HEARD FROM. Bill Kolb, who directed the “Pride of Dierks Marching Band” for 18 years, wrote in regard to my comments about march composer John Phillip Sousa in a recent column.
Sousa’s music was a favorite of Maestro Kolb, and he said that his Outlaw bands always went on the field and left the field playing a Sousa march. Actually, I had the pleasure of hearing and watching Maestro Kolb’s bands several times.
The REAL reason he wrote was to correct my assumption that “The Washington Post” march was written as a salute either to the District of Columbia or for our country’s First President.
It was written for the “Washington Post,” a venerable newspaper which is still garnering Pulitzer Prizes. Bill enclosed a clipping from a book about Sousa to prove his assertion that the composer was thinking about the newspaper when he penned those great, stirring musical notes.
I can’t resist telling you that the clipping explains that the newspaper had sponsored an essay contest for children, and asked Sousa to compose a march for the award ceremony. On a bright mid-June day in 1889, in front of the President and other VIPs on the lawn of the Smithsonian Museum, the march made its debut to rave reviews.
Bill says his favorite Sousa march is “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” I love it too, Bill, especially the piccolo part.
I thank Maestro Kolb for setting me straight. And for reminding me of how great Sousa march music STILL is.
NOT EXACTLY an Arkie Road Trip, but ….
On Saturday I was seized with a craving for raw oysters. Fresh raw oysters. So, I talked the Navigator into making the trip with me to Bossier City, La., to sample some seafood. We do this occasionally.
I did not know that Saturday was the day for the BIG Mardi Gras parade in Shreveport-Bossier. The Krewe of Somthing Something. There was increased traffic when we got close to the Red River. Lots of it. But I got us to our favorite Bossier restaurant — Ralph & Kacoo’s — without bursting into tears.
I had my usual glass of spicy tomato juice; and a half-dozen fine oysters; and then what I REALLY came for: King Louie Seafood Salad. It comes with crawfish, shrimp and crabmeat, some salad stuff and, lordy, it is good! Nice name, too. Ralph serves it big, with lo-calorie hushpuppies. My salad was large enough to ask for a doggie bag. Have you ever asked for a doggie bag for salad leftovers?
We headed home and I dropped the Navigator off at her place by 4:30. She noted that it had taken us all of 2:15 to drive to Ralph’s, and that we hadn’t squirmed fearfully through long lines of big trucks at all.
We go on I-49 from Texarkana all the way to Shreveport-Bossier. Same route coming back. We saw a couple of troopers but we weren’t worried because we were only going 5 mph above the posted speed limit and apparently that’s forgivable.
BE MINE. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, falls on Sunday this year. Nashville’s 41st Postmaster, Sandy Clark, says that if you want a Valentine delivered locally on Saturday, you should put it in the mail on Friday.
MURDER TRIAL in Texarkana. A woman is going on trial this week for shooting and killing a rumored rival for her husband’s affections. The women knew each other and were members of a Square Dancing Club in Miller County.
The judge has already warned lawyers on both sides not to Do-Si-Do in front of the jury.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Since the Mother’s Day Night Tornado of 2015 I’ve had three mice in my house. That’s as many as I caught in the previous 20 years. Not saying that some others weren’t there unnoticed and temporarily, however. They might have just left because of a shortage of food. I figger that when the wind took away so many trees and so many low bushes, the outside mice lost their manors and viewed my place as a desirable new location.
CONGRATULATIONS TO the City of Delight — first city in southwest Arkansas to put up its Christmas decorations for 2016. And up at Mt. Ida, the Newcomers Club had its annual banquet and gave out 25-year membership pins.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: Get up one more time than you fall.
HE SAID: “Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. If makes it feel needed.” CHARLES M. SCHULZ, cartoonist
SHE SAID: “None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.” PEARL S. BUCK, novelist
SWEET DREAMS, Baby