where wildly different is perfectly normal
So Funky
So Funky

So Funky

If you only read the paper to catch the comics (as, unfortunately, I’ve been reduced to), and you’re lucky enough to have a paper that runs Funky Winkerbean, this week you’re in for a treat. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, FW is an ongoing strip about…oh, hell, it’s too long to give a rundown. Let’s just call it about a bunch of band kids who grow up. My kind of strip. Unfortunately, the Chicago Tribune didn’t carry it, so I never really read the strip until I got married. But there’s a very dedicated band director, Harry Dinkle, who is only a slight parody of band directors. I say “slight parody” because he’s pretty damned dead on. In the past Harry has made his kids march in floods (BTDT), sell unholy amounts of band chocolate (also BTDT), and as a band director myself, I had the moments I see in Harry of “WTF did you do to that trombone?” The strip is fun.

This week Harry (oh, and it’s a pretty rare thing these days that the strip actually focuses on the band director) is at The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. This is a real band and orchestra convention that is held in Chicago every year in December. (NOTE: yes, it’s in Chicago in December and yes, it’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra. But I grew up there and trust me, Phoenix in August is much worse). I’ve gone more times than I can count. My high school band director took us for a day every year. I’ve heard unbelievable ensembles there and have always had a wonderful time. It’s not the holidays until I’ve spent a day at the Chicago Hilton and Towers for this convention. It’s that near and dear to me. So this week the strip is focused on Midwest for its 60th anniversary. You can check out the last couple days worth of strips here. Today’s is especially good; yes, the elevators are that slow. People have been known to walk up dozens of flights of stairs to avoid waiting for a car; good exercise right before the holidays.

Midwest is especially meaningful for me this year. We weren’t planning on going anywhere at the holidays this year; last year traveling at the holidays almost did us in. But then we heard that my middle school band had been accepted to play at Midwest. This is the highest honor a band, especially a middle school band, can receive. So we’re going. They play a week from Friday and there are going to be quite a few proud and emotional alumni in the audience. So many people who played in that band live nearby and will be able to either go to the convention or the pre-convention concert on Monday. I can’t wait. I’ll get to see so many old friends and get to hear a magnificent concert. I’m so proud of them.

Go check out Funky. It’s worth a laugh.

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