By Allison Owen They say "A Picture is worth a thousand words." I'm not quite sure who "they" are, but I think after corps I'm finally starting to really understand what they mean. Here's a prime example of this clich?©. This picture is of Kate and I on August 8, the day after finals. Think of this article as my "Ode to Kathryn," if you will.
Let me explain some key elements to this picture. First of all, we are both making an interesting face. Anyone who marched Memphis Sound know that's how Kate would smile sometimes, just for no reason at all.

You can't see mine under my Mempho-colored beads, but we have since then been competing over who can keep their Finals bracelet on the longest. Which, by the way I've still got on, how about you Kate? Kate's wearing her contra section shirt, which I remember her making during everydays. I'm wearing a Madison Scouts tour shirt -- which I had bought the day before -- because one of our favorite things this summer was to watch that part in the Scouts show where that straight line became a diagonal. We loved that so much. We're sitting on her stairs at her house. These stairs are the very ones I struggled to climb after the pains of doing "bleachers" at move-in camp back in the end of May. We climbed those daily, dragging our tired selves and our stuff up and down the stairs. Kate and I had talked online during the early winter months and didn't actually meet until the April camp. She left her shampoo at home, so I offered to let her borrow mine. And thus, the friendship began. We stayed up late talking both nights at camp and making jokes that were above our other compadre -- Katie's -- head. It probably wasn't the best of things to do, but there was a huge storm going on outside and the emergency lights had come on in the gym, so we just couldn't sleep. We discovered how alike we were over the course of those nightly conversations -- with our love of potatoes and Evanescence -- and instantly formed a bond. I ended up housing with her for the summer and we often said "Ya know, we're either going to hate each other by the end of the summer, or be best friends." Needless to say, the latter part is what happened, and I'm so glad it did. At Memorial Day camp we slept next to each other in the gym again, and talked for a little while after lights out. One of the nights something fell on our heads and we freaked out, but eventually forgot about it. The next day we found out that a snake had been in the gym and we both looked at each other and shuddered. To this day we have no idea what it was that fell on our heads, but all we can think of is that snake being in the gym with all of us. Also that night, we were talking about funny "pet names" for a boyfriend. Somehow -- I'm not quite sure how it happened -- she came up with the name "Booger Bear." Ever since that day she's called me Booger Bear. It got to the point where I can respond to it. I'd hear her yell it and everyone would know that she was calling me. Kate and Laura -- one of the other girls who stayed at Kate's house -- even got me a visor that said "Booger Bear" on it for my birthday. Every morning at Kate's, we would all have a cup of Coke and some crushed ice. If there's one thing to know about my Kathryn, it's that she loves her Coca-Cola Classic. I'm sure it wasn't the smartest of choices to drink some carbonation every morning, but we all turned out OK. Over the course of the summer we'd be around for each other whenever we needed someone to talk to. We just had this weird level of understanding each other. We could have fun doing absolutely nothing. When we had our first laundry day, we washed our clothes together. We did all of ours in one load and it took us 46 minutes to wash and dry everything. We were the first ones done because we are awesome like that. Kate's very competitive; many things became a competition between us -- a good example of that is the Finals bracelet competition. We'd see who could get a better sock tan or who met more people from other corps one night. It was all in good fun, so no matter who won or lost, we were still best friends. Kate also has this thing for biting people. She just randomly would come up to me and bite my cheek. Finally I became immune to it, but when we all got back together for the banquet in November, it hurt just like it did in the beginning of the summer. This particular picture just has so many memories for me. I can remember all the nights when we'd stumble in from everydays, tired and sweaty, just wanting to shower and sleep. I remember a bunch of us making our dotbooks in the computer room while eating popcorn. I remember the first time I showed her one of my favorite drum corps shows - Scouts 99 - because I knew she'd love the horn line even more than I did. So many memories fill my head when I think of Kate, she's just one of those few people I remember more than the rest. Although she's just one of the many friends I made in drum corps, Kate is definitely one of the closest friends I have. We're alike in so many ways, but then again we're also very different. Just looking at this picture makes me think of all the fun times we had this summer. Remembering all the good times just makes me realize how much I miss it and can't wait for June to arrive. So whoever "they" are, I'd have to say they're right; a picture is worth a thousand words.
Allison Owen, 16, is a junior at Sullivan Central HS in Blountville, Tenn. She's in my second year in the Memphis Sound guard and enjoys dancing, writing, English, guard, photography, having fun and performing. For college she would love to attend the University of Oklahoma and major in journalism or English; however, she'll probably end up at the University of Memphis for in-state tuition's sake.