Sunday, October 02, 2005

And this one band 1

I was fortunate enough to involve myself in one of the best extra curriculars in high school. My high school had an amazing marching band program led by one of the best music teachers in the state. The amount of respect I have for this man isn't matched by any other teacher I know. (No, I'm not including my husband...that's quite different!) The Leader of the Band retired last year.

Our band was disciplined with a big sound, award winning, and we had a lot of fun. We took a yearly trip at the end of October to California to compete, then onto San Francisco just for shits and giggles. This story happened my junior year.

I was dating another member of the band. He's still a good friend today. We were included in a group of friends and we all sort of took turns dating each other. It was my turn with this guy for the beginning of the school year including our band trip.

Our plushy charter busses crossed the bridge into San Fran. We were near to our destination when the Flag Instructor (I was a flag and she was my instructor) pointed out a bag lady on the sidewalk, complete with cart. Being naive and from Utah County, we really had never seen homelessness before. It was both fascinating and guilt inducing. My Flag Instructor told our bus to wave to the bag lady, so we did, with stupid Utah County grins on our innocent faces. Ms. Bag Lady courteously waved back with her middle finger.

We were let off the bus a couple blocks from the trolley station with instructions to ride the trolley to the pier where we'd be picked up later that evening. We had the entire city to wander and it was glorious! I took my boyfriend's hand and we made plans. We wanted to go to Ghiradelli and we wanted to see street performers on Pier 49.

When we reached the trolley we were shocked to see so many street people panhandling. I know now that they make big tax free bucks, but back when I was 17 it was disheartening. We felt helpless, especially for the bum sleeping on the sidewalk, brownbag in hand. We had all gingerly stepped over him to get into the trolley line. A moral dilemma, should we leave the bum money so he'd have something to wake up to? (It didn't enter our heads that our money would more than likely buy a liquid lunch.) We decided not to because the nanosecond we'd mentioned "money" and "bum" out loud we were surrounded by panhandlers like flies on meat. We couldn't get on that trolley fast enough and felt bad for the friends that had to wait for the next trolley.

My boyfriend and I kissed and groped at Ghiradelli. We kissed and groped at Ripley's. We kissed and groped at Taco Bell. We saw the infamous bush man of San Francisco and got the bejeezus scared out of us when he lunged between his bushes with a screech. This led to more kissing and more groping. We kissed and groped when we looked at the sea lions off the pier, who themselves were kissing and groping. San Francisco is very romantic.

As dark was falling our plushy chartered busses pulled up exactly where they said they'd be. The band boarded, some of us happy about the day, others a bit depressed it was over. Our left behind trolley friends boarded like Tigger, bouncing and talking loudly with great fervor. Those left behind, who had also stepped over the bum, had witnessed the coroner's van come and pick him up off the sidewalk. Coroner's van! We'd walked over a dead guy! OH MY GOD!

We wondered, had we left money for the bum, would the other panhandlers who knew he was deceased steal from him? How long had he laid there anyway? Did he smell and we didn't notice? Who reported him? Coroners are gross!

It was all too deep for our underdeveloped teenaged brains. Kissing and groping, we understood that.


  1. Ewww ....!!!!!

    *returns to kissing and groping*

  2. I have dreams where I am back in High School band and I am just about to start playing, when I realize I don't know any of the music.

    Ben O.

  3. Sadly...we never went anywhere interesting for my band trips...oh wait...we went skiing in Colorado two years in a row :-)...hehe couldn't resisit. Nothing as much fun as stepping over dead bums, but lots of groping and kissing of the group.....ahhh...the good ole days...sigh


  4. Oh Becky, the memories come rushing back. You forgot to tell them that your younger and most favorite sister was in charge of you and all the other band geeks. But I had a boyfriend that was in the cool jock, woodshop crowd. He still has to tease me that he married the leader of the band geeks. Don't you know that you are always supposed to mention your favortite sis in all articles on your blog!!!

  5. Sheesh Jill, don't give it all away!! Notice that was part 1!

  6. I was a flag girl in my high school band too. But Hun! You so beat any Band Camp stories I ever had.

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