Rifle bugler is never tapped out
RIFLE – Norman Gould never served in the military, but he makes a contribution to his country in another way.He plays taps on his trumpet.”I’ve been playing taps since 1952, starting in my high school band in upstate New York,” Gould recalled.Now 69, he still plays for the American Legion, Memorial Day services and funeral services whenever he can.
“I play wherever I get a chance to serve my country,” he said. “If I can honor someone in the military, I’m right there.”Gould himself missed military service in 1958 after graduating from college with a degree in mechanical engineering. He got married right out of college and was going to be drafted.”I wanted to be a pilot,” he said. “I signed up to be a pilot.”But he underwent an appendectomy and didn’t have to go. His wife was also pregnant and didn’t want him to go.”As God would have it, I wasn’t supposed to go into the military,” Gould said.
Gould moved to Colorado in 1977 and brought with him his successful company, Gould & Sons Construction, which he started in New York in 1972 and is now owned and operated by his son, Mark, as Gould Construction in Glenwood Springs.Gould and his wife, Nancy, had four children – Mark, Brett, Kelly and Eric. Nancy died in 1984, and Gould remarried in 1985.A deeply religious and humble man, Gould and his second wife, Rose, have spent the last 11 years preaching the word of God to inmates at the Rifle Correctional Center and around the state. They teach Kairos Prison Ministry – a worldwide program that seeks to bring Christ’s love and forgiveness to all incarcerated individuals, their families and those who work with them.”It’s all about teaching love and forgiveness. And if I can touch someone’s heart and bring them closer to the love of God, that’s my deal,” Gould said. “It’s about love and obedience and loving the Lord – but it has to come from your heart.”Besides playing taps, Gould is a talented musician in his own right. With sheet music he has transposed to accommodate the B-flat trumpet, he plays soulfully along to the tape of a song entitled “Little Destiny of Mine.”
“Your destiny is entwined with mine, by the Master’s own design,” the words go.Gould puts down the silver-plated trumpet, and it’s clear that the music touches him spiritually and emotionally.”It’s all about love – what’s the question?” he said with a smile.For Gould, playing taps is his way of giving back to the country he loves.”It’s a small thing that I do to honor those who laid their lives on the line to keep us safe and our great country free,” he says earnestly. “We’re blessed to live in the United States of America – the most free country in the world. And I’m grateful for that.”
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