Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wistful Wednesday: 1964/1965

Back in 1964/1965 I was in Junior High, eighth grade to be exact.  I joined band when I was in seventh grade.  I wanted to play drums. Every kid in the country wanted to play the drums, you just had to buy your own wooden sticks, no major investment.

I really didn’t want to learn to play an instrument. I just wanted to be in the Marching Band and be a majorette.  I wanted to wear some cute little outfit and twirl my baton. 

I never learned how to read music, I just kind of guessed what notes were in the ballpark.  I was tone deaf..I could not tell a sharp from a flat.

I got stuck playing the coronet.  My parents rented an instrument. I went to lessons, I even went to lessons during the summer at the Osage School.

I was in the Junior High marching band.  We practiced twice a week in the evenings, I learned how to march. I could even play a few notes while marching..not all of them..but a few. We had to memorize the entire song, no sheets of music were allowed.  Our Junior High Band Leaders were both  kind men. ( We had both Mr. Evju and Mr. Wood during those years.)   We marched in two parades a year..the Memorial Day Parade and the Homecoming Parade.

I tried out for majorette for three was just not in the cards..I would only be a majorette in my mind.

The summer before tenth grade, the Senior High Band Leader gave me summer lessons.  I made him so angry that he would holler and get all red in the face.  He hollered at most of the kids, except for his favorites.  I had enough hollering in my life and when it came time to pick my classes for tenth grade..Band was not one of my choices. I was a band drop out.

Here is a photo of the Junior High Band in the1964/1965 school year.


Back then kids were placed according to their skill..there are 12 coronet players..I am eleventh out of twelve..My good friend Trudy wasn’t so hot either. ( I am in the fourth row second from the left.)  My very first date was with the young man in the last row 5th from the right..his name was Bobby he was a drummer, he used to come with his Mom to buy eggs at our place. See that gal in the second row on the left with the saxophone..she was in a band with her parents..she had natural talent.

We had uniforms..cantcha tell..dark skirts and white blouses/shirts. We had to have white tennis shoes for marching band..and dark colored pants..preferably black.

I often think back and wonder what made the Senior High Band Instructor so angry?  Did he get some weird perverted satisfaction from making young girls cry?  Well not me..I might have bawled afterwards but I would not give him the satisfaction of seeing me bawl during a music lesson:)

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  1. I was never musically enclined either! I ended up doing the flag twirling for the band. I love the old picture.

  2. Hee Hee -- I had Mr. Wood too! :) And the yelling man must have been Mr. Hagen - I liked him until I got braces then I couldn't play the trumpet worth a da__ so I became a band drop out too! But I loved marching band -- maybe not all of the practicing and work but it was fun!

  3. I never played an instrument and my sister was the majorette. Back in the day, when the teacher yelled we jumped. I probably would have cried right then. You were tough. As a Freshman, I did have the acclaim of being the only library assistant to ever be kicked out of the library.. permanently.. for talking to the boys. It was worth it..

  4. It's just a shame that your Senior High director acted so unprofessional. His behavior is just unacceptable to say the least.

    We had to opportunity to start in beginners band in the fifth grade. The High School Band had become so small they were goin' to pad it. By sixth grade I was marchin' with the High School Band and I'd still be there if they'd let me. I played the saxophone and took to it like a duck to water.

    I enjoyed readin' about your journey through your band years. I do believe those black and white outfits were the base of every group picture back then.

    God bless and have a glorious day sweetie!!!

  5. I played the bassoon and only knew about four notes that I played over and over again...

    You all look really smart!

  6. At least you got to play in a band. I couldn't get past the try outs. Tried over and over to blow into those stupid instruments and could not get out one single note. I was a try-out drop-out. I dreamed of being a majorette too. Wanted those boots with the tassel so badly. Didn't make it there either. I ended up with all the other rejects singing in the school chorus.
    FYI- sent you an email about the post signature you saw on my blog.

  7. Oh MY ! Another drop out. ME TOO! Same reason! Mr. Hagen got mad at me during the summer months between Jr and Sr. and I had to miss practice marching and a parade because I HAD to work. He told me not to come back. So I didn't. Oh oh! He had forgotten that I also played the only OBOE in concert band, and not the clarient like for marching. He begged me to come back! Can you believe that! Well, I didn't give him the satisfaction of going back!!!!!! I really loved band, so that was kind of too bad. lol

  8. I was first chair sax in sixth grade then I quit mid way when I got to Jr. High cuz the only other girl sax player was six six and two fifty (not really I suppose but it seemed like it). Then, in High School, all the fellas decided that a girl playin' the sax in a band was hot. Oh well. As far a psycho teachers, a visiting piano teacher used to whack my fingers when I didn't keep them properly bent, I was only about eight or nine and my mom just upstairs but not aware, not real big on sitting in front of a set of keys.

  9. I wasnt born yet back then sorry I am a 1966 baby ! But I remember my school days and I played the guitar and sang. Later in life young adult I was in a band, lead singer our bands name was Beauty & the Beats and we played in bars. My entire family are musically inclined, my father played the piano, organ and accordian , my mum played the organ , siblings play guitar, drums, neices and nephews sing and play insurments and my youngest son plays guitar and sax, hubby plays guitar and keybord ! wow thats alot of music ! Loved your post and photo ! Have a great day !

  10. Sounds like the guy had some "ISSUES" hahaaa...too bad he made it hell for some kids who really wanted to learn and just have fun...who knows? If you had someone who would've encouraged you more, you may have become some famous musician by now! :0}

  11. We had the same uniforms in junior high band and choir. Actually we wore that uniform in high school choir but we had REAL uniform coats in HS band. I played the clarinet. Your band picture could be our band picture - - - the hair styles, glasses, etc. I played all through high school.

  12. I was in choir -- but did play the base drum in 7th or 8th grade I think

    no uniforms.

    Maybe he thought tone deaf meant you were hard of hearing?

  13. I wasn't very musical, I just plonked the xylophone. Mostly I memorized the piece so I didn't have to try and read the music:)

  14. I had one of those angry band instructors. My take was that he probably had wanted to be a professional muscician and ended up instead teaching a bunch of children, some of whom were just in it for an easy credit, which must have drove him nuts too. My Mom found me an instructor outside the school and that's when I really started to learn something. I miss playing with other people.

  15. Mmmm. Maybe the band guy thought he was my football coach. Speaking of drummers after retirement, me and some of my teaching buddies would "discuss" some former students (yes we did!) and when a boisterous, ants in pants, now called hyperactive boys name came up, without further explanation the band teacher told us "he was a drummer in my band", we all knew how he acted in regular classrooms. Maybe you were lucky you didn't make the drumming line! :)


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