Saturday, May 13, 2006

8 days and 7 nights - East Coast Tour

I had the most amazing proposition yesterday.

Jim Kusserow, band director for Porterville High School Panther Band, invited me to join their band for an East Coast tour. I do not have the itinerary yet, but I'm sure it will include all of the patriotic places that I traveled to in 1976 as a member of the same band. Jim Kusserow was in the band too back then. We graduated together. I love it that he came back to be the band director.

Anyway, I am ecstatic! I will travel with the band to New York City, Arlington, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and more, as a member of the press. I will write a story a day and email the story home so that the Porterville Recorder can offer Porterville daily coverage of the trip.

What an amazing opportunity. I went on a similar trip with Buck Shaffer in 1976 for our country's bicentennial. I still remember how I felt when we drove by the Empire State Building and by the Twin Towers (newly built) -- we couldn't stop to visit them but I did visit the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations. Our band was the official California band during the bicentennial and I still remember how exciting it was for me during the 10-mile Fourth of July parade in Philadelphia in the rain!

I can't wait to do it all again. This time I'll be seeing it all, not only for myself but for everyone back home. I'll be taking plenty of digital pictures and sending those back too.

My daughter, Catherine wishes she could go. She has always wanted to go to New York City. I wish I could take her too, but she'll have her chance one day.


  1. Wow, sounds cool!!! I wish I could go, good luck in the tour!!

  2. Wow, sounds cool!!! I wish I could go, good luck in the tour!!

  3. What a great opportunity! I expect we'll see blog updates and photos after your trip?

  4. A. There is no way you're old enough to have been in high school band in 1976.

    B. How great that you get to take this trip back in time. I played trombone and tuba, and learned most of what I know about love in the back of buses going to and from band competitions (our band played Carter's Inauguration).

    I envy you the trip down nostalgic lane, but not the hours surrounded by sweating piles of teenaged hormone factories.

  5. Thanks everyone. I am still smiling from ear to ear and on such a high. Yes, definitely more blog updates on this and photos! :)

    Thanks for the sweet compliment, Mark. LOL - re: life/love lessons
    I met President Ford once. That was cool. He shook my hand and told me I had a beautiful smile. I'll always remember that.

  6. Sounds like an exciting trip! Have fun, Esther. :)

  7. Alan Litsey10:06 AM

    Hi Ester,

    I know you will have a great time, and this is wonderful for your readers. Here's looking forward to reading about your adventures!

  8. Hey, Alan,
    Great to see you stop by.

    (Alan lives in Birmingham, Alabama. I've known him since 7th grade - we were on the yearbook staff together. Then we graduated from Porterville High together. I have not seen him in approximately 28 years.)

    I am really hoping you make it to our reunion this summer, Alan!
    Thanks again for coming by my blog.

  9. Thanks, Jeff.
    I can't wait to see the itinerary. I'm getting really excited about it.