Nathan is about to be a band kid.
Next year he’ll begin playing trumpet in what was known as “A BAND” on my dot matrix-printed schedule at Oxford High School. Football games. Marching competitions. I’m looking forward to living that again, if this time vicariously. (He’ll ride Ol’ Yeller, though. I was part of the last generation of band kids to ride in custom-painted motor coaches.)
I’ve known his band director quite a long time, because she and I went to high school (up here, not at Oxford) together. She is knowledgeable, nurturing, and a round peg in a round hole. I also know she doesn’t take any crap, because when the boys and I showed up to a football game a couple of years ago, she had a drummer off to the side at the end of the bleacher and man oh man, had he ever screwed up. I don’t know what he did, but I bet he never did it again.
All of this is exactly how I remember Mr. Barker. My band director had something significant to do with who I turned out to be, and some of the best times of my childhood were in the Oxford band.
(They also seem like they were, oh, eight or ten years ago. But I have a son who’s doing it, so it must be a bit longer than that.)