Thanksgiving Odyssey Bands, Buses, and Big Bad Balloons = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Table of Contents: Chapter 1: Five Buses Part 1: Were Off!! Part 2: Space Management Part 3: El Camino Part 4: No Place Like Home Chapter 2: Rock This Town Part 1: If You Show Me Yours... Part 2: Uncharted Territory Part 3: From On High Part 4: A Change in Direction Part 5: Walking to Memphis Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple Part 1: A Place of Healing Part 2: The Fruits of Other's Labors... Part 3: Getting Our Fill Part 4: Rumblings of Mutiny Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway Part 1: Zero-Dark-Thirty Part 2: Inside... Looking Out Part 3: Meanwhile, Back at Tesla Corner... Part 4: Celebrities I Do Not Know Part 5: A Bit of Americana Part 6: The Blink of an Eye Part 7: The Study of Pressure and Time Part 8: Giving Thanks Chapter 5: Remembrances Part 1: What Is and What Was Part 2: A Substantial Edifice Part 3: The New Colossus Part 4: Beneath the Surface Part 5: Reflecting Absence Part 6: The Last Hurrah Chapter 6: A Whole Different Animal... That's All Folks!! = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = When Homer... and before you say it out loud, Im talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield. Anyway, as I was saying When Homer first put quill to papyrus with the intention of jotting down a few thoughts about a guy who needed to go out for a few days on a business trip of sorts, I dont think that he intentionally set out to create the literary trash genera of Travel Books. That was the farthest thing from the mind of this great epic poet as he was writing one of the books that every high school student (much to their chagrin) is now compelled to read: The Odyssey. No... what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course& jubilant homecomings. But, if you think about it& these things... these ideas... they are the exact same elements that are required to tell even a run of the mill travel story. With that in mind... I am going to try my best to tell you a story: a story about a group of folks that embarked on their own Odyssey. An adventure that was the culmination of nearly two years of planning and became an amazing finally to what was an extraordinary summer and fall in the lives of a group of very dedicated young people and their families. Its quite the tale, but its not going to be everyones cup of tea. First off its not a Disney story (which is why I didnt post it in the TR section of the boards). But there were many aspects of the trip that closely mirror a good Disney TR (and believe it or not, Mickey will be making a couple of brief appearances). Hopefully youll be able to find something interesting in the midst of the mindless blather that is to follow. I do promise that Ill give you fair warning when Im about to make a left turn into terra obscura. That way youll be able to quickly hit the back button and be spared the needless loss of brain cells. If you do choose to stay... you will learn entirely too much about high school bands and marching competitions; the care and feeding of teenagers; fundraising and deluxe bus travel; accommodations in the Hackensack area and whirlwind tours of NYC and most importantly... a behind the scenes look at one of Americas modern holiday traditions: The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade... ...and just what it takes to be one of the very few units that actually performs live music during the event. If youve had the opportunity (or misfortune) of reading one of my previous TRs, you will already have some insight into the kind of dementia and generally unfocused meandering that is likely to take place here. If not... you might want to take a look at my past efforts and use them as a guide for determining whether you really want to take on the burden of deciphering the broken and disconnected thought process that make up my written musings. Heres a couple of links to those literary disasters; you can go check em out for yourselves... Experiment-627 (A Caribbean Double with a Wilderness Chaser) Youre writing a TR... Really? (Christmas at POR, 2010) I hope you decide to follow along and Id really appreciate it if youd also join in the conversation. Feel free to toss out questions, comments, observations, criticisms, witticisms, or any other ism that crosses you mind. And while Im here, I want to thank you in advance for even checking in here in the first place. This was a once in a lifetime experience for my family and many others in the small town that I call home. I only hope that given my meager literary abilities; I can give this story the presentation it deserves. Like it or not though... Im going to be making the attempt. Just maybe Ill be able to get somebody to listen.