pooooooooor li’l ol’ piccolo player

August 31, 2007 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

As I said earlier in the week, tonight will be Jessye’s first time to march a halftime show in front of a crowd. So, I’m excited. I don’t know if she is or not. I mean, afterall, she will be wearing (according to Jessye) the WORLD’s UGLIEST SHOES.  Terry laughed out loud when he saw them the first time. And, they are pretty ugly. It’s like a morph between an Easy Spirit and a low-top Reebok, in black. Now, that’s ugly, folks.  But, reportedly they’re very comfortable. Perhaps that will ease the pain somewhat. Considering my fashion-conscious daughter, I seriously doubt if their comfort will be much (if any) consolation.

Marching band brings back memories for me. I marched four years of high school, two semesters at Mississippi State, and one semester at Memphis State, back when it was still called Memphis State. One day in particular will be etched…no engraved…no…indelibly entrenched forever in my psyche. 

I cannot remember which season it was…fall of ’86 or fall of ’87. But, Mississippi State had gotten brand spankin’ new band uniforms. These new uniforms had snow white pants. Hhhhhhhhhhhhh.

We (The Famous Maroon Band) were lined up outside the stadium, preparing to march in and take our designated seats in the stands. Now, when we marched into the stadium, it was not to a drum cadence. It was simply a follow the leader sort of thing. Of course, everyone steps off on the left foot. Right? Okay. So, basically when the front of a 300+ person line starts going, each person would step off immediately as the person in front of you did. As the line would weave around obstacles as we entered the stadium, the band looked like a millipede with all those legs marching in sync.  And, the line moved FAST. We hustled going in to that stadium. We all-but ran.

Well, somehow or ‘nuther, I managed to trip…over my own foot, I guess.  I tried to recover! I really did! And, of course the contortions we go through as we try to keep ourselves from the inevitable bruising impact a fall has on us, make you all the more sore over the next few days.  And, my recovery attempts failed. I fell. I fell IN THE DIRT. When I stood up, my white pants had irrevocably-brown knees. Each fellow band member who saw me groaned a heavy sigh. But, none groaned louder or had a worse look on their face than Dr. Kent Sills, our illustrious head band director. I will never, ever forget it. And, can I just say, he never forgot it, either.  By the way, where do you suppose my spot in that year’s half time show was? Well, the Famous Maroon Band always formed the letters MSU during the half time show. I of course had a spot at the bottom of the M on MSU…front and center, for all the world to see…in our brand new uniform with white pants—mine with brown knees.  Utterly humiliating. (No cow-college pun intended.)  

Good ole’ Dr. Sills told that story multiple times each year, with each new group of college freshmen until, I suppose, the day he died.  Hundreds of people have heard my sad, sad story from his lips.  Among all Famous Maroon Band Alumni from 1986 through the year Dr. Sills passed, I was known as, “That Poor Little Piccolo Player”. 

Go ahead. Ask ANYONE who marched in the Famous Maroon band from 1986 through, I believe 2005? They’ve heard of me. They don’t know my name. Heck, Dr. Sills probably didn’t know my name. No, I was just “That Poor Little Piccolo Player” who “DIDN’T MEEEEEEEAN TO FALL DOWN”.  Held up through the decades as an example for the need to be careful and focused while marching in uniform.

Entry filed under: lucy moments.

minus two labor day weekend debrief

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