December 13, 2004
It's quieted down here over the last few days, but December started out in typical fashion. On Thursday night, the second, Jim and I played in Little Rock at the very elegant home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lyon, for a Christmas reception sponsored by Alumni and Admissions. It was a well-attended event. We stood outside the front doors and played as the guests arrived. It was great because we both literally took our pipes out of the box, stuck the bass drones together and struck in and we were pretty much in tune. Just a little spot tuning over the next half hour as the temperatures fell, and the pipes warmed up. There were live wolves roaming around inside the house, but fortunately no one was eaten.
I had to run off to Newark NJ for a meeting of the EUSPBA Executive Committee on the fifth.
Then on Tuesday night the band played the annual Batesville Christmas parade. It had been postponed from Monday, due to potential bad weather. It was clear on Tuesday night though, and just refreshingly nippy as it should be for Christmas. There was a record crowd lining Main Street, and one of the longest parades I've seen since moving to Batesville. Wally Hightower donned a Santa suit from the waist up, with Lyon tartan sash, and band uniform from the waist down. He cut an impressive figure as a Hielan' Santa.
The rest of us all wore elf hats with the obligatory jingle bells, and I think the parade audience really enjoyed our portion of the festivities.
We played our standard marching fare as we moved along the route. Any time the parade would pull up though, one or the other of us would light into Jingle Bells, or Oh Come All Ye Faithful or something. Jim and Tristen did a duet of The Arkansas Traveler a couple of times, and that seemed to be appreciated as well. I thought Fred Bowers had the "most realistic elf" look, with the striped hat that had ears sewn on to the sides. If you looked at the bass coming head on, it was sort of like a car coming down the road with the doors open.
The seniors in the band have been cut loose, in order that they might concentrate on their studies this final semester and ensure graduation with a good strong finish for their GPAs. Many thanks to Sister Kate Boyd, and Lance "Loveguns" Dorris for their contributions to the band. They are appreciated, and will be missed. We hope they'll still join us for the Mardi Gras trip, and for other alumni involvement in the future.
Christmas break is upon us, so most of the band has gone home for the holidays. A handful of us locals plan to get together for a practice or two over the next couple of weeks though. And Jim and I are playing the night of the 16th for a Boy Scout banquet, and then heading over to a local pre-school to recruit some young players on Friday morning.
Happy holidays to all. May 2005 find you healthy and happy, and your TV not broken like mine.
For the band,