On June 1, 1996, the South Hamilton Middle School Band
would be marching for Story City's Scandinavian Day Parade.

Although no photos are available for this parade day, see images farther down this page.

       On June 1, the weather looked OK.   Some parents who planned to watch the parade parade in Story City took their sons and daughters to Story City and parked at American Packaging just to the west of where the parade would start, so the plan was underway.    One bus had picked up students needing a ride from the Stanhope area before heading to Jewell to pick up percussion marching equipment and any Jewell area kids needing a ride.   The other bus had picked up the Ellsworth area students before heading to Randall for more middle school performers.     When the buses arrived, the kids who had been brought by parents or grandparents joined their friends in a bus.   And it started to rain.

       The rain came hard for a while, and soon it was 15 minutes until time for the parade to begin.   When it was nearly parade time, the Story City band director left his bus and came into the South Hamilton bus to visit with the South Hamilton director.    He mentioned that he had hoped for a great parade day, but with the rain, his band was going to call it quits for the day and not worry about marching on a day with rain.  "What are you going to do?"

         He left the South Hamilton bus after Spohnheimer told him he would discuss the matter with his students.    When he turned to the students to discuss what they should do, and they began chanting "We're Marching, Marching, Marching!"   The bus began to sway a bit as the kids were moving while they were shouting, "We're Marching, Marching, Marching".

     They all watched as the Story City bus left the American Packaging parking lot, and when it was parade time, they all left the bus and lined up in the grass facing Broad Street.  After the color guard holding the flags moved forward, the parade officials waved to the South Hamilton Middle School Band and directed them to enter the street and march.   Although the Story City High School band had always led the parade after the color guard, it was time to march instead of waiting for a later spot in the parade.

       And they advanced into the street, faced east, heard the whistles, and began marching to their drum cadences.    They as they crossed the railroad tracks and were underway, they heard more whistles, a roll off, and played their first tune.   The rain continued for a while, and then let up.  More cadences, more tunes, and they helped lead the parade east down the street until the parade route took them south, the rain stopped, west, south, east, and finally north serveral blocks to where the parade ended.   By that time, the rain was long gone.

      It turned out that the rain stopped before most blocks of the parade, so the day turned into a very reasonable parade day.   And the students and the teacher had a great time.    And it was a joy to be able to lead the parade.

On the next day, the mail contained a great colorful card that contained a kind generous message.

The kind message on that card from Vicki Olthoff follows:


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Mr. Spohnheimer --

I know I told you this already - but the band was GREAT marching on Saturday.    Those of us watching the parader were really proud of the kids, and those who weren't from South Hamilton appreciated the music + marching!    The R-S junior high kids stood around in the rain with their instruments watching (they could have just as well marched) + I think they wished they had gone ahead.   I had bell choir practice at my church later + told my fellow "ding-a-lingers" about  our kids marching + boy did the stories + pride flow from when they (we) were in marching band + marched in the rain!!    Marching band fires the public up!!   (A silent parade is REALLY boring!!)   Good Job  -- these guys sound like a high school band!    Keep up the good work!!

Vicki Olthoff



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