Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A "Score" of Friendships

If you stumbled into our local pizza shop about 10pm on certain Monday nights, I'm sure you'd think it's an odd sight.  First of all, who eats pizza at 10pm, other than maybe college kids?  And those are DEFINITELY not college kids.  Well, most of them, at least.

There are more than a few gray heads, but some that are just a mature brown or blond.  Then there's that young couple... maybe they're the college kids.  Is it a family?  Maybe, from the way they laugh and talk and pat each other on the back, and move from joking to serious in the blink of an eye.  But they don't really look alike at all!

There's a pilot, a couple of engineers, a few teachers, an architect... and who knows what else!  Some are retired, a couple are just starting their careers, and some are right in the middle. There are men and women, married and single people, rambunctious story-tellers and quiet listeners.  There's a blind guy who has the most positive attitude you've ever seen.  There was a smart old guy who told the most amazing stories about World War II and science and life, but you'll have to catch up with him in Heaven now.  Then there's us... everyone else still calls us the "newlyweds" even though we've been married for four years now!

So how did we all end up at the pizza shop at 10pm, talking and carrying on until they start running the vacuum cleaner as the signal that we'd better leave before they kick us out?  Music and tradition.  We are all proud marching band alumni, and though we might not have anything else in common, that is enough.  We might be as different as a trumpet is from a sousaphone, but we fit together to make perfect songs.  We have represented our university through time and change.  We have tried out, worked tirelessly, learned and grown and become ourselves in the context of the same sacred traditions.  And we still come together a few times a month to share ourselves with each other through music.  18 years old or 90 years old, we can play together and laugh together and cry together because we are tied together through the Band.

And on Saturday, 800 of us will show a football stadium full of fans that a single shared experience, full of pride and tradition, can build connections that span decades and personalities and life.


  1. What a wonderful story. My brother & my son, both alums of my university too, but in the marching band, play as you describe & love the group, although only my brother gets to do it often. I love the way you tantalized our interest with your story & finally told the end. Nice slice!

  2. I loved reading this - and can just imagine this gathering. Good for you!


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