|Me, at 15, in the Patrick Henry|
High School Marching Band
uniform that my band wore for a
Valleydale Sausage commercial.
We used the proceeds from the
commercial to buy new uniforms.
The Patrick Henry High School Marching Patriots were a competition band and attended (and won) numerous competitions. Almost every year, we went on a major trip: Lakeland, FL; Gatlinburg, TN, and -- for my senior year -- Niagara Falls, Ontario, for the North American Music Festival, where my band won the grand champion trophy, despite the fact that we were competing against many larger bands.
|Me, at 16, in my high school|
marching band's new uniform,
complete with half cape and
|Ian in Norwalk's|
Memorial Day Parade.
When Ian made it to high school, I stepped up to the role of being a band dad, getting fingerprinted so I could chaperone the band on trips, attending all of the band parent association meetings, volunteering to be the announcer for the band's annual Celebration of Sound competition, and walking with the band during parades to help keep them hydrated and to help out if anything should go wrong.
My big problem with walking along with the band is that it tears up my head to be out of step with the marching cadence and it looks rather stupid if I march along with my water bottle. For good or ill, once marching band gets in your blood, it is there to stay.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Ian's band, the Brien McMahon Marching Senators, had two parades: one on Sunday in Rowayton and one on Monday in Norwalk. As the band was warming up on Sunday, I happened to notice some decidedly non-high-school-age people getting ready to march in another band. One was a woman with a bit of gray in her hair. Several of the guys sported facial hair that had more salt than pepper. "Marching band for grown-ups!" I thought, "How can that be?" and I went over to ask some questions.
|Ian and me after the Ketonah, NY, |
Firefighters' Carnival Parade.
The parade on Wednesday was fantastic, with Ian anchoring the front line and me having a blast getting to play trumpet in a marching band for the first time in nearly a quarter century. Really, it's just like riding a bike; you don't forget. The marching was great, the music was under-rehearsed but good. The best thing, though, was the fact that I was able to march with Ian. That was cool beyond belief.