My years in the Bay High band, I always thought the big event of cool autumn Friday nights was halftime at Tommy Oliver Stadium. Until the evening I asked my friend Philip if he'd liked our show and he said, “Nobody watches y’all during halftime, everybody goes down to the refreshment stand for a coke and talks,” it never occurred to me that for some folks the evening was about football.
Same age and class, Philip Whitehead, my friend from Camp Weed, was in the Leon band at the time, and we always visited briefly. And on the west side, Jack Dennis from Christ Church, Pensacola, who was my best friend at summer camp all our growing up years together, was in the Pensacola High School band and we always managed to get together for a while whether the game was Home or Away. Jack's mother was dead, and he, his father, and his brother George rented rooms upstairs in a house two blocks from my grandparents, a home on 12th Avenue across from Sacred Heart where a sign out front said "Caladiums." During his teen years my father had played football for both Pensacola and Bay High, but we band nerds looked down on football players as animals. Sweaty, nasty, smelly animals. I reckon it’s all POV, one’s perspective.
When grandson Ray was playing football for Bay, we made all the games, and I watched Ray playing center, but what caught me was hearing the band strike up. So, seeing Caroline in the Lincoln band not only steals my heart away, but takes me back into the ages of ages. Some bits of life just never fade.