Friday Photo Flashback

Time for another edition of the Friday Photo Flashback. Today, we go back to May of 1987 to the annual Band Banquet.

I stumbled on the above photo in a stack of pictures from my dad. I realize that the photo is a bit blurry, but if you look carefully, you will see that I have a conductor’s baton sticking in my shirt collar. This was just one of many things our band director, Tom Shaner, used to do.

If you are not familiar with the story, I blogged about it when Mr. Shaner passed away. Here is an excerpt from that blog:

My junior year of high school, the band officers were discussing the agenda for the annual Band Banquet. We needed one more speech, so I said I’d get up and do an imitation of Mr. Shaner. That night I was nervous. I got up and started my speech by saying “The longer you’re in band, the more Mr. Shaner starts to grow on you…” with that I ducked under the podium and threw on a bald cap. I then put a baton in the back of my shirt collar like he did. I “yelled” about how nobody practiced, talked about retiring and some of the other things he used to say. As the laughter died down, I realized I hadn’t written an “out”. I went on to thank Mr. Shaner for the many times he opened his office to listen to me talk about life, and issues I was dealing with. I don’t recall all I said, but I got pretty emotional and ended by telling him I loved him. He got up and we hugged. Somewhere I have a picture of that moment.

I actually found that photo, too!

Back to the first photo. We did our band banquets at this little VFW Hall every year. I remember the sound system being just awful. If you touched the microphone the wrong way, it became all static and no one could understand what you were saying. The set up for the banquet was pretty much the same every year. The officers all sat up front and each of us had a responsibility. Some gave out awards, others gave out letters, some introduced speakers, etc.

As I look at this photo, Joe is wearing sunglasses to my right. I can’t remember exactly why he was wearing them. He may have had his eyes dilated or something. To my left is our band president (who sadly just passed away unexpectedly) Ingrid. You really can’t see her, however, it looks like she is covering her face. I guess I’d like to think she’s covering her face saying to herself, “Oh my gosh, why did we let him talk!?” To her left is Ron, our second drum major. I love that he is cracking up in the picture. His laugh was so boisterous!

This is one of those times I wish I still had the video of this, or at least a panoramic picture of the officer’s table. There was a lot of laughter that year, and Mr. Shaner waited a full year to get me back. You can read about that and him here:

These two photos remind me of such a fun time. Those band banquets were such fun. After dinner and all of the awards and speeches, there was a live band that played music all night. There was plenty of dancing and many laughs. It was always a very special night for us.