Don#039;t slam your finger on the snare drum

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2006

It was icy cold as the shivering band members would huddle close together and try to get warm. We'd stand in the freezing winds as we waited to line up and get ready for the Christmas parade. We would be nervous and excited all at the same time.

When it was that cold, I always felt sorry for the majorettes who were about to freeze to death in their bathing-suit outfits. Those in the color guard had those fancy silk skirts and tops and high, white boots. I thought they always looked really sharp.

For the rest of the band members, we had those stiff, scratchy uniforms with the ascot that never stayed in place, or the belt that always came untied.

And, of course, the shoes. Who could ever forget the band shoes? You know, those white shoes that required a coating of white shoe polish before every halftime performance?

But, back to the parade.

I always loved to march in the Greenville Christmas parade. You wanted everything to go perfectly, but it didn't always. Someone would drop a baton, or someone would miss a really loud and obvious note. It seems like one year, someone marched right out of his shoe.

The Greenville Academy Marching Tornado Band was not a huge band, but for six years, I played the snare drum, and I loved it. Most of it, anyway.

When it came to playing on a cold December day for the Christmas parades, the one thing you really didn't want to do was slam your right index finger down on the edge of the drum against the steel rim. Boy, did that hurt. And stingŠ..I thought I would die for at least 30 seconds after each time that happened. Of course, it went right along with the huge bruise on my right knee from where my drum constantly banged against it. I kept that bruise throughout the entire football season each year.

We had Rusty Edwards, Lora Watson, Debra Tutchtone and the late Van Gillem leading us on trumpets. Van was such a wonderful person, and he is very much missed.

We always had fun in the drum section with John Hopkins, Cara Thompson, Renee Turner, Jan Tucker, Deanna Moore, and my classmate Gary Stewart, who went on to play the drums in a professional band.

My best friend, Lynn Duncan, was in the color guard, so she got to swing around that cool looking flag, along with our classmate Cindy Brown, plus Michelle Thompson, Dianne Stokes, Rozi Mosley and Jane Richburg, just to name a few.

We had a lot of good times being in the band. It's supposed to be cold this Saturday, so band members, I'll be thinking about you shivering through the Christmas parades. Just remember, you're making some great memories.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: