Close this search box.

War Stories

Trey Reely | June 2010

    Three old-timers and one first-year director were sitting in a restaurant sharing war stories.

    First Old-timer: “I’ll never forget the time back in ’78 when the biggest monsoon I’ve ever seen hit smack dab when my drum major gave the down beat to start our halftime show. I’m tellin’ you, it was as if the clouds were just waitin’ for her to count them off. It had been cloudy all day but hadn’t dripped a drop and then all of a sudden it was rainin’ cats and dogs. I mean the whole zoo was comin’ down. The rain rushed down along the sideline so fast that it swept our piccolo player, a little girl named Raylene McAlister, off her feet and almost carried her out of the stadium. If she hadn’t grabbed a hold of the flagpole she would have been a goner. Would you believe we still finished the show?”

    Second Old-timer: “You think that’s bad? I remember back in the late summer of ’77 when we were playing at an away game at Mole Creek and their stadium was basically out in the middle of a rice field. I’ve never been at a game that was so hot. I mean, the make-up on the majorettes was dripping down their faces, the plastic was melting on the kids’ overlays, the shako plumes were wilting, and you could burn your fingers if you touched the epaulets on the uniforms. It was so hot that the band boosters were cookin’ their hot dogs and burgers on the grills without lighting them up. By the end of our halftime show there were only about ten kids out of a hundred barely standing and one of those ten was carried off by a bunch of them Mole Creek mosquitoes that were as big as buzzards.”

    Third Old-timer: “That ain’t nothin. I remember back in the fall of ’68 we didn’t have the weather channel for constant updates so we kind of had to take chances when it came to the weather. We were in the finals of the state playoffs when a cold front came through sooner than expected, and it was so cold we had to put kerosene on the brass valves to make them work. In the second quarter the ice started comin’ down. We marched at halftime, of course, since there was no getting out of it in those days. The majorettes threw up their batons and the darn things came back down with icicles on them. The band kids were sliding all over the place, doin’ the splits and stuff like that. By the end of the show our drum major looked like an ice sculpture. I mean the only thing that wasn’t frozen were her two index fingers and she was still conducting with them. Her feet were frozen to the podium and we had to pull her out of her shoes to get her down.”

    First-year director: “Earlier this year I was in the press box at halftime when my drum major fainted early during the closer and the band kept going while a band parent attended to him. The low brass didn’t drag, the percussion didn’t rush, the woodwinds stayed in step, the flags stayed together for the rest of the show, and the trumpets cut off on time.”

    An eerie silence ensues as the three old-timers look at each other.

    First-year director: “What’s wrong?”

    Old-timers: “Do you really expect us to believe that?”