Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Kids in the Band

This is in Alaska. I'm, oh gosh, 14 or 15, and Tootie is 13 or 14. The band there was a big part of our lives. We were very proud of our uniforms, which were wool. Tootie was first clarinet and I played the snare drum. Our band leader, Mr. Plumly (Did I spell that right, Liz?) was a man of immense energy and considerable charisma. He came into town like a whirlwind sometime about my freshman or sophomore year and made the band into something excellent. I enjoyed my time with the band. Occasionally, Mr. Plumbly (how's that spelling?) would stop in practice, look at the back of the room, point his baton at me, and ask, "What are you doing back there, building a house?" I was always chastened by this but never knew precisely what he meant or what I was doing wrong. I have no idea who was sitting on the couch to my right. Poor person got cropped right out.


Liz Adair said...

The person to your right was Patty Schaeffer. And the spelling was Plumbley. Leo Plumbley, I believe, but he went by Lee. He was also an artist--did pictures of the crucifixion in very splashy, impressionistic, charcoal. He smoked a pipe, and on occasions where he grabbed my clarinet to show me how a passage should be played, it was singularly unpleasant to play after him. I never was brave enough to wash off the mouthpiece.

Liz Adair said...

Don't you love the hairdo? That's from pincurls. It's a lost art, putting your hair up in pincurls. You swirled them around your index finger and held them fast with a bobby pin. If you did it right they were very neatly held with one bobby pin. That was before the advent of rollers.