Chris Elliot and his trumpet.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chris Elliott, a technical writer from Cambridge and weekend trumpeter, has been sending us reports from his band's week-long gig in the Iraqi capital.
The sweetest Iraqi man I met in Baghdad was a custodial worker in the US Embassy named Hussein Jassem Abdul Ridh.
I learned recently that a sniper had killed Hussein.
Cradle of civilization / What has become of your child / Has she been kidnapped / Has she been enslaved / Jewel of the Middle East / Rudely plucked from the crown...
The most surprising thing about the ride from the International Zone was the traffic. It was thick as a morning commute.
Jan. 20 -- Our work here is done. Our last journey in Iraq will be a 12-mile trek in a Rhino down Route Irish, formerly the most dangerous road in Baghdad.
Jan. 19 -- I didn't need to have set my alarm yesterday morning. I was awakened by a message pealing from a series of speaker towers located all across the International Zone: "Incoming!"
Jan. 17 -- Yesterday was our first gig. After the travails of flying here, it was a joy to finally do what we came here to do.
Jan. 15 -- A few months ago I fielded a phone call outlining the most interesting gig I've ever been offered in the thirty or so years that I've been a weekend warrior, part-time professional trumpeter.