We will miss you
June is here and so school is ending and most students of York School District 1 are very happy about this. For a lot of other students and parents alike, it is a bittersweet time. The YCHS Band and Junior High band have played their last Band Revue with Mr.Fred Stewart and Mr. Mitch Hopper. That night in May was an amazing night of music, memories, laughter and tears.
Over the years Mr. Stewart and Mr. Hopper have lead so many students to be leaders in our community and state. These directors have taught life lessons of commitment, honesty, hardwork and teamwork that will serve our young people well in any career they may chose.
In 2000-2004 I had the pleasure of being allowed to work with the band. Many fishfry's, playing at football games and doing competitions were done with a lot of hard work and dedication of many parents. Thank you for that support.
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I gained a whole new respect for the band students and their directors. I have been so proud to have been a small part of this organization. Due to all the hard work of the band, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Hopper and parents, this band was State Champions those 4 years. Other years they have placed in the top tiers and have won so many awards. These young people learned how to win or to lose with much grace.
Anytime you have great band director, you'll have their family working right beside them. We've been blessed Mrs. Stewart and Mrs. Hopper and their families.
We thank them for all the hard work and sacrifices they have made over the years. May God Bless You where ever life may take you. Thank you Doug for all your hard work, too. Shaggy, We love you and will miss you and Mitch so very much. Thanks for the Memories.
For those who enjoy theatre trivia, the recent passing of actor/director Mel Ferrer reminds me of a couple of items. His first Broadway play was as the lead in Lillian Smith's STRANGE FRUIT in 1945 which happens to have been the first Broadway play that my late friend Robert Earl Jones (James' Father) was in. Robert played Jim who was lynched in the play.
Ferrer played the lead role of Luis Bello in the 1945 movie THE BRAVE BULLS written by Tom Lea. When I got drafted for the Korean War I did my Basic and Advanced Training at Fort Bliss at El Paso Texas and almost every Sunday I would go over to Juarez Mexico for the bull fights. The last few months I was there I attended the fights with Tom Lea, the author of The Brave Bulls. I had met him at Alligator Park, downtown El Paso.
In addition to his writings, was a premier artist and had as interesting a life as anyone I can think of with the possible exception of Langston Hughes. Lea was threatened once by the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa; had a debate with Chiang Kai-shek and was celebrated by F. D. R.
The State of Texas celebrated the 100th Anniversary of his birth in 2007 and the Month of July was proclaimed Tom Lea Month by the City of El Paso.