March 31, 2008

March flew by.  so fast we didn't have time to keep up in writing.  It started with a band trip to Florida for competition.  We took three minivans and left very early on Thursday morning, the 28th of February.  My van left a couple of hours behind the other two because I really don't like getting up before dawn and driving.  Nancy followed us in her car as far as Birmingham AL, and we dropped her car off there so she could pick it up there on the way back and return straight to Louisiana instead of Batesville first.  We were delayed a bit due to traffic in Atlanta.  And accident blocking the highway at rush hour.  More like a parking lot really.  Even so, we arrived not too long after the other vans, but late at night in Zephyrhills.

We had some free time on Friday to sleep in, and then had some lunch and visited with some friends and relatives who live nearby.  Then we met in the park where the games would be held and had a practice.  There was a Piobaireachd competition and a ceilidh on Friday evening.  Ken was the only competitor from Lyon, and Jimmy was one of the judges.  Ken played well, but wasn't in the prizes that evening.

Saturday morning only Ken, and Alfred Barrow represented Lyon in the light music solos.  Both made the prize list in at least one event.  The band spent much of the day in the Lyon tent gearing up for the afternoon competition.  We were invited to share in lunch prepared by the Harp and Thistle Pipe Band in the next tent, and it was greatly appreciated.  One of their pipers, Ryan Deschenes will be attending Lyon in the fall as a freshman and will be playing with the band.  We're very much looking forward to Ryan joining our community.

The band played that afternoon, but unfortunately did not fare so well as we would have liked.  Ken had a roaring drone due to a bass reed that had shaken loose a bit unbeknownst, and the drumming just wasn't as solid as it could have been.  We'll have it all in one sock for our next competition though.

The 15th was the Little Rock St. Patrick's Parade.  We formed up near the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette office and marched over to N. Little Rock, and then played a set at a local pub.  Wally Hightower was out front, and Vince Moore led the band as Jimmy was recovering from being under the weather.

March 17th found many of the band members in Hot Springs to once again march in the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade.  A good time was had by all, in spite of a drenching rain that came on unexpectedly.  Fortunately, it dampened the spirits of Mini-KISS.

The final weekend of March brought the Oklahoma Solo Piping Debate, and about half the pipers went over to compete.  We had a chance to visit with old friends, play some bagpipe, and talk to a few promising young pipers such as Nathanael Harvey and Andrew Powell about the possibility of their attending Lyon a couple of years down the road.


For the band - Ken