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Marching Bands Or Football – It’s All How You Look At It!

Marching Bands Or Football – It’s All How You Look At It!

Every day we make memories. Over the weekend there were plenty – some I wish I could forget.  It’s fall and marching season has begun. I know most of you think of this as football season. With a husband, a daughter and a son-in-law who all teach music it is now referred to as marching season. And to top it off, Andrew is in ‘The Sound of the South’ at Troy University in Troy, Alabama.

Friday night there was a home football game – there’s the word…football – at WHS. Since we live one hour away from where Harry teaches, it is usually 12:30 am by the time we return home from these games. That is if they are home games. Away games can be much later. Thank goodness this was a home game because we had to be back at the school in the morning at 5:30 am to load the buses to go to Troy University for Troy Band Day. Luckily the game progressed fast – we won – and we were home by 11:30 pm.

This is how the rest of the weekend went from there:

  • Up at 3:30 am Saturday morning so we could leave by 4:30 am for DFS. The alarm rang and I quickly silenced it slowly rising to take a shower and wash my hair. I was going to let Harry sleep for fifteen more minutes. As I stood in front of the mirror squinching my eyes to take a look at my hair I decided it looked ok and squelched the wash job. Thirty minutes late when I looked in the mirror again with my eyes finally rid of sleep I shuddered. What was I thinking? This hair! Oh well it will have to do! No time now to wash it. Harry was up and about ready to go. I cleaned my tote bag out and removed some of the junk I would not need on the trip, and cramming the rest back in headed out to the car to load Andrew’s printer I had bought for him and my tote bag and book I thought I may have time to read on the bus trip to Troy.
  • 4:30 am Saturday morning. On the road again to DFS.  We had only gotten home five hours earlier. By now we were both pretty much awake and actually held a conversation on the ride there. About halfway to the school I suddenly had the thought that I may have left the chaperone tickets on the table when I cleaned out my bag. I turned quickly in the seat, reaching for my bag and dragging it into the front with me. Dumping the carefully packed contents I knew I must be mistaken. I couldn’t have left them. No such luck and there was no time to turn around and go back!  “Just stay calm,” Harry said. “It will be ok. Drop me off at the school and you can drive back to Ft. Walton to get them. Then you can ease on to Troy in the car and meet us at the practice field. I’ll drive back with you when the game is over.” The whole time I was thinking – Where is Harry? Who is this calm man sitting next to me? He’s not always calm when I make stupid mistakes like this. It was not like him.
  • 5:30 am Saturday morning – I dropped H off and headed back to the house to get the tickets.
  • 6:35 am Saturday morning – There they were, right where I left them. I snatched them up, made a bathroom stop, and headed out again for DFS. H had a parent waiting to ride to Troy with me. I made a quick run through the donut place for donuts and orange juice. We had planned on stopping at McDonalds in Troy to eat. However, I would not be on that bus.
  • 7:35 at WHS in DFS again – I had forgotten to get my GPS while at home and don’t know how to work the one on my phone yet so Julie and I were on our own trying to figure out the best route to take. You would think I knew the way after making so may trips to see Andrew. I’ll be honest – I usually sleep – and anyway if I am not driving it I don’t retain the information. Between the two of us we made it with no wrong turns!
  • 9:05 am Saturday morning – we pulled into the Troy McDonalds and made a quick bathroom stop. By 9:20 we were at the practice field in time to watch Troy run through their halftime show and watch the 34 high school bands participating in the halftime performance learn their routine. What a morning!
  • 11:30 am – 1:30 pm – we stood in three different lines to get lunch and finally canceled our order so we could return to the bus with the students to dress for the performance. There were so many people. At least the kids got to eat. We could eat in the stadium.
  • Between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm – we watched the Troy percussion warm up and then walked to the site where the Trojan Walk would be. All of the high school bands participating would march into the stadium as the ‘Sound of the South’ held their traditional Trojan Walk to the stadium with the football players – there’s that word again.. football.
  • From about 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm – we were in the stands for the game and halftime performance.
  • Arrived at WHS in DFS at midnight – with lots of tired band students.
  • Arrived home at 1:20 am Sunday morning. It had been so hot all day I felt like I had been at the beach! I needed a shower. And then had to dry my hair. It was after 2:00 am before I was in bed. H was already snoring.  What a day! What a weekend!  What great bands! What memories! (Troy won the game, Andrew did get his printer, my hair was much worse when I arrived back home than it was when I woke up, and that book I thought I may have time to read…its still in the car in the backseat!) Here’s a link for the ‘Sound of the South Band Day 2013 Halftime Performance’.

    Andrew on snare  during sectional!

    Andrew on snare during sectionals!




About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

4 responses »

  1. Elle,
    You need to download the free Mapquest App on your phone. It talks even if you don’t have a talking phone. I will NEVER get lost again!!


  2. Oh Elle, I’m tired from just reading your itinerary. No 3:30 wake up calls for me!
    While pregnant with my oldest son, I gained 50 pounds (95% was belly) and always said I felt like the drummer in a marching band with a giant drum in front of me.


    • Two more school years from now H will retire and Andrew will be out of college – the marching band part anyway – then maybe we can sit back and watch some relaxing concerts of his. I do love the marching bands though, but would not like to carry any drum. Just a lot of chaos!



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