Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Band . . .

It is 40 degrees in Wichita as we speak. 40. Four. Zero. Ten less than 50. 8 more than 32. Cold. Very cold. Granted - it is late October and these things are to be expected but, walking out of the house this morning made me think of one thing . . . Baldwinsville!

Let me clarify . . . as a high schooler I was (due to limited athletic interest and/or talent and a high interest in music) very, very active in the fall with the real "sport of champions" - field band. That's right. For five beloved years I was a proud fl(a)utist for The Groton Marching Indians (as we were known from coast-to-coast like butter on toast) and I was a pit band (gong, xylophone, etc.) and assistant drum major my senior year.

Truth be told - I loved and MISS field band. To this day a cool, crisp fall evening makes me wonder where my fingerless gloves, custom-made, too-fat-for-the-uniform-company polyester pants (thank you, Mrs. Williams) and my plume are and what crazy, paisley-esque formations we could form while hammering away the score to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or the themes to The Flinstones and/or The Jetsons if we got the band back together (which we totally should).

Anywho, back to my original point . . . Baldwinsville. So, I don't know if they still do or when they do it if they do but - when I was in high school, Baldwinsville was the last competition before the state championship at the Carrier Dome. It was always the last Saturday of October and was the night that we set the clocks back. It was always the coldest darned night of the fall and I LOVED it.

My freshman year was a particularly interesting night in Baldwinsville. There was a younger member of the flute section (I shant name names here) who, for whatever reason, did not l ike me. She sort of hated me. Was not sure why. I'm assuming it was my stellar flutin' talent (orrrr not) but we just did not get along. She chose a chilly evening in Baldwinsville to really let me know how she felt. I heard the words "fat," "tub of lard" and "f*ck" used in more creative ways than I ever thought imaginable.

To be clear . . . I was never all that sensitive about my weight in high school or college (as a young professional is when I developed a true self-loathing complex about it all) so it did not bother me to have her dress me down. It actually sort of entertained me. The good news is that some of my section members had my proverbial back and they took care of her for me so I didn't have to use all of my favorite four letter words to return the favor of creative verbal abuse.

Anywho . . . we were not the best band in the state of New York (we WERE fairly dominant my senior year and got ROBBED at "the Dome" but that is another post for another day) but we were scrappy for a school our size and, frankly, we were a group of about 70 kids that enjoyed the company of each other (and a color guard that we didn't love so much (smile)), had great laughs and adventures on the long, long bus trips (know that just about everything you heard about "one time, at band camp" is not that far from the truth (if those buses could talk (smile))) and chilly practice nights.

I miss fall band. I miss kids like the Williams sisters (the whole Williams family, for that matter), Mel, Kim, Stephen and LoRo that made band what it was for me.

LUCKILY I have 40 degrees in October to make me remember the good times.

AND the fingerless gloves.


Meg said...

Must go add Drum Line to my Net Flix queue!

Tricia said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you said. We were the coolest nerds around......... :)