My Favorite Graffiti

In Musical Memory

As Stephen Colbert might ask, with one eyebrow earnestly raised, “Great graffiti. . . or greatest graffiti ever?”

Marching band season began with a meeting and rehearsal last night.  This will be my 10th season as a band mom.  Jim was both the unofficial band doctor and an official band photographer.  He tremendously enjoyed both roles, and left me with an archive of thousands of photographs from marching band and concert band seasons.

Invariably, Memorial Day would be unbearably humid–worst at parade time, as the marchers gathered in clusters and practiced in a steaming parking lot.  Band members’ discomfort would be heightened–if not made intolerable–by their long-sleeved black uniforms.  Jim would walk along briskly, both his doctor’s bag and his camera bag slung over his right shoulder.

At parades, from careful past observation he knew when he had to stand guard at a particular corner.  For example, he deduced the precise spot where, rounding a sharp corner, one flutist reliably would fade to white, crumple, and need to be taken out of the lineup for hydration.   Continue reading “My Favorite Graffiti”

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