Drum Corps International
Happy in California

Happy in California

by Drum Corps International

So when it comes to packing for camps I generally am a last-minute person and don't do it until right before I leave. That was the case this past weekend, but I was stressed a bit by it since I had to pack extra clothes for the corps birthday dinner. As usual when I get on the plane I'm extremely worried that I forgot something, and by that point there is no chance to run back and get it before the plane takes off. This time I actually had a reason to be worried. I forgot my water bottle (which is probably buried somewhere in my room), and I also forgot a white shirt for under my black dress shirt. Fortunately I could deal without the water bottle this camp, and one of the alumni of the corps was nice enough to go buy a white shirt for me.

Graham Mcluhan, Kayla Nelson and Joe Smith Sunday night at the Santa Clara Vanguard birthday dinner.
Then Friday night was my first true experience with an air mattress. Before this year I was never had one on tour, and when the opportunity arose to purchase one, I pounced on it. I woke up in the middle of the night to find that I had been defeated by the air mattress, as it had deflated on me. I guess everything wasn't closed all the way or something to that effect, but I came back in round two on Saturday night and beat it finally. I woke up Sunday well-rested on a fully inflated air mattress. Sunday turned out to be beautiful in California. I love the sun, and I'm definitely a fan of warm weather, so I was very happy. The birthday dinner turned out great Sunday night. I had the chance to look through many old photo albums from the past as well as eat a wonderful dinner, but I did miss the cake afterwards unfortunately. I had the chance to hang out with a few alumni, including Brenda and Christine (one of the original girls who did the bottle dance). Several of us had the chance to hear many stories from when they marched back in the '70s and '80s. After mentioning that I stayed in the corps hall last month I had two very great alumni offer to let me stay at their houses on Sunday night after camp was over. But after hearing that several other members would be staying at the corps hall, I decided that I would pass up the offers this month (next month will be a hard decision for where to stay) and I would stay at the corps hall with the other members. On Saturday night I heard from former member Brian Marsalli (bass number three from 1995-1999) about Art, who was a bass player that died right before the 1999 season. He told me that Art still hung around the hall sometimes.

When Sunday night rolled around I had nothing to be afraid of since I wasn't alone this time. But when I entered the bathroom I heard drumming coming from the attic right above me. I thought at first that I was just hearing something, but after I got the other guys to come and look they heard the drumming as well. So I sat down on a chair in the bathroom and listened to the mystery drumming for a while sine I had nothing better to do.

As I sit here finishing this up, I have just realized that I am currently procrastinating when it comes to packing for tomorrow when I head off to Normal/Bloomington, Ill., for a women's basketball conference tournament. All I know is that I will be playing for pep band tomorrow after a short, five-hour bus ride. Past columns by Joe Smith: Hanging with drum corps buddies Iowa and "The Hitchhiker's Guide" Paintball and wind ensemble: A Wonderful weekend The Old horn Staying flexible On Personal motivation The Lure of strawberry smoothies In Praise of sponsors Loving the Phantom of the Opera A Picture is worth 1,000 words Dealing with tour withdrawal The Busy musical season A Hectic drum corps week Right where you left off The Other side Preparing for tour Getting away from it all: Report from a Colts' camp Strong winds, early sunset: Report from a Colts' camp Meet the visual tech New challenges in Dubuque My favorite place: Alfred, N.Y. Freezing rain, full ensemble: A report from Dubuque Discussing drum corps over the holidays