Being in the Allendale-Fairfax Tiger Band taught me musicianship, discipline, time management, leadership and everything I knew about sex in high school, which was not as much as you think.
While sweaty football players piled back on a yellow school bus to return home from a Friday night road game, we were having make-out mania on the band bus; a real live Greyhound-style bus where we stowed our drums and horns underneath and staked out the best seats for the ride home.
Majorettes, of course, were high on the dream team because they were like cheerleaders who could twirl fire batons. If you weren’t cool enough to cuddle with them, may I recommend the piccolo players, nice girls, good kissers.
Because we lived way out in the country, any road game was at least an hour away, which was late-night prime time for a 16-year-old drummer with braces and zits.
So as the bus headed down those dark rural roads, we’d hang our uniform bags around our seats to gain a sense of privacy. Then, came the kissing. Oh, the kissing.
And if we were lucky, the bus broke down. No problem. More kissing.
Which is why I’ve always liked kissing. Done right, it’s perhaps the most honest communication we have with the opposite sex. From the first time to the last, in good times and bad, kisses are not to be wasted.
So I still kiss like a 16-year-old, with intent, with heart, with care. I learned on the band bus not to take kissing for granted. And for that gift, I’d like to thank the woodwind section.