Column: Let's march away from cabin fever


WORTHINGTON — Everyone has something that is special, personal and private to them, especially as children. A dream. A joy. Something healthy that helps them take on life.

When I was a little girl, my father built us a new home. The first day I walked home on my new route from school, I was all alone. My friends were on the other side of town. So when I came in the door, knowing that my mother would be gone that day, I felt especially lonely. What to do? What to do?

Down into the basement I went. Looking around, I spotted a Victrola.  How does this thing work? Pretty soon I had it wound up and found two records, the heavy thick kind from the early ’30’s. I chose the marches, even though I wondered who John Philip Sousa was. In no time I was stepping to the beat, swinging my arms, lifting my knees higher and higher and trying all sorts of marching tricks. I was so happy! For some reason I never ever ever told anyone about my basement marching escapades. I don’t know why. Perhaps because it was so private and my secret way of escaping winter boredom. Not until a year or two ago did I even tell a friend.

When we hear a Sousa march, our feet start tapping, hands start clapping. At the Worthington City Band concerts, we all perk up and smile. Then the kids march around Chautauqua Park, everyone in rhythm. We adults need to get up and march and get those big smiles going, too! The City Band plays usually plays a Sousa march at each summer concert. Most of us recognize the melodies of “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Hands across the Sea,” and “The Gladiator March.”

John Philip Sousa wrote 137 marches, 15 operettas, five overtures, 11 suites and 24 dances between 1880 and his death in 1932. Not until 1987 did Congress name “The Stars and Stripes Forever” as the National March of the United States.

It’s time to find the Victrola, get out your old vinyl WHS Trojan Marching Band recordings or ramp up your YouTube. Get the kids and grandkids and march our way through March.