Posted tagged ‘sirens’

“We shall meet again before long to march to new triumphs.”

August 3, 2013

The sun was here earlier but has since disappeared. It was replaced by a cloudy sky and a stiff breeze. The paper forecasts the possibility of rain. It is 72˚ now with 85% humidity. Yesterday the breeze disappeared, and the humidity was so high I turned on the air conditioner in the late afternoon. That made for a comfortable evening.

Doing nothing worked. My back is better today and I’m happier. I’m even willing to brave the roads to do a few errands. I need odd things, those not often bought: light bulbs, a flood light, paint to do my fish table and candle bulbs for the window lights. I figure I’ll reward myself with my favorite sandwich: a panini with cheddar, bacon and avocado. I’m thinking a whoopie pie for dessert and maybe some biscotti for tomorrow morning.

The laundry has made some progress. I brought it down here and leaned it next to the cellar door. I can see it from my seat, but that doesn’t matter any more. I have learned to let it sit until I’m ready.

Yesterday afternoon I heard a huge crash as if something had fallen to my deck. I went out and found nothing. I checked both the front and the back yards then I thought maybe a branch had fallen on the roof part I can’t see, but I swore whatever it was had hit the deck. Skip, my factotum, is coming on Monday so maybe he can figure it out.

In September St. Patrick’s drill team is having a reunion. I marched from 1957 to 1964. Two of my aunts marched at the beginning, 1947, when the drill tam was started. Three of my cousins also marched but years later, they being younger than I by a lot of years. Most of the comments on the Facebook page are not from my contemporaries but from that younger group. My friends and I seem to be the grand dames.

The drill team had practice once a week in the winter and twice a week in the summer, the competition season. Competitions were on the weekends, usually a Sunday afternoon but also some Friday and Saturday nights. When we didn’t have a competition, we went to one anyway. All of my friends were on the drill team. We spent a lot of time together. Our instructor, a man named John Kelley, had to be the most patient man in the world. He’d go over and over certain parts of the maneuver until he was certain we had it down pat. It was difficult in the winter as we had to break it down into parts to fit the armory dimensions where we practiced. Once the weather changed and we could get on the field or in the schoolyard we had to work at putting it all together.

We never won much in the beginning. I remember coming home and telling my parents we had come in second, and we had, but there were only two drill teams competing. I didn’t tell them that part. We eventually won several championships both in winter color guard and summer drill. The first time we won the summer championship, someone called ahead to the fire station. We got off our bus uptown and one of the fire trucks with the siren going led us through town to the church. We were almost giddy. Finally we were the champions, and we had a huge trophy to prove it!

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