I met Rafael Méndez  - Roy Marks

I started playing trumpet at age seven. When I was about ten, Mr. Mendez and his two sons came thru Southeast Kansas, and my trumpet teacher took me to Coffeyville, Kansas (I believe thats where it was) to hear him, and to meet him.

A year or two later, my instructor felt I showed promise and encouraged my parents to buy me a better instrument. We were a family of limited income in the early 50s, but my mother saved until we had the money for a purchase.  The only problem was that I played with my left hand, due to a birth defect of having no right hand. The instructor and also the owner of the music store where I took lessons wrote a letter to the Olds Music Company explaining my situation, and asked if they could make a Mendez model trumpet with a finger hook on the bell side for me. They wrote back and offered to, instead, make a left handed Mendez trumpet for me at no additional expense above the regular cost. It took them time that was comparable to making over 120 regular trumpets to complete it. It is completely reversed, with the bell on the right. I still have the trumpet today, and the letter explaining how it was made. 

Many years of great experiences thru college, inspired by Mr. Mendez.  I recall he was a very gracious man.  

Roy Marks,
Topeka, Kansas.