...in the fall,you'll find me sitting on the 50 yard line watching the activity on the field below---commenting to myself or to other fans around me---"go, go, go!" "No! so close!" "why did they do that?" "Yay! well played!" "Hit the line!"
and every fall i have a sunburn on one side of my body.
...driving to work the other day---got goosebumps! why? as i came up over a rise in the freeway---looking towards my left---there it was---framed by a rising sun---the L. D. Bell High School band on the grassy field next to the school---June marching camp. Tubas catching the sun and shimmering, framing the band.
..in 8 weeks the band will be practicing---and the fun begins...not necessarily for the kids--but for me---enjoying a root beer/banana sno-cone up in the bleachers of Pennington Field (football stadium)---watching the band do the same 16 bars of music for 30 minutes....saying hi to the familiar faces I've seen for the past 9 years---parents mostly---some, like me, without a kid marching!...band nerds...marching band nerds. ...this is not your father's marching band---this is 300 kids moving in unison at 180 beats per minute...thats fast---with their toes up---and playing music at the same time---hard music---and forming very detailed and intricate designs. youtube it---check it out---to get me started during the summer I follow DCI---and how do you not know that stands for Drum & Bugle Corps International---same as marching band---just no woodwinds....and how do you not know that!
(picture is none of my kids---but it is the drumline from 2005!)
...and then---on a lovely October Saturday ---on that 50 yard line---bundled up in a blanket (blue, of course) with Hot chocolate in my cup (it can be chilly at 8 a.m.)---til about noon---where I peel off the blanket and sweatshirt---still on the 50 yard line---i never leave that seat---til 10 in the evening (the sweatshirt is back on)---I will have watched 30-40 bands--some twice in one day...some with 30 kids--some with 300.....enjoyed each one for the effort, critiqued each one (in my mind)...from mid-September til mid-November---every weekend there is a marching contest...and I'm either volunteering (always ushering so I can watch) or I am watching.
...football is big here in Texas---and arent we fortunate that we have something to watch before and after half-time--cause it's all about the band....and my family is fortunate to be in Bell's school area. Bell is the National Marching Band Champion 2007. Leah, Lyric & Jasmine all marched with the band...which has won gold or silver at State everytime since my kids started marching (yes---I take full credit for that) (Texas State marching band competition is only held every other year---a travesty, I feel).... I am a big Bell fan---but more a marching band fan....my favorite show ever isnt a Bell show. I love the process, I love watching the kids learn, I play marching band games on the computer and I cant wait for the Wii marching band game to come out---yes, there is one. I dont like cute shows from big schools, I dont like shows with tarps (the kids trip)---and I dont like Aaron Copeland's Simple Gifts (one year I swear I heard it in 10 shows).
...Leah's baby is due right before Grand Nationals---very appropriate! I have suggested the name Raider (L.D. Bells mascot is the Blue Raider--see previous post regarding my guest room) or Jeremy (for the director).
....so, starting in September and going til November---you can call me any Saturday---but i'll only answer every 8 minutes (thats how long a show is)---
...and thats why i always have a one-sided sun-burn---because I never move from the 50 yard line.