December 12, 2005

December has been everything from soup to nuts weather-wise. We have had our first snow of the year, followed by 65 degree weather. Not the best for pipes. The beginning of the month had a small group of dancers and yours truly playing for the Arkansas Office of Aging annual awards luncheon at Ferncliff, a Presbyterian retreat in the hills northwest of Little Rock. All went well. Dance instructor Brooke Hollis also played the harp. A very talented young lady indeed. The date was December 2nd, which is in fact Brooke's actual birth date. There has been some discussion in the past as to the actual date, as we seem top celebrate it at every opportunity. It's for the extra cake of course.

The following day we went to Heber Springs for their annual XMAS parade. A beautiful little town and a short parade as well. What could be better. Young Adler was in Virginia attending an EC meeting for the EUSPBA, and Tristen Dean went to NYC for a few days to take a Japanese language test for his trip next year to Japan, and visit with former professor, Robert Torchia. Both came back in one piece, although Tristen had a slight accent.

The following Monday was the annual Batesville XMAS parade. Wally Hightower was once again our resident Santa for that event, with the rest of the band donning their elf hats. Vinnie "Smalls" Moore felt it might give the wrong impression, and opted for the standard Glengarry worn at his preferred rakish angle. This was the first event for Dan Haney on the snare and he acquitted himself well. Dan intends to be a lawyer, or King someday, thus the use of the word acquitted.

We had another World's practice on the 10th which went very well indeed. The 11th saw the band performing at The Fowler Center in Jonesboro with the First Baptist Orchestra. We played in with Scotland the Brave followed by a beautiful rendition of Highland Cathedral. Really quite nice.

The remainder of the month will continue practices and lessons for the local folk and further planning for our NYC trip and Scotland trip. The '06 ASF, and Summer School plans are in full swing as well.

For the band,

Handsome Jimmy Bell