Drum Corps International
Denver on crutches

Denver on crutches

by Drum Corps International

Andy Davis is the Executive Director of the Madison Drum and Bugle Corps Association. He came to Denver on two legs and is leaving Denver on crutches and in a wheelchair.

Andy Davis
"Last Sunday, my wife, two kids and myself took the tram from Estes Park up to the top of the peak for a picnic. After the picnic, the kids were climbing, so I was also climbing over the rocks, despite signs that say to not climb. "When I stepped down, I put my feet down and when the pressure shifted, I heard and felt a snap in my right leg. I grabbed on to whatever I could with my hands, but I was still four to five feet up in the air. I had no choice but to let go. I tucked in my left arm to protect my Mickey Mouse watch and did a shoulder roll. When I hit the ground, I scraped my arms and my legs, but my watch was safe. "I'm laying on the ground, altering between consciousness and near unconsciousness. My 9-year-old son, being the consummate professional, went to get my wife, who went to get help. After notifying my wife, he came back to get the remaining bag of peanuts that I had in my hand when I was climbing so he could go feed the chipmunks. "They tell you not to feed the wildlife in the books, but at the top of the mountain, they sell peanuts for the feeding of the chipmunks. "It's a private mountain, so there were no park rangers, no special training, and no special equipment. We had to climb up between rocks about 20 yards to get back to where there was a service road. Their service vehicle was an old beat up pick-up. We went down a washed out road. They got me to their parking lot and then my wife and kids took me to the emergency room in Estes Park. The hospital there had us drive to Loveland for treatment, about an hour away. "They didn't think it was broken in Estes Park, despite taking x-rays. A second set of x-rays showed I split your tibia, so they sent me to Loveland to see an orthopedic surgeon. A new set of x-rays and CAT scan proved I needed to be operated on. They put in a plate and six screws under the muscle to repair the tibia. "I'll be on crutches at least six weeks. The irony is that on June 7 I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, and I'm still in therapy for it. So now I have a matched set. "Out here for the corps, it's Sal Salas and his staff the runs the corps on the field. My only job is to be sure they can get to the field, and to help create some of the new year-round ensembles in Madison to get our message out to the community. If we're going to keep a viable presence in Madison, we're going to have to have ensembles for the local area youth and businesses. The Madison Scouts will always be our flagship. "I was talking with someone who marched in 1975 with the corps, and they had the 10 percent Club, which were the people outside of Madison who were in the corps. Now, we're lucky if we have 10 percent of members who live within two hours of Madison. These new ensembles are to help us develop more of a community presence, because if we don't have a community presence, we won't have community support. "I am having fun, still. One can't let something as minor as a broken leg stop one from enjoying drum corps, can you?"