Senior clarinetist describes band trip

Amy Cahoy

Amy Cahoy

Looking back at the trip to California, I realize that California holds a completely different life than South Dakota. And there are a lot of things that surprised me about California.

First of all, I had trouble remembering that it was December because the weather was so mild in California.

The temperature hardly dipped below 40 degrees. At 5 a.m., I could walk out onto my balcony without any socks on and it would already be 50 degrees. To anyone who hates South Dakota winters, I suggest you hibernate in California.

It has come to my attention that on T.V. it looked really cold at the Rose Bowl Parade. If you lived in California, I suppose it would look cold. The Pride was lined up for the Parade by 6:30 a.m. Although I do not know what the temperature was at that time, I do know that I have marched in colder Hobo Day Parades. If I had to guess it was maybe 50 degrees. By the end of the parade it was at least 65 degrees.

The band found it funny that the Californians had on there winter coats, gloves, hats and blankets. They thought it was so cold out. In fact, the entire trip was like that. There would be some Pride members in shorts, and next to them was Californians in winter coats.

While waiting for the parade to begin, the Californians asked me what the weather was like at this time of year in South Dakota. I informed them that although it was a mild year with no snow, the high was maybe 20 degrees. Their eyes would open wide and they would walk away. I do not think they could comprehend how cold 20 degrees was.

Something that surprised me about California was how clean it was. There were a few homeless people at Santa Monica Pier and in L.A., but overall, California was not that bad.

Another thing that surprised me was Hollywood. That is a dirty place. The buildings are run-down and the shops are dirty. There are a few nice buildings – the ones shown on television. But, the prices in Hollywood are cheap compared to the rest of California.

One thing that got annoying to me was everyone saying that we were from San Diego State University (SDSU). One lady even announced to anyone to listen that we were wearing SDSU’s wrong colors. We informed her that we were from South Dakota, and she turned and walked away.

People wanted to know where in South Dakota we were from. When we said, “Brookings,” they would ask where it’s located. Then we would have to explain to them we live north of Sioux Falls, or on the other side of the state from Rapid City, or my favorite, 5 hours west of Minneapolis.

Despite all that, California was a lot of fun.

It was fun marching in the parade. I was on the end of a line, and I heard people compliment our lines, our playing and how loud we were.

The parade got long, but the band had its moments. Seeing all the parents and fans who came with us sitting in the crowd, cheering loudly for us was a boost. We went underneath an overpass, and our noise just echoed and gave us another boost. The final boost came when we saw our buses ahead, and we knew we were done.

The Pride of the Dakotas in the Rose Bowl Parade: It was a trip no one will forget. I know I will always remember it.