the group and the other ten are individual?"
Dad turned. "What list?"
Dale explained how he and his friends had decided to call this summer "The Summer of Firsts," since they were all turning twelve. All of them would make a list of twelve new things that they wanted to do this summer.
"Great idea. Maybe I should start a list of things I'd like to do with you and the family?"
"Even better, you could have two for the family, two for you and me, and the other eight for yourself."
Not to be left out, Dale's mom said, "Don't I get two?"
"OK," Jake said, putting his arm around her. "You can have two also."
Everyone laughed as they continued to church. Pastor Bob, who was waiting on the steps outside the two big wooden doors of the church, waved. He embraced Jake and welcomed him to the Sunday service.
The families followed Pastor Bob and took a seat in the front pew. The organ played the opening hymn, sending chords to the rafters and out through the open doors as everyone sang. Midway through the service, Pastor Bob climbed to the pulpit for his sermon. The words of his booming voice reminded families of the sacrifices everyone must make for the war — no one was exempt. "As spring arrives, we should all consider planting Victory Gardens so we can all do our part for the war effort. No one is too big or too little to get involved."
Just as the pastor's voice increased in volume, he stopped mid sentence, his finger pointed in the air, and froze. The congregation turned to see what he was looking at.
Standing at the end of the center aisle, tilting his head from side-to-side was Scout. The dog hesitated before slowly continuing down the aisle, scanning the pews for a familiar face. Chuckles could be heard throughout the congregation. Dale, stood up to see what was causing the commotion.
Scout was mid-way down the aisle and was sniffing one of the pew legs. Dale had seen Scout do the same type of sniffing at fire hydrants and trees. He turned bright red and whispered loudly, "Scout, Scout," causing Scout to lose interest in that pew. Dale looked up at Pastor Bob, who motioned for Dale to come to the center aisle. He excused himself, squeezed past the Rule family, and stood at the front of the aisle. Seeing his master, Scout bounded the rest of the way down the aisle, jumping into Dale's arms and licking his face. The pastor came up behind Dale and put his hands on the boy's shoulders.
"Scout must have heard me talking about the war effort and wanted to show that even he had volunteered to help." The congregation laughed. "Scout, since you've gotten this far, I say we let you stay for the rest of the service!" To the delight of the parishioners, Scout barked twice in reply.
Scout sat quietly on Dale's lap for the rest of the service. The dog even added a few howls to the final hymn. At the conclusion of the service, the pastor asked Jake, Dale and, of course, Scout to join him on the church steps and greet the departing congregation. On the walk home, the family was particularly quiet until Dale broke the silence. "Scout, I want you to remember that you're still a dog. A special dog, but still a dog."
Dad said, "I'm not sure you'll ever convince Scout he's just a dog. He seems to be enjoying all the attention."
"That reminds me, we should hurry. I put a pot roast in the oven when we left and I don't want it to burn," Grandma said.
As they reached the porch steps, Grandpa said, "I think we need some music. Dale, why don't you get your cornet and play some songs for us while Grandma checks on Sunday dinner?"
"Can I get out of setting the table?"
Grandma frowned, but her eyes were twinkling. "Here we go again with you and Grandpa getting out of your chores because of that cornet. I guess since your dad hasn't heard you play, it will be OK this time." Dale didn't need to hear any more as he took off up the front steps and into the house.CHAPTER 3
Dale finished tying his gym shoes just as the alarm he had set the night before went off at zero six hundred. He could smell the coffee percolating in the kitchen. His father must be downstairs. As Dale entered the kitchen, dad, dressed in his green ranger t-shirts, boots, and running shorts, was pouring coffee from the silver pot on the stove.
"Well, look who's dressed for some PT, even on a school day." His dad took a swig from his cup.
"I wouldn't have missed a chance to be with you before you go to Eglin Air Force Base for the week. What time do you leave?"
"This afternoon at fourteen hundred hours."
"I know what that means, two o'clock in the afternoon."
"That's right! Where did you learn to read military time?"
"I learned it from all the orders and telegrams from General Packston over the last few months. I had to know what time to be places, so I could be on time."
Dale's dad laughed and set his coffee down, "If we are going to get our PT in and get you to school on time, let's get going. Where's Scout?"
"I wanted to let him sleep in one more time before he begins joining me each morning."
"Fair enough. Let's start with a short run to warm up," Dad said as the kitchen door shut behind them.
For the next hour, Dale and his father ran up and down Simpson Hill, did sit-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups, and leg lifts. Finally, Dale could hardly do another leg lift.
"Great job, Dale. We've done enough for this morning. I smell bacon and eggs cooking," he said as he put his arm around Dale's shoulder and began walking toward the house. "I want you to promise me you'll take Scout with you every day you work out when I'm gone. I'll feel a lot better about you being alone if you're with Scout."
The table had steaming platters of bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Dale's stomach growled as he slid into his chair. Grandma glanced at Dale and raised her eyebrows as she poured the coffee. "Excuse me," Dale said hastily before grandma could say anything.
Dad gave mom a hug, and continued. "To build a healthy body, you have to exercise and have a well-balanced diet. We just did the exercise, and I can see by the spread on the table that grandma will take care of the diet."
Grandpa asked, "Dale, can you pass the pitcher of orange juice?"
Dale grabbed the pitcher and poured himself a glass first before passing the pitcher to his grandfather.
"Whoa, Dale," his dad remarked. "You just short-stopped the juice!"
Dale looked surprised. "What does short-stopped mean?"
"It means that you were asked to pass something at the table to someone else, and before you did it, you took a portion for yourself. It's not polite and, in the military, it could get you in big trouble."
Dale's face reddened as he looked down at his juice glass. "Sorry, he said sheepishly, almost whispering, I won't do it again."
Dad tousled Dale's hair, "OK, soldier, carry on. Let's eat!"
Dale ate his eggs, bacon, and pancakes with gusto. He leaned back in his chair, enjoying his coffee and listening to grandpa, grandma, and his mom talking about the great weekend they had and then he realized what time it was. "Hey, I almost forgot it's a school day and I have to meet P.J. and Smokey at the fire station. Can I be excused?"
"Yes, you may," Grandma said, "Make sure you take Scout with you. That dog needs to get back to living a dog's life."
Dale put his dishes in the sink and ran up the stairs two at a time. He'd laid out his school clothes, packed his instrument, books, and his list of firsts written the night before so he was dressed and back downstairs in record time.
Dad looked up from his paper. "Don't forget your lunch on the counter. I'll see you on Saturday when I get back." Dale gave dad a hug and was out the door with Scout fast on his heels. It felt good to have the wind in his hair and Scout running along beside him for the first time in over four months. P.J and Smokey were waiting outside the fire station as Dale and Scout rounded the corner onto Main Street. Scout barked and took off running to meet Smokey. When Dale skidded to a stop, the dogs were play wresting as if they had not been apart for months.
"I think Smokey is going to enjoy being tied up with Scout for the day. We don't want to be late to band." They decided to race and make up the lost time. Riding toward Emerson School they could see the gang already heading inside. "Come on, P.J., pick it up! We don't want to be late." Dale was in the lead during the final block.
P.J. stood up to ride extra fast. As Dale pulled into the bike rack, P.J., slammed on his brakes and skidded before crashing into the bike rack. "Wow, would you look at that skid mark!"
"You almost ran me over. I said speed up, not run me over. We'll have to show the gang that great skid mark later."
The boys jumped off their bikes and dashed into the school auditorium to find everyone seated their instruments still in their cases. Mr. Jeffrey was on the podium talking to them. All the students' heads turned as Dale and P.J. flew down the aisle to the stage.
"Sorry we're late Mr. Jeffrey," Dale breathlessly blurted, "but with Scout, and my Dad coming home and a weekend of celebrating, I was running a little late today. It won't happen again," Dale said as he slid into his chair next to Sandra.
Excerpted from Summer of Firsts by Paul Kimpton, Ann Kaczkowski Kimpton. Copyright © 2013 GIA Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of GIA Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsSummer of Firsts,
Chapter 1 First Morning,
Chapter 2 Scout's First Service,
Chapter 3 First Meeting,
Chapter 4 Ground Rules,
Chapter 5 Busy Day,
Chapter 6 News from the War,
Chapter 7 Easter April 1, 1945,
Chapter 8 A Day to Remember, April 12, 1945,
Chapter 9 Unexpected First,
Chapter 10 Tommy,
Chapter 11 Chrissy,
Chapter 12 Tension Builds,
Chapter 13 The Audition,
Chapter 14 One Down, One to Go,
Chapter 15 Dixieland Jazz,
Chapter 16 Surprise,
Chapter 17 Firsts and Lasts,
Chapter 18 Memorial Day,
Chapter 19 Sandra,
Chapter 20 July 4th,
Chapter 21 Plan the Plan,
Chapter 22 Etiquette,
Chapter 23 News,
Chapter 24 Change in Plans,
Chapter 25 Selling the Plan,
Chapter 26 Execute the Plan,
Chapter 27 Ravinia,
Chapter 28 Unexpected First,
Chapter 29 Endings - Beginnings,