Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

A strong vote for autumn

By Sally Y. Hayes

By SALLY Y. HAYES

Mt. Pleasant News

The air is getting chilly and the leaves are beginning to change color. Football season has commenced and pumpkins and marigolds are popping up on stands in front of stores. Jackets are seeing the light of day as they are taken out of closets.

Summer has ended; fall has arrived.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, the cool air, apple cider, pumpkins, the canvas of colors in the treetops and hometown football games are all highlights of the season for me. But it is not just the football game itself I enjoy; the marching band’s field show at halftime is a favorite of mine.

The past couple of weeks as I leave my house and move swiftly to my car with my hot coffee in my hand, when the construction is quiet I can hear the Panther marching band practicing at the high school.

I remember those days, on the field by 7:30 a.m. And that was if you were lucky enough to not be in sectional at 7 a.m. or earlier. Whether rain or shine, dew or fog you were to be on the field, instrument in hand ready to go for the next hour and a half.

I was a bit of a “band geek” during high school. I played the trumpet, the same one that my dad played when he was in the marching band at Wapello High School.

Now, not every “band geek” sits first chair or can play a scale out of the blue. Many of us enjoyed band, the competitions, the music and the camaraderie within the group. When you won a competition it was as a whole, when you lost it sparked determination.

You learned about music from Mr. DePriest, yes. But you also learned about teamwork and how to interact with others and how to push yourself. You learned time management and responsibility. All life skills that were hard to find in the textbooks housed in the maroon lockers of the high school’s hallways.

Time in band produced many friendships. My best friends were there with me suffering the heat of band camp in the summer, at practice 7:30 every morning before school, on the hot pavement of the parade routes and on the weekends at competitions. The friends I still keep in contact with and my current boyfriend were there for all of that.

Senior year I even got to endure it with my sister. Maya was a freshman in the pit that year, the year the MPCHS marching band performed its winning show “Wicked.”

They were there for the trophies and the number one ratings. They were there when sweat poured down our backs and our fingers froze to our brass instruments in October. They were there when I lost my shoe during a field competition – twice.

But now we all work full time, some attend college and graduate school, many have moved away. The days of seeing each other every morning on the dew covered field have passed.

Sometimes we’ll laugh about those days when we practiced the “Thriller” dance, or when someone was hit by a flag during practice, or how we used to hide Mr. D’s vital morning mug of coffee.

So, as football season begins and the leaves begin to change in the chilly autumn air, I kind of itch to get my silver trumpet out of its case and attempt a scale or two.