Band bus poker

Look how much this man loves his granddaughters. He has four granddaughters in all but these are the ones I pushed out of my own personal uterus. Sorry if that’s TMI.

Can you believe this guy once gave his daughter (meeee) a roll of pennies to play poker on the band bus? Yes. He did.

I was in junior high (7th grade) when I joined the Sault Ste. Siberia high school band. Our only public junior high was joined to our only public high school by a long hall. There was a “manual arts” (think shop and automotive stuff) wing off the middle of that hallway. I was “invited” to join the high school band because I was too “good” for the rudimentary music lessons taught in the junior high “band”. Both bands were “directed” by the same person. Music teachers were scarce in my public school system in those days. I was actually *really* good but that is a whole ‘nother story (and I’m NOT bragging).

Being in the high school band meant that I got to travel to band festivals. On a bus! A school bus but whatever. We took two buses. One for us nutso junior high kiddos who were extremely excited about being on a bus WITHOUT parental supervision. And therefore CRAY-ZEE and NOISY. Later on when I was in high school and played first flute, I was happy to be on the high school bus where most folks were a bit more sane and some people even fell asleep. Senior year I would look forward to meeting up with my then boyfriend for a beer when I got home. The drinking age was 18 then and he was in college. (I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.)

The first time I went on the band bus to a festival, my dad gave me a roll of pennies so I could play poker. I knew how to play poker from playing it with cousins and friends at the moominbeach and I wasn’t all that bad at it although I sure can’t remember much about it now. My dad was in the band when he was a kid in Sault Ste. Siberia. He played the trombone and I guess he knew all about the penny poker games.

I don’t remember if I won or lost poker games on that bus but I had fun. The next year our long-time band director took a new job “downstate” and his replacement didn’t allow penny poker on the band bus. Or maybe it was the school district that didn’t. I dunno. I LOVED the band director’s replacement and it was under her encouragement that I challenged my way up to 3rd chair flute in the high school band when I was in 8th grade.

2 Responses to “Band bus poker”

  1. isa Says:


  2. Pam J. Says:

    I also was so much older then, {and} I’m younger than that now. Dylan SO deserved that Noble Prize for Literature. How many people, like you and me, roll through life with his lyrics popping into our brains all the time? Thanks for the early AM inspiration.