Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Okay--I'm With the Band

September 19, 2010

Earlier this month, Doug and I attended our second high school reunion of the year. The first one was in July, and even though it was my 25th reunion and we had a great time, the one in September was an especially meaningful one. Call us band geeks if you will, but a reunion of all of our band mates from our high school days was much more a family reunion than a gathering of scores of people who happened to pass each other in the halls on the way to Geometry during a particular year. These were the people we spent hours and hours with every week and really got to know as we practiced and worked and laughed and cried and competed. Some of us spent all four years of high school in the band program, and some spent only one or two years learning all the intricate elements that went into putting on an incomparable show on the field, but all of us truly became family through a shared commitment and desire to succeed.

Leading us all was the visionary and director of our band during those years, Mel Stratton, who was on hand at the reunion to be honored by all of us who appreciate even more as adults with the benefit of time and perspective the amazing and undeniably unique experience we had under his guidance. (It is testament to his influence the sheer numbers of his students who went on to become great band teachers in their own right.) Call it being at the right place at the right time, if you will; I feel incredibly fortunate to have found my way into this group, this family, at that time in history. I would be willing to bet it would be difficult to find a member of Mel's band from those years who wouldn't be able to recount some way that our band, our family away from home, made a lasting impact on their lives.

Patty and Mel Stratton, Shirley Claybaugh Weaver and Jim Claybaugh

Trina, Shannon, and Me

Jim and Kirsten
My day uniform from my freshman year. Sadly, I do not fit in that thing anymore. I find it a little hard to believe I ever did.
Doug, trying on his old uniform. Nope, he doesn't fit anymore, either.

Kris McGraw Pauley and Me
Bill Murray and Kris
Lisa, David Rubacalba, and Me
My hubby and me--a former band couple who reunited later in life.
Jeff Lee and Me
Marty and Judy--another band couple success story.
Mel, Me, Lisa, and Patty
The Reunion Gang

Former Drum Major Brad Riley. Nice Salute, Brad!
Mel Stratton--funny, charming, and still a true leader after all these years.
Mel and John Hackney, Assistant Director Extraordinaire
Doug and Di Hoskins
Mike Donaghy and Me--I love Mike!
Annette and Todd, Maria and Mike (Another Band Couple!)
Brady and Me. Brady and my sister were inseparable in high school, so he was like my brother.
Lisa and Brady
Bill Murray and Renee Brown
Jim and Lisa
My Sis and Me
Bill, Lisa, and Me
Doug, surrounded by Rosa, Alicia, and Me. He's kind of in his happy place, even though he doesn't actually look like it right now.
Rosa and Doug
Doug, Darren, and Jim
Shannon and Trina
The Jones Twins! Kris and Kelly
Alicia (Lisa), Rosa, Me, Kris, Kelly, and Lisa

No comments:

Post a Comment