And the Beat Goes On

Congratulations to contest winner Kelly Morris (comment #14).


July is a month filled with fireworks and patriotic fervor. There is nothing like listening to a stirring rendition of The Stars and Stripes Forever to bring a tear to one’s eye. That song makes me tear up too, but only because it brings back long forgotten memories of high school band. Memories I would prefer stay buried forever.


I was lured into joining the marching band by the promise it would turn me into a cool kid. I have no idea why I thought donning an oversized navy jacket with gargantuan gold epaulets and a military cap whose visor covered my face would increase my popularity. I didn’t even play an instrument other than the piano. But evidently all those years spent whacking my little brother on the head with my tinker toys had prepared me for future stardom. I became the glockenspielist.


For those of you unfamiliar with a glockenspiel, it weighs slightly less than a Honda Civic. In those days, you strapped the vertical metal keyboard to your chest. Back then, it was the only thing sprouting from my chest and I couldn’t wait to strut my stuff at the first football game of the season.


Injuries normally occur during a game, not during the half time show. But surely I can’t be the only person to walk into a goal post during a half-time show? If I hadn’t dragged half the band down with me, no one might even have noticed.


After that ignominious outing, I decided marching band was not my forte. I would concentrate on honing my skills with other percussion instruments. With no goal posts in sight, the band leader decided it was safe to assign me a solo for the annual Christmas program.


My first solo. It consisted of one soaring note on the chimes that would ring throughout the auditorium.  I was ecstatic. At last, my football mishap would be forgotten.


The night of the holiday concert arrived. The orchestra played loudly and skillfully. Then the music stopped. The audience held their breath and waited in silence. I took my mighty hammer and…THWACK!


The room rang with the sound of my mallet missing the aforesaid chimes which was immediately followed by the more subdued thwack of the band leader hitting his head against the wall.


The moral of this melodic tale is that adversity can help you become a better person. Or provide tons of material for your blog.


Leave a comment by July 20th about one of YOUR most embarrassing high school or college moments, and you’ll be entered in a contest to win a $20 iTunes gift card which can be used to reminisce about some musical memories of your own.



  1. Diana Orgain on July 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Cindy – congrats on Dying for a Dance (can’t wait to read!) As for my most embarassing high school moment – I once got into a car with a total stranger thinking I was hoping into my mom’s car…yikes!

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Well was he tall, dark and handsome?

  2. Elaine Fagundes on July 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Oh, this one is easy. . .

    Freshman year in high school: our girls basketball team was a state championship contender, and several of us from the junior varsity team were called up to play in the state tournament. We were playing in the Oakland Coliseum, and the event was actually televised.

    Near the end of the game, I got the nod from Coach, and into the fray I went. I wasn’t in for more than 10 seconds when I stole the ball from the other team, ran the length of the floor, and scored.

    For them.

    Fortunately, we were way ahead, and we did go on to be crowed State Champs, but those two points will haunt me forever.

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Wow. Scoring for the other team. And on television, no less. I think you beat my half time pile-up.

  3. Stan Kirst on July 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Well, how surprising!
    I congers up memories of being the staff photographer for the school newspaper and being run over several times by fooball players AFTER the play had ended. Ah, those dangerous sidelines.
    Let’s hear it for the Stars and Stripes! long may they wave and thank God we survived high school at all!
    Can’t wait for the “Dance”.

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      This just proves my theory that sports are dangerous, even when you’re NOT on the team! And thanks.

  4. Matthias on July 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Well I had a two by four get away from my table saw in high school shop. It flew across the room and hit my teacher right in his boys. The popularity of causing your shop teacher to writhe on the floor is fairly short lived.

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      I’m speechless.

  5. Mary Beth Magee on July 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    My musical disaster came in elementary school. We couldn’t afford to buy a new instrument, so I was going to play my Dad’s saxophone. One problem: the sax was taller than me! I stood on tiptoe, trying desperately to coax a note from its golden throat. All I got was popping in my ears! So those beautiful notes I heard in my head never made it out of the sax and thus ended my career in band. I stuck with pianos and organs in church from then on.

    I’m so looking forward to “Dying for a Dance.” The stiletto cookies sound yummy, too.

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      Those saxophones are tough. Way harder than the chimes which are evidently only difficult for me. I’m sure you’re a star on the ivories. Thanks for the kind thoughts. Those stiletto cookies better be easier to make than the dead body ones!

  6. Liz on July 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    THis was college, not high school, but I broke my nose playing–no, not volleyball, though I played for my college. I broke it playing wallyball–which is volley- ball on a racquetball court. I was playing with my teammates, of course, so it was embarrasing all around!

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      Only you would have a “wallyball” injury. Good thing your nose is back to perfect, Liz.

    • Liz V. on July 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      You have my sympathy. My nose was broken running into an opponent in field hockey.

      • Cindy on July 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        Those chicks with big sticks scared the c**p out of me. You have MY sympathy.

  7. Julie M. on July 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Ha ha. Cindy you are too funny. These things are hard to believe because you are one of the most poised and competent people I know. Great for a laugh many moons later however! So pleased that your book is being released, and can’t wait for the launch. I just know it will do well. It’s so funny!

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks, Julie. I’m sure our dance instructor would not be surprised to read this blog. I think I was on the dance floor less than 30 seconds when I fell right before that first competition!

  8. Melanie on July 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I remember “being” embarrassed in high school….but for the life of me, I cannot recall why. It must have been so incredibly traumatic I have suppressed the actual memories…

    Best wishes on the new book! Cannot wait!!!!

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      I tried to suppress all four years but evidently some things you just can’t erase! Thanks for the best wishes.

  9. Camille Minichino on July 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Congratulations on the new book, Cindy!

    I’ll forego the itunes opportunity, since my entire 4 years of high school was one huge embarrassment. Particulars are shaky.

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      We’ll have to swap stories some time. Trust me, this blog was just a tip on my iceberg of embarassing high school moments!

  10. Camille Minichino on July 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Well this was embarrassing: I just got a note from your website saying “You’re posting too quickly. Slow down.

    I’ve never been virtually scolded before!

    • Cindy on July 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      It only does that to you because you’ve been given special powers in order to approve comments when you guest blog next week. My first guest blogger. I’m so excited!

  11. Jacqueline Seewald on July 14, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Hi, Cindy,

    What a great story! I love your sense of humor. I look forward to reading your novels.

    • Cindy on July 14, 2011 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, Jacqueline. I must admit that my many mishaps have given me a ton of material for my books!

  12. Linda Lovely on July 15, 2011 at 4:46 am

    It’s hard to pick my most embarrassing moment–I’ve had so many. And they didn’t stop with high school. I remember buying a red silk suit to call on a Fortune 50 company my PR firm wanted as a client. A VP met me for breakfast. I tried to do all the right things. Especially maintain eye contact. Unfortunately I didn’t notice the water glass I was holding was sending a steady stream of dribbles onto my skirt. By the time I stood up, I had a large spot, which, of course, didn’t go away for the rest of my visit. The company did sign on with us. Sympathy?

    Cindy, I love your humor. So glad you have a second book coming out soon.

    • Cindy on July 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Hi Linda. I hate those wardrobe malfunction moments and unfortunately I have so many stories of my own. But if it works, I say go with the sympathy vote. Thanks for commenting.

  13. Kathy Asay on July 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    You know me, I tend to stumble, tumble my way around, sometimes embarrassingly. I never went into music, fortunately. But I did offer to co-chair the homecoming queen committee my freshman year in college. The faculty advisor who looked down his nose at the staff (we weren’t pretty enough for him) scared me with his disdainful looks. So who was at the bottom of the stairs when I tripped and stumbled my way down before the homecoming game? Who had to pick me up from the floor? You guessed it. I don’t recall that he asked if I was hurt. Probably not. I only remember stammering that I had what he had sent me up to get and thinking I was never going to do that job again.

    So glad about your book, Cindy. It’s great.

    • Cindy on July 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      Ah, Kathy. You always know how to make me feel better. It’s nice to know we all share at least one or more embarassing memories and can laugh about them now.

  14. Kelly Morris on July 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Can’t wait for the launch party!

    So, my high school embarrassing/funny “moments” would be showing up for school on a holiday (but we all did that, right? RIGHT???) and the other came on a weekend…

    Our typical party-seeking Friday nights usually began with a caravan to one place or another. You sort of never knew where you were going, but assumed the person leading the caravan knew where the party was, so you just prayed you didn’t get cut off at a stop light somewhere along the way (these were the days before cell phones of course!). So one Friday evening, I loaded up my car with three of my gal pals and we followed the leader. I asked one of my girlfriends if she knew where we were going, she said, “just follow, they heard about a good party!” So I did, and my stomach began flip-flopping as we weaved our way around the streets of my own neighborhood. I knew everyone in my neighborhood who was our age and hadn’t heard of any parties. Finally the cars began parking on my street, and I continued driving to see where the actual destination was, only to find a line of 20 or 30 of my not closest friends already lined up at my front door! I still don’t know how word got out that my parents were out of town, but will never forget having some guy in line tell me to go to the back as I made my way to the front door. I said, “uh, it’s my house!” and flashed my keys. He said, “rock on!” and so we did…

    • Cindy on July 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm

      You know that story qualifies you as one of the cool kids which I never ever doubted!

  15. Kay Lenhart on July 18, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Well, it is actually MORE embarassing now that I think about it! Knowing me, it should be NO surprise that I was a songleader and cheerleader in middle and high school. What great expectations we had, we were going to have ALL of these cute routines, and dance our little hearts out! Our first routine was to “Joy to the World”, you know, Jerimiah was a bullfrog…… Then came our second routine………….. um nope, that was it. No second routine! We did the same dance at EVERY game! I can just imagine the spectators say: “Oh NO, not again! Don’t they know anything else?’ And now that I think about it, what was with the “Jerimiah was a bullfrog”…… what a dorkiy song to begin with! It makes me embarassed ALL OVER again!!! (BTW, I can hardly wait!!!)

    • Cindy on July 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      Okay, I am laughing hysterically and my daughter is rolling on the floor. Oh my. I will never hear that song again without chuckling. You’ve come a long way, Kay!

      PS – thanks. I can’t wait either.

  16. Pauline Baird Jones on July 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    LOLOL! Oh Cindy, that’s too funny! I tried to think of just one thing, but most of my high school was embarrassing. It would be easier to tell a moment when I wasn’t embarrassed!

    • Cindy on July 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Pauline. Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad I wrote this blogpost. I’m not feeling nearly as klutzy as I did when I first posted. I don’t think anyone sailed through high school without some embarassing tale to tell.

Leave a Comment