Trombones go in the front row.
Our director moves among us checking positions, moving a confused band member, re-considering our placement. Then last minute instructions.
Left foot first. Keep distance from person in front. Glance right to keep row straight. Listen to the drum section for the beat. (How could you miss them from their center row?)
The Majorette blows her whistle, raises and lowers the big baton. Off we go.
Left. Right. Left. Boom. Boom. Boom. Listen to the bass drum among the clatter of the snares. A corner, remember the spacing, oh….that was ragged. Stop. Listen. Again. Down the football field, turn, again and again.
Then the street. Parking lot gravel under our white Keds turns to asphalt. Stay in the right lane. Drums on the rim past the hospital. Practice, practice, practice.
Football halftime entertainment. Memorial Day ceremonies. A parade invitation.
We march in heat, cold, and a fine misty rain. After the parade in warm, August rain we pack our instruments and climb into the school bus for the fifteen mile trip home. Wool uniforms scent the air as if we were a flock of damp sheep.