Sunday, May 11, 2008

Competetion Weekend (Part II, with a Scottish Accent, Aye?)

Finally, the bands formed up with intent on Massed Bands. There was shuffling about as members were moved here and there, and late-comers were edged into position. And then, the Drum Majors shout "By the Center, Quick, March", and the pipers hit that high E before Scotland the Brave--the one that always makes my blood boil!

The group as one marches onto the field, then a right wheel to face the band tent, where the decisions are handed out, and the trophies are meted. Ray and I sat aside to the right of the tent to watch from a picnic table in the shade of the tent.

First, the results of the Grade V competition.

Third..not Flint (hey, maybe we got second?)

Second...not Flint (no, seriously, we won?)

First place....

not Flint.

Huh. Imagine that? Well, as I said, I thought that there had been 2 places where the band didn't sound like it was "in unison" or "together" somehow.

Grade IV...baited breath....

Third place..not Flint...

Second Place....oh, good grief...not Flint? I had sort of expected our march off to count us down!


Drummer of the day: Our own Shawn, the Drum Major/Instructor's protege! A BIG TROPHY for such a young man to walk off with!!!

Drum Corps of the Day went to the Cincinnati band--

Now for the Grade III results....

Second...Cincinnati (hey, wait a minute....what happened to Third Place?)

First...FLINT SCOTTISH!!!! THE CROWD (okay, it's just me and a few others) is screaming!!! Lots of jumping up and down...handshakes and high fives...

okay, what about Ann Arbor?

Well, apparently, the way I understand it, and I haven't chatted with my friend yet to find out the particulars, but apparently, a piper blew out his chanter right before competition, and there was no time to change, and there are no substitutions--so while they did play, they had been disqualified (my god, to come all this way to be disqualified???? I feel bad for them, sort of made my loss of sticks seem so small in comparison!)

Our band marched off the field, smiles on all members faces, and they played a 4-parted 3/4 tune, then tossed their hats in the air in victory!

I was so pleased that I was nearly bursting, and I joined them in celebration.

Then of course, the requisite pictures....Grade V, Grade IV and Grade III, and then back to the staging area for a quick potty and beer, then back to the car to head for the tents to change for supper.

We are going to a BBQ joint, called Tina's BarBQue--small hole in the wall owned by mom and run by mom. The wait staff are her children. The place is just north of the 227/71 interchange. First, however, Ray and I went back to the tent to change into street clothes. I got out of the car and into the tent, changed in a couple seconds, then back to the car. Waiting for Ray, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I opened up the back driver's side door, and


I don't think I could have screamed any louder. I bet the residents in the next county heard me. I jumped up and down. I held them to my chest as if they were my only newborn! I said

"You are not going out of my sight for another minute this day!"

And to prove it, I took them to the restaurant with me. As I drove past the band members who were outdoors yet, I honked my horn, rolled down my window and cried--


Tina's BarBQue Review: The food is great. The service is nice and pleasant. The mom/cook was stressed and couldn't get her regular "help/wait-staff" to show up--it's her loss, really, since all of us tip well--even though the service was a tad slow (since it was a 14 year old and an 11 year old).

We stayed nearly 3 hours, making lots of noise, helping out where we could, and the last to get her food complained the entire time, and then got it to take out, then complained that it was nothing but grease!

There is just no pleasing some folks--know what I mean?

So back to the campsites to

party Party PARTY!

and chatter around the fire--eventually, I saw Ray nod off in his chair, so I bid adieu to the band compadres and Ray and I walked up the hill to our tenting site and turned in.

I slept pretty well, too, once I got to sleep after all the excitement of the day, but around 2am, I heard the pitty pat of rain on top of my tent, and I knew that we were in for it. About 5:30 my alarm went off, but I was already dressed and ready to go. I zippered my tent and called for Ray and we started packing anything that wasn't nailed down into the back seat. This was a neat trick because most of the gear HAD been in the trunk, but I knew that I was going to have to put 2 very wet unfolded tents into the trunk, and I didn't want the rest of our stuff soaked.

Then we rolled on over to McDonald's to check the weather report for the area and eat breakfast, hoping the rain would let up, and about an hour later, it did. We drove back to the campground and bugged out the rest of the gear, threw away the drop cloths (covered in mud both sides) and got back in the car just before it started to sprinkle again.

I called my brother at 6:45, to find out if we were still meeting in Lexington, but he'd forgotten that it was mother's day, and he was taking his wife to her mother's for a visit. So we drove on to Ohio. We got just outside Cincinnati, and it started to pour again. We'd drive out of the rain, stop at a rest area, and it would catch up with us. It rained all the way home.

Finally just before Dayton, I realized that I couldn't keep my eyes open, so we stopped at a rest area, and while Ray bought me a Diet Pepsi, I sat in my seat and fell asleep--for seconds at a time, but kept waking myself up snoring. He was only gone for all of 5 or 10 minutes, but that was all I needed to get me going again.

Just outside of Dayton, Ohio, I swear I saw a large wild cat in the median. I called it in on 911. I don't think they believed me. I was tired, but not that sort of tired. Even I had to do a double take--it looked exactly like a leopard--with a spikey hairdo--from the rain.

Then we drove the rest of the way home which was as uneventful as the rain was unrelenting.

On arriving home, Ray removed his gear from the car, and I went into the house to see if I had gotten a message on my phone from my son for mother's day. be continued...

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