“Please arrive at the band room in the high school at 10 AM to be fitted for your band uniform.”
It was with no small amount of excitement that my son awaited fulfilling this invitation. For three years he had been playing the saxophone - the one owned by my brother who passed away when Stephen was just six. Now he was 14 and entering high school, which meant Marching Band.
Now, let me give a little background into my son’s thinking at the time. When he was in 7th grade, he came home from school one day and announced that he had decided where he wanted to go to college. His choice? Well, Yale. Or Florida State University! Hmmm…curious choice. Why? Well, Yale was his first choice, but it was very expensive, so FSU was his second choice because he could be in the Marching Band!
Now, the morning arrives and we arrive early as usual and wait our turn for his “fitting.” Others are walking up and getting their uniforms, and Stephen is just standing there, waiting patiently. Finally, I suggested he ask when his turn might be, since many had come and gone as he stood quietly by. So, he mustered up his courage and asked when he was to be fitted. The lady looked at him and asked his name. She looked it up and told him to come right along, all the while apologizing. She thought he was a “little brother” of one of the high school students!
Well, suffice to say, there were no uniforms small enough for him, (he was a whopping 4' 9" and weighed about 75 lbs) so he had to have one altered. It was a long day, but he was ONE HAPPY CAMPER when we walked out of the band room, uniform in hand. A quick trip to the shoe store for the requisite black shoes and he was “stylin’!” (Oh, yeah!!!)
And of course, the thrill of the uniform was short lived. He grew to hate wearing “the chicken,” as they referred to their plumes, as much as all the other kids….but in the beginning…well, you know, I already told you…he was thrilled!