What an evening.
I am probably a contradiction--I hunt, I fish, I love being in the woods, I was once a real live Green Beret...but I have also played musical instruments and marched with them most of my life. I was six when my overachieving father demanded I start taking music lessons. I didn't even really know what I wanted to play, but I told him I'd play the "long black thing" (I'd seen someone play it on TV the night before). That was the kickoff of a life-long love affair with the clarinet.
I played clarinet every opportunity I had--community band, school band, seven straight years of all-county band, western Maryland regional band, Baltimore Colts (remember them?) marching band. I also picked up the tenor saxophone (dirty secret--it's easy for clarinet players to pick up the sax and the flute) for jazz band and musical plays. I even played wth the school orchestra. I also picked up the bass baritone bugle and played with four different drum and bugle corps over the years. I still play baritone bugle in parades and so forth to this day.
Don't get me wrong--I was never particularly good, but I was and am passionate about it.
This evening was the final day of band camp at my son's high school and they presented an exhibition for the parents. Given the history I've presented, you can imagine the emotions I felt as he stepped off the line and took the field with the band.
Fortunately, the field faces west, into the setting sun, and it was quite hot, so I was able to ummm, wipe my brow periodically. Just sweat on my brow...