Clipped From Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Buple-Bloicing Sergeant Plays Taps Slower For funeral Of President ; By DARKELL MACK ' '' " STONEWALL, Texas (UP!) — For th« death of » president, president, Patrick P. Mastoleo plays taps slower than usual "to get more meaning, out of it."The Army master sergeant has played laps over the graves ol three of the nation's chief executives. , "This is considered one of the hardest. things to pull off," said Mastoleo after sounding an emotional 5/0-second version of the musical military tribute' at' funeral' services for former President Lyndon B. Johnson Thursday. '.Mastoleo stood at rigid attention amid thousands or graveside mourners as a national television audience watched final rites for Johnson. Under Pressure "To play 'taps' for a president puts me under a certain . pressure," said Mastoleo, 41,, a native of Seneca Falls, K.Y. "It's such a sad situation to begin with and the people attach a greater significance to the bugle calljbecause. of the : • occasion. , "I try to te consistent and not emotirial. I rare!y:get emotional when 1 perform the piece because I've done it a thousand times." In 1969 Mastoleo played taps at services for pwight D. , Eisenhower and last month he performed again - at the _« Missouri funeral of Harry S. Truman. Taps At Toinlt He has played taps 110 times at the tomb of the Unknown Unknown Soldier at Arlington rfational Cemetery. "I feel the ordinary soldier should get the same musical. interpretation as the president," Mastoleo said. "I don't practice playing taps. I do practice about three hours a day before on occasion like this but I had only, one and a-.half hours today. The biggest problem in sounding the notes is the^21-gun salute which accompanies the bugle's tones. "If you stand too close to the firing squad, the;noise- rings in your ears and you can't tell'whether you're on key."