1957 - Mike plays public appearance - Axel family history says that 3 1/2 years old Mike Axel gave his vocal rendition of "Sixteen Tons",
a top hit for Ernie "Tennessee" Ford, at the wedding reception for Beatrice Axel and Roland Lemke. Mike apparently liked his version
so much that he broke his sister's 45 record of "Sixteen Tons". Mike claims that he doesn't remember singing, but he can remember being
at a large, green reception room. He later discovered that the large reception room what in the basement of uncle and aunt, Sol and Sylvia
1965 - Mike was drafted into the Whitesboro High School Marching Band 2 months before timing 12 years. The school year 1965-66 was could not
fit both 7th and 8th grades in the Whitesboro Jr. High. 7th grade went to school for 7:00-11:30 and 8th grade went to school from 12:00-4:30.
That year, the high school marching band added players for the football halftime season using 7th graders because the 8th graders were in class
during band after sr. high.
In October, 1969, I began a member of New York Mills, NY band named The Piotrowski Brothers Polka Orchestra. We were all in High School, except
for Ricky Piotrowski was in Jr. High School. Contrast the 1969 picture with the 2006 Ken Mayamek Dectet - Mike Axel, trumpet, and Gary Tepolt, tenor sax,
in both bands. Both of us were still playing, both of us were living in New Hampshire, and both us were working in high tech.
Content added here for a lot from 1969 to 1991
From 1991 to 2000, I played trumpet with the DEC Big Band in Maynard, MA (suburban Boston). The band started in 1975 by a group of high tech employees
of the Digital Equipment Corp. In 1991, the DEC Big Band trumpet section saw the 1st trumpet left the band on doctor's orders due do heart problems.
The 2nd trumpet had asked me to join to the band, but he also left the band after taking an early retirement. He began a new position as a college
English professor. The 3rd trumpet had jogged in sub zero temperature and damaged his lungs, so he stopped played the trumpet. The 4th trumpet played
with a lot of enthusiasm but had problems with using the fingerings for his notes while his ears matched with my notes. Soon I was the only member of
the trumpet section. We got some help from local professional trumpet players or a group of students from the UMASS (Amherst, MA) music department. By
1996, a 2nd trumpet joined the band after starting at DEC. Two trumpeters who had graduated from UMASS added the section. I one of them was a French-English
editor for Merriam-Webster and the other was a contracts accountant in high tech. The 5th trumpet was musician/house painter.
I think this photograph of the DEC Big Band Trumpet Section was taken in 1998.