I can’t sleep because of an awful headache, a nose that is too full to allow air passage, and ears with water slushing around in them. I figured I’d regale you all with some memories that have come to my mind lately.
I was such a giggler when I was in high school. I giggled back then because I was always nervous. My first day of band with the high school band, when I met Mr. Geros for the first time, was really bad. I couldn’t stop giggling except while we were practicing. He thought it was funny and gave me the nickname of “Gigglebox” which stuck with me (more about the nickname’s usage at a later post.) He called me that the whole time I was under him, through my freshman and sophomore years and later when I visited him during my freshman year in college. He took up where my middle school band teacher had left off with the same enthusiasm for music. After my parents, I credit both of them for my love of music and how it’s developed. We had practice all summer long and a week in August for band camp where we were on the marching field from 8 am to 5 pm with a break for drinks every hour and a half hour for lunch. He was very serious about our music and our marching. He made us a great band with his diligence for details, both in music and how we were doing our marching formations. We won 1st in many of the competitions we were in because of him. He was fun to be around too. He didn’t make it always work, work, work, but tried to make it fun as well. I think that is how we came to be on top. We wanted to do our best for him. He inspired us to strive for the best. He encouraged us so much.
To watch our marching formations, he had to climb up a scrub covered hill with just a small path on it to get to a short tower. He was extremely afraid of snakes and the first time out, he had some of the seniors climb up there beforehand and throw mothballs around the path. When the wind was in the right direction, you could smell them all over the marching field. One time, a group of kids bought one of those rubber snakes and laid it so it looked like it was just crossing the path. This was during my sophomore year on the first day of band camp. He started up that hill and let out this scream, then ran back down and grabbed a box of mothballs that he always kept there and threw the whole box up there. He asked for someone who wasn’t afraid to get up there and see if it was gone. One of the guys climbed up and picked it up and threw it away. Mr. Geros was pretty mad that day, but he had a quick temper and after he yelled about a bit, he was done and we got on with our practice.
He had a bit of a sense of humor too. One day, a girl came in with some pamphlets that she’d been given in health class. She was laughing over them because it was telling some myths of how to not get pregnant. She shared them with a few of us other girls and we were all giggling about them when he came in to start band. This was during concert band practice, the second half of the year. We all sat down and started warming up, but we couldn’t stop little giggles coming here and there. After a few minutes, he looks at me (because I was the big giggler), and asks me what is going on. I started laughing so much, I couldn’t talk. One of the other girls scoops up the pamphlets and hands them to him which sets us all to laughing even more as his face contorted into a slightly embarrassed look. He read a bit, laughed, tore the pamphlet in half and put it in the trash. Then he said to us, (and I quote since I remember this one so well) “The only way to not get pregnant is to keep your mouth shut and your knees together.” All of us girls got quiet for about 5 or so seconds and then ruptured into hard laughter. It was the last thing we expected from him.
Anyway, he really helped me learn more about playing my flute, about how the different instruments tuned to different notes and how they blended together. He gave me my first glimpse into music theory, more than just regular playing would. He must have known how much I was interested in this because when he saw me looking at his score of music with all the parts on it, he took a bit of time to tell me how to read it and how it all worked. I remember going home and putting together a duet (Pachabel’s Canon) for flute and clarinet, so my sister and I could play together and finding that it actually worked. He made sure we went to every football game and that we were second to the cheerleaders in leading the crowd to root for our team. I already watched football with my dad, but didn’t really understand it until this time. It was always a fun experience, even in the rain and cold. It is something I will never forget.
Thank you, Mr. Geros, for those memories.