Grant Keltner

The whistle blower

The whistle blower

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This following story is a fictitious story; a yarn you might say, or what you might call a tale about a young boy, his love of music, and his rise to fame through hard work, the love of his parents and never ever giving up.  This story takes place in Oregon; it takes place in a quiet tranquil spot out in the green lush sprawling countryside.

It so happens this particular family lived on a small rural farm, where the family grew Christmas trees on their land.  It was a great place to grow up as a young boy; the family home was located off N.W. Old Germantown Road, out west of town, out past N.W. Skyline Road.  A secluded spot, with fields and streams; the farm had long rolling wooded hillsides that rambled on for what seemed for miles and miles.  The farm was about forty acres in size; the old family home had been built on the land back in the 1920’s, handed down through the generations to family and loved ones.  This story is about “The WhistlerWhistle Blower,” a famous tale indeed.

Tom Harney and his wife Sarah Linn lived on the family farm, Tom’s family had handed the land down to Tom and his wife when he married Sarah back in 1956 or so, within a few years they had a young son named Luke.  Mr. Harney was a musician by trade, played classical and jazz piano from time to time, he played at his local church, and he occasionally played at one of the local restaurants located in town, his wife Sarah Linn played the violin.  They were very good musicians.  Tom worked the farm, tending to his Christmas trees and taught music lessons from time to time; Sarah worked at the nearby school as a music teacher.  The family was well known throughout the county.

Luke was an unusual boy, and I do mean unusual.  When Luke was quite little, he was noted in having a pronounced lisp as a young boy.  The lisp was first detected say around when he was two or three years old or so, his parents noted the odd way in which he use to pronounce his words, Sarah first noted the problem with Luke’s speech with the first few words he tried to speak, “Mum an’ Dwad, I wuv wu ssso mush!”  Tom Harney was alarmed, “What did he just try to say?” as he looked at his wife Sarah Linn.  “Ah, I think he was trying to say, “I love you so much,” said Sarah Linn.  He was born with a speech impediment indeed.  It was quite noticeable when he first started to speak as a child, Sarah Linn was alarmed by the lisp, “Oh my, Luke indeed has a lisp!”  She took him to several well knownwell-known speech specialists in seeing if they could correct his problem.

The Harney family sought help with their son’s speech problem; they hoped their son’s speech impediment could be cured.  One well-known specialist, a Dr. Louis Bosworth Hasenpfeffer had him count to ten.  Luke looked at the doctor and started to count, “Wah, tawo, fee, fo, fave, sssix, sssheven, eigh, nine, twen,” he defiantly had a lisp and people had a hard time understanding him from time to time.

The Harney’s continued to take him to the speech specialists.  One doctor, a Dr. Bartholomew Snodgrass Yabada-Yabada had him try to pronounce and annunciate words repeatedly until poor Luke got blue in the face.  No matter how hard he tried to say certain words Luke just could not help but lisp the words, the words always seemed to turn out wrong.  He was around three or four at the time.

Another doctor, a Dr. Elephant Osafalafagus stood next to Luke and asked him to say, “Sally collects sea shells at the sea shore.”  Luke looked at the doctor and repeated the sentence, “Shhhallie cowects see sells at dwa’ see shhore!”  The doctor shook his head and rubbed his chin, “Why this is perplexing, your son here has a lisp that’s for sure!”

Luke’s family sat down every night with their son in trying to help him with his pronounced lisp, they bought flash cards and records, and tapes to play for young Luke in hoping it would cure him of his speech problem.  They made him read words aloud and had him practice certain words over and over again.  Luke’s mother held up one of the flash cards, “What word is this Luke?” asked his mother as she held up the card.  The word was “Dog,” Luke studied the word, and then yelled out the answer, “The wood is Dwog!” shouted Luke.  His mother looked at him and shook her head, “No Luke the word is dog, dog!”  Luke would get frustrated and poutght or maybe get mad or pull a tantrum and stomp his feet.  Luke would look at his mother, “Suffewin’ succotash muom, no matta’ how hawd I twie I can’t get the woods wight!”  Poor Luke, his father would hold up another flash card for him to practice, “What word is this Luke?” his father would patiently work with him every night.  “Da’ wood is wittle.”  His father would look at him and shake his head, “No, no Luke the word is little, little, L, little.”  Luke would start up a tantrum again and stomp his feet.  The Harney family kept trying to work with Luke and his disability.

Luke helped his family on the farm, he fed the chickens and helped take care of the horses and milk the cows.  He’d help his dad cut trees and haul them to the barn.  He helped his father sell the trees at Christmas and helped put the Christmas lights up in decorating the farmhouse.  He had a pet dog-named Ralph and a pet tabby cat named Herkimer.  “Herew Walf!  herew Hucamew, herwe’s your pood, come and get it!”  The animals would just look at him and wonder what he was trying to say.  Ralph would tilt his head and look at him strangely.  Kids made fun of him from time to time; adults would look at him and wonder what he was talking about half the time.  “Wha, ah, what are you trying to say kid?” asked one of the neighbors one day as he was walking to school.  Poor Luke would cry himself to sleep.

It really got bad with his lisp when he started kindergarten, back in 1961 or so.  His teacher made the children say the Declaration of Independence one day.  “Luke, can you recite the Declaration of Independence for me?”  Luke cringed while sitting in his seat; he got up from his desk and stood in front of the class.  “Won naytwon undwa’ god, wiff wibettie and justice FO’ all.”  The kids laughed and rolled on the floor and made fun of poor Luke.  “Ha!  Luke can’t pronounce anything right,” yelled one of his classmates.  The kids laughed and pointed their fingers at him.  Poor Luke.  When Luke would walk home from school kids would tease him and make fun of him.  “Luke can’t say anything right!  Luke can’t say anything right!”  The kids would carry on and point their fingers at him.  Luke would come home, his face covered with tears; his parents did everything they could for him.

Secretly, at night Luke practiced hard words that gave him problems, words like flabbergast, perplexing, and haberdashery.  He would sit in front of a mirror and watch the shape of his mouth while trying to pronounce the words correctly.  He practiced all summer long going into first grade.  He wrote words down that gave him a problem and practiced annunciating the words.  He practiced in the morning while walking to school and practiced while heading back to the farmhouse, he practiced while taking a bath, and he practiced in bed before he fell asleep.

One day his parents bought him a flute in thinking it might help him in learning how to play music.  They taught him how to play and read music by the time he was six or so.  He would sit with his parents and play the flute while they would play the piano and play the violin.  They would sit for hours and play music, it sounded wonderful.  He became very good.  Playing the flute seemed to give him confidence and he really enjoyed playing.

Luke tried to carry on with his disability with his lisp.  He would often wonder the family farm from time to time.  His dog Barry and cat Herkimer usually would follow him anywhere he roamed when he was little; they followed him as if they were one of his own shadows.  He would sit in one of the lush green meadows near one of the streams located behind the family farmhouse.  It was a quiet spot, secluded and private; nobody could hear or see him, his favorite spot was located not more than a quarter mile away from his family’s farmhouse, he would sit and watch the birds and woodland creatures that would gather in the meadow that boarded a beautiful stream.  It was a secluded spot, peaceful; nobody would hear him as he practiced his words.  He’d sit and play his flute or maybe whistle to himself, he whistled all the time, he became quite good at whistling, actually his whistling was magical.  He loved to whistle and he practiced whistling in the wooded meadow all summer long going into first grade.  He practiced whistling “Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,” and he practiced a few other tunes as well.

When he whistled, strange things would start to happen.  Why he whistled so beautifully at times that the birds, the fish in the stream and the woodland creatures would gather in the wooded meadow in trying to listen to his beautiful tunes that he would whistle.  Rabbits, raccoons, robins, and owls would gather in the wooded meadow and marvel at the way Luke whistled.  The animals seemed to get excited by his wonderful whistling.  The animals loved the way he would whistle his tunes, they seemed to be mesmerized and fascinated by his magical whistling.  Birds would float in the air, and fly in circles above Luke’s head, the deer would dance, the squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs, and fox would pounce about.  The fish would flop in the air and then swim around in the stream.  The woodland creatures would follow him through the forest; they often followed him back home while he whistled his hypnotic songs.  His parents did not know of their son’s wonderful talent with his whistling for quite some time, he kept it hidden.

Then one day, in the late summer, just before Luke was to enter third grade his parents started to soon notice Luke’s magical talents with his enchanted whistling, he must have been around eight or nine at the time when they happened upon his whistling.  They first took notice when Luke came up to the backside of the farmhouse through the wooded meadow one late afternoon.  His parents saw that the woodland creatures would gather around him and that they magically seemed to be following him.  Birds flew in the air as they fluttered above him, and as he got closer to the farmhouse, the birds and woodland creatures would slowly vanish into the meadow or the woods as Luke got closer to the farmhouse.  It was truly magical.

His mother noticed the strange occurrences first and then soon quickly told her husband Tom.  “Ah, Tom you have to see this!  Why it’s Luke, the strangest things are happening when he goes into the wooded meadow!”  Tom looked out of one of the windows in his study.  He could see the wooded meadow and the birds and woodland creatures flocking around Luke, he could hear his son whistle a beautiful tune as he made his way into the backyard.  He watched as the animals slowly disappeared as Luke made his way into the farmhouse.

Luke entered the back door to the farmhouse.  His father and mother were waiting for him as he walked in, his father looked down on upon Luke, “Luke, ah, son, ah what are you doing out in the wooded meadow?”  Luke looked at his father and slowly answered his question, “Well fada’ I’m gowing for woks out in the wooded meadow.  I yike to whiffle and the animals yike it as well!  The boids, waccoons, squoiwels, fox, chipmunks, dwer and beava’ all yike it when I whiffle a merry tune!”  His father was amazed; his son looked up at his father and mother as they stared at their young son.  “The woodwon cweatwues gathwa awound me’, I think it’s kind of amwazing, my whiffelwing seems to make ‘dem happy, some of the woodwon cweatwures like to dwance while I whiffle.  The boiods and da’ west of the woodwon cweatwures seem to dance about as I whiffle a mewiemerry tune!”

Luke’s fathers looked startled as he listened to his son tell his strange tale.  “See I told you so!” said Luke’s mother as she looked at her husband.  “How long have you been going down through the wooded meadow and whistling to the birds and the other woodland creatures?” asked Luke’s mother.  Luke looked at his mother and father, “Oh I suppose I’ve been whiffelwing for about a wier or so.  When I fwist went down to the wooded meadow I sat down along the stweam and started to whiffel Lieberstraum.  The stwangest twing happened, the fish poked out of the watah and da’ boiods and bees stated to fly awound me, wabbits and waccons started to hop about,  they always fawoedfowled me back to the farmhouse.”  The Harney’s did not know what to say.  “Luke can you whistle a tune for me now?”  Luke looked shyly at his mother and father and smiled.  “Why wes I suppose I can whiffle a tune or two.”  He soon puckered his lips and started to whistle, it was magical, Luke’s parents started to tap their toes and clap their hands, they started to dance about, it sounded wonderful, and it was enchanting.  His tune and pitch were perfect, his whistling was perfect, the mice came out of their holes in the kitchen floors and danced all about.  Soon there were woodland creatures looking into the windows of the farmhouse, birds had flown down the chimney and flew around inside the house.  Luke stopped whistling.  The woodland creatures disappeared and the birds stopped flying around the room.

“My, Luke, you’re a wonderful whistler!” said his mother; she opened the back door to the farmhouse so the birds could fly back out into the backyard.  Luke’s father couldn’t believe that his son could whistle so beautifully, he sat down and started to play the piano, ”Luke, Luke, please, oh please whistle while I play the piano, Sarah grab your violin!”  Sarah grabbed her violin and they started to play along as their son started to whistle.  They played through the night as Luke whistled his merry, enchanted tunes.  Luke was exquisite; he could carry almost any tune that they played.  After an hour or so Luke looked at his mother, “Muda’ mway I have a dwink of watah?  My wips are soe and I need to wet my whiffle!”  They laughed as Luke drank his glass of water.  They played music through the night.  They continued to play music as Luke whistled away.

Within a few months Luke had become a master whistler at the young age of eight years old.  It helped to have a mother and father that could play and read music.  They practiced playing all kinds of tunes when they had time.  One morning Tom and Sarah Linn Harney sat at the breakfast table with their son.  “Luke I know that the state championships with whistling are coming up in two weeks, I want you to enter the contest, I think you can win!” said Sarah Harney as Tom practiced playing the piano in his study.  “I think you can win the state championships with whistling Luke, matter of fact I know you can!”  Luke sat there and smiled as his mother went on and on in telling her son about the state whistling championships.  “It will be held in Portland, Oregon.  We can take the bus and stay at one of the hotels in Portland; they will have the championships at Lincoln Hall over at Portland University.  Oh, Luke it will be so much fun!  If you win the championship, you will get an all-expense paid trip to the National Whistling Championships being held in Boston, Massachusetts.  Grand prize is $50,000 to the winner!”  Luke jumped around the room as his mother and father watched as he whistled a happy tune.  A raccoon looked through a small window as Luke continued to whistle.

The state championships were right around the corner; his parents filled out an entry form and mailed it to the head of the Oregon State Whistling Championships, which was located in Salem, Oregon.  Soon, within a week or so an envelope came in the mail addressed to young Luke Harney.  He was registered and the competition was going to be held in early March over at Portland State University.  They practiced every day, poor Luke got tuckered out at times while he was practicing, and his lips would get tired from all the whistling he would do.  He whistled and whistled, he practiced in the morning and on the way home from school, he whistled until he fell asleep at night.  He’d go down to his favorite spot in the wooded meadow and practice his tunes as the fish, birds and woodland creatures danced about.

Finally, he was ready for the big day.  It had been decided that the family would take the bus from their farmhouse to Portland, not more than an hour or so away from where they lived.  They packed their things and caught the bus on a Friday afternoon; they rode through the countryside, as they got closer to downtown Portland Luke became excited.  Soon they came to their stop and got off the bus.  Luke’s father pointed to their hotel, “There’s our hotel, and we’ll stay here for a night and wake up in the morning and walk over to Portland State.  The competition will start at 9:00 A.M. sharp; they’ll crown the champion late Saturday afternoon.”  Luke was beside himself, “Whoopee!” he shouted as they made their way to their hotel.  They checked in and Luke sat down and practiced for an hour or so.  They had dinner and went to bed early in order to get a good start to the day.

The next morning Luke’s mother woke him up, “O.K. Luke today is the big day!”  Luke was so excited; they had breakfast and made their way over to Lincoln Hall.  There was a big crowd in the lobby as they walked in; there were at least thirty or forty kids that had registered for the whistling championships being held that day.  Luke registered, the officials gave him a nametag, and he was scheduled in whistling at 9:30 A.M.  His parents led Luke to the auditorium; the auditorium was old and ornate with woodwork.  The auditorium was where the whistling competition would be held that day.  There were all kinds of kids, tall, skinny, girls, boys; they all practiced their whistling, as the competition got under way.  You could barely here yourself think as all the kids practiced their whistling, it sounded wonderful.

One by one each child was asked to whistle a song in front of three judges.  A distinguishing older man that had a long mustache and flowing gray hair played a grand piano as each child was asked what song they wanted to whistle.  The master of ceremony, Mr. Frank Banama stood watching each contestant.  The judge’s sat at a table near the piano, they were dressed in long black tuxedoes and evening gowns that glimmered, they sat quietly and made notes as songs were whistled, they filled out score cards after each contestant would whistle their song and then the judges would tabulate the scores.  The highest point total a contestant could get was 30 points, each judge tabulating a score from one to ten with their scorecards.  Some children were nervous as they whistled their tunes, some got scared in having to whistle in front of the crowd that watched.  Some kids forgot there tunes, some kids did not do very well at all, the competition went on the entire morning and into the late afternoon.  One by one the judge’s tabulated the scores.  Some of the kids looked nervous while they waited for their scorers.

The competition started promptly at 9:00 A.M.  The first contestant whistled a beautiful rendition of “Kinderszehan (Scenes from childhood),” written by Robert Schuman, the second child got nervous, forgot the tune and started to cry and walked off the stage.  The next contestant whistled a tune by Arron Copeland,”Appalachian Springtime.”  There were some very fine whistlers.

Finally, at 9:30 A.M, master of ceremony, Mr. Frank Banama called Luke’s name.  “Ah, we now have Luke Harney!”  People in the crowd clapped their hands, several of Luke’s classmates and even a few families that lived around the Harney farm made the trip to watch young Luke whistle that day.  Luke looked at his mother and father as he made his way up to the stage and the microphone, his hands were sweaty, he was nervous, the crowd clapped as he approached the microphone.  “Ah, Luke, what song will you be whistling today?” asked Mr. Frank Bonama.  Luke titled his head a bit and smiled a shy smile, “Well, I wood wike to whiffle a song witten by Nikolai Rimsky-KorsarovKorsakov and arranged by SergaiSergei Rachmaninoff, “The Flight of The Bumble Bee,” I hope you yike it?”  The crowd chuckled as Luke talked, the piano player looked at Luke, “What did he just say?”  The judges laughed.  Luke looked at the piano player.  “I want to whiffle, “The Flight of The Bumble Bee,” it was whitten by Nikolai Rimsky-KorsarovKorsakov and arranged by SergaiSergei Rachmaninoff,” The judges talked amongst themselves and nodded at Luke, “Go ahead, son whistle your tune,” said the piano player.

The piano player started to play the arrangement that Luke’s parents had put together.  Within a few seconds, Luke had started his tune, he whistled a beautiful tune that day, he seemed to capture everyone’s attention in the audience, and it was mesmerizing.  The judges were stunned at the beautiful way in which Luke carried his tune, people in the audience got up out of their seats and started to dance, the judges clapped, and Luke continued to whistle his song.  Birds started to fly into the windows of the auditorium and circle about; pigeons flew in the air all around Lincoln Hall.  Dogs who’s owners had tied up outside in the park blocks started to howl and bark, everyone in the auditorium was enchanted by the young boy’s whistle blowing.  He stopped at the end of the tune and everyone in the auditorium clapped with approval, they gave him a standing ovation, the judge’s tallied their scorecards and Luke was given a perfect 30 point score!  People continued to cheer Luke.  His parents were as proud of their son as he made his way back to his seat.  “Oh, that was a fine job son!” exclaimed his father, his mother gave him a big kiss on his left cheek.  He blushed as he sat in his seat.

Suddenly a parent of one of the other contestants got up and stood up on stage.  It was the father of Abigail Vanderveer Stratton, Abigail had won the state competition the year before.  Her father Mr. Stan Vanderveer Stratton was the local mayor in town and was well known in trying to do anything he could in getting his daughter to win the state whistling competition.  “I object!  I object!  This boy has a lisp!  He can’t possibly be expected to win this state whistling contest!”  He stood in front of the judge’s and pointed his finger at Luke.  “I demand that the judge’s look in the rule book.  I demand that this boy be disqualified from this contest immediately!”  Everyone in the crowd started to boo; they booed for several minutes.  Luke’s father stood up in front of the crowd, “Now wait a minute here, I want you to show me where in the rule book does it say a whistling contestant can’t have a lisp!”  The judges stood amongst themselves and flipped through the rules manual as the crowd started to heckle Mayor Vanderveer Stratton, they took several minutes before they addressed the angry father who had complained about Luke and his lisp.  One of the audience members stood up and shouted, “Oh, sit down, this isn’t one of your mayoral elections, for cryin’ out loud give the boy a chance, how does his lisp bother anybody and what does it have to do with his whistling?”  The crowd roared with approval.  Within a few minutes, the judges addressed the issue with Luke and his lisp.  The master of ceremonies, Mr. Fran Bonama addressed the audience, “Sir, after each judge searched diligently through the rule book, we have not found one rule saying that a contestant cannot compete in the state whistling championships if they have a lisp” The crowd roared with approval, Luke and his parents smiled.  “It has been ruled unanimously that Luke Harney may compete in this state competition!”  Everyone clapped his or her hands with approval.

The competition continued.  The angry father grabbed and shook his daughter and looked at her when it came for her to whistle, “I want you to whistle you’re very best, that boy has a lisp, and no daughter of mine is going to lose a state whistling championship to a boy with a lisp!”  Abigail went up on stage and whistled, “Moonlight Sonata,” written by Ludwig Von Beethoven.  The judges gave her a perfect 30 score after everything was said and done.  Her father smiled at the audience.

At noon, there was a lunch break, Mrs. Harney had packed a lunch for the family, and they sat out on the Park Blocks and fed the pigeons as they ate their lunch.  Within a half hour the Harney’s went back into Lincoln Hall, the audience sat back in their seats, news crews with some of the local T.V. stations and reporters from the Oregonian crowed around the stage as the competition went on, all the contestants whistled their tunes.  At the end of the afternoon, the judges tallied all the scores.  Master of ceremonies Mr. Frank Bonama stood up to the microphone on stage, “Luke and Abigail here are tied with a perfect score of 30 points!”  The crowd roared and cheered.  “In case of a tie we will have each contestant whistle a tune; after the scores are tabulated a winner will be declared.  The winner will receive an all-expense paid for trip to the National Whistling Championship being held in April in Boston, Massachusetts.  The winner will receive a grand prize of $50,000!”  The crowd clapped their hands and whistled their approval.  Luke was visibly nervous.  He looked at his father, “Oh dwad, I’m newvous, I, I, I, well I, I, I ,I don’t know if I can win!”  His father looked at Luke, bent down and said, “Luke I know you can do this, you have the love of your mother and me; we know you can do it!  Don’t be nervous son, the crowd loves you, the judge’s love you, and why look even the piano player loves you!  Just think of Ralph and Herkimer, think of all the woodland creatures, fish, and birds that love to hear you whistle down in the wooded meadows!  Why look Luke, look out that window!” sure enough Luke’s dad was right, the woodland creatures had gathered outside the auditorium, they had traveled on foot just to see Luke whistle, birds flew outside the auditorium windows and fluttered about.  Luke smiled and looked at his father and mother,Dag nabbit, I’ll twiey to do my bawwie best!”  His father hugged him and his mother started to cry, the audience started to cheer his name, “Luke!  Luke!  Luke!”  Mr. Stan Vanderveer Stratton and his daughter Abigail frowned and gave Luke a dirty look.

Luke walked up the stairs that led him to the microphone on stage.  He drank some water, whipped his mouth, and smiled at his parents.”  One of the judges spoke, “Mr. Luke Hanley, we would like you to pick a tune to whistle.”  Luke looked at his father, and then he looked at the judge,” I would like to sing “Liebestraum,” written by Franz Litz.  The piano player pulled out a musical sheet with the tune.  The audience grew silent as Luke started to whistle.  He whistled a perfect rendition of the song, it ebbed and flowed with a musical masterpiece if there ever was one.  Soon the woodland animals started to dance down the aisles, the birds flew into the auditorium, the crowd started to clap, Luke slowly and gracefully finished his tune, and the crowd roared.  He had given a perfect performance; the judges went over their scorecards and tabulated the score.  Master of ceremonies Frank Bonama walked up to the microphone, “I’m pleased to announce that Luke Henley here has received a perfect score of 30 points!”  The crowd was beside itself, Mr. Stan Vanderveer Stratton gave another dirty look at Luke, he looked at his daughter, “C’mon honey, I want you to do your best and win this competition.  If you don’t win you’ll regret the day you were born!”  Abigail Vanderveer Stratton got up on stage and looked at the crowd.  She started in and whistled the tune, “Fur Elize,” written by Ludwig von Beethoven, she started out slowly and near the end she stuttered with her tune, she paused, the crowd gasped.  Soon she was done with her whistling.  She gave a good performance, but not nearly as good as Luke Henley.  The judge’s conveyed and soon had totaled up Abigail Vanderveer Stratton’s score.  Mr. Stan Vanderveer Stratton looked at the judges, “If you want that permit to build your house Mr. Bonama I’d make sure my daughter wins!”  Master of Ceremony Frank Bonama walked up to the stage, he trembled a bit and looked at the other judge’s as they got in a circle and tabulated their scores.  A few minutes passed, soon Master of Ceremony Mr. Frank Bonama faced the crowd in the auditorium, “Please quiet everyone, and please be quiet!  The winner of the 2016 Oregon State Whistling Championships is none other than Luke Henley!” 

The crowd erupted, photographers snapped what seemed to be hundreds of photographs, and reporters rushed Luke and shoved microphones in his face while they asked him all kinds of questions.  Luke jumped up and down as his parents beamed at him.  Mr. Stan Vanderveer Stratton and his daughter Abigail looked at Luke as he was given the championship trophy.  Mr., Stan Vanderveer Stratton started to scream, “Why I oughtta’, why I oughta’ Why I’m going to call my lawyer, yeah that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to file a complaint, this is unfair!  This is unconstitutional, why I, why I’m going to go to the Supreme Court!”  The crowd picked up Luke and carried him off the stage, the birds flew around the auditorium, and the woodland creatures danced into the night.

Luke and his parents carried the trophy back to the hotel; they packed and took the late bus heading back to the farmhouse the next morning.  Luke fell asleep on the bus; he was exhausted from the championships.  He slept the entire ride back to his home.  When he got home his dog Ralph and his cat Herkimer were there waiting for Luke, some of his classmates and their parents had gathered in the driveway, they wanted to let Luke know that they were so happy to see him win the state championship.  When he got off the bus he ran into the crowd, his dog and cat ran into his arms, the crowd roared, they had made signs welcoming Luke home.  Mrs. Henley made hot coco for everybody, they all congratulated Luke and left within an hour, or so, everyone was so proud of Luke.  He fell fast asleep in his bed that night clutching his trophy next to his side.

The next day the local newspapers had headlines and articles with Luke winning his state whistling championship.  The television and radio stations ran stories about his state title during their newsbreaks.  People stopped by the farm and dropped off cards and well wishes.  The phone rang all day long, people wanting to let Luke know how great it was that he won his whistling championship.  A news reporter and a camera operator stopped by the farmhouse around 10:00 A.M. that morning.  They wanted to interview Luke.  They pulled their news truck up to the farmhouse.  Luke’s dog Ralph started to bark as the news team made its way up to the front door.  Mrs. Harney answered the door.  “Well Hello Mrs. Harney, I’m Tony Bishop with News Channel Seven.  I would like to interview your son if you do not mind, it will only take a few minutes, and I have my camera operator John Templeton here.  He can set up his camera in a flash.  We can shoot the interview and be out of here in about a half hour.”  Luke came to the door and peeked around his mother as she stood by the door.  “Why this must be Luke!” exclaimed Tony.  Luke blushed a bit and smiled.  “Ha-ha!  I’ve sween you on the television!” everyone chuckled.  Tony looked a bit startled when Luke lisped.

Within a few minutes, the news crew was ready to shoot the news segment.  The camera operator had a tri-pod set up and a film camera mounted on top of the tri-pod.  Tony Bishop talked with Luke for a few minutes, lights were turned on, and then Tony Bishop was broadcasted live on the air interviewing young Luke.  “Luke, where did you learn to whistle?”  Luke thought a moment and then answered, “my muda’ and fada’ are mewsicians, I whistened to ‘dem pway when I wuz’ whittle.  I would whiffle all day as dway pwayed mewsic.”  The news crew looked at each other and really couldn’t’ believe the lisp that Luke had, they looked as though they had a loss of words.  Tony Bishop finished his interview with Luke and it aired on the eleven o’clock news that night.  Mrs. Henley looked at the news crew, “You’ll have to excuse me gentleman, my son needs to practice, and we need to start practicing for the National Whistling Championships that are being held in Boston in early April!”  Within a few minutes, everyone left the farmhouse; young Luke ate dinner and shuffled off to bed.

So, Luke and his parents practiced every day for the next month, Mr. Hanley would play his piano while Luke practiced his whistling, his mother would accompany them on the violin as he practiced his whistling.  They went through and practiced several classical tunes.  Luke continued to practice and practice, he practiced until his lips got tired.  The woodland creatures would gather around the windows of the farmhouse, Luke’s dog Ralph and cat Herkimer would get up on their hind legs and dance in front of the fireplace.  Birds flew down the chimney and flew about the farmhouse.  They practiced for one hour early each morning and practiced for two hours after dinner each night.  They continued to practice famous classical tunes.

By late March Luke was pretty nervous; the championships were soon approaching.  Luke’s mother and father booked a train from Union Station in Portland, Oregon, they would leave on Tuesday April 1st and arrive in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday April 4th.  It would take about three days to travel by train cross-country.  From Portland they would take the Empire Builder to Chicago, Illinois, from there they would switch trains and go to Albany, New York, switch to another train in Albany and then go up through the Hudson River to Boston, Massachusetts.  They would stay in Boston for two nights, their plan was to get to Boston the day before the National Championships, go to the Championships on that Saturday morning, and head back to Portland, Oregon on Sunday after the competition.

Within a few days the Harney family was packing their things and getting ready for their epic trip across the country.  The morning that they were to leave, a large crowd gathered in the front yard, a marching band was playing music and the news reporters were there to film Luke leaving for the National Whistling Championships.  Luke gobbled his breakfast down; grabbed his back pack and flew out the front door, he was followed by his mother and father, Luke hugged his dog Ralph and his cat Herkimer for good luck, Luke’s father started up their family station wagon, everyone jumped in and headed down the long gravel driveway that led the family to Union Station.

Once they got to Union Station, they waited in the big hallway at the train station, another crowd gathered, a few more reporters from one of the radio stations in town pushed their way towards Luke so they could interview him.  One of the reporters held his microphone in front of Luke’s face.  “Luke, Luke good luck in Boston, the whole city wishes you luck Luke!”  Luke smiled and hid behind his father.  “Tanks so much evwebody!”  Luke waved as the train pulled up to the train station.  Soon they boarded the train, the conductor found the Henley family their seats, people waved to Luke as the train pulled out of the station.  It would take them three days to get to Boston, Massachusetts.  The train took them through Washington, Montana, Minnesota, down through Wisconsin, through Illinois, where they switched trains; Luke was always practicing his whistling as the train took Luke and his family through the countryside.  Once, while Luke was practicing his whistling through Ohio a group of passengers gathered around Luke as he whistled one of his favorite tunes, the crowd clapped their hands and danced in the aisles as Luke whistled one tune after another, birds of prey followed Luke’s train car and flew outside the train windows as Luke whistled his tunes.  Cows and horses would buck their legs and dance about as Luke passed through the pastures and countryside.

Within a few days they arrived in Boston, the train took them to the South Train Station.  A group of local reporters was there to greet them at the train station.  “Hey Luke!  Welcome to Boston!”  Luke smiled, jumped off the train, and followed his mother and father to a cab, they got in the cab and headed to the hotel that Luke’s mother had made reservations with.  Within a few minutes they pulled up to the hotel, got out of the cab, walked into the lobby and checked into their room.  Luke practiced whistling that night.  The competition was going to be held out in front of the state Building near the Boston Commons.  A big crowd was expected to be there the next day.  The championships would run throughout the day and into the evening.  There would be a master of ceremony, three judges, a piano player, and a huge crowd! 

Well, they woke up early Saturday morning, they went down to the restaurant in their hotel and had an early breakfast, Luke was nervous and fidgeted in his chair.  “Luke calm down, we’ll soon be at the State Building,” barked his father, Luke frowned.  “Geez dwad, I can’t wait!  I know I can win the whiffling championships!”  His mother smiled and soon they walked out the front doors of the hotel and walked a few blocks to the State Building.  Luke skipped and whistled along the way and soon they arrived.  There was a couple security guards to greet them, Luke’s father handed the security guard their pass to get in.  The guard looked at Luke, “Oh, Luke Hanley, everybody is excited to hear you whistle!”  They entered the State Building.  They checked in, Luke was given a number that he pinned on his shirt, he was handed instructions and was guided down a flight of stairs that led down to almost fifty contestants, fifty contestants from fifty states all practicing their whistling in a large ballroom.  Luke looked at his mother, “Gosh mowam I can’t beweave all the people that are here!”  His mother looked at him, “Yes Luke, you have the tune you want to play when it’s your turn, you know we’ll be cheering you on.  Do your best son; we’ll be in the crowd cheering for you.  I know you can win Luke!”  She bent down and gave Luke a kiss on the cheek, he smiled, and soon she disappeared in the crowd.

Luke sat quietly waiting his turn, the competition soon began.  Within an hour Luke’s name was called by the master of ceremony, Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee.  He was a distinguishing looking gentleman, he sported a green jacket and wore a four leaf clover ion his lapel.  Luke walked up and performed ‘Claire de Lune,” by Claude Debussy.  He puckered up and slowly began to whistle the beautiful tune; the crowd went deathly silent; people smiled and were in awe of his whistling talents.  The highbrows in the audience couldn’t believe his whistling.  The crowd got up and cheered Luke, by the time he was done everyone was clapping and applauding Luke’s performance.  Pigeons came down off the rafters and flew in circles all about the room you could hear dogs bark out on the street.

The judges added up his point total and handed it to the master of ceremony, Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee.  Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee announced Luke’s score, “Mr. Luke Henley has received a perfect 30 points!”  The crowd roared as photographers created a sea of flashing lights as Luke finished his whistling.  Luke smiled and waved to the crowd.  Luke was in first place!

One by one, the contestants whistled their tunes, by the late afternoon all the contestants had whistled their tunes.  Luke patiently waited until the very last performer gave her performance.  Little Gwen Rothschild gave her performance, it was a moving performance, even Luke cheered her on, she whistled “The Minute Waltz,” written by Frederic Chopin.  The judge’s added up her point total and handed the results to the master of ceremony Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee, “Ah, Ms. Gwen Rothschild has received 30 points as well!”  The crowd went nuts; everybody yelled and clapped their hands.  There was a tie!  The crowd roared, the judge’s sat at their table as the master of ceremonies went up to the podium and spoke into the microphone, “Attention please!  Ah, attention please!  Ladies and gentleman we have a tie!  Little Gwen Rothschild and Luke Harney have a total of 30 points each!  In this case we will have the two contestants whistle another tune in order to declare a winner!”  The crowd cheered and threw their hats in the air.

Soon the master of ceremonies, Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee approached the podium and spoke in the microphone, “Ladies and gentleman the first contestant in determining the winner of the 2016 National Whistling Championships will be Gwen Rothschild followed by Luke Harney!”  The crowd roared, the lights were turned down and it became dark, a few spotlights were turned on and they lit the podium where the contestants would soon whistle their tunes.  The judge’s sat at their table and looked on as Gwen stood up and approached the stage.

Luke extended his hand to Gwen in wishing Gwen luck, she looked down on Luke and said, “Don’t waste your time in wishing me luck Luke, I’m going to win this competition!  No need to waste your time in trying to beat me at whistling!  You have a lisp; you cannot even annunciate your words!  Nobody can understand what you’re trying to say!”  Luke was deeply hurt, he frowned and started to cry a bit, his parents heard what Gwen had said.  His mother looked at Luke, “Don’t pay any attention to her Luke, she’s a poor sport, just a spoiled little girl, you can do it Luke, we know you can do it!”  Luke smiled and looked at his parents, “I wuv woo muom and dwad!”  Luke hugged them both as the piano player started to play “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” by Franz Liszt.  Gwen gave a rousing performance, her whistling was flawless.  The crowd applauded her as she walked off the stage.  The judge’s added up her total with points, they handed their scorecard to master Of ceremonies Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee, he looked at the scorecard, and “The judges have given Gwen Rothschild 29 points for her rendition of Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2!”  Luke nervously watched as someone in the audience gave her a bouquet of flowers.

Soon it was Luke’s turn; he slowly drank a glass of water that his father gave him to wet his whistle.  Luke made his way on the stage, he shuffled up to the microphone, the lights went low, the crowd was deathly silent, and he puckered up his lips and started to whistle his favorite song, “The William Tell Overture,” written by Gioachino Rossini.  Luke started in and whistled his tune beautifully, he whistled it perfectly matter of fact; the crowd was mesmerized by his flawless whistling talents.  Again, pigeons flew in through a window in the auditorium; they began to fly around Luke as he finished with his tune.  The crowd applauded, cheered, and clapped their hands wildly; it was wonderful.  The judges huddled around in a circle and then gave their scorecard to master of ceremony, Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee, “Attention everybody, attention!  Luke has received a score of 29!”  The score was tied once again!  Never in the history of the National Whistling Championships had two contestants tied with a score of 29 points.  There would be another round of whistling, the crowd could not believe it, it was close to 7:00 P.M., the competition had lasted most of the day.

The master of ceremonies, Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee stood up in front of the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we will have another round of whistling performed by these delightful contestants, “The crowd roared with approval.  There was a slight break in order to give Gwen and Luke some time to pick another song to whistle.

Gwen would go first, she walked up to the podium and started to whistle “Well tempered Clavier book 1 prelude 1,” written by Johan Sebastian Bach.  She started out methodically, gracefully; she carried an almost perfect pitch with her whistling.  Near the end of her tune, suddenly she couldn’t quite get the last few bars of the tune that she was whistling, her lips had become dry, and she suddenly got nervous and had to force out the last few notes to her tune.  It sounded horrible, people in the audience groaned with displeasure.  She stopped her whistling, looked at the judge’s, and then looked at the crowd; she knew she had made a mistake.  She ran off the stage sobbing.  The Judge’s tabulated their score cards to Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee, he strolled up to the microphone and announced Gwen’s score, “Ms. Gwen Rothschild receives a score of 29 points!”  The crowd applauded.  Luke smiled as Gwen stuck her tongue out at Luke as he walked up on stage.

Luke waited nervously in his seat, “Muom!  Dwad!  What shong should I whiffle?”  His father looked at Luke, “Son I think you ought to whistle whatever you want!  Whistle your very favorite tune son!”  His mother shook her head in agreement.  Luke scratched his head a bit and thought to himself.  “Why I, why I, why I’m going to whiffle Liebestraum!  I know it’s a good twune and I twink I can whiffle it pewfectwee!”  His mother and father shook their heads in agreement.  “I think it’s a fine tune Luke,” said his mother.

Luke’s parents smiled as he walked up to the microphone, he paused for a moment and then started in on his very favorite tune, he started to whistle, “Liebestraum,” The crowd started to clap to his tune, the pigeons started to flutter about once again, they hovered above the crowd, they dipped and weaved and flew in circles.  Luke carried out a near perfect rendition of “Liebestraum,” the judges’ were amazed, the crowd was left speechless, soon he finished his performance.  Everyone sat in awe of Luke’s whistling.  The judge’s gathered around Luke up on stage, they calculated their score cards and handed the final results to Mr. Thaddeus MacDougal Magee, he turned and faced the crowd, “We are proud to announce that Luke Henley has received a perfect score of 30 points!  Luke Henley is the 1964 National Whistling Champion!”  Luke started to jump up and down, his parents started to hug each other and cry, the crowd went nuts, they went wild, and they threw popcorn in the air!  Gwen Rothschild kicked her father in the shin once she found out she had lost the competition.  The master of ceremonies Mr. Thaddeus McDoogle Magee went up to the microphone once again, “Yes ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Luke Henley is our 1964 National Whistling Champion!  Luke has won the $50,000 grand prize!  Let’s give Luke another round of applause!”  The crowd gathered around Luke and lifted him on top of their shoulders, they carried him off stage, somebody spilled their soft drink, reporters gathered around the champion.  “Luke!  Luke!  That was phenomenal!  Colossal!  Stupendous!  Magnificent!”  Luke smiled, “Twanks evwebody, ‘dis was a wondable competition, I’m so happy that I won!  I want to tank my muda’ and my fada’, they were the ones to encourage me, all the hours of pwactice willie paid off!”  He waved to everyone as a check for $50,000 was handed to him.  The news reporters and cameramen gathered around Luke, you could barely see him as microphones were shoved in his face and flashbulbs flashed all around him.  Soon a taxi was waiting to take Luke and his parents back to the hotel, their train would leave the South Train Station early the next morning.  When they got back to their hotel room the phone was ringing off the hook, everyone wanted to talk with Luke, he was exhausted and soon fell asleep.

Bright and early the next morning Luke ate a quick breakfast and the Henley’s made it to the South Train Station just in time to catch the train leaving west for Portland, Oregon.  A group of people waved to Luke as his train pulled out of the station, at almost every town the train passed through the local town folk gathered along the trackside waving as Luke watched from his seat on the train.  Within a few days Luke and his parents arrived in Portland, a marching band was there to greet him along with all his friends and neighbors, the governor, his honorable Nathanial Wallaby Quagmire was there to give Luke the key to the city, hot dogs, and lemonade was served to everybody in attendance.

Luke waved to the crowd, “I want to twank evweeeone, this is an honor indeed.  It’s so nice to bwe back in Portwand, I plan to continue my whiffling and hope to win another championship next wier!”  People in the crowd looked at each other, someone in the crowd said “What did he say?” everyone laughed and clapped their hands.  Soon Luke and his parents arrived at the farmhouse, people had gathered in the front yard, a big banner that read, “Congratulations Luke!” was hung from the front porch.  His pet dog Ralph ran up and jumped in Luke’s arms, his cat Herkimer circled around his legs and purred.  They had a party that went well into the night, people left; Luke fell asleep on the living room sofa.

The next morning Luke received phone call after phone call, news reporters, radio stations, even the local 4-H club called to see if he could visit him with an interview.  His mother wrote down names and numbers and acted as Luke’s secretary, Luke’s father watched as people gathered out on the front porch, everyone wanted a peek of the National Whistle Blower Champion.  Around noon, the family went to the local bank and deposited Luke’s winnings.  The bank teller looked at Luke, “Congratulations Luke, you were wonderful!”  He smiled and blushed, “I pwacticed willie hard!  I pwacticed and pwacticed and pwacticed, I’m so gwatefull for my muda’ and fata!” he waved as he walked out of the bank.  You just could not but help like the kid.

In the days to come Luke was bombarded with calls and mail, people had become fascinated by the wonderful whistling boy.  Within a few days Luke was sitting in the kitchen when the phone rang, “Hello,” replied Luke’s mother as her son looked at her mother while she was talking on the phone.  “Yes this is Luke Henley’s mother.”  The voice on the phone got loud, “Mrs. Henley this is Sol Silverstien with Desilu Productions located in Hollywood, California, we saw your son perform at the 1964 National Whistling Championships, we listened to his whistling, your son is magical!, stupendous!, colossal!  Mrs. Henley we would like you and your family to fly out to Los Angeles and have Luke whistle and record a tune we have in mind with a new television show that will be airing later this fall!  We think his whistling would be perfect for the show, it will be the theme song for the show!  Will pay for the trip and hotel stay, we would like Luke to perform the theme song for our show!”

 Luke’s mother was speechless, “We’ll pay you $10,000 in letting us record Luke and his whistling!  If you could we’d like to have your  family here in Hollywood this coming Saturday, we’ll fly your family out Thursday afternoon, you’ll have time to unwind on Friday, we’d like to record on Saturday if that’s possible?”  Mrs. Henley continued to listen to Sol Silverstien at the other end of the conversation, “I also have tickets for your entire family to go to Disneyland!  We’ll also pay for your flight back to Portland, how does that sound?”  Mrs. Henley thanked Mr. Silverstien and hung up the phone.”  Mr. Henley came into the kitchen to see what all the excitement was about, Luke tugged at his mother’s apron, “Muda’ what is it?”  Mrs. Henley started to laugh.  “Luke!  Oh Luke!  We’re going to Hollywood that was a producer for a television show in Hollywood, California.  They are going to fly us out this Thursday to Hollywood, will be there for three days!  You will get $10,000 for whistling your tune!  We get to go to Disneyland as well!”  Everyone jumped for joy in the kitchen.  Luke looked at his mother, “what swong will I have to whiffle  muda’?”  Luke’s mother looked at him, “Well honey I’m not too sure, he didn’t say.”  Within a few days, the Henley family had packed their bags and were soon flying to Hollywood, California.

They arrived in Hollywood, California that afternoon, there was a limousine waiting to take the family to their hotel, within a few minutes there was a knock on the door.  A well-dressed tall blonde-haired man with sequins on his jacket came into the room and introduced himself, “Why hello there I’m Sol Silverstien!” he offered his right hand to Mr. Henley.  “Oh, hello there you must be Mrs. Henley,” replied Sol.  After shaking Mrs. Henley’s hand Mr. Silverstien turned around and looked at Luke.  “Why this must be Luke!”  He patted Luke’s head.  “Ha-whoa,” said Luke.  “Luke, I represent Desilu Productions, we have a fabulous new television show that will be running later in the fall.  We think it’s going to be a great show, it’s called, “The Andy Griffith Show!  We have a tune that was written by the leading actor with the new show, his name is Andy Griffith, have you ever heard of Andy Griffith?  Well, Mr. Griffith has written a song for the show and we would like you to whistle the tune written by Mr. Griffith, the tune is called, “The Fishing Hole!”  In a few minutes, I’d like to take you and your parents with me to the Desilu Productions recording studio, it’s located not too far from the hotel here.  A limousine will be here shortly to pick everyone up.  Once we get to the studios, we would like you to listen to our tune and then practice it a bit, then we’d like to record YOU whistling our tune.  Once we have the recording will mix it a bit and then it will be used for the opening and ending segments of the new show, we think it is going to be a GREAT tune!  Once you finish whistling the tune, we will write you a $10,000 check in letting us record you with whistling our tune, we’ll then take you back to the hotel here after we’ve finished recording, we also would like to give you and your family tickets to go to Disneyland on Sunday!  That should be a real treat.  First thing, Monday morning will take you and your family out to the Los Angelo’s International airport and you will then fly back to Portland first thing Monday morning.  How does that sound?

“Wow!  Sounds Wundafull!  I get to go to Dizzwiewand!”  Mr. Sol Silverstien looked at Luke and then quickly gazed at Luke’s parents, “What did he say?”  Mrs. Henley looked at Mr. Silverstien, “Oh he said that it sounds wonderful, he can’t wait to go to Disneyland!”

Within a few minutes a long black limousine pulled up in front of the hotel, a chauffeur, dressed in a black uniform got out of the car and went over to the passenger side of the limousine, a small crowd gathered.  Mr. Sol Silverstien guided Luke and his mother and father to the car.  People started to scream as Luke approached the car, someone screamed, “Hey!  Hey!  Look!  It’s Luke the whistle blower!”  The crowd made a mad dash towards the car, Luke and his parents could barely squeeze into the car as the crowd tried to get in the car, one of the fans ripped a piece of Luke’s jacket and was holding it in their hands as the car pulled off.  On the way to the recording studios, Mr. Silverstien pointed out a few of the sights in Hollywood as they drove to the recording studio.

Along the way, Mr. Sol Silverstien pointed out Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Hollywood Star Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood Bowl.  Soon they arrived at the Desilu Productions recording studio.  They walked in, a crowd of employees had flocked around Luke, someone yelled, “Luke, oh Luke, can I get your autograph?”  Luke signed a few autographs and then was whisked away to the recording studio.  They walked down a narrow hallway and then walked through a door leading them into a large recording studio.  A large pitcher of water and a plate of crackers were sitting on a table.  There was a large microphone hanging down and a grand piano was set-up in the room.  A few sound technicians sat behind a large glass widow, they had headsets on; and were pushing buttons on a console that sat in front of them.

Mr. Sol Silverstien looked at Luke, “Now Luke I want you to listen to the following tune that will play over the speakers, this song is the song that we’d like you to whistle for us.  Listen to it carefully and take your time,” Luke’s parents sat watching while Luke listened to the tune.  Soon they played the theme song over the loud speakers located in the recording studio, Luke listened patiently as the music played.  It was a happy tune, a carefree tune.  Luke listened to it a few times and then said, “Mr. Silberstien, I twink I can whiffle ‘dis tune!”  Everyone smiled.  “Places everybody!  We’re going to record Luke and his whistling!”

Technicians ran around the room, adjusting the microphone, turning nobs and flipping switches, they soon left the room.  Mr. Sol Silverstien looked at Luke, “O.K. Luke, this is the big moment!  Will que you when were ready to record the tune.  I will point to you when we start to record; all you have to do is whistle into the microphone.  Do you have any questions?”  Luke looked at Barry, “No, I twink I know the tune, I twink I’m weady to whiffle and wecord!”  Everyone sat quietly, soon an electrical sign lit up the room, it flashed a few times, it continued flashing the word, “Recording,” Mr. Sol Silverstien pointed at Luke and suddenly Luke started to whistle, “The Fishing Hole.”  Everyone in the room was amazed at how well Luke had picked up the tune, his whistling was perfect, some of the lab technicians started to tap their feet, and Luke carried on the tune for a few minutes until he finished the tune.  When he finished whistling everybody clapped and shouted with glee.  “That was wonderful Luke, let’s do one more recording shall we?” said Mr. Sol Silverstien.  Luke smiled and nodded his approval with the tune he had whistled.  Once again, everyone was quiet, Mr. Silverstien pointed at Luke, and soon he was whistling the theme song to the show.  It sounded better the second time, he whistled a beautiful rendition of the song, he whistled for a few minutes and soon he was finished.  “Luke!  Luke!, Luke!  That was marvelous!  That was fantastic!  That was perfect!”  Screamed Mr. Sol Silverstien.  Luke smiled and ran over to his parents and hugged them.  The recording took about a half hour or so.

“That’s a wrap!” yelled one of the technicians sitting behind the glass window; he gave everyone a thumbs up with approval with the recording.  People scurried about and ran around the room making sure everything was turned off and put in their proper place.  Luke and his parents walked out of the recording studio and were led down a hallway into a large office.  Mr. Sol Silverstien sat at a desk and pulled out a check from his wallet.  “Luke this is your check for $10,000!  I want to thank you and your parents in helping Desilu Productions in recording the new theme tune for “The Andy Griffith,” the show will be airing later this fall.  I also have three tickets to Disneyland for you and your family!  A limousine will pick you up tomorrow morning around 9:00 AM and take you and your family to Disneyland!”  Luke jumped[GAK1]  around the office; he was beside himself.  Mr. Henley took the check and stuffed it into his wallet, shook Mr. Sol Silverstien’s hand and then was led down the hallway out to the front of the studio.  Their limousine was waiting for them; they hoped in the car and were driven back to their hotel.

The next morning Luke and his family had a quick bite and were whisked away to Disneyland in a big black limousine.  They got to Disneyland in about a half hour, they rode all the rides, bought musketeer ears, got Mickey’s autograph and near the end of the day were taken back to their hotel.  The next morning they were taken to the airport and flown back to Portland, Oregon.  The trip to Hollywood had been wonderful, Desilu Productions had gotten their recording of Luke whistling their tune, the entire family had gotten to see Disneyland, they got paid $10,000 and they flew back home.  When they arrived at the old farmhouse, a small crowd was gathered once again in the front yard in welcoming Luke and his family.  They ate a quick bite for dinner and then Luke fell fast asleep with his dog Ralph and pet cat Herkimer lying by his side.

Within a few months, things had died down a bit, Luke was entering third grade by then, he was ten years old now.  “The Andy of Mayberry Show” made its television debut early that fall.  The Henley family had a party at the farmhouse, neighbors and friends gathered around the Henley T.V. set located in the living room.  There were at least thirty people anxiously waiting for the show to air.

“Shhhhh, everyone stay quiet!  The show is about to start!” yelled Mrs. Henley.  Within a few seconds, a commercial ran and then cut to the “Andy Griffith Show.”  CBS aired the first episode that night.  Soon the opening tune was playing, the whistling started, and the whole crowd roared.  People laughed and clapped as “The Fishing Hole,” tune blared through the speakers of the Henley television.  The song came to an end and everyone clapped their hands!  Luke smiled and blushed.  Within a half hour the entire country was introduced to Andy, Aunt Bee, Barney, Opie, Floyd, and Otis.  It was a great show.  At the end of the show credits were shown and Luke and his whistling started again, the tune ended and the show was over.  Everyone laughed, got to taste Mrs. Harney’s prize winning pies, had a cup of coffee, said their good-byes, and soon left.

Mr. and Mrs. Henley were so proud of Luke.  “Son, I have to say that you did a beautiful job whistling that tune with the “Andy Griffith Show!” said Mr. Henley as he helped Luke get to bed.  They hugged Luke and soon he was under the covers of his bed and he fell fast asleep.

Luke went on to whistle in a few more state whistling championships in the years to come.  He was considered one of the finest whistlers in the country; they placed a statue of Luke in the town square, from time to time he received requests in whistling at state and national competitions.  Luke went onto to high school and received several scholarships with his musical talents.  He went to the University of Oregon and received a music scholarship.  He graduated with honors and got his Master’s Degree in teaching music.  He married and went on to raise his children on the family farm.  From time to time he’d take his children down to the wooded meadow, he’d take them down to the grassy meadow near the stream and whistle with his children, the woodland creatures would dance about, birds would flutter overhead, and the fish would jump out of the stream.  Luke was a folk hero, he had overcome his disability with his lisp, and he had become the most famous whistler in the world through hard work and the love of his parents.

The End.


 [GAK1]

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