Monday, May 3, 2010

In the beginning, there was the Word...

...and the Word was with blog and the Word was blog. (No offense.)

Because it is not enough that I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace, I have found yet another way to get into YourFace—Spotsylvania's Marching Knights.

As many of you know, I am from a rural county outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia, named after British Lt. Col. Alexander Spotswood. Largely due to the absence of Wikipedia in my youth, I did not know anything about Spotswood beyond his last name until just now when I Googled it. What I did know was that my father drove me roughly 20 miles on winding country roads to get me to my Monday evening piano lessons—45 minutes in each direction—so that Mrs. Massey could run me through 30 minutes of James Bastien. We used to hang our heads out the car window and "moo" at the cows to pass time. Sometimes we'd sing along with some of my dad's favorite musicians, like David Gates or James Taylor. Usually Mrs. Robinson, wearing her bandana and standing with one fist on her hip, would wave from the porch of her candy store. Every Monday from elementary school through my sophomore year of high school we did this. My father is a kind and patient man.

Another thing that I knew was that anyone who knew anything about where they lived, relied on our high school fight song to spell the name of our county. You could see it on people's mouths at the bank or the DMV, whenever it came time to fill out their address forms: S! P! O! T! S! Y! L!—V-A-N-I-A! If you were on the inside, and you watched closely, you could see people laughing at themselves after habitually mouthing the word "FIGHT!" after chanting the letters— a common and local compulsion.

Marching band was a Big Deal in my world. The very youngest of four children (Girl ... Boy, Boy ... ... ... Girl), almost everything my older siblings did was of epic proportion to me. When Christi played clarinet (or was she a majorette? why do I remember her having a painfully cool baton??) all of the girls seemed so very very with their cigarettes and their band room. And when David played Bugler's Holiday with the veritable boy's club of first trumpets under direction of Mr. Millhouse, my 10-year old mind could not have fathomed a world larger and more powerful than the one compressed into those rotating, expanding, and contracting "boxes" that snapped into exhilarating "company fronts."

Have I lost you yet? Watch this Santa Clara Vanguard action and get nailed at the 7th second:

And so now, decades into my musical journey but only just beginning the expedition into my own musical voice, I launch said expedition with a blog named in honor of where it all started: Spotsylvania's Marching Knights.

I hope you'll stay for the show.

1 comment:

  1. I've missed your writing, so of course I welcome any new venture you may take...

    However, I must take exception to one small point of your first post... Spotsy certainly has plenty of rural parts, and the percentage of those parts that were rural during your time here is certainly greater than it is today... despite all that, I would classify Spotsylvania County as suburban not rural!

    There are lots of counties in Virginia that are indeed rural, my home county of Essex, for one, where just a scant 20 some years ago, our only option from the telephone company for service was a real honest-to-goodness party line... And there are even more-rural counties the farther west you go...

    But I suppose compared to where you are now, even the must civilized parts of today's Spotsylvania County, may seem rural. I guess it's all relative.

    One small disclaimer: I live in the city of Fredericksburg, not the county, so it doesn't really matter to me... :-)