The Band

The hubby didn’t think I saw the band at first, but I did. And it made me smile. We were on the way to the Grand Canyon and had stopped for the night in Williams, Arizona. The band was a group of kids in Civil War uniforms. The drummer trotted to keep up as they marched around town. They were playing Civil War tunes. “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” “Dixie.” Did you know that “Dixie” was written in New York? I do. Now.

Whenever I see a brass band, I think of our son, which makes me smile, of course. He started playing trumpet in the fifth grade. I wasn’t sure he was serious, especially when I found out he was skipping band. Classes were held during recess. If you were in the fifth grade, which would you pick?

Stick with it he did, though. After graduating with a degree in music education, he promptly…went into the Marine Corps, playing bugle in the Commandants’ Own Drum and Bugle Corps. Now you can see why the band made me think of him.

Anyway, the leader of the little band was the local high school band director. Which our son could have been. Somewhere. If he had been, he would have put in a lot of hours past the thirty-five or so most people think teachers work. He would have done what he could to help his students. Just like the director of the Williams band. This little band plays Sunday-Thursday , 5:30-7:30. The band director helped them make CDs of their music, which they sell to the crowd to help build the band’s college fund.

After the band played, there was a gunfight. Seems the Cataract Creek Gang had come to town and was causing a ruckus. The sheriff was the narrator of this little western saga, and along with some dancing to bullets, there was a lot of laughter.

That was my little slice of Williams, Arizona. Obviously, the town is making the most of its history for the entertainment of its tourists, many of whom probably just stay one night, like we did. Williams is on historic Rt. 66, so there’s a lot of 50s memorabilia there. There are also a lot of Indian crafts. There’s even a train that you can ride to the Grand Canyon. But when I think of that little town, I will remember the band director, working to help “his kids.” get ahead. What he is doing just goes to show that pioneer spirit is still alive today.


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June 2007
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