Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today I leave my beloved Pittsfield.

Well, this is it...Today I leave for the family wedding in
Connecticut. At first I looked at this as if it were the worst of
timings - I finish today in Pittsfield (You should see my car -
I look like a homeless person who now lives in her
Chevrolet) and start work Tuesday in Machias. But now I am
hoping for a respite, four days to breathe. I'll get to hug
brothers and sisters, love my sons to bits and take my
grandsons to the movies.

It is also absolutely amazing that a mini-reunion has been
set up for Saturday in CT. During my pre and teenage years,
I was a member of the Windsor Locks Cavaliers, a color
guard extraordinaire!

We marched all summer with the drum and bugle corps, but
in the winter we competed on our own with dozens of other
color guard drill teams and we were good, really good - for
many years we were the reigning New England champions.

I started off at about 10 years old as a rifle. Was promoted
to flag (whipping them around took some strength!) and
eventually got my saber! I KNOW - you are quaking in your
boots at the thought of me whirling around a sword. You
should be, too.

Oh the stories from those days: mooning a car load of nuns
from the back of Joyce Asselin's father's station wagon;
learning to smoke from a very hot bugle player; stabbing
captain Terry O-Donnell just under her eye with my saber;
spinning that same saber but losing control until it flew
through a closed window on the second floor of the practice
hall and ended up spearing the lawn - just feet from the
sidewalk; being able to throw myself completely into an
activity that for just a while, enabled me to forget a
miserable home life. This was my teenage sanctuary.

Whenever I hear a song with a terrific beat (some of the
new hip hop stuff has actual snare drumming) I cannot help
but march around the house. I still remember the counts
from our last drill: 12 forward, turn right, eight
forward...and don't even get me started on the movie
"Drum Line."
Today this type of activity might be thought a bit nerdy. But back in the early 60s, we were the absolute coolest - walking the halls of the high school with our Cavaliers' jackets...we were hot!

Ten of us are meeting for lunch Saturday - can you imagine?
We have not seen each other in 40 years! I'll definitely be
posting pictures for you...

Between the wedding, the reunion and the move, posting
here may be sporadic for the next few days. Forgive me - I
will be having the time of my life crying and laughing all over the place!


Gladys said...

Have a good time but don't eat too much sugar. it will give you an awful hangover. :)

Becky said...

I was in the band but would have rather been a flag twirler or majorette. The uniforms we wore had to have been made out of wool and hotter that Hades!Me with a baton could have dangerous now that I think about it! Have a great time and now sabers allowed at the lunch with your friend!!

Libby's Library said...

I am sooooo looking forward to the photo's of your long weekend. I'm sending you lot's of energy and good wishes. If you need help getting moved in, just shoot me a plane ticket:-)