Last weekend was a first for me, as I traveled to my alma mater to check out the state marching band finals.
Being back on Western Kentucky University’s campus always stirs up memories, as you might expect.
I have never been to a marching band competition, but I have heard a lot about them over the years.
If you stopped by the front page, you probably noticed that the Washington County High School band finished third in the state in their division. It’s just another achievement in a long line of accomplishments for the Commander band.
I saw some great bands at the competition, but I did think the Washington County High School band looked sharp and sounded good. I would have figured they would have had a first-place finish, but the judges must have been using a different criteria.
It was a cold evening at Smith Stadium in Bowling Green. I ran out to buy a warm hat and gloves in between semifinals and finals and I accidentally picked up a pair of women’s gloves at the store.
They were mixed in with men’s gloves. It was an honest mistake, one that I didn’t realize I’d made until the tags were torn off to try the gloves on.
When it took a crow bar to get the gloves off, I realized something had gone horribly wrong.
But back on topic, I was surprised at the number of people in attendance.
When I was enrolled at Western, the stadium was built with only one side. Rarely would it be full for a home football game.
I saw more people at the competition than most football games at Western in my time there. Good thing I didn’t pick my school according to athletic prowess.
Anyhow, after a long day that lasted into the morning, the winners were announced and all the human ice cubes shuffled back to their cars for a long drive home.
Kudos to the Commander band. They impressed me, a guy who’s never witnessed a band competition before in my life. Be proud of your hard work.
Band parents, you are a special group. Be proud of the hard work you put in, as well. I know there is a lot of travel and braving the elements involved.
Band educators, good work. You obviously know how to instill the keys to success in your students.
Now, can we maybe consider moving the state finals to West Palm Beach, Fla. next year? I hear the weather is nice and there are loads of hotels available.
Trick or treat!
On Monday I was treated, not tricked, into another first for me.
I stopped by the trick or treat session going on in downtown Springfield to see what was happening.
There were loads and loads of trick or treaters. Some estimated that there were over 1,000 people downtown.
I lived out in the county when I was of trick or treating age, so I never experienced a door-to-door Halloween experience. We walked around some, but it was mostly getting in and out of a van at homes around our area.
Kudos to the city and the downtown businesses and agencies for providing a safe place for kids to fill their bags full of treats.
I’m sure the families appreciate the effort.
There has been a little bit of ink spilled in the recent past about Washington County High School’s Early College program.
I had the chance to observe a class last week and came away impressed at how things are done.
Full disclosure, my wife is a high school English teacher at Marion County High School. I have a deep appreciation for the work teachers do.
So, when a school is doing something well, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
I spoke about my alma mater earlier, and I want to emphasize the importance of some kind of education or training outside of high school.
When I was a senior in high school, I didn’t have a plan yet. I didn’t know if college was for me. I thought it was, but I had no idea what I would study. The uncertainty left me thinking about a career in manufacturing that wouldn’t require any extra education.
I went ahead and enrolled in school, with an idea of what I wanted to do, but not really. I also spent the summer after my senior year of high school working two jobs, one of which was at a factory.
The money was OK for an 18-year-old, but I could have never raised a family on it. I quickly learned that factory life was not for me.
There is nothing wrong with factory work, I just happen to not be very good at it.
So, the point I’m driving home goes to students across the county.
Take advantage of early college opportunities that your school is offering. The more you can get out of the way now, the better. Believe me, when you get close to the end of college and start counting credit hours, you’ll be thankful that you put in the extra work early.
Have a great week everyone. It’s turkey social season!