I’m thinking that if somebody looks at this photo before reading this blog then there’s bound to be a bit of confusion. But nope….my 1ST LOVE was band! In this photo I was 12 and had no beaux to speak of, nor did I want any. I had my pals, the boys that I grew up with and played with since childhood and that was all right with me!
I was a ‘late bloomer‘ when I started band. Most of my classmates that’d been interested in playing instruments had begun 2 years before. I started late and had a lot of catching up to do. I certainly did! This was probably the first time in my young life that I’d ever taken anything seriously enough to develop an extreme passion for it. I practiced and practiced and practiced, and I was GOOD! Luckily I had a band director that worked with me to give me lessons during that beginning summer on my own since I’d not had the ‘group lessons‘ that the rest of my classmates previously had. So I started out having to be in the 6th-grade band as an 8th-grader, that first fall when I had my original beginning band experience. It wasn’t fun being with the younger kids, plus my school itinerary was quite messed up in order to accommodate my classes so I practiced even more at home, 2-4 hours nightly (yes, I DID learn to drive particular family members crazy whenever I wanted to!) so that by the time spring term rolled around, I’d moved up to 7th-grade band. I skipped 8th-grade band altogether because I got more than caught up during the next summer vacation….so much so that when I began high school in the fall, I moved to the lead of ALL of the freshman clarinetists! Of course I was 1st-Chair Clarinetist as a Senior and had lots of solos, which I loved!
This evening my daughter and I were watching a TV reality show and one of the given tasks was to learn to march. I found it humorous that the couples were having so much trouble doing so, even after several attempts. My daughter was surprised when I stood up and marched around the house, CORRECTLY, showing her that I still knew how to do every command and make every turn although I’d not done it for approximately 4 decades! She was quite impressed and even asked me to write my blog about my love of band! Awwww!
In my high school we had marching band in the fall semester and concert band in the spring semester. I adored them both! Nowadays, I reckon I was then what was called a ‘Band Geek‘! I spent any and all free time in the band room. Band was my forte. I went to band camp every summer throughout high school at Purdue University. I was awarded the honor of being named to the McDonald’s All-American Band during my Senior year. Unfortunately, I turned down that honor because I was also invited to audition for the American Musical Ambassadors the same year. I chose to do that instead, and was surprised at the auditions to learn that several hundred invitations had been sent out to audition for each individual spot. I did manage to be one of the 2 representatives chosen for the state of Indiana so I got to make a grand European trip, playing 1 or 2 daily concerts EACH DAY in various cities all over Europe! It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I cherish those memories immensely! It was also my first time being away from home but I got a taste of what it was going to be like to go away to college when I returned from the trip. It was so very much fun selecting souvenirs from Europe for my parents and brothers and Gramma! My parents were usually the ones that’d traveled lots, and my brothers and I would always remind them to bring us something. It was a tremendous joy for me to be able to be the one to select the ‘treasures‘ and give them out for a change!
Now my clarinets (I have 3) and my flute and my daughter’s oboe sit in my closet. It would presently cost a lot of money to get my main instrument ‘overhauled‘ in order to get it back into ‘playing condition‘, because it wasn’t a cheap clarinet. For my 16th Christmas, my parents bought me the best clarinet that money could buy, all the way from Paris! When I went to college in Hawaii and took private lessons from a member of the Honolulu Symphony, even my instructor was constantly trying to buy it from me. But I wouldn’t give up my 1ST LOVE!!! I’m just hoping that someday perhaps one of my grandbabies will love music as much as I did. Then my clarinet can possibly come back to life!
I reckon now I’ve been a victim of yet another way to scam those who are ‘slower’ (handicapped, old folks, etc.) & I AM ANGRY!!!!
While she slept late on her day off, I thought I’d be nice & put some gas in my daughter’s truck and get it back home quickly before she’d even notice that we were gone. But all 12 of the gas pumps at the nearest station were occupied so I waited and patiently waited. Finally it was my turn, I pulled the vehicle into position, got outa the car & slowly (with my walker) made my way into the store. You see, for me this isn’t a simple or a quick task. It takes me awhile to get the walker out of the back seat and unfold it, so I dare not look around and make ‘eye contact’ with other folks that may be also waiting for gas. I do have sympathy for the person that decided to get in line behind me, tho, because he/she had the misfortune of awaiting a ‘slowpoke’ PLUS I do not use credit cards so I also needed to go into the convenience store and pre-pay with cash first. That also required a wait in another line inside the store because there were only 2 cash registers and 1 of the cashiers was being trained.
I gave the ‘new guy’ $40, told him $35 was for gas on pump 10….he completed that task. Then I handed him my lotto playslip, it was his 1st time using the lottery machine so the manager was teaching him. He asked me to look at it to make sure it’s right and it was. We thanked each other and I made the journey back to my car. I noticed that the pump said $5.57. Hmmm, I figured it hadn’t re-set from the previous customer so I put in the gas…..only $5.57!
So I made my way back into the store & I was PIS#*D! There happened to be to older guys outside that’d been just sitting on the ground talking, they heard me ranting so they came into the store and told us that whilst I was inside the store, 2 scooters came & quickly stole my gas & took off….so the $5.57 was what they didn’t need! I’d been the victim of a Gas Thief!! GRRRR! I tried to get restitution from the store. Guess what I was told? That there’s a sign on the door of the store (which there is) that clearly states that they’ll gladly assist the handicapped.So when I went back out 2 my car (I’m surprised the gas station didn’t blow up ‘coz there were probably flames coming outa my ears by now!), I noticed there’s also a ‘call for help’ button on the pump too. So guess what? From now on, I WILL go back to that same gas station, but I am surely going to wait till it’s DURING BUSY TIME. Then you had better believe that I WILL LAY ON that button & they can come out & do it for me!!!!