Left, left, left, right, left ... ok so we really don't say that when marching; we actually use dance counts ... 5-6-7-8!
The teams for both the Narraganasett High School and the Narragansett Pier School, now known as Gansett Guard, marched Sunday to the beat of a different drummer, literally. The girls started practicing a few weeks ago with the assumption they would be marching in front of the Pier Middle school band, but due to Murphys Law, the band was unable to accompany them.
Now Murphys Law states "If anything can go wrong, it will", and this month that was the motto of this group! The first speed bump in this parade was that the girls' uniforms, which belong not to the schools, but the coach, went missing. The school had its floors done and things were moved, and well, the uniforms were one of those things! So with only 9 days to the parade, I, their coach, went on the hunt! Letting every teacher know to be on the look out in both schools, I searched with the custodians and the teams. But sadly, we could not locate them, so a frantic call was made to our friends at Graphic Expressions!
Lissa at Graphic Expression is now our knight in shinning armour, or well, cotton as the case may be. I sent her some quick ideas, and she did it in no time flat! The T-shirt fit perfectly with the theme — a firefighters cross is on the front, and the back was reserved for a perfect motto ... "Keep calm, and Color Guard on!" That's what we need to do ... just keep calm and handle life!
So we continued to practice, welcoming three new girls to the team, and hopefully more will join. We practiced to the songs we thought the school would play, our little radio blasting in the front of the school. Then, as if Murphy knew we were all set, its law kicks in. The band director told us a few days before the parade the band could not march. They were going to have to wait until the next parade in Novemeber. Well, we were ready, we just ordered T-shirts for this parade, we WANTED TO MARCH. So a call was made, and we were told to show up and we would be placed with someone who had music!
And we did! Sunday afternoon we assembled outside the Fire Department in Peace Dale, and met up with the Portuguese Marching Band from Bristol. We matched them! They were red and white, just like us! They also played two of the songs we had practiced to! So we lined up...and waited!
Several people approached us, not knowing narragansett had a Colorguard. This is my fifth year coaching, and we have marched before, but unless you line up directly next to another group, you really don't know who else is in the parade. So I had fun explaining who we are and what we do!
We were put in the second division, and once the parade started, it wasn't long till we were called up. Sandwhiched between bright, shiny red fire trucks was our spot. My two little mascotts, who had never marched before, had bulging eyes when I told them we had to first walk in the MIDDLE of the road, and second, walk CLOSE to the truck! I assured them no harm would come to them, and EVERYONE does it when you are in a parade!
Nerves calmed after a few times doing the routine. High Street is usually the time to get them out, and by the time we turn to Main street, they are old pros! That was the case here. They made me proud. No more speed bumps in this parade!
On a different note, this was the first time since 1999 my daughter did not march with me as either my Girl Scout, or my Guardian. Mariah graduated this June from Narragnsett, so she marched along side the girls as my helper. They were so happy to see her!Bishop Hendricken's former Drum Major also assisted in keeping my "ducks in a row", Thank you Aaron!
I wished more people had joined us in marching. I also wish more people could have been in the crowd. This parade is to honor all the firefighters, past, present and future. This is the parade we thank them for all they do for us. I hope to see more ofy ou next fall along the parade route.
Gansett Guard is now recruiting for its next season! The fall includes football games and competition prep! Our competition teams travels all over New England, performing and perfecting its routines. Please email if you have a child in grades 5th-12th who would like to join this great team. Boys are always welcome to join!