Shortly after dinosaurs took off for their share-time condos on Mars, I was in high school. I was one of those geeky, introverted kids who wandered the halls with books NOT assigned, but just ’cause, chatted with teachers because I really found them interesting & inspirational & joined only the clubs that required a lot of brain power, but not much fashion sense. (I’m sure, given the nature of this site, that this information is utterly shocking to you, but I hope you recover from the vapors, quickly…here, try these smelling salts…anyway….) Of the activities I pursued in school, band is the one that brought out the most passion, that provided the biggest challenges & rewards, & ultimately, some of the best friends in the world – who are STILL my friends. (This may be a bit more legitimately shocking, I suppose, since as we move into adulthood, and leave high school behind, it’s not uncommon for people to move completely beyond their high school friendships. And truthfully,there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, if it’s the right fit. We have new experiences, meet new people & literally become new people ourselves, shortly after cap & gown day has passed. The people we become may not fit in with the crowds we hung out with, in high school. Although, sometimes, you get really lucky, & find that the person you’ve become, and the shiny new people you may meet a few years later, or at your reunion, really click, when they didn’t in high school. Basically, it comes down to individual experience, as so many things do; but my advice, if you’re still matriculating, or find yourself presented with a chance to see some people from your past – don’t just dismiss it as “school stuff.” There’s a reason we’re “students” when we’re in school, & not all the lessons are taught by the teachers, or in the classrooms.
As I was going to say,my experience in the the band – the Lake Howell Silver Regiment, to be exact – was the highlight of high school for me, every year. Not to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy my other classes & extra curricular activities – except algebra 2 – hated that class, but I won’t let that slip into a digression, promise. The idea of good friends, & what I gained during my time playing clarinet with the Silver Regiment sort of all coalesced, today, because one of the best people I am privileged to know, & who has been like the blonde sister I never had, celebrated a birthday, today (March 14.) As my birthday is exactly one month behind hers, on April 14, we sort of began what we lovingly called the “birthday vendetta” in high school. It c carried on for several years past graduation, too; until my buddy had to ship off with the rest of the Navy blokes she’d enlisted with, 20 years ago. That bit – 20 years – is important, because she just retired from the Navy, last year, & moved back to Florida. It occurred to me 5that enacting any lovingly malicious pranks on a woman with 20 years of Naval training, who is now living just a few hours away…might not be such a bright idea. So….instead, as she has a great love of kitty cats, especially black ones, I designed an animated birthday card, inspired by her, showing, HERE:
But….back to the band thing (see, you knew I’d get back round to band, eventually….) Recently, a rapidly growing group of us that have all been part of the Silver Regiment made a group page on Facebook, to reconnect, reminisce & occasionally post really, really embarrassing photos from back in the day. My buddy is one of the most active members of the group but she’s always had such a big heart, & such spirit & loyalty to friends, that her “let’s jump in, have some fun & go for it!”, attitude within the Silver Regiment group isn’t at all surprising. She’s just that awesome. (Along with a lot of other amazing people, I must add. But hey, it IS her birthday, today, & she did inspire the next bit….) Regardless of directors, school principals & of course, rotating students, one things has been pretty constant for the Silver Regiment – TUG. He’s the mascot for the band, but he’s more than that…he’s a visual reminder that we can do it, we can win as a group, as a band, as friends….with the very simple message his name conveys: TUG = Thumbs Up, Guys! He’s gone through a few uniform changes, just like the band, but his smile & his message are always there, for past musicians & current members of the band. Therefore….I designed an animated “poster” for old & new Silver Regiment members. I wanted to do my small part to help pass along that message, & that smile.
Please check out the website for the current crop of band geeks in the Silver Regiment. You can find out about competitions, concerts, & more.Pin It