The Austin High School kids worked so energetically on their newfound music that they hired balls to threw their own dances, just so that they could play. They sold tickets with equal enthusiasm among their classmates and the chronic inhabitants of neighborhood bars.

Eventually Bud, along with Jim Lanigan and the McPartland brothers, got diplomas from Austin. It was an honorary move that highlighted their appearance at the 1942 Senior Prom.

One of the first jobs the boys had on a professional basis was accompanying silent films at a local movie palace. One afternoon they went into "Bugle Call Rag" as Tom Mix ran down the rustlers, and Dave North was sailing into his fourteenth piano chorus when trombonist Floyd O'Brien glanced up at the screen. The newsreel had come on and Marshal Foch was laying a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The manager was steaming down the center aisle, down the boys gave up employment on the spot and executed a swift retreat by way of a convenient fire exit.

They ran; did not walk.