Friday, September 29, 2006

A Friday Night at Grandmothers

Never look at the trombones... it only encourages them.
Ricard Strauss- Noted German composer, conductor, and bandman.

Okay, back to the trip in reverse. I mentioned that we decided to make Lincoln, NE the last night of our trip. We needed to retrieve one of our autos and one other thing needed to be done. Visit Grandmothers.
Our son Tom had called me a while back and said "Dad, you and Mom need to come down here on a Friday night before a home game and we'll go to Grandmother's Restaurant." "Sounds fine to me but what's the attraction on that night?"
Turns out the attraction is that at 10:00 pm and again an hour later, the Nebraska Pep Band rolls in and does a twenty minute performance of every kind of music. Mostly music that makes football fans, and the marching band groupies that are with them, go a bit crazy.
We arrived with our boys and their wives at 8:00, ate in the bar side of the establishment, visited and waited.
At about 9:30 the place began to fill up. When I say the place I mean the area between the tables which had been full of people like us who had planned to stay for the performance. Our waitress offered to give us refills at 10 minutes till and warned us there would be no more service until after the performance.
Now folks, we are talking major excitement here. As with any major college band, each individual is very accomplished and confident. Such was the case here. The first thing we heard was a cadence pounded out by a distant drum. That started the screaming and singing and the waving of arms and the hand clapping and every other ceremony imaginable that came with each song.
The band began playing and plowed their way through the crowd on the perimeter of the room to stand in their usual location at the far west end of the bar. Every other band member was standing on a chair. They were talented, loud, and having more fun than most college kids can find on a Friday night. On a few songs they would split up and traverse the room to return again to formation.
I am envious of anyone who is really good at playing a musical instrument. I am also aware, that their talent came disguised as hard work. The fun these kids are having in this bar every home game Friday night (and other divisions of this same group in other bars across Lincoln) is to be admired. A reward for hard work. Even old farmers can enjoy this stuff.
We were seated near the back left. (I was going to tell you about the pictures here. I have been unable to post them on Blogger or Picasa)
Nebraska has 'sold out' their 80,000 plus seat stadium every game since November 3rd in 1962. That's an ongoing national record. The traditions surrounding that football team and 'the show' are numerous. This is just one of them.

8 comments:

Mike said...

Cliff, I LOL at the quote - I love it! Also, "more fun that college kids on Friday night" is a phrase I'll have to remember. That concert sounded fun. It brought to mind these college kids doing Nintendo Acapella - it's a hoot.

Anonymous said...

Nebraska has 'sold out' their 80,000 plus seat stadium every game since November 3rd in 1962.

That's an unbelievable record Cliff, but I'll believe it because it's you telling me.

Rachel said...

Wow, they are having some fun!! It does sound like a blast and it's always great to see folks having good clean fun!!

Felecia said...

And a perfect "All American" Friday night was had by all - great visuals surrounding your pictures came to mind. I would love to find a way to plant these ideas into the minds of our locals!

Britmum said...

It sounds like you had a bloody brilliant time. I wish I was a fly on the wall. he he he...!!!

Take care xx

Jamie Dawn said...

What a blast!!! FUN!!!
That sounds like a great way to spend an evening.
I hope you got up and danced a jig.

poopie said...

That sounds like a great time!

John Goerzen said...

Cliff, I just have to say that, in the middle of this great story, you opened my eyes to something that I have obviously overlooked all these years: that Richard Strauss was a bandman. Now I'm wondering if I missed all these years that John Philip Sousa wrote operas.

You may be interested to note that he declared, two years before he died, "I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer!"

.. 10 minutes pass ...

And -- sigh -- I have just looked up John Philip Sousa on Wikipedia and learned that he wrote a dozen operettas.