by Robert Moore
This is a true story. Only the facts have been changed to amuse the reader. Any attempts to verify the story will be futile.
The Appalachia High School Tricky Sixty marching band majorettes were always a beautiful and talented group of young ladies. They marched ahead of the main band, just behind the drum major (majorette), and delighted the crowds lining the streets with their attractive outfits and baton twirling skills. Sometimes it seemed the rest of us in the band simply went along to provide supporting music for their routines!
As a Clarinet player, I was usually positioned far back in the band formation, and could “enjoy” little of what was happening out front. About all I could see was the music in the little stand attached to my horn, and occasionally a glimpse of the person either beside or in front of our line. My preference, of course, would have been to march on the front line which was usually occupied by the trombone players or other brass instruments. But still it was fun to hear the music from the “inside out” and march to the beat of the drums in back, punctuated by the steady sound of the bass horns.
The band, under the direction of Mr. Flanary, was a direct reflection of his creative skills and leadership. We were a close knit group, always working hard to do our best, as did all the bands over the years at Appalachia High School. No challenge was too great, or music too hard for us to attempt. The reputation of the Tricky Sixty marching band became etched in the hearts and minds of the graduates, families, and other residents of the area. One would think there was no room for improvement in the band, but one day I had a concept for Mr. Flanary to consider. He was always open to new ideas, or so I thought. This is a recollection of our private meeting discussion.
“So, what is this new idea you have for the band”, Delmas asked.
I carefully started by making it clear that I thought our current majorette group was great, and added, “I think we can do something to boost the band by adding a layer between the drum major and the line of majorettes”.
“What are you thinking to do, add a line of flag girls?”
“No, we could include two more majorettes. One would be in a sequined blue outfit and be called the blue girl. The other would wear a matching gold outfit, and be the gold girl. We could even paint the ends of the batons in matching colors. The blue girl should have blonde hair and the gold girl should be a brunette. Doesn’t that sound cool”?
The only thing cool at the time was the expression on Mr. Flanary’s face. He realized that I was serious about this, so he tried to let me down easy.
“Moose, I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into this. I’ll bet you even have a couple of candidates in mind. But I must tell you that doing what you propose would cause a lot of conflict with the other majorettes, not to mention their parents and trainer. Don’t you like the outfits our girls wear now”?
“Sure”, I stammered. “I just thought we could spice things up a bit”.
A grin returned to Mr. Flanary’s face. “Oh, things would get spiced up, for sure. But I think the heat would rise to a point that the pot would soon boil over”. Seeing that I was “crushed” by his rejection, he continued. “Have you decided where you might go to college yet”?
Wondering why he would ask such a question, I awaited his continuing comments. “Maybe consider the University of Michigan. They have our colors, and the idea may be more acceptable to the band director up there. I’m afraid you are thinking a little ahead of yourself.”
I took his remark to mean, move on to something else as there was very little chance I would ever attend that university. Needless to say, I kept this “great idea” a secret from the rest of the band.
Fortunately, for me, Delmas never discussed the subject with any of the other band members. Or, did he?