Just before the end of the school year, Van Buren High School’s music department received a gift of nearly $22,000 that was forty-seven years in the making. Jeff Chapman is in his first year teaching music at Van Buren but before he started teaching, he was a musician. “I started out playing in the same room I’m teaching in,” he says. After graduating from Van Buren High School and briefly playing in his father’s bluegrass band, Jeff spent a few decades on the road with touring bands.

Booth Burrows, a fellow Van Buren High School alumnus, was in town for his father’s birthday when he and Chapman got to talking. Booth—who works for Rock-It Cargo in San Francisco, a freight logistics company that specializes in concerts and other events—asked Jeff if he was interested in some retired equipment from The Doobie Brothers that he’d recently come across. After learning that Jeff teaches at the high school, Booth worked his connections with The Doobie Brothers’ management to donate the equipment, valued at $21,830.

Among the goodies the school received is an electric pedal with various settings still labeled on it. Jeff says that during a recent viewing of The Doobie Brothers Live at Wolf Trap DVD, he noticed the guitar pedal that Doobie Brothers lead singer Tom Johnston was using on stage was the same one the band donated to the school. He paused on the scene to show his students the matching labels on the pedal. “That’s when it all became real,” he says.—Evan Wood