I have to admit that I don't get 2 references in my subject. I understand them, but there are other people who will actually be delighted to see those words on my blog.
My brother Ted, a recently rising star of this blog, is in the Pride of Dayton. POD is the marching band for University of Dayton. And they're good. They sound good, they look good, and they are oodles of fun at the games. I seriously think they work harder at pumping up the crowd and cheering on the players than the cheerleaders do!
I had the honor of being invited to Family Weekend by my brother. Saturday was a football game and POD had a host of events for the family members of the band.
My mom was out of town so I got to hang out with my dad and my brother (Daniel) while we enjoyed POD and the UD football game (against Duquesne- UD won). I arrived at 10:30 and easily found my dad and Daniel. Ted’s practice ended and he joined us in the POD tailgate tent for burgers and lively chats. Some of his friends joined us- Brooks and Mike and Em.
A word about Em… For over a year now, Ted has been wanting me to come to UD to meet Em. They are very good friends, maybe even best friends. Tons of inside jokes and late night humor and similar interest. She’s a Resident Assistant, she’s also part of POD and she’s one of the first friends Ted made at UD. I imagine that she is his Jim. Instant and deep connection, lots in common. Anyway, Ted has insisted time and time again that Em and I are so much alike, that we will totally hit it off. And he’s been saying the same to Em. And now we finally got to meet. I knew we would either totally love each other or really not like each other.
Love. At first sight. She’s awesome. We have a similar sense of humor, similar passions (she wants to be a family attorney so she can stand up for foster kids or kids in divorce situations or kids in trouble), and we both think my brother is awesome. She is one of those people that always includes everyone around her in her joy and enthusiasm. You can’t help but be attracted to the light that emanates from her. She and Ted have all sorts of inside jokes- most of which go back to something from POD- and “Whoo Hoo” and “Shark Buddies” would be a couple of those things.
I met 2 of Ted’s fellow trombone section friends- Bones of Steel. Brooks and Mike. Both are upperclassmen. Both were polite, funny, good looking, engaging. They were interesting to talk to and also showed interest in me and what I do.
I missed out on Ted’s high school years because I live in Indiana. I wasn’t there when he went to Homecoming or Prom. I didn’t go to his youth group functions or participate in many scouting events (I was there when he was awarded his Eagle Scout, though). The same goes for Daniel. And I hate missing that part of my brother’s lives. I hate not knowing their friends. I hate not knowing about first romances or those puppy love feelings or crushes. They know they can talk to me or e-mail me or call me. Ted actually took me up on it once and I hope it helped- it seemed to go well.
Anyway- back to Saturday. So we had lunch and then the POD performed for the tailgaters. That was cool. They marched out from the far side of the arena, across the parking lot, and performed several songs for us. The football crossed by as they played- that was cool, too. Then they performed as they marched into the stadium. It was just awesome. They sound good, they look good, they have incredible energy. They have fun. Just like you should at that age.
POD is a really cool thing to be part of. I think it really set the path for Ted and his college experience. POD has band camp a week prior to dorm move-in. So his freshman year, Ted was on campus a week early. Bonus. Then he had band camp and got to meet and connect with his fellow band mates. Bonus. And I recently learned that they actually hook freshman up with upperclassman and hold a “marriage ceremony” so that you have a very official POD family- someone to turn to with questions, if you need a ride, etc. And as an upperclassman, someone to look out for and take under your wing. Bonus. Bonus.
One more cool thing about Saturday… It is tradition for the band members family members to join the band on the field at halftime to dance! Last year, according to my dad, the dance was a choreographed number taught to them by the cheerleaders. This year, it was a basic swing dance that you could do whatever you’d like to do with it. I missed rehearsal but I’m fine with swing dancing so my dad and I had a great time taking to that football field!