Home of the Brave
Sometimes the best teamwork is not on the basketball court. After school superintendent Michael Byer announced the players and coaches for the Lady Glacier Bears and Wrangell Lady Wolves Saturday night, he said, "And now with the presentation of our national anthem, Harley Williams." There was a pause while we all stood and put our hands over our hearts and turned toward the flag on the wall. Then, Mr. Byer began singing. Eyes were raised, people smiled, some snuck looks over their shoulders his way. How about that? The Superintendent had a pretty good voice. As he reached up toward that high section, just before the 'bombs bursting in air" we held our breath. --Mr. Byer may be about to run out of his range. That transition is tough for lots of singers-- Then young Harley, a student, came running in the gym and slid sideways to a stop. He caught the microphone Mr. Byer extended to him as well as any track relay team anchor, and then Harley, who sounds like he could be singing with Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr. and the Neville Brothers in New Orleans, launched right up into the ceiling vents with, "And the rockets red glare..." When he was done, the applause rang out. Obviously, Harley had been late, and being the educator he is, Mr. Byer knew there had to be consequences. But he didn't want to make the fans or players suffer. Also, he had been in the gym a long time. ( We all had.) The JV game lasted until after 7:30. (That's when the varsity game was supposed to begin.) It was 8:15 by the time the anthem was over. So, Mr. Byer sang it himself. Yet, when Harley showed up, he cheerfully handed him his microphone. Harley, to his credit didn't miss a beat. And I bet he won't miss another performance, ever, for as long as he lives.
In other news, the mighty Skagway Panther girls beat Haines yesterday by a few points, in what my husband said was the best game he's seen in a long time. They play again today at 4:30.