6 months ago I sprawled on the floor amidst my suitcase and my pillows and wrote my sendoff to Bridgemania, to the 2012 DCI summer. I said that none of us would return from this journey the same.
I had no idea how much we would change the drum corps world forever. No idea how many lives so far removed from our own we would touch. No idea that as our souvie stand would swarm with customers and fans after our performances that a rainbow storm waged on the very concept of drum corps. Why do we perform? Why do we connect with an audience? Why do we really invest so much of our lives in an activity so little of the world will ever understand?
I had no idea the strength of the connection we would gain with the yellow people. How the lump in my throat at Wildwood was so little of an indication of the emotions I feel now.
I had no idea that we would so overwhelmingly succeed in what we set out to do, 23 years ago. We really did “live the dream”. Because when the wall of banana sticks thundered down at us in Allentown and we lay eyes-closed on feverish on the turf, sucking in air, we’d done it. Dreamed big, stopped at nothing, and achieved far more than we could ever have imagined. And we woke up at the end of the summer, we realized we’d never been asleep. That it was all real.
I had no idea that at the end of the summer, I would look in the mirror and see someone new. Someone kinder. Someone no longer afraid to trust. Someone who would stop at nothing, not even their own fear, to do what was right.
Bridgemania, you were more than just a magical adventure to far away lands on snug little buses. You were exactly what the world needed to turn just a little brighter.