This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The Band Mascot

13 September 2019

Hey Bud!

How do you like our band's new mascot?
His name is Tige because
since our Bandmaster's name is Braun,
it's just gotta be.
He's a great dog and a big favorite with the fellas.
Hank won him in a card game from some Marines in Frisco.

He's smart dog too!
Tommy's been training him
so when he leads our parades
Tige trots along right beside him.
He even turns when Tommy twirls his baton.
We think he wags his tail
in time to the bass drum.

Moose and his pals
still gripe about every little thing.
Maybe they'd think different
if they was in the army!

Madison is doing okay,
but wishes you was still here
to hold up the section's standards.
Andersen never will understand
how to play in tune and keep the beat
at the same time.

Charlie and Vern send their regards
and say you should save them
some of those French girls.
Write soon as you can.

Your old shipmate - Bert

* * *

The preceding postcard message is a complete fabrication as this U. S. Navy band's photo was never posted and has no marks to identify its time, place, or ship. Since they are in front of a brick wall they are obviously on shore. The uniforms for the bandsmen and the Bandmaster are an older style that sets them somewhere in time between 1913 and 1920. In this era most of the large battleships and cruisers in the U. S. Navy were assigned a band of about 24 musicians. Their main duty was to provide band concerts on board ship, or to lead the sailors whenever there was occasion to march in a parade. But bandsmen also pulled duty maintaining the ship like the band in my story from July 2018, Full Steam Ahead on the USS Georgia

Even if we never learn their name, a dog mascot in a photo is a very special bonus. My three favorite dogs found in my collection are pictured in The March of the SailfishMusic for a Desert Island, and for best of show, the 11th U.S. Cavalry Band. There's something about a dog's steadfast loyalty and boundless love that always improves a photograph. Years and years later when these sailors reminisced over their time in the service, they may have forgotten more than a few names of their shipmates, but I'm certain every one of them remembered that dog's name.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where Every Good Boy Deserves Favor.


Alex Daw said...

Great photos. I particularly like the terriers.

Barbara Rogers said...

I love the way the men reacted to the camera...what a difference in their facial expressions. Dogs, just drool!

La Nightingail said...

I like your remark about everyone remembering the dog's name even if they don't remember others'. I'm sure you're right. Animals add something very special to a person's, family's, or group's life regardless of what sort of animal they are - dog, cat, bird, what have you. One thing we all tend to do with the animals we love and care for is attribute human behavior to them and I'm not sure we're wrong about that. Even the smallest of them is observant of the way they're attended to by those they love and trust. My budgie mimics the sounds and words I use when communicating with him and I'm convinced it's because he wants to communicate with me and sees mimicking as a way to do that. Smart bird! :)

ScotSue said...

I wondered how you would combine music and dogs, but never thought of a mascot. A great story

Molly's Canopy said...

A great take on this photo! Just love the fictionalized interaction -- as well as the band mascot's "uniform," which appears to be some sort of harness perhaps to keep the dog from running away when the drums started booming.

Thanks for you comments on my blog. As you know, I am a big proponent of serializing ancestral stories to allow more in-depth reporting -- and really getting to know their stories, as best one can, by getting the most out of each document. Looking forward to your next series on the Pennsylvania women musicians!


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