Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Keeping Up Appearances

My apologies to my faithful fans. You’re a handful, but you’re all I’ve got!

Last week was a hectic week, and one thing led to another. Because I had a photo engagement at the Waldorf-Astoria, I had to drop one of my band rehearsals off my schedule. Charles being more persnickety than Roger, I had to skip Tuesday night band rehearsal.

Only we had a concert this weekend. Because I wasn’t there at rehearsal, I didn’t get all my music. Since I then only had two numbers to play, I spent more time photographing the event than playing for it.

Which was a lucky thing because it was a gorgeous (if very hot for May) day, and I got some lucky shots in that I wouldn’t have been able to take if I’d been playing. Besides, while most of the band got to play in the shade, I was stuck out in the sun, and when you have silver bells playing in the sun is not something you want to do.

At least not without those special dark glasses that welders wear.

I had all sorts of things I wanted to write about the Waldorf and the illegal immigration rhubarb, my brother’s gal-friend’s exceptional cooking skills, and today’s concert and why small-town America is so important.

Having to take so many photos forced me to finally download long-neglected photos from my card, some from last summer at the N.J. Firemen's Parade ins Wildwood. So here are some photos to share.

This young lady is a talented musician – and chatterbox.  

So is this young lady.  If I had two advanced degrees in the biological sciences, I wouldn’t be able to shut up, either. She graduated h.s. at 16 and college, at 19. Advanced education pays. Minorities, please take note. She’s also an exceptional photog.

Speaking of photographers, I sure was glad to see these folks at the Waldorf-Astoria. More on this tomorrow.

A perfect day for a
photo-op. A co-worker
had just been mentioning
that I should get out in the
sun more and take photos.

My poor neglected bells are off to the right here. Mercifully, most of the band got to sit in the shade. Only the poor, long-suffering percussion section got stuck out in the sun. Well, our courageous director, Roger, sucked it up.

A Civil War re-enactor
showed me some “vacation”
pictures from a re-enactment
his group took part in in
North Carolina. The photo
in his hand got a little
flashed-out, but it’s a tinfoil
type of his group.

Pequannock’s mayor and town council pledging their allegiance at the dedication of their train station, which now serves as the historical museum.

Congressman Rodney
Frelinghuysen made a
brief appearance.

In the background is where
the railroad used to run and
where my bcf Gracie and I
and our siblings used to hike.

And of course, we mustn’t forget about the band!

Our “Trombone Kings”! Dave, in the back
there, is looking a little worried. He and
I are in a friendly contest to see who can
take more photos of the band. But he’s
got a lot of catching up to do; I’ve been
at it a lot longer than he has. And I’ve
got a bigger camera. 

This fellow has at least
seven tubas at home, in
addition to his other
brass instruments, and one
very strange-looking
double-bell euphonium
he made himself. One
day, he’ll start his own
tuba museum.

And finally, our percussion section.


Pete (on bass drum)

and Re-Pete (on cymbals)

The cross and the horn on this re-enactor's hat meant that he would have done triple-duty during the Civil War. He was a rifleman, a musician, and a medic. The Bloomingdale Cornet Band was formed 20 years after the Civil War, in 1884. However, such town bands had their basis in regimental bands that were formed to follow the troops into action.

Often populated by relatives of the soldiers, the regimental bands served their regiments as musical marching units and for morale. When they weren’t playing, they were often fighting and also served as medics during and after the battle.

Today, some of our band members still do double-duty as musicians and EMS technicians.  And some of us do double-duty as musicians and photographers!


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