I had given a piece of my soul to high school Marching Band, and had no intent on doing that for college. I would be a free man. I would march to my own drum. And then it happened. The week before classes started I was riding my bike along lake Mendota and I saw them. Thee University of Wisconsin Marching Band marched like nothing I had ever seen.
I didn’t want to march in college. I wanted free time, I wanted space, and yet, there they were. 250 kids marching with intensity, their knees stopping at the top, their toes pointed down. I could feel their passion and drive. They were eating rocks. They were marching in line, from yard to yard, until Mike Leckrone finally said stop.
There were a few strong words from Leckrone, telling them that they could do better when I saw perfection. I dropped my bike and scurried up to Leckrone and said, “That was the most amazing thing I’ve seen, and more than anything, sir, I want in.” He looked at me sincerely and said, “This isn’t the army, don’t call me sir. Now go find a spot and start marching.” I did, and didn’t stop until I graduated.