From The Jazzy Island of Dinosaurs
All was well for the small-town folk in St. John, a small Northwest Indiana town just a mile or two south of Highway 30. Boys were playing video games. Girls were making attempts at calling boys before they got very emotional. Well, except for five siblings who live in the same house on Muirfield Lane.
These kids, Andrew, Caleb, Adam, Cameron, and Alyssa, all between the ages of fourteen and six, were playing outside in their sprinkler. They were having fun and just being their own goofy selves. It is okay to be that way at least once in a while. And it was the first day of summer, so of course they all had to be happy about that.
Next fall, Andrew will be a freshman at the nearby high school and plans to be part of the tennis team and the speech and debate team, as well as several academic teams.
Caleb is in seventh grade, and he is already in a band with his friends, Alessandra Marbanks, Mark Davis, Tad Beruve, and Kathryn Ashley. All five kids of this group plan to be in the school’s band as well.
Adam is a fifth grader, and he already wants to be a doctor. Since he was six, he has always been interested in the medical field. After knowing some of their cousins who have asthma, he has always had the desire to help people with those specific ailments.
Cameron is also in fifth grade, and he wants to play drums because their dad used to be a drummer in a rock band. Cameron is Adam’s twin brother, and everyone knows that Adam is the older twin.
And Alyssa is the only girl of the five children. She is in first grade, and she just lost her two front teeth after getting hit in the mouth by a tennis ball. Her favorite thing to do is play in the sprinkler with her four older brothers.
While the kids were still goofing around in the sprinkler, their parents were inside conversing with the kids’ paternal grandparents and ordering pizza from the best place in town. Their grandparents are from Schererville, so they are not at all far away from the family. The pizza place is also there, and, once the delivery boy arrived with the pizza, he came to the door, knocked on it, and spoke somewhat professionally to the kids’ mom when she opened the door.
“Mrs. Deena Grzedek?” he asked.
“Hello,” Mrs. Grzedek answered politely.
“Here’s your pizza.”
“Have a great day.”
“Same to you.”
Once the delivery boy left the house, Mrs. Grzedek brought in the pizza and called the children in for dinner. All five of them came into the house and got ready to eat with the rest of the family. While Adam, Cameron, and Alyssa quickly changed and headed straight to the table, Andrew and Caleb were not as quick.
The two oldest boys were in their room changing clothes, thinking about the fun that they had together in the sprinkler. It didn’t even take the two oldest boys five minutes to change clothes, but they stayed in their room to talk about the establishment of a new band that Caleb is in.
Caleb, Alessandra, Kathryn, Mark, and Tad have been in their band for a couple months. However, they have never really been able to come up with any clever names for it. The five kids have done a lot of brainstorming, but no elaborate names have stood out to any of them. At least not yet.
Caleb plays electric bass and is very easy-going. He is a very good listener, so a lot of people go to him if they have problems with something. He is also very quick-minded, so he can find a problem and fix it rather quickly. Caleb is by no means bossy, and he does not assume full leadership. He and Alessandra are the co-founders of the band, so they are both considered leaders. However, people believe Caleb should assume full leadership because he was actually the one to come up with an idea of even having a band in the first place.
Alessandra Marbanks plays lead electric guitar and happens to be the complete opposite of Caleb. Even though she is nice, she is very bossy. Alessandra sometimes thinks that she is entitled to pretty much anything and everything. She and Caleb are good friends, but their opposite personalities sometimes pose a threat to the entire posse. Alessandra, like Caleb, is very quick-witted, but she sometimes uses it without Caleb being able to step in and help whenever needed. Alessandra basically thinks she has to know everything.
Kathryn Ashley plays keyboard and is the airhead of the group. Even though she is the complete opposite of both Caleb and Alessandra when it comes to wits, she is more like Caleb in that she is very easy-going. Sometimes, she and Alessandra don’t get along very well. However, most of the time, they do. Kathryn is the one in the posse who will trip on absolutely nothing and, at least, twist her ankle. Or she will climb a tree, fall out of it, and break her wrist. Or she will forget something important before she does something and then remember the same thing when it’s too late to go back. The possibilities are endless.
Mark Davis plays drums and is relatively similar to Kathryn. As a matter of fact, they are brother and sister. However, they are not biologically related. Mark was adopted from Arizona when he was a baby. Since Kathryn met Mark, they have been very close friends. And, when the posse is together, Kathryn and Mark usually hang out with each other.
Tad Beruve is the acoustic guitar player, but he sometimes plays drums for Mark. His first name is Cameron, and his middle name is really Thaddeus. However, he likes to be called Tad. And he is also obsessed with frogs, so that is also why everyone calls him Tad. Short for “tadpole.” When all five kids are together, Tad normally hangs around with Kathryn and Mark because his personality nearly matches both of theirs.
All of the five kids in the band: Caleb, Alessandra, Kathryn, Mark, and Tad, have a lot of things in common, as well as a lot of things that they do not have in common. However, with their similarities and differences, they all have a lot of fun being together.
Wherever they are.
Caleb could not help but think about the start of their new band with Andrew when they were still in their room, getting ready for dinner. They were trying to choose what clothes they should wear when having pizza with the whole family, unlike most boys.
“We’re still trying to come up with names for our band,” Caleb said.
“Still? I thought you had that all figured out already,” Andrew replied.
“Have you thought of any ideas yet?”
“Well, we have. But none of us can seem to agree on any of them!”
“Well, what are some of your ideas?”
“These ones are the best. Mine is ‘The Lost Island.’ I just think it sounds cool. Alessandra’s is ‘The Polish Posse.’ She’s Polish, so, of course, she would have that as a suggestion. Kathryn’s is ‘Turkey Day.’ Mainly because Thanksgiving is her most favorite holiday. Mark’s is ‘Prehistoric Rock.’ He loves dinosaurs, so that is why his idea. And then Tad’s is also pretty awesome,” Caleb replied.
“What is it?” Andrew questioned, with utmost curiosity.
“That is actually a pretty awesome name for a band. I like bands based on their names.”
“So do I.”
Andrew and Caleb stayed in their rooms to admire themselves. Why were they doing this? Probably because they wanted to make themselves look really nice and presentable for dinner. Again, unlike the vast majority of boys. They straightened out their wet hair after running around in the water. They stared at their nicer shirts to make sure they weren’t dressing up too formally. They….
“ANDREW! CALEB! WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LONG?!” Cameron shouted from downstairs.
“Coming!” Andrew shouted back in a sing-song voice.
The two oldest boys raced each other to the dining room where everyone else was waiting for them for about five or six minutes. When Andrew and Caleb finally sat down, everyone stared at them as if they were from outer space.
Probably because of their semi-formal shirts. Andrew had on a nice red polo shirt that he only wears on special occasions. And Caleb had on a vintage Hawaiian-print polo shirt that most likely dated back to the ‘70’s.
“This is not a formal occasion, sillies,” Adam remarked with complete sophistication.
“Adam,” Mrs. Grzedek scolded. To the two oldest boys, “You do look really nice, Andrew and Caleb.”
“Thanks,” Caleb answered.
“Now. Who is going to say grace?”
“I WILL!” Alyssa shouted in a cutesy tone.
Silence filled the room like marinara sauce filled a plate of spaghetti. Alyssa didn’t quite know what to say at first, since she has never really said any kind of prayer before meals. It has always been either Adam or Cameron, who could always come up with clever prayers before their meals. But, Alyssa finally had something on her mind, and she was certainly not afraid to blurt it out.
“GRACE!” Alyssa shouted.
It was admittedly funny. Everyone died laughing. This was Alyssa’s first prayer before meals, so she had to get at least a little bit of praise for trying. Applause filled the room like more marinara sauce was filling the plate full of spaghetti.
“Good job,” Andrew assured his younger sister.
“Thanks,” Alyssa answered in a more cutesy tone.
“Now, let’s eat,” Grandpa announced.
The entire family spent thirty quiet minutes eating a nice dinner. Not a word was said. Not even the word “the” was said in that period of time. After everyone finished a nice dinner, they all went about their own business.
The kids’ parents conversed with the kids’ grandparents. Andrew, Caleb, and Adam walked around their neighborhood for a while. And then Cameron and Alyssa stayed inside and played video games.
Tonight was going to be a good night. It was, of course, the last day of school. So, that is always something the kids have always looked forward to. And then, the kids’ grandparents were here. Yet another thing that they were all thankful for. And Caleb was going to Alessandra’s house tomorrow morning with their friends to practice for an upcoming event.
Kathryn’s and Mark’s sister’s open house.
Jennifer Ashley just graduated from school, and she will be attending a local university next fall. Since the first day that she had walked around campus she fell head over heels in love with the entire institution. And she was particularly impressed with the business school, where she will be studying finance. Unlike Kathryn, and Mark to a degree, Jennifer likes numbers, and she loves to crunch them into any solutions, any time she has a chance.
The open house was going to be a week from this Saturday, and everyone had to come up with a name for the band prior to the performance. And this would be their first performance ever. So, they could not just say, “Ladies and germs, the band.”
“Out of all the possible names for the band that you guys have come up with, which one do you like the most?” Andrew questioned Caleb, while they were walking around the neighborhood.
“I have to say that I like ‘The Lost Island’ and ‘Prehistoric Rock,’” Caleb answered matter-of-factly.
“What happened to ‘Northbound?’ It didn’t just fly away, did it?”
“Of course not. I like that name, but not for a band.”
“You guys should seriously come up with more names for the band,” Andrew replied.
“I know we’ve all tried to, but nothing good comes out of our heads,” Caleb said.
“The Sound of a B Flat?” Adam blurted out after thirty seconds of silence.
Andrew and Caleb both looked at their younger brother. Adam felt as if his older brothers thought that he may have been from Planet Goofy. Not that Planet Goofy is really a planet. That specific name for the band had never occurred to them. It was not only a clever name that someone outside of the band had come up with. But it was also a name that might very well suit Caleb, Alessandra, Kathryn, Mark, and Tad.
“How did you come up with that name?” Caleb asked.
“I don’t know. It just popped out of my head, I guess,” Adam answered.
“I like that name. I like that name a lot!”
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