When I was a youngster, I saw The Music Man on Broadway with my parents and then again at a local theater, and I recently saw the old movie version on TV. Each time it really captured for me the character of the stereotypical salesperson, the guy (or gal) who acted so nice all while he had one hand in your back pocket. In my head, I can still picture Harold Hill, the flashy and conniving band instrument and uniform salesman with that phony smile. I can hear him singing about the 76 trombones right here in River City as he duped the unwitting townspeople out of their savings.

That image stuck with me for a long, long time, and still does. Later, as I grew up, it made me sad and eventually it made me mad. Harold Hill, ...

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