Another year passed where us old folks tested our mettle on the field to see if we still had it. We do. I suffered only minor back pain and a bad ankle this year. The ankle was fine Sunday morning, but then we decided to spend the day walking around the local county fair. When we got home I sat down and rested for an hour, that was all it took. Now I have a tender ankle that reminds me of the pain as I go up and down the steps.
Was it worth it? That’s a silly question. It is always worth it. Who really needs a class reunion when you get to have a regular reunion every year. This was the first time (except when I first joined the Alumni Band) that there wasn’t a single song in the show that I had played before. I took this opportunity to play second and third trumpet on every piece that wasn’t included in the “standards” (Fight Song/Anchor’s Away, Fanfare, Alma Mater, and The Star Spangled Banner).
Surprisingly my lips held up nicely this year. Normally I blow them out by late afternoon and I’m playing everything an octave lower by performance. Not this year – I managed to mostly play everything as it was written. I did have some nice reminders of my age besides the aches and pains. The first was a group of marchers going “OMG, can you believe it’s been ten years since we started marching band”…. I’m going on twenty-two years. Which brings up the next one, at the bowling alley some people couldn’t believe that the other was old enough to drink. They were twenty-two. So there is a good chance they weren’t born yet when I first stepped out on the field at my first show. Finally, I remember back in my first season in the 91-92 school year that it was cute of all the class of 1969 that performed in alumni and how they were still doing it after twenty-two years. Well in three more years I will be as old as they were then.
I will continue doing alumni every year I can manage to get to the field. I’m hoping to be the guy that is 102 years old in a hover wheelchair playing the show. We shall see.