The 30th:
A View from the Corner

October 11, 1998
Charles Hickinbotham

Here it is, the day after. And as I try and focus my homework that's due tomorrow, I can stop thinking of yesterday, or the last seven years. Or the last 30 years for that fact. I must confess, my original intention was to skip the festivities. I had missed the 25th, for reasons best left unsaid, and was rather bitter. And as the 30th came closer, the bitterness resurfaced. There were other reasons, and it just all snowballed. Then I bumped into Gordon. He twisted my arm. And by the time I got out of class, I had a different thoughts in my mind. I missed the 25th, I wasn't about to miss the 30th.

I made it in time for the last quarter, and seeing everyone confirmed that I had made the right choice. The memories attacked me like Bandas tapping the first keg at Band Camp. And that's what I need to say right now, the memories from my time. The slide show stopped right before I joined the band in 1991. The photo albums exsist, but they just didn't compare to the reel of slides with verbal descriptions by Gil Cline. All of you rookies, take pictures, make slides, write the stories. A souvenir or two won't hurt either. When you come back for your first reunion after graduating, you will want to have it all. Trust me.

And so, "Back when I was in the band . . ."

Anita was the best on a road trip, the last person to truly enforce "no sleeping on a road trip." Her morning chirp of "Coffee!" always let me know that it was going to be a good day.

My first Homecoming was the best. The night before, the elder Bandas decided to give the rookies an initiation. Joe Band and Eric Kruger came to wake me up at four in the morning, and it was so funny when let me get dress to kidnap me. My roommate, just looked up, groaned, and fell back asleep. I rode around in the back seat of Joe's bug, visiting the sights, like singing Butt Fucker in front of the McKinnleyville Totem pole by the light of headlights. As a joke, Joe and Eric stopped at a gas station to "fuel up." I had a pillow case over my head, so I didn't see that Eric got a water hose to soak me. I'm just sitting there oblivious, and Eric misses me, soaking the seat next to me. hehehe The tour ended at Toni's for onion rings for breakfast. Onion rings fried in axel grease. And after that, everyone went to Anita's apartment to watch cartoons until it was time to go to the game.

Hot Drinks party. The best one's were always thrown by Bookmarks. He knew the recipes, he had the tree set up. And best of all, he had the Xmas specials on tape. Two words, "DOG ABUSE!!!"

My second road trip was to Chico. Eddie was Axe at the time. I distinctly remember sitting in the back of the bus. There were about four of us trying to think of a good Half time show. Eddie came up with one, and we wrote the script on the bus. At the game, ten minutes before half time, the band was told what the formations were, and the song order. We did the show with no rehearsal, and it ROCKED!!!!! One of the best shows I've seen this band do. After, we all crashed at Royboy's apartment. Twenty people piled into one apartment. People everywhere. But then again, that's not an unfamiliar sight.

The best halftime show, for the time permitted, had to be a home game my first year, again. We didn't receive any real time because Rugby was going to play a game during the half. We managed to get our hands on two minutes. What the audience didn't know, but we did, was that Rugby was sponsored by Budweiser. Athletics did was that fact to be known. The show? You guessed it. We ran out spelled B U D and played You Said It All. Then while the Rugby team played, we lapped the field on the track, playing songs parade style.

D.O.G. has to be my favorite band Dog. Charlie I missed her, can she make the 35th?

I was the winner of the Six Man Lift at my first Band Camp. Acceptance never tasted so good. Thanks Grace for helping me clean up. It's important to make sure the "winners" do not misinterpret.

Greg Creech. I've been told by many that we would never get along. I find that humorous because I look forward to seeing you at each gig you are at. I wish I found that out sooner.

Brent and Jenn were the biggest surprise at the reunion. I had forgotten how much I missed them. Brent, thanks for the dancing lessons, I try and practice for next time. My favorite line from Brent? I was complaining about the fact that Center Activities offered beer making courses, and why didn't they have cola making coursed. Brent said, "The reason why is Coke is a drink, Beer is food." And Jenn made my night Saturday. I was sitting down in a corner, resting because the beer had caught up with me. Jenn comes up and says, "Somethings never change."

Speaking of a Jenn, Jennifer Ice, I mean Jennifer Vandenberg was always a sight. Here was purity personified. She didn't like the taste of alcohol, she didn't like to swear, she wasn't a socialite. She just didn't fit the typical MLJ stereotype. BUT, she held the Music Manager position for three straight years. She was active all four years she went to school. And was always having a good time. In '92, we (the band) had Thanksgiving at her parents place, it was a Doo-Dah year. She was proof that anyone can be a Marching Lumberjack.

There was a group of us heading down to see Dave and Jodie's wedding. I forgot to bring my nice clothes. They were packed and left on my bed. We raided James' Uncles' place and dug up this outfit. It was solid polyester. Yellow tie, red bell bottoms, and a jacket that made it work. Too bad everyone else was dressed in greys and blacks.

Scott Gerving. Lots of stories about this guy. My favorite is a photo in one of the photo albums. It's a picture of Scott, with long hair, literally hanging his ass out of the bus while driving through SF city streets. He is looking back into the bus, giving a thumbs up, and smiling only the way Scott can.

Joe Band. Too many stories. I won't bother, pick any one you like. Just make sure he's naked in it. That is Joe at his best. ;-) You always seemed to be watching out for me, thanks.

Teri Lynn. How cool is she? Lets just say, "Rock Lobster in a wedding dress," and leave it at that.

We use to be able to stay in the Hickey Gym when we went to Davis (SUCKS!). Those were always great road trips, because when we finally pulled into town at 2 am, we would unload the bus, and head straight to the pool. It was time to skinny dip.

I could recall memories forever. This band has always been good to me. It has not always seemed that way, but it has. I have always had this feeling that some wished I wasn't there. During my stint as Axe, Gordon never made a gig. I noticed, and it hurt. I don't blame him, and if I did, it's forgiven. I don't like pointing fingers and so I won't.

At the 30th though, I felt like I was part of the band again. Something I haven't felt for about five years. And I owe it to lots of you. Thanks Gordon, Joe, Brent, Jenn, James, Teri Lynn, Dooger, Jason, Hugh, John Boy, Happy, Elise, Greg, Grace, Jes, and everyone else that was there, especially that one guy who said I hadn't drunken enough. It was good to see you all, and I hope to again.

They say that no one can truly quit the band. I believe that to be true.

Charles Hickinbotham
PerCussin'ist and T-Boner
Marching Lumberjacks
1991 - Forever

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