Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Tripping down memory lane

on October 5, 2010

I had an interesting experience this past weekend. I returned to my high school for homecoming. Normally, I would have just let this event pass by without another thought; however, this homecoming was unique in that it was the final season for the marching band directors, who have been leading the band together for 35 years. Every year, marching band alums are invited back to homecoming to join current band members in playing pre-game. Fortunately, they’re not expected to march! They stand along the sidelines and wait for the band to march into the stadium and join them in playing the fight song, Star Spangled Banner and alma mater. I had never participated in one of these alumni bands before. But the band directors were hoping for a large turnout for their final season. For everything that they’ve done for me over the years, it seemed that the least I could do was come back and play in the alumni band.

I was, without question, a marching band geek, and proud of it. Though in my experience, band wasn’t an activity that was looked down upon. Maybe it’s only in the movies that marching bands are filled with dorks. In any case, band played a pivotal role in my teenage years. Beyond making me a better musician, band taught me the value of hard work, how to work with others and how to lead. At the risk of sounding clichéd, band helped me become who I am today.

So anyway, back to this weekend. I had a fantastic time and the turnout was incredible. The band directors planned to line us up between the 30 yard lines on the field, two spaces apart. There was such a phenomenal turnout that we lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder between the 30 yard lines, 2 rows deep. Alumni from 8 decades were represented, with the oldest graduate coming from the class of 1941. It was amazing to see all of these people who followed different paths come back for one night to honor two people who clearly played a significant role in all of our pasts. It was fun to dust off my instrument and practice again, and even better to see my closest friends from high school, most who I haven’t seen in more than 5 years. I also enjoyed seeing the current band, and seeing what has changed, and what has stayed the same since I was around. Really, I could go on and on about every minute detail, but I’m sure I would be the only one interested in that.

My flute!

All of this fun and excitement got me thinking about my past a bit and what has changed over the last several years. Playing again made me realize how much I loved it. I remember the feeling of accomplishment I always felt after finally mastering a difficult passage. I remember how I loved performing with the band and listening to the progress we made from first read to the concert. I also thought back on the other activities I used to do, like theatre and volunteering, and how I more or less gave those up too. It wasn’t intentional – I guess I just ran out of time once I started working and being an adult. I came to the sad conclusion that I really don’t have any regular hobbies anymore. I do plenty of outdoor activities, but those usually only happen on the occasional weekend, and with others. I decided I needed a hobby for myself – something I enjoy doing and that I’m doing just for me. So, I’m going to see if I can keep that old flute from getting quite so dusty.

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One response to “Tripping down memory lane

  1. […] love music. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a band geek and spent over 10 years of my life in the theatre, with musicals being my […]

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