I’m not sure how many grandmothers my age can say that their mother is a drummer in a band. I don’t think I ever say it without getting a huge grin across my face. But . . . Gr8 is a drummer and today is Independence Day in the United States – a very busy day for drummers, bands, and those who love parades.
Goodnight’s great-grandmother has TWO parades on her schedule today, in fact. Luckily the schedule works out for the band. They are an early unit in the first parade and a late unit in the second. They will need the time because they have to pack up their instruments and take a drive to get to the second event. They do it every year. And everyone in the band is over the age of 60. That’s the minimum age requirement to join. In fact, most members are a decade past that already, and Gr8 is . . . umm . . . even further than that. The gal she’s driving with is four years older than Gr8.
I love it! I am going to take Goodnight to watch her Gr8 in the second parade today. It’s my committment to their relationship. I want Goodnight to attend one concert and one parade each summer for as long as Gr8 wants to play.
It’s a love story, really. Gr8 didn’t grow up playing an instrument. My dad did. He played the flute and piccolo – beautifully. He didn’t use it for his career, but when he heard about the band, he kept it in mind for when he reached the age of 60.
He played with the band, went to rehearsals, etc, and mom kept him company. She finally decided that she’d like to be in the band with him, so she took drum lessons. I think she was in her 70′s when she started.
Her wish came true. She joined the band and joined dad in parades and concerts. They were able to do that three years together before dad had to stop.
Goodnight was pretty young at the time, but I took her to see them both. Not many of us get know our great-grandparents and I wanted Goodnight to have that opportunity.
Great-grandpa has been gone for eight years now, but Gr8 still plays. Goodnight and I attended one of the band’s concerts last week.
In the photo below, there are four drummers. They are all at the back of the band: two men and two women. Gr8 is the woman whose face you can see. The other gal had her music stand up high.
The people in the audience are standing because the band started their concert with The Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem
During another piece, I snuck around the back of the band to catch a photo of Mom playing. I didn’t want her to see me because it would have made her nervous and I didn’t want to do that. But I also wanted to send a couple of pix to my sibs. They live too far away to attend, so I send pix.
You can also see a playground in the background of the photo above. That’s where Goodnight always watches that particular concert. It’s close and I can see her, but she can hear the music, too.
So . . . we’re off to a parade today. Patriotic somethings on for clothing, parade chairs curbside, camera at the ready, and our best cheers reserved for the oldest band in the parade!
Happy Independence Day, America!