Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: One Thing You've Done

For Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week Randy Seaver is using a meme that has been making hte rounds on Facebook.  I posted a response there already, so I have an answer ready!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) There have been some posts on Facebook to tell one thing that you've done in your life that your Facebook friends have never done.

(2) For this SNGF, write about something that you have done in your life that your friends have not done, as far as you know.

Share your act with your readers (and friends) in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post.

So here's mine:

I know I have several friends who have done this, but I'm pretty sure none of my genealogy friends have.  While I was a member of the USC Marching Band (The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe), I performed in two Super Bowl halftime shows and at one World Series game.

On January 25, 1987, Super Bowl XXI was held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  The teams were the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos.  I was a member of the percussion section, playing cymbals.  The halftime show was choreographed and put on by Disney.  Unfortunately, Disney doesn't really like live music, because people can make mistakes, so we band members didn't actually get to play.  More unfortunately, because we weren't playing, it was decided that percussion section members wouldn't carry our own instruments.  Instead, we had to carry wind instruments.  I had a trumpet.

Mickey Rooney was part of the show.  The band was marching in two concentric circles, one circle going clockwise and the other counterclockwise.  Rooney was supposed to step between two band members and walk out to the middle of the field.  He missed his cue, which was a few people ahead of me in the counterclockwise circle.  He decided he would walk in front of me.  He had been a really rude, obnoxious person during the rehearsals, and I strongly considered tripping him.  Then one thought immediately popped into my head:  "Art will kill me" (Art being Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, the band director).  So I let him through.

At some point I managed to get one of those foam hands as a souvenir.  It was a Broncos hand.  I sent it to my mother as a memento of my gig.  And what did she do?  Complain that it wasn't a Giants hand, the team she preferred.  Sometimes you just can't please someone!

On January 31, 1988, Super Bowl XXII was held at Jack Murphy Stadium (which no longer exists) in San Diego, California.  The Broncos were back, but this time they played the Washington Redskins.  This show was a lot better, because the band actually got to play!  The show was choreographed by Radio City Music Hall.  We had 88 pianos on the field, with 88 keys each, for 1988, and the featured performer was Chubby Checker, who was much nicer than Mickey Rooney.  It was a great show, and I was able to identify myself in a clip from a video I found online.

I'm the cymbal player on the far right

The World Series game was also in 1988, when the Oakland A's played the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The date was either October 15 or 16, because it was at Dodger Stadium.  Then I was playing clarinet.  The main thing I remember about our performance is that the clarinets were near the back of the band, and after we had finished playing one song I stepped back and thought I had run into a wall — but it was actually José Canseco!  I had had no idea that he was so tall.  He thought it was pretty funny.


  1. Performing during two Super Bowls and one World Series game is quite unique. What fun experiences those must have been.

    1. They were all wonderful experiences, and I know I'm very lucky to have been able to participate in them.


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