I think it was 1982 when the Round Rock Dragon Band was invited to march in the Rose Bowl Parade. It was certainly in the early 80s. We were informed a year or so in advance, as money had to be raised. Not only were there travel expenses, but new uniforms were desperately needed, especially if our Band was going to be on National TeeVee!
National TeeVee, at that time, consisted of maybe five channels, three of which would be showing the parade. Not sure how many people lived here then, but it was probably less than 15,000.
The band kids, band boosters, band parents, teachers and many of the other students of Round Rock High School set to with a will to raise the money. There were car washes and bake sales. You couldn't walk down Main Street without being accosted by someone selling shampoo or suntan lotion. There was a jar by the cash register in every store and gas station. Kids went door to door asking if people needed chores done. The entire town, pretty much, kicked in and cleaned the change out from under their car seats. The money was counted and, lo, it was sufficient. New uniforms were purchased. Travel arrangements were made. The band departed for the West Coast.
Come New Year's Day, the entire town of Round Rock was parked in front of their TeeVee sets. Eventually, the announcement came..."Coming up, ladies and gentlemen, is the Round Rock Dragon Band from Round Rock, TX," with added information about the size of the band, the size of the town and other stuff no one cared about. We could just see a smear of maroon and white off in the distance, and---------------the station cut to a commercial. We changed the channel. Same thing. Changed it again. Same thing again.
When the commercials were over, there was the band, disappearing down the street.
Round Rock emitted a collective yowl of outrage! All that work! All that fundraising! All that money! And we didn't get to see them march or hear them play on National TeeVee.
Now, the Dragon Band is AGAIN invited to the Rose Parade. From the signs I've been seeing around town, there is some sort of fundraiser going on that involves mattresses. I'm askeered to find out.
Our population is now nearly ten times what it was then, and Round Rock High School is only one of six high schools that serve the district, instead of the one and only, as it was in those pre-cable days.
This time, I had BETTER get to see the band marching in the Rose Parade!