July 31, 2004

Not much has been written in the past weeks as we have all been out and about. No down time for the wicked.

At the beginning of the month I went back home to New Jersey for a 50th Anniversary celebration for my folks. A great time had by all. I was able to nail Gordie down for 5 minutes to do the streaming video lessons for the drum segment of the on-line video tutorials on the band website. Brother Donald had already done the same thing some months back, but the tape was misplaced somewhere, and had to be redone. These will all eventually tie in with the tutor book we will produce as time allows. Drumming will feature 50 or so lessons, and piping 100.

On July 4th Sunday, Kenton went up to Harding and gave a talk and demo for the folks at Spring River Presbyterian church. All went well from reports, and more band friends encountered.  He had played a funeral nearby in Cherokee Village the week before, and then provided all the music for a wedding in Springfield, MO the week after.

On the 6th, I attended a Kiwanis club meeting with the boss, WB Roettger. We seem to run into each other in the oddest places, as he is on the road as much, if not more than myself. Met a lot of very nice people at the Little Rock meeting.

Kenton and I played a few tunes for Cindy Chun's dad, a Wilson BTW, at her house on the 9th.  Our VP of Institutional Advancement Tim Bruner asked if we would have a blau  at the birthday party Cindy organized for him.  He and his wife lived not too far from me in Florida we found out, and now live in Boone, N C, which is Granfather Mtn. country.  Nice folks indeed.

A small contingent went to Izard County for their Christmas in July parade. This is sponsored by the local riders club (motorcycles), and benefits the kids. Always glad to help in the regard.  Boy howdie was it hot though.

On the 15th Kenton played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the Lyon Night festivities in Little Rock. This is for the Arkansas Travelers AAA team. We had quite a few of the ball clubs in Florida, and they are a lot of fun to attend. I stayed behind to work the troops at practice. Again, all went very well.  Some 150 Lyon alumni, faculty, staff, family, and friends were on hand to enjoy the picnic and game.  It was a first for both the Travs, and for Kenton.

On July 16-18 we ran our first Pipe Majors course. The goal here was to get some info across, and solidify ideas for recruitment, music selection, tone and tuning, and ensemble strategies. This was a dry run for next year's summer school here at the college.  Pipe Majors from bands in Arkansas and Oklahoma came for the two days worth of session on topics ranging from recruitment to running effective band practices, to set up on competition day.

The 20-22 was the IA (Institutional Advancement) retreat. We went to TimberRidge Lodge, an outstanding facility just outside town. The Pipers-Lers will know this place well, as they, along with several bands stay there during the festival in April.

July 23rd saw Serge Kuzin and his lovely bride Holly at the EMS convention in Hot Springs. Serge played a few tunes for them, with Amazing Grace being the most requested of course. Serge has been on the pipes for about a year now, and is doing great. A real musician.

Saturday, July 24th, my family and I had dinner over at Kenton's house, with his dad Lenard doing the ribs on the barbie. Absolutely outstanding food, with K Man's potato salad the usual big hit. It is always a pleasure to see Lenard out from CO.

Derrick Williams and I attended Dr. Wayne Stanfield's funeral on the 28th. He was a local doc from Newport, and judging from the turnout, will be much missed.

Finishing up the month was the OSP&D workshop in OKC.  We had a band with only a couple pipers and no drummers when we arrived, and left with the whole group playing simple 4/4's, and a new direction.  Magic.  They should be able to field a competition band by the time of the upcoming games in Tulsa come September.

For the Lyon summer contingent,

Jimmy Bell