I trust everyone had a splendid Thanksgiving holiday, a chance to unwind and replenish. Mine was an extraordinary week spent in New York City, witnessing our son march in the Macy’s parade. There was so much to cram into just a few days, but we managed to explore the 9/11 Museum—an experience that was both humbling and emotionally stirring. Additionally, we relished a night cruise featuring the Statue of Liberty and savored the cityscape from the vantage point of Top of the Rock. However, the pinnacle of the week was undoubtedly watching our son Chase and his fellow OTHS band members showcase their exceptional musical talents, captivating the crowd as they marched down 6th Street. (Though admittedly, securing a spot on the corner of 6th and 42nd, while not optimal for parade viewing, required us to arrive more than 2 hours early!)
Reflecting on my music career, particularly on marching band experiences in the South, I realize that what these kids do to prepare—like our son’s dedication to the OTHS band for three years—far surpasses the rigor I encountered. For three summers now, he has devoted 12-hour days to marching band camp. In the summer heat? That level of commitment is awe-inspiring. There were moments when understanding the value of dedicating so much time seemed challenging, but his perseverance has been immensely rewarding.
Music has bestowed numerous opportunities upon me—be it assuming leadership roles well before my military service, expressing my creativity, or, as a stark lesson, reminding me that practice truly does make perfect. I can vividly recall a pitiful solo on the 50-yard line due to lack of practice, an experience that remains etched in my memory over 30 years later.
I am profoundly grateful for my wonderful family, amazing friends, supportive coworkers, and the many positive aspects of my life. Equally, I am thankful for the incredible opportunities available to our children in the O’Fallon community—our son’s involvement in the OTHS Band and our daughter’s participation in OTHS Cheer.
Here’s to the final month of the year! I hope everyone has a fantastic December, eagerly anticipating what 2024 has in store.
If you would like to see their performance at the end of the parade here is the link and they start about the 2:03:50 mark
Photo Credits – Jack McVickar
- Featured Image – OTHS Band from our viewpoint on 6th and 42nd – Chase is highlighted in the red arrow within the drumline.
- Pano Shot of our viewing of the parade on 6th and 42nd
- Brooklyn Bridge – loved the American Flag centered on the bridge
- Photo of the Statue of Liberty – While I would have loved to explore its interior, witnessing it at night from the water was a magical sight.
- Top of the Rock – Tammy and I posing on the top of the Rockefeller Center
- Aladdin Musical on Broadway – Tammy, Rylee and I enjoying a great Disney show of Allaidain
- The Survivor Tree – amazing story about this tree and the efforts of the community to save it as part of the museum