Tag Archives: Azusa Alumni

I was a Teenage Band Geek

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

I remember sitting with a music teacher talking about instruments when I was in 5th grade, I vaguely remember holding a clarinet but I ended up playing the flute because my cousin Audry had one she no longer played, and that is what my parents could afford. The first tune I ever played was Hot Cross Buns, my mom says I practiced it all the time, I don’t remember that. I do remember practicing my flute sitting on my bedroom floor, legs crossed, and music on the floor. Perhaps the fact that practicing my flute was fun, not like homework, is why I don’t remember how much i did it.

A few weeks prior to starting my Freshman year at Azusa High School, marching band rehearsal started. I don’t remember being bothered that band cut my summer vacation short. My very first performance with the Azusa Aztec Marching Band was marching onto the field of Angel Stadium in Anaheim to open a Dodger game with the Star Spangled Banner. I was hooked!

The Azusa Aztec Marching Band was good, we won many awards. I had to memorize all my marching music, I still remember what our competition marches were. My Freshman year it was was Army of the Nile, the first march I memorized and as I type this I can her it in my head. French National Defile March my Sophomore year, “today-today-today, not tomorrow-tomorrow-tomorrow”. And The Southerner my Junior Year, (I might have my Junior and Sophomore years mixed up). We played the Southerner March in the community band a few years ago, it was fun playing one of our old marches. Except my 50+ year old eyes and the tiny little notes on that 6 3/3 x 5 piece of paper, I had to enlarge my copy so I could read it.



Azusa High School Marching Band plays “King Karl King”, by Henry Fillmore in SCSBOA parade competition. The recording is from a reel to reel tape converted over the years to cassette then CD then mp3. The performance is from November, 1973 and the photo is of the band that season.

 

Concert band was 5th period and marching band was 7th period (after school), we practiced halftime shows and did drill downs, but mostly did a lot of marching up and down Rockvale Avenue. Our rows, files, and diagonals had to be perfect, and my flute had to be parallel to the ground. A typical fall weekend would consist of a Friday night pep band at the football game, followed by T-Ping houses (for luck), then a Saturday morning marching band review. There was that infamous TP job of 1976… But that’s another story.

Because we were a competition marching band the uniforms had to be perfect. We had white shoes with white bottoms. We had to scrub the bottoms of our shoes with Comet to get them white before every parade, only to step in horse poo during the a parade, (I hated parades with horses!) The uniforms were hot and sweaty wool, with tall white fuzzy hats. The hats looked like a Q-tip and all our hair had to be tucked underneath, band moms would walk around as we were warming up and tuck pose strands in with a Rattail Comb and the spray with Aquanet.

Traveling to the band reviews was a blast, we got up early Saturday morning, loaded our gear, put on our uniforms, and bused to places like National City, Long Beach, Arcaida, and many more. During the parade we performed our best, and after we finished the parade we loaded back on our bus and changed into street cloths. Under our wool uniforms we wore socks, underwear, (girls wore a bra), and a cut off white tee, that was it. After the parade our cut off tee was usually soaked with sweat. We all changed on the bus together, boys and girls, ad took our sweaty tee shirt off. It wasn’t weird though. Our underwear showed no more than a bathing suit, and we were excited to get the the activities and the awards ceremony.

The Maytime Band Review in National City was our yearly overnighter. Each year the “prank” was everyone flushing their toilet at the same time to “flood” the bottom floor. It was funny until I got the bottom floor. No flood. Hmmmm.

Sometimes before the awards we had some free time to watch the other bands or do activities. At the All Western Band Review in Long Beach we were able to visit the Pike. I remember riding a big Ferris Wheel, it was dark and we could see the Queen Mary all lit up in the harbor. I rode that old Cyclone roller coaster too, It closed a couple years later. That same year they found a corpse inside a wax dummy in the “Laff in the Dark” ride while filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. Thankfully I did not ride that one. For the award ceremonies all the marching bands piled into the Long Beach Arena and waited to hear if we won and award, Azusa often did, there was a lot of cheering and screaming at the top of our lungs.



Not all of the parades were band reviews, and those had horses. We would do a parade at Disney Land every year, the Azusa Golden Days Parade, and I think there was one or two others. If there was a pile of horse poo in the road we had to stay in rank and file and step in it. Did I say I hated parades with horses?

Back lot of Disney Land

When marching we had to remain focused on staying in form and on the music, looking around was not allowed. Faces forward. At one of our Disney trips my Grandma and Aunts happened to be there and were yelling a big hello to me, I didn’t look. The band was loud, I don’t remember hearing them either. She later told my parents how I ignored them. I always thought that was funny.

At the end of my Junior year my Dad got a job for Inyo County and we moved to Bishop, California. I liked our new life but missed the competition from the band reviews. Bishop’s band was different and focused on the concert band. No band reviews and only one or two non competition parades a year. We did take week long a trip to Simi Valley for a concert band competition and tour the Hearst Castle.

Bishop marching band did a drill down while rehearsing for an upcoming parade.There was one other member of the Bishop band who moved from a large school, He and I were the last two standing. A drill down is basically a competition within a band to follow the drum majors exact commands. If you fail to accuracy perform the command you fall out of line and stand on the side at attention. Last member standing wins. I don’t remember who won but I never got to the final 2 in Azusa!

Being in High School Band holds some of my best memories from high school. Yup, I was a band geek.



Azusa Alumni Vegas Trip 2003

Sunday, March 30th, 2003

March 28th to the 30th

Attendees:

  • Eddie ’82 & Trisha Trent
  • Gabriel Falcon ’80
  • Roxanne (Olejnik) ’80 & Dave Hernandez ’78
  • Julie (Krejci) ’79 & Damon Wilson (Jackson Hole HS)
    & son Kyle (future JHHS grad) & Julie’s mom Kathie Krejci (Baldwin Park HS)
  • Tim ’76 & Caryn (Samuel Ayer HS) Meeks & son Tim Jr. (future Granite Hills High Grad)
  • Barbara (Williams) Slough ’72
  • Nancy (Tucker) ’67 & Ken Baker (Monte Vista HS)
  • Dixie (Odom) ’65 & Robert Megrew (Gladstone HS)
  • Judy (Berryman) ’62 & John Gilbertson ’62
  • Yolie (Alverado) ’63 & Tom Cloyd ’62

Photo Album: Vegas 2003


We met up with Judy and John at the Buffet Friday night, plus 2 other Azusa Alumni from Judy and John’s class. We were on good behavior, no food throwing etc., but that might be because Tim and Caryn didn’t meet us until after dinner!

Roxanne, Dave, Ken, Nancy, Julie (taking photo), Damon, Tom, Yollie, Judy, & John

Matching Tattoos or GMTA

Julie, Caryn, & Roxanne all thought it would be fun to take a photo with all of their tattoos (or tittoos as some call them) and post them without their faces so the other Azusa Alumni members who visit the message board to guess who is who. “the boob contest”. After several peoples guesses Santana Holcomb ’74 guessed correct. If you are wondering what thier husbands think of this….. they took the photos!

Excalibur Tournament of Kings

When we first were booking our seats for the tremendous spectacle that is the Excalibur Tournament of Kings, we were 11 in number. The booking people told us we would be representing France. We objected strenuously, decided to all buy American flags and wave them in our section as we cheer. Then, as if by a miracle we added 2 more to our party’s number. The show agents cancelled the first seats and gave us a new country to represent..one which most of us carry with us in our genes, Ireland!!
We were ecstatic to represent Ireland. Our group hooted, and hollered, and pounded on the tables with our fists when the glorious Irish king rode his Destrier onto the field of battle, the green and orange flag over his head rippling in the wind. (machine, wind machine, ok??) If our cries alone had been enough he would have won the tournament of champions…alas, it was in the script, our champion did not win through. But when the king of all kings needed our assistance our Irish lord was right there in the thick of battle, ready to lay down his life in defense of his country and the entire kingdom’s freedom! At the end, all the good kings banded together to defeat Mordred, the evil spawn of good king Arthur…Mordred the evil and his warlock magician were vanquished, never to be seen again….
Or were they????

The Azusa Alumni Irish:
Dave, Roxanne, Caryn, Tim, Tim Jr, Robert, Dixie, Julie, Damon, Nancy, Ken, Trisha, Eddie

Yet another Wilson detour

Every road trip when Damon & Julie get behind the wheel an unplanned detour is a must, dubbed a ‘Wilson Detour’. Saturday night was no exception, however Ken was driving. We took a “short cut” to the Excalibur that proved to be longer than taking the freeway. Then when we got to the Casino the parking was tight so we decided to use valet parking to save time only to see the ‘Valet parking full’ sign AFTER getting in line. The girls jumped out and went to the show while the guys worked to get out of line. When they finally managed to work that large Tahoe out of the line the Valet parking opened again, then they were told they would have to go to the end of the line since they did get out of line. So the just went and found a spot not too far to the back of the parking lot. After the show we found the Tahoe and headed for the Gold Coast. After several ‘turn this way only’ signs, dead ends, and closed roads we ended up back where we parked. Damon & Julie were giggling in the back seat, not at Ken’s driving but at the realization that it was not their driving but their presence that causes this phenomenon! ~~~ Dave pointed out that we should have bought a squirrel.

Tim meets his match or twin children of different mothers?

>Dinner at the Gold Coast Cafe’ Sunday night proved to be an entertaining event. Our Philippine waitress kept right up with Tim beat for beat. She had the whole table laughing, she even had Caryn wanting to bring her home. We should have gotten her name so we could find her next year and buy her a drink.

The Coats Twins Band

(Gabe Falcon, class of 80, is a drummer in this band) Sunday night those of us that survived the weekend went to The Roxy Lounge at Sam’s Town. Gabe Falcon was playing there that night. We got to meet the band members and visited with Gabe. The guys did not want to dance but that did not stop the girls. Julie’s mom even convinced our waitress to join us in the tattoo’d boob picture. We stayed for 3 sets and had a great time, drinking, dancing and visiting. On Tim’s command we rushed the stage before we left.


We didn’t see any migrating couches this year but Julie and her mom did see a dead bed on the side of the freeway on the way to Sam’s Town. Vegas seems to have a wild furniture problem, maybe they are a protected species.

Here-here to all Azusa Alumni who couldn’t be here and we hope you can make it next year.


Las Vegas Weekend 2002

Monday, March 25th, 2002

We consumed much alcohol, ate much food, Rolled many dice, wore out the slots, & shopped ’til we dropped. What a BLAST!!!


Departure from Jackson Hole

Departure from Colorado/California
The girls take an infamous “Wilson Detour”
to a small corner of Zion National park.

Saturday Morning at the Gold Coast


Roxanne Lafferty-Wilson (Julie’s friend), Julie Krejci-Wilson ’79, Irene Schroeder (Julie’s Friend), Dave Hernandez ’78, Roxanne Olejnik-Hernandez ’80, Tim Meeks ’76, Caryn Meeks (Tim’s Honey)


Julie, Gabriel Santana Falcon ’80, Roxanne

Dave, Roxanne, Tim, Caryn

Lynette (Julie’s friend). Irene,
Kathie (Julie’s Mom), Julie


Tim, Julie, Dave, Caryn
FOOD FIGHT!

 


¯¯macho, macho men…. ¯¯

¯Roooooxxxxxaaaannneee¯
Kathie, Caryn, Juli, Roxanne, Lynette, Irene, Roxanne


Tim, Caryn, Roxanne, Julie

 

We finished off the weekend by seeing Gabe perform in the show Storm at the Mandalay Bay. Thanks Gabe!!


Kathie, Gabe, Irene


Roxanne, Gabe, Julie, Roxanne, Dave

Gabe, Lynette, Dave

What’s with the couch you ask? Saturday Night we all meet at the Rio for dinner, watched the Marty Graw parade (Tim flashed his boobs to one of the guys and got me some beads) played some slots. Then all 8 of us piled in my burb and went to Fremont Street to see the light show and gamble some more. On the way back to the Rio Goldcoast we were cruising down the freeway, the SUV in the lane on my left slammed on his breaks, I slowed down then Lynette yelled from the back seat “COUCH!”. There was a couch moving across the freeway heading into my lane. I missed it but I’m not sure if the guy next to me did. I said a bad word *blush*, that is just something you don’t see every day. ~ Julie