When we were in high school, Jeanette and I both participated in the Glen Ridge High School Marching Band. Being the oldest, I got interested in it first, when I was in the eighth grade. I remember going to the home football games with my friends and watching the marching band perform during half time. I think some of my friends had older siblings in the band or color guard and I started getting an interest in trying out for the flag line. Jeanette played percussion in the middle school concert band, so it was a natural for her to go out for marching band in high school, especially since I was already in the color guard. From the fall of 1981 (late summer really) until she graduated in 1987, marching band was a big part of our family's lives.
In New Jersey at the time (and probably now), high school football games were played on Saturdays. That's right, we didn't experience "Friday Night Lights" (don't worry, we didn't know any different, so we don't feel deprived). Then on Sundays during band season, our marching band would go to competitions around the area. These were a BIG deal, with points being tallied to send us to larger competitions out of state. I can remember riding school busses to away football games and then the next day getting on nicer charter buses to head to competitions. And as it got later in the season, the colder it got, with hot chocolate being the drink of choice after coming off the field.
Our band went on two out-of-state trips to band competitions during my years in high school. I think Jeanette probably went on one after I graduated, but I can't remember. My first trip, in November of my Freshman year, was to East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City. Little did I know back then that just a few short years later, I'd move to Tennessee to attend Belmont College and end up becoming a Tennessee resident and establishing my adult home here!
I think I started dating my first boyfriend on that band trip, or at least during that band season. Good old James Davitt, a tuba player who was one of ten children in his family (good Catholic family). It was a sweet little romance, including going to the Candy Cane Ball that December. Sadly, I broke his heart, deciding soon after Christmas that I wanted to move on.
Funny thing was that during my Junior year, when the marching band went to another competition out of state, at Western Carolina University, in Cullowee, North Carolina, James and I rekindled our affections and started another brief romance. Must have been something about the long bus rides . . .
Anyway, every Fall when the temperatures start dropping and the leaves start crunching under my feet, I can't help but remember all those football games and band competitions as a member of the color guard in the GRHS Marching Band. Fun times and great memories. And so glad that I got to share them with my "little sister"!