1. Sometimes we wish we could hit the rewind button. Talk about an experience that you would do over if you could.
There are things I wish I could do over and change the outcome for the better. There are things I wish I could relive again and again and again and reclaim that feeling I had at that very moment when I was riding high on the wave of success.
High school was not the best time of my life. There were plenty of things I could complain about but the highlight of my life at that time was music and being in the band. That was my entire world.
I went to a high school of about 300 students. There were 57 in my graduating class, if I remember correctly. Of the 300 kids in the high school – nearly half were in the high school band. We were a Class C school from a small town in Northeastern Wisconsin. But the Crivitz High School Band was one of the best bands in the area. We had people coming to the football games not only for the football but to see the Crivitz Marching Wolverines perform the half time field show. Our band was on the map. And to be in the band was a huge source of pride in our school at the time. I could go on and on about the things we did, the places we performed. Such good times. Such a wonderful experience…
I remember how I felt back in high school at the senior awards banquet when I received my Louis Armstrong Award. I had just returned from my college clarinet audition at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I passed with flying colors. I made it into their High Honors Band and High Honors Music Theory. Mom and I stopped at school on my way home so I could see Mr. Berndt, my band teacher, and tell him how the audition went. I remember the pride in his eyes when he heard how well I’d done. It was one of those days where I felt weightless. Where everything was going my way and nothing could bring me down. Everything I had hoped to achieve was happening. I was on my way.
Later that night at the banquet as Mr. Berndt was getting ready to introduce the winner of the Louis Armstrong Award (which I did not know I was going to receive) he told the audience about my audition and how proud he was of me and all I had done and all I would accomplish in the future. I don’t remember much about that night other than that utter thrill of happiness and excitement at being noticed and recognized for my musical ability.
I received other awards that night but what I remember most was the pride in my mom’s eyes and the feeling that I had earned this recognition through my own talent and hard work. It was mine and not something my dad could claim for himself or take ownership of as he so often tried to do with everything else in my life.
It was also a testament to the kind of teacher our band director was and how he was able to bring out the very best in those of us who were fortunate to be in the band and to have him for our teacher.
I know you can’t go back in time. I know it’s not healthy to live in the past. But if I could go back to one night, I definitely wish I could relive that particular one.