Yesterday Earl and I hopped in the Jeep to spend an afternoon up in my hometown. I was a bad son in that I didn’t stop in and see my family, instead, we went to the Pulaski Field Days.
For those unfamiliar with the “field days” concept, let me explain. During the summer, volunteer fire departments in this area have a town carnival-type affair to raise money for the department. There’s a midway, games, raffles, lots of food and beer, and a parade through the Main Street area showing off area fire departments, marching bands and other civic groups. If you are a fan of the 10,000 Maniacs, you’ll note that they had a song called “Stockton Gala Days” – in Southwestern New York, they call the festivities “Gala Days”, up here in Central New York, we call them “Field Days”.
Anyways, Earl and I haven’t been to the Pulaski Field Days in a number of years. It’s always good fun in that we see quite a few people that I went to school with, a smattering of teachers, business owners and such. The last time we went to the parade was in 2000. Being the music teacher I aspired to be and the proud member of the marching band in both junior and senior high school, I was a little disappointed in the band’s performance that year. They didn’t seem as loud, choreographed or as polished that I remembered the band to be when I was in it. Of course, everyone tends to remember their formative years to be a little better than they probably were and I attributed my band memories to that.
This year, the band was very, very good. They are now led by a former classmate of mine, who is carrying on the legacy of our band director and his father (a former band director at a neighboring school) with pride and dignity. The band sounded good, they looked good and overall they performed well.
I may have lost touch with most of my friends and classmates from when I was growing up, but I’m still proud to be an alumni of Pulaski Academy and Central School.
Here’s some pictures of the band and colorguard:
And here’s a picture of Pulaski’s “Main Street”, which is actually called Jefferson Street. It’s a quaint little village, not as bustling as it was back in the day, though. Most of the business has moved out to Rome Street to the various plazas and such.