Citrus Bowl My Ass. More Like Citrus Hole

A Grace Full Life

I will never forget this trip. 

Now I want a clementine. 

First published October 19, 2015

playing clarinet marching band 1987 Lexington Ohio 1987 Kari

I was reading my friend Teri’s blog post about how colleges need to show the full halftime show during football games, and it got me reminiscing about my high school marching band days.

Over Christmas break of 1987, my small-town Ohio high school marching band earned the chance to travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in the Citrus Bowl Parade and Marching Band Competition.

While this was very exciting and an honor for our band, it was also rather costly. So we had to sell items such as light bulbs, oranges, and booklets to the local Ponderosa Steakhouse in order to bring our tubas, clarinets, and piccolos down there.

Ponderosa gift certificates Anyone want some “steak”?

This is the one element that remains with me all these years afterward; light bulbs?

We peddled them door…

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7 thoughts on “Citrus Bowl My Ass. More Like Citrus Hole”

  1. I always clap hard for the marching band. I was in one, too– playing the clarinet, in Ohio. Our small town school system wouldn’t even consider sending us to any glorious event like the one you went to, so I never got the opportunity to sell anything outside a Ponderosa. Nor have I ever had breakfast at The Olive Garden. You, as always, impress me with your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Girl. I was noshing on a clementine when I opened up this post. STOP IT.
    I’m sorry Florida wronged you, but please forgive us. Orlando is really on its own and I do not claim it at all because if you really get down to the nitty-gritty, there are only 7 or 8 Floridians in Orlando at one time. It’s kind of an unknown law.
    Breakfast at The Olive Garden. Was endless soup, salad, and breadsticks an option because if so, SIGN MY ASS UP!
    I think I read once that if you can sell lightbulbs to strangers, you can write a damn fine novel.

    Linds was in the band (dance line) and went to the bowl that is in New Orleans….I can’t remember the name. Sugar Bowl? Stripper Bowl? She kind of had the same enjoyment. In the dark, hard work, nasty hotel rooms. I didn’t ask if they smelled like sex, but they probably did, it’s New Orleans.

    We always LOVED listening to and watching the Marching band….four years of our girl being in it will do that to you.

    Wait, that was YOUR braid? I thought I recognized it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YOU STOP IT. I swear we are soul sisters.
      I feel like Orlando is the Hollywood of Florida. Even though there is a Hollywood, Florida. Not the same one. I AM MAKING NO SENSE.

      I love the soup, salad, and breadsticks. That is the only thing I order there! So when it showed up in the Midwest years later, I was all Oh Olive Garden, you did me dirty in Orlando.

      Oh, poor Linds. I can guarantee she had the same experience. I wonder if all band directors got the choice to have this experience for their bands? Now that I think about it, I bet they did. I hate them even MORE now.

      Right? I will get you my autograph. That’ll be $50 (inflation and all).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Is there even such a thing as Ponderosa anymore? I know, that’s not the point. The light bulb sales door to door is hard to wrap my brain around. A hotel room that smells like sex? Good thing no one had heard of bedbugs back then. I went to Catholic school, so I hadn’t even heard of sex at this point in my life . . . kidding. Marching in the dark, being cut out of the footage, hard work, crappy hotels, sore feet, door to door sales – why wasn’t I in the band? Hmm, oh yeah – I have no musical talent. At all. This would’ve killed me because I’m all about Florida and sunshine, also being from the Midwest. I don’t blame you for turning your nose up at citrus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No! We used to love that place though and I don’t even think it was for the “steak”. I think it was because you could pick your food out and put it on a tray.

      I hadn’t either! Hence the reason I was sniffing the room! 😂

      I was scarred for a long time. Thank God I met Suz when I did. She redeemed Florida for me.


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