One Among 66

That is what I was. For two of my high school years my life revolved around my membership in drill team. At tryouts the first year, nervous energy worked in my favor as I made the cut and I felt honored, rewarded, and completely filled with joy. Two of my top tier friends and a host of second tier friends made the cut as well.

High school years can be fraught with anxiety and the scourge of all teens, low self-esteem. I was continually searching for those places where high school would speak to me and leave me feeling comfortable. It really is something of a hunt…and I found the treasure.

Our drill team advisor was a tiny woman who also served as P.E. teacher. Heidi. She was cute, funny, and she really liked me. Owing, maybe, to the fact that we were the same height. Short. The structure of the drill team was comprised of a student captain, a student co-captain, and a very young mascot.  I recall she was 5 years old. All of us wore the same outfit. Pacifica High School Mariners. So, the outfits had that sailor flavor going. In these outfits we marched in parades and football games and competitions. The most important and prestigious competition was known as Chaffey. It was a Southern California big-time event. We did not win top prize. Nevertheless, I ate up the marching and performing.

My second year in drill team corresponded with my senior year. Tryouts were a given because we were never assured of a spot on the team.  We had to work for it. After the round of tryouts were complete, Heidi took me and a friend to look at the results.  The girls successfully completing tryouts numbered 66. Out of the 66, I ranked 4th. Only the girls who went on to become captain & co-captain, and my best friend, were ranked higher than me. Not too shabby.

PHS you are missed. Heidi, you were instrumental in shaping my teenage world. Thank you.

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