By Clara Glendale | Beacon band reporter
After months of searching, a high school trumpet player’s uniform has been located in the high school band practice room with the trumpet player still in it.
Bass Lake Marching Canoes director Stewart “Stu” Nesmith said junior trumpet player Bix Hirt Jr. was found safe and sound Wednesday in a seldom-used practice room.
Nesmith said Hirt was last seen at the final Canoes football game back at the end of football season.
“We just assumed he dropped out,” Nesmith said. “He wasn’t very good, despite his name. But we did need him to return his uniform.”
Hirt was found when a custodian entered the practice room to check on a strange noise that was thought to have something to do with a loose heat vent.
“There was this odd screeching noise coming out of the room,” Jan Itorinnadrum said. “I had to move some folding chairs that were stacked in front of the door.”
When Itorinnadrum opened the door, he nearly dropped his tool belt, he said.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” he said. “The kid was just sitting there blowing on his horn like nothing was wrong.”
Hirt, son of Bix and Bethesda Hirt, Sr., of post-urban Bass Lake, was none-the-worse for wear.
The Hirts said they thought their son was away at band camp this whole time.
“We signed some permission slip back in October,” they said, one after the other. “He said he was going to a school-sponsored extended-stay music immersion facility.”
The younger Hirt said he survived on meatballs he found in the school cafeteria, which he would access at night through a hole in the drop ceiling.
“I just followed the smell coming from the kitchen exhaust,” Hirt said.
Hirt cited a need for more intimacy with his instrument as the reason for his ruse.
“I was hoping to become one with it,” he said. “Like Luke Skywalker and his light saber.”
Nesmith views the discovery with a more practical eye.
“We’re just glad to have the uniform back,” Nesmith said. ‘Those things are not cheap.”