We got to our seats, free Dodger dogs and beer in hand, just in time to remain standing for the National Anthem played by -- go figure -- the USC Trojan Marching Band. There in front of the band, clenched fist raised to if nothing more force victory from defeat's grasp, stood the horseless Tommy Trojan himself. Come to find out the My Town section of Dodger stadium was full of USC folk. And there I was just across the aisle up until that moment of getting it oblivious to the whole USC night at Dodger stadium thing. That's what I get for throwing away all of those solicitations from my Masters in Social Work graduate school. So we didn't get the nifty t-shirts or the lanyards or the little pennants. In fact, to make that aisle even wider, we couldn't even exit the closest entrance on account of we didn't have the right ticket.
That's okay. Most of the marching band wound up sitting in close to our section. I've never attended a ballgame with a Sousa phone before.
And no aisle is wide enough to take from me the fact that I knew - actually knew in person - one of the early Tommy Trojan drum majors. He wore the helmet and everything and I knew him. In fact, during my sophomore year in high school I lived with the aunt of said Tommy Trojan drum major. Alortha Aston's sister, Omega Watts' son Cloin was that very guy. Quite an accomplishment for a young man from Globe, Arizona, in a day and age when young men did not openly yearn to become a Tommy Trojan drum major much less actually realize that yearning. Luckily Cloin came from a family celebrating unusual names as well as unusual behavior. Cloin Watts doubtless got his musical ability from his uncle Loather Hamilton who defied tradition by using a pitch pipe in the church for which he was a song leader. That pitch pipe created such a stir that the church divided into those who supported the pitch pipe and those who refused to embrace it. One of the factions moved to another town. Through it all Cloin just kept his helmeted, feathered head high and marched on.