The Chapel Hill High Marching Tigers had a great performance at the Wakefield “Heart of Carolina” competition on Saturday, 10/7. We were 2nd in the AAA class, and we had 6 first and 2 second places in the individual recognition areas. It was a long day! We went early for the fesitival (a 2nd performance opportunity), getting there at about 2PM. We got back to Chapel Hill High at 1AM, and then had to unload and put away gear. Way past my bedtime, but fun to hang with my Pit Crew buddies!
My youngest son, Jeff, passed his Eagle Scout board of review Tuesday night, 10/2, and has now joined both me and his older brother in achieving Boy Scouting’s highest rank. I’m quite pleased! I was Jeff’s scoutmaster for much of his scouting career (I’ve just passed that on, as I “retire” from scout unit leadership). Scouting, Marching Band, and Karate have been big things for Jeff. Now, he can focus on trying to finish his black belt in karate.
So while I was laid out with my tick fever (see the previous post), the CHHS Marching Band went to the Bulldog Band Bash at the Southeast Raleigh High School for its first competition. I’m the president of the CHHS Band Boosters, and the Pit Crew Organizer. However, with me being flat on my back, the Pit Crew was going to have to do this one without me. And did they ever! The band was great, finishing with a superior rating and first or second out of 7 bands in class in each graded area. This is our best start in a long time! And that Pit Crew? They won the “best Pit Crew award,” of course. One of the guys called me about 9AM this morning and brought the trophy by. We’re going to rotate it, sorta like they do in the NHL with the Stanley Cup ;-). To help me convalesce, they brought it to me first!
September brings cooler (slightly) weather, and the beginning of high school marching band season. I’m the President of the Chapel Hill High School Band Boosters, and last night was the first outing for the band, at the Chapel Hill High football game. My youngest son Jeff plays Trombone for the band. CHHS lost the football game, but it wa close, with a pass going thru the receiver’s hands as the clock ran out. The Band sounded great! I’m hopeful we’ll have a good band season!. Expect many more band posts here in this blog as the fall goes on…
From the pause of the holidays, to full speed ahead! Things are really getting in gear at work and at home. It’s time for a new semester, which is always fun. I’ve always enjoyed the sense of a new beginning, both as a student and as an instructor. I’ve got another small group (15 students) for my systems analysis class, which is a nice number. Enough for good group dynamics but small enough to really engage everyone. It’s a busy time at my “day job” at MCNC as well, as we are in the throws of a strategic planning process, as well as getting ready to enter budget planning season.
On the home front, Scouts are busy (heading to Washington, DC on a trip tomorrow), though I’m stepping down as scoutmaster after 6 years to hand the mantle to one of my compatriots. After being a scoutmaster and a cubmaster for several years before that, I’m ready to step back from the “front-man” role. My youngest son, Jeff, is working on his Eagle project, restoring parts of an old cabin at Moorefields Plantation near Hillsborough, NC. Hope to finish by early February.
High School band is still moving on (I’m president of the band boosters) but as Jeff is not in the winter club ensembles, my personal involvement is not as great as in marching season.
Nothing of great substance here; just wanted to post a few fresh bits…
Today is a beautiful day here in central NC. Carolina blue skies, 70 degrees, and a fresh breeze. Jan and I finished breakfast, loaded the dogs into the truck, and left the high schooler slumbering in bed (after a late night return from a Marching Band competition). We drove about a dozen miles to Eno River State Park. The dogs (both chocolate labs) were quite excited. Anakin, the 10-year old, has been to Eno many times and knew exactly where he was. Lessa, who is only 7 months, is always excited ;-). We left the truck at 10AM, and walked in over the swinging bridge across the river and headed up the Cox Mountain Trail. This is just about as close to hiking in the mountains as you’ll find in piedmont NC…Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough is also pretty, but not as nice a walk, as it’s not as remote or long a trail as Cox Mountain (about a 5 mile loop). Up and over the steep part of the mountain, and we headed down to the little ravine where there’s a wet-weather rivulet that runs into the river. Lessa caught the scent of water and ran ahead to find a small pool and splash around. We headed down the trail to the river, running low as we’re in a moderate drought here now. The dogs love the water, especially Lessa, who jumped into the river from the bank about 4 feet up, without worrying about how she’d get back out. She will fetch sticks until she drops. You know the old adage about age and cunning beating youth and strength? Well, I’d throw a big stick into the water, and Lessa would swim across the river to get it (about 50-60 feet) and Anakin would catch up with her coming across, and grab the stick and the two would then swim back with it together, sometimes one ending up with it and sometimes the other.
It’s a small world sometimes, and as we were throwing sticks, we saw a friend from Scouts, whose sons have graduated from my troop . Had a nice conversation, as he was recount the joys of now having sent both his kids out of the house and off to college, etc. It seems that the week after the last one left, he and his wife headed to Australia for a month.
Hiked back away from the river, and Lessa was whining to get back to the water. We thought we’d let her play under the bridge for a while on the way out, but it was noon now, and there were far too many folks and other dogs in the park for that.
If you go to Eno, be sure to walk away from the parking lot a bit. There are several trails where you’ll only see a handful of folks.
Back home now, sipping a bit of Moscato on the patio. A nice way to spend an autumn day.
Took a vacation day on Wednesday 9/28, and drove up to the Virginia mountains with my fishing buddy Sam. We’d been trying to get a chance to get out out of town, and finally our schedules intersected. Got a late start, as I had to drive my son to school (early period marching band, before the buses run), so we didn’t leave Chapel Hill until about 8AM. A couple of stops for coffee, and we got to our destination in the hills near the conflux of the James & Maury rivers around 11:30. I first tried a size 14 caddis that had worked for me in the summer when I first fished this stream, and that was too big. I was not getting the rises, but Sam was having good success on a size 16 parachute adams, with a zelon tail. I scored a couple of flies from him, and we were both catching fish. Nice brookies in the plunge pools, beautiful colors, with the fish mostly in the 7″-9″ range, which is quite a lot of fun on the light rods we were using. I was using a 00-wt Sage TXL, and Sam had his 1-wt Scott. We fished upstream until about 3PM, each of us catching about 20 trout. Wonderful weather, wonderful fishing. Then, we headed back to my truck, and drove over to the Maury River, and got our 7 wt rods to try for some smallmouth bass. The Maury was low and as clear as a trout stream, and we were optimistic. However, the fish were hard to find. We each finally picked up a couple of smallies each, ~10″, both using Shenks white streamers. A great steak in Lynchburg on the way back was a great way to finish the day.
On Friday, 9/23/05, the Chapel Hill High School Marching Band opened its fall season with a trip to the CHHS-East CHHS football game (wich the CHHS Tigers won, 14-0). Along with Scouts, this is where I spend the rest of my free time. My oldest son spent 4 years with the band, and now my youngest son is a sophomore there. I’m in the Pit Crew, and I usually drive the equipment trailer.
The band was ready to go!
If you want the whole experience, here’s a low-res video of the first number of the performance from my hand-held still camera…sorry about that background noise, but the Pit Crew was standing by the East bleachers…