Drum Corps International
Guard tales: Ready. Halt. Again.

Guard tales: Ready. Halt. Again.

by Missy Idso

In recognition of Winter Guard International World Championships being held in San Diego this week, we'll be focusing some editorial firepower on anecdotes and stories related to guards. Think back to those formative, funny, inspiring or memorable guard stories and send them in! They can be as long or as short as you would like. Attach a picture of yourself or the situation you're writing about if you can. And by all means, pass this on to your guard friends! We'll edit these stories for clarity, grammar and appropriateness. If you have a guard-related anecdote or story, send it to content@dci.org. This was written on June 20, 1999, my second summer of five with the Colts.

Missy Idso casts an imposing glare.
Hot, buggy, weedy, dirty, itchy, steamy, slimy. What a horrible day. It was one of those where all you hear is "Ready. Halt. Again." Over and over. And now, one final run of the day: The opener -- the piece that is the hardest for me to make it through and we haven't touched it all day. My stepoff is strong as my hands grasp the white piece of metal. This silk is lighter than the rest. Great -- my angles are already off and my arms are still burning from the 6,000 drop spins we did this morning because we couldn't figure out how to get it together. I kept moving, hoping that the next 30 yards were clear of those big weeds that slice your shins like paper cuts and those turbulent-like anthills. Can't wait to roll around in those later. On to the second piece. I give the audience of staff members a glare as I throw down the flag I didn't catch. Act sexy in this tune? Yeah, right! Let me breathe first! Oh Crap! What are those new 12 counts? Change direction. Don't hit the baritones! Here come the drummers. Catch. Throw. Squeeze. Contract. Run! I really should learn my drill for this one. Dodging all these horns could be hazardous to my health! 5, 6, 7, what count? Melt 2, 3, 4. Look at the drum major! Jump. Throw. Oh no, what count did they change that to today? Move! Scatter and collapse. Phew! Oh, but that's not all. Now we run. "She's going for speed ..." to a nine-foot wooden pole with a queen-sized comforter attached to it. Well, that was fun. Glad I get to carry it around all day for a 32-count segment. And we're running again. "Hold it up! Higher!" Time for the beginning of the end. When did we learn this work? Yesterday? Oopps! I'm four counts early! But how did I just catch late? Come on! Pull it together! One more song! Tempo change. Grab, grab, grab -- RUN! Jump! Start back marching, keep backing, little more. Almost there. I think I can still see the drum major ... flip, toss, and hold it! Look at me! I did it! What a show! Now that that's over I'm sweaty, buggy and I wonder how far away the locker rooms are. Are these the ones with out stall doors or was that yesterday? It's a good thing I love this activity.

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