For whatever reason, nostalgic or warped, I love marching bands.
In fifth grade, I began learning how to play the snare drum, and I remember dragging my rented drum five blocks to school for lessons. Eventually, I graduated to a practice pad, which was significantly lighter (and quieter).
In high school, I marched in the drum line, first with a snare drum strapped around one leg Revolutionary War-style and constantly bruising the other with every step (this was before modern drum harnesses — yes, I’m that old). Later, I played the glockenspiel, sort of an upright metal mini-xylophone played with a hard plastic mallet (no more bruised knees).
The picture above is from the Memorial Day Parade in 1981. Pay attention to the bass drum image and the footwear in this picture. Yes, I graduated from a high school before the age of political correctness; we were the Wadena Indians. The school has since adopted a Wolverine mascot. And can you count the number of Nike swooshes in the picture? I remember coveting those outlandishly expensive shoes for a long time before I got to own a pair (hey, $28 was a lot of money in 1980).
In college, I met my first husband, a musician with a talent for marching percussion. He eventually taught high school drum lines, and I watched more parades than I can count in those years. After the demise of that marriage (read my memoir “The Percussionist’s Wife” for that description — it’s a long story), I suppose I should dislike marching bands.
But I don’t. I still admire the dedication to marching in step, the perseverance required to march in 90-degree weather and the music (I’m a sucker for brass instruments).
Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.
Blogger’s Note: I dug this photo out of an old album, scanned it and doctored it up with a filter from PhotoFunia. See more photos representing “Nostalgic” here and follow the comments.