By Flo Brown
This is Tim Newburn. He may not look like a typical caption head (and really who does?) but he is one of the most professional and well-rounded color guard instructors I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He fought against the odds of rebuilding a colorguard with only 10 returning vets, and rounded up 36 of the most talented ladies in the activity. He never ceases to inspire and encourage me. Admittedly, I should be writing a more flattering story about Tim -- but that wouldn't really shed light on his character. The only way I can truly portray the spark of Tim Newburn is by describing the night I thought he lost his mind. The following is a short play to explain that confusing and odd night. It's a warm evening in late July as the Glassmen circle up to sing their corps song, "Madre". Flo is holding her boyfriend Steve's hand, and he's struggling to breathe -- but he doesn't mention it because he doesn't want her worried. The song ends, and they begin lining up to perform.
Flo: Hey good luck out there.
Steve: Thanks. (begins to wheeze) You too. Hey who's calling me?
Flo:( looks around in confusion) I didn't hear your name. (Steve wanders off. Flo watches him amble into a circle of contra players, confused that he's not joining his fellow trumpet members. He comes back to her.)
Flo: Steve, are you OK?
Steve: Yes. Kind of ... (he feels his throat constrict and tries to disguise it by clearing his throat) Ahem. Yeah, I'm fine.
Flo: Steve, if your asthma is acting up, don't be a hero.
Steve: I'm fine. (They hug briefly and line up to perform, corps proper in the front and the color guard behind. Tim stands off on the side with the other instructors, watching the lines pass by. Suddenly, Steve faints and the line halts. Tim looks at Steve, then looks back at Flo, who is blissfully unaware. Tim jumps in front of Flo and begins clapping loudly to distract her from her faint boyfriend.)
Tim: Hey now, how're we doing tonight, ladies?
Flo: (looks at her partner and they shrug)
Tim: Come on, let's do a little dance (Tim breaks into a tap combination while grinning wildly, as Flo watches in confused amusement, laughing nervously)
Flo: Umm, yeah! Dancing! (His dancing continues for a full minute, until Steve has been dragged out of sight. Tim stops dancing as Flo and her partner pass by Flo
Flo: (to her partner) I imagined that, didn't I? Tim later explained his confusing behavior as I walked off the field, laughing as he realized that his last-minute antics had actually paid off. Had he not been there to distract me, my worry would have caused me to break down in the show, and I thanked him repeatedly. He's truly an instructor who knows how to "perform" under pressure.