BQ Ball


Every Spring there is a dance for all the members of the band. It is called BQ Ball. I believe it all started back in the mid 80's when a distinguished Aggie Alumni by the name of Mr. Olsen (yes, the same guy that the baseball field is named for) who lived in College Station was outside on his porch listening to the Aggie Band practice one afternoon, and despite having been a CT himself, was incredibly motivated. He decided to monetarily aid the band by sponsoring a new cord to be worn by band members on their uniforms. These cords are not cheap, and so he presented his gift idea to the band. They said thanks, but that a cord was too much. They didn't want for his generosity to go for a decoration earned merely by being a member of the band. Instead, they proposed a counter idea that he endow a living gift. One that would be a tribute and tradition in the band for years to come. So Mr. Olsen established a fund to finance the first BQ Ball. Since then, every year, the band gathers, normally in the Bryan Convention Center to have a delightful evening of festivity to eat, drink, and be merry.

A particularly interesting BQ Ball in my memory was the one held my freshman year. It was a fest as always, and I always enjoyed the occasion. The events that stick in my mind happened later. It was about 2AM that night. We had partaken of many of life's most wondrous experiences. We had danced, and consumed fine wine. All and all, a lovely evening. And fish Hay was back in the Dorm asleep. Unbeknownst to fish Hay, fish Feuerbacher was returning, and was accompanied by Mr. Crouch, B-Company CO. Zac Crouch was from Alamogordo, NM, which is where fish Hay's parents were at. He was getting fish Feuerbacher to pull off his boots, since they are difficult to remove by oneself. Hence, seniors get freshman to pull them off. A little aside here. Jeff Donell used to curl his toes to make it more difficult to remove them. Don't think I have forgotten about that. Anyway, Mr. Crouch was getting his boots pulled off, and while seated he was mere inches away from the sleeping form of fish Hay. He couldn't resist flicking fish hay's ear to annoy him (what could fish Hay do, after all). Well fish Hay was annoyed by this flicking, at crossed into that realm between sleep and awake when your not really coherent, but you are asleep either. He swatted a hand at the annoying flicking to ward it off, but Mr. Crouch persisted. In all fairness fish Hay thought his roommate was annoying him, so he said to stop it. Yet Mr. Crouch kept on. At this point, fish Hay got mad, and without opening his eyes, lashed out with a violent swing of his right fist. Now, I didn't hit Mr. Crouch, and it is a damn good thing I didn't. I missed by a couple inches. But he was surprised, and almost fell out of the chair in shock. Along with swinging at him, I stated in no uncertain terms that I wanted the damn flicking to stop immediately. Then, still borderline asleep, fish Hay rolled over and sought to rest. It is at that point that Mr. Crouch first spoke. "Do you know who this is?" he asked. Fish Hay opened his eyes and was facing away toward the wall at the time. Your buddies never ask, "Do you know who this is?" Only upperclassmen do that. That meant one thing. Trouble. So I hesitantly answered, "No....(long five second pause)..., Sir". I tacked the sir on the end because the realization was hitting me that I had swung at an upperclassmen. He said, "It's Mr. Crouch". Ouch. I felt that in my gut. I was in trouble. You screw up, you pay up. What would the penalty be. Mr. Crouch was livid. He ranted for five minutes about how he was going to punish not just me, but my whole class. The next day was Saturday, normally a day of respite. But he demanded that we be lined up in physical training gear on the wall at 0500 hours. Oh god. I was in turmoil. My buddies were gonna kill me. Having to get up and do PT for fish Hay's mistakes at 0500 the day after BQ Ball was not going to endear me to any of them much. I was racked with guilt, and couldn't sleep. For 30 minutes my stomach was twisting in knots with worry. And then Mr. Crouch called on the phone. "Psyche!" he said, "I was just kidding about the morning PT. You're forgiven. I was just messing with your mind Hay. Sleep well." And that was that. So ended a fascinating evening of BQ Ball enjoyment mixed with the adversity of being a freshman.


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I am reachable at rhay@tamos.net
Copyright © Richard Hay 1998