Always, ever since I was a wide-eyed 10th grader in the mid-'60s, enthralled by my Provine Rams' marching band and their perennial award-winning halftime shows, always, marching bands--musicians, instruments, uniforms, movement, precision, and performance--take me to a better place.
That feeling flooded right in again when I became a high school teacher at Forest Hill High School in the early '90s. When I left that school for a middle school in the early '00s, I missed those halftime shows so much that each year I tried to get to at least one football game a season, to see my teacher buds, to watch the team, and to soak up the halftime show's rhythms. Now that I'm completely out of the field of education, my love of marching bands ended up in a little box in the back of my head except for watching "Drumline" now and then.
Until June, 2007, not exactly football season. Not that I wasn't expecting Portland's Rose Festival to offer up marching bands. I knew some would be in the parades--a parade without marching bands would be some sort of living, breathing oxymoron, right?
So Saturday night, June 2, Mama and I sat comfortably in our 4th-floor living room for hours, glued to the Starlight Parade on Ch. 8, the NBC affiliate. One band in particular totally captivated me. Row after row of adults, wearing bright yellow T shirts and white pants. Obviously having the time of their lives. The One More Time Around Again Marching Band. I had to see them in person. That I knew for sure. That I didn't want to wait until the 2008 Rose Festival I also knew for sure. Thank goodness for the Internet. I easily found that the OMTAAMB played a part in the Rose Festival's Concert at the Park Friday night, June 8, at PGE Park. Yippee! I could get off the bus on the way home and then walk the half dozen or so blocks home after the concert. Hooray!
What I'm now going to do with the photos I took that night is try to give you a tidbit of the exciting time the entire audience and performing groups lived that cool evening in a swell venue, situated below street level just as the slope steepens on its way up into the West Hills.
First off--the Northwest Navy's Leapfrog Parachuters. Wind check--speed and direction, no doubt.
One of several Nay Seals.
These two guys are touching each other on purpose.
They separated and landed effortlessly.
A single man brought in the POW-MIA flag, to rousing applause.
Naturally, they save the American flag for last. We in the crowd hooped and hollered with pride.
A well-trained team indeed, the Leapfrog Parachuters.
Coming soon--more musicians, instruments, uniforms, movement, precision, and performance--to take you to another, hopefully better place, if only for a little while.