Yes, This America Is Still Around

 

While shooting the State Fair on Military Appreciation Day, I came upon a band, and decided just to roll tape and see what I could get. There’s something so American about this scene, and so wonderfully ordinary. It’s about 1:35 when I realized I was having one of those days you only get at the Fair.

Feel a bit better about things? I did.

(In case you were wondering why I was backing up at the beginning, I was getting the master shot, in case I wanted to detach the audio and use it as a bed for a video with many other scenes.)

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    What’s the over-under on the age of 60 in that?

    • #1
  2. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Wonderful! It is my heart’s desire to go to the Minnesota State Fair. I have been to the Big E several times. That would be hard to beat.

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    James Lileks: (In case you were wondering why I was backing up at the beginning, I was getting the master shot, in case I wanted to detach the audio and use it as a bed for a video with many other scenes.)

    I love it when you talk dirty about “B roll.”

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    That was so much fun! A Sousa march, a standing crowd, and I love the piccolo part! Thanks, James. Really enjoyed that.

    • #4
  5. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    Love it – the folks, the venue, and the most famous piccolo solo in all music history.

    • #5
  6. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Love it.  I was thinking about how much fun it would be to see videos like this from… like… 1896 or something.  Then I was thinking that people in 2196 might be watching your video.  Hopefully they’ll be thinking, “Yes, this America is still around.”

    • #6
  7. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    It’s around me too but it’s dying.   Small enclaves will be left in 20-30 years but that’s about it.  The America of my youth  passed with barely a fight.  Along with that passing we have kissed good bye the rule of law, shame, responsibility,  and  most of the things I consider worthwhile.   C’est la vie.

    • #7
  8. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    So good to see that America still exists. I do find it amusing that people thought they needed to stand for the song.

    Nice post, Mr Lileks.

    • #8
  9. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Pencilvania:Love it – the folks, the venue, and the most famous piccolo solo in all music history.

    Really?  The MOST famous?  Ahem….

    • #9
  10. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Shooting the military at the state fair is just wrong.

    • #10
  11. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    A couple of points I’d like to make here, as a veteran and general all around decent sort:

    First, when I was in the Army, they’d let any jackass in to combat arms.  But you had to know exactly what the heck you were doing to get in the Army band.

    Second, I’m sure that conductor ain’t passin’ no PT test.

    • #11
  12. John Peabody Inactive
    John Peabody
    @JohnAPeabody

    I played with this band for six years when I enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard at age 17. Doing the State Fair gig was always fun. After my stint in Minnesota I switched to the regular Army for another 20 years of making music for the US. A great career.

    • #12
  13. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    On one 4th of July my wife and I spent some time with a college buddy and his family. They had a ranch in Eastern Oregon. Every little town we drove through had their own small rodeo. We went to the rodeo in our friend’s town and watched his 80 year-old father-in-law who was entered in the calf roping competition. There were lot’s of American flags and it was definitely a small town atmosphere. One of the best family 4th of July’s that I remember.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    John Peabody:I played with this band for six years when I enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard at age 17. Doing the State Fair gig was always fun. After my stint in Minnesota I switched to the regular Army for another 20 years of making music for the US. A great career.

    What instrument did you play, John?

    • #14
  15. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Sousa!…RAH!  I could (almost) stand up for this one, myself. :-)

    • #15
  16. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    TKC1101:I do find it amusing that people thought they needed to stand for the song.

    Nice post, Mr Lileks.

    Thanks! I loved the standing, too.

    • #16
  17. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Spin: Second, I’m sure that conductor ain’t passin’ no PT test.

    <snort>

    • #17
  18. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    James Lileks:

    Spin: Second, I’m sure that conductor ain’t passin’ no PT test.

    <snort>

    Easy there, Spin…A Warrior’s heart and spirit never weakens, right? :-)

    • #18
  19. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    EJHill: I love it when you talk dirty about “B roll.”

    VONAT over B roll, at that.

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Excellent! I hope Titus gets to a state fair and a rodeo while he’s here. Any Ricochet bigwigs going to meetup with the cheeky Romanian?

    • #20
  21. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Another dispatch from what my friend Tamara Keel likes to call “American-occupied America.”

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dang it, I can’t get the audio.  Got to figure it out if I have it blocked, but the shots of folks standing are priceless . . .

    • #22
  23. Franz Drumlin Member
    Franz Drumlin
    @FranzDrumlin

    Wonderful! I find it odd when a band plays this piece and people don’t clap. It’s one of the great audience-clapping pieces.

    BTW, I attended a great Mahler concert at Ravinia this summer. Despite the near-apocalyptic thunderstorm that hit before the concert started the pavilion was full (James Levine was the conductor; big fave in Chicago). The opening piece was, of all things, The Star-Spangled Banner. When the orchestra began the entire audience spontaneously rose . . . and began to sing! Many men had their hands over their hearts. I would hazard a guess the audience was ninety-nine percent full-spectrum Progressive, yet there they were, singing. I found it as moving as the Mahler that followed.

    So cheer up, people!

    • #23
  24. kelsurprise Member
    kelsurprise
    @kelsurprise

    Western Chauvinist:Excellent! I hope Titus gets to a state fair and a rodeo while he’s here. Any Ricochet bigwigs going to meetup with the cheeky Romanian?

    I might be meeting His Cheekyness this Friday, as a matter of fact.

    Fun number, James!  Thanks for posting!

    I’ve only ever been to the Tulsa State Fair – every single year, growing up, Dad would take us.  The fairgrounds were right next to the Army Reserve Center so Dad was able to get primo parking there and he’d help us hop over a little cable divider strung between poles, that got lower and lower as we got older.

    The last year I happened to be home during the Fair, nearly a decade ago, we all arranged to go together, then my Grandfather’s health took a bad turn and Dad had to beg off and head to Kansas at the last minute.  So we took a picture of him along and posed for shots with “Flat Dad” at all our favorite haunts we used to visit with him.  That’s the last time I hit a State Fair.  I’m definitely overdue.

    • #24
  25. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    kelsurprise:

    Western Chauvinist:Excellent! I hope Titus gets to a state fair and a rodeo while he’s here. Any Ricochet bigwigs going to meetup with the cheeky Romanian?

    I might be meeting His Cheekyness this Friday, as a matter of fact.

    Fun number, James! Thanks for posting!

    I’ve only ever been to the Tulsa State Fair – every single year, growing up, Dad would take us. The fairgrounds were right next to the Army Reserve Center so Dad was able to get primo parking there and he’d help us hop over a little cable divider strung between poles, that got lower and lower as we got older.

    The last year I happened to be home during the Fair, nearly a decade ago, we all arranged to go together, then my Grandfather’s health took a bad turn and Dad had to beg off and head to Kansas at the last minute. So we took a picture of him along and posed for shots with “Flat Dad” at all our favorite haunts we used to visit with him. That’s the last time I hit a State Fair. I’m definitely overdue.

    Apt, even in the British/Continental spelling; kindly pass on a panda hug…

    • #25
  26. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    This past 4th of July was our first in our new neighborhood.  By luck we happen to be less than a mile from the city’s official fireworks show with a perfect view.  We had lots of friends over (mostly older millennials) and some neighbors were out front too.  I brought out my portable Bose speaker and blasted patriotic songs, including this one, from YouTube while we watched the light show.  Everyone loved it.  Take heart!  This is in the San Francisco bay area.

    • #26
  27. kelsurprise Member
    kelsurprise
    @kelsurprise

    Nanda Panjandrum: Apt, even in the British/Continental spelling; kindly pass on a panda hug…

    Will do.

    (I demurred . . . then decided that since it was actually a made up title rather than a noun, I would keep the actual root word intact.)

    • #27
  28. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Nanda Panjandrum:

    James Lileks:

    Spin: Second, I’m sure that conductor ain’t passin’ no PT test.

    <snort>

    Easy there, Spin…A Warrior’s heart and spirit never weakens, right? ?

    If yer gonna wear the uniform….

    He says, as he sits and drinks his Dr. Pepper.

    • #28
  29. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Great post. I have from time to time lived and worked in Minnesota(usually in the area of the Twin Cities) and was fortunate enough to make several trips to the state fair. This clip brings back a lot of good memories. Thanks for the reminder that all is not lost.

    P.S. More clips from the fair would be much appreciated. :)

    • #29
  30. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    ausgezeichnet

    • #30

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