A long, long time ago, when I was just in 2nd grade, someone once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I very quickly answered a Baton Twirler with FIRE!!! You might be saying to yourself…”uh…okaaaay…why would you choose THAT?” I have asked myself that question many a times. Why did I give that response? Let me give you a little background story. A long time ago, in my hometown of Belleville, it was common to see the recreation department give twirling lessons to little girls like myself. Since I was not the ballerina body type as a kid, (square) I turned to other activities, like Girl Scouts and Twirling. I loved to twirl. I remember the first day my Mom brought home my very first baton. It smelled so new and I could not wait to get my hands on it! I was so proud as I carried it into Twirling Class on my arm, like a queen, holding her scepter. Well, surprise, surprise, the whole scene did not turnout anywhere nearly as graceful. It was more like running for shelter with half a gym full of little girls accidentally dropping their batons everywhere you looked. We were a mess, but the teachers were patient as they were probably students from Belleville High with an adult leading them. After a while, we got really good! I didn’t drop my baton nearly as much and we got our routine down as a group. We were even ready enough to march in the parade! My Mom has a picture of me somewhere (I will have to dig it out of her album) with me, hair tied back, yellow shirt, black shorts, brand new white cloth sneakers and MY BATON. I was so proud that day. I remember marching down Washington Ave to the cheers of the people at the parade. If I remember correctly, my family was posted at the front on Meyer’s Bakery, where they yelled for me. Yeah….that was a great day.
Ok, well, anyway, back to why it was my desire to be a fire twirler….many years ahead to today, I think it is simple. A twirler with fire was THE BEST….the ULTIMATE… the TOP OF THE TOP…and that is what I wanted to be; the best. I was a twirler back then, and why not be the best at what you are already doing? Why not twirl with fire? Twirling with fire was dangerous, risky. It would involve courage, determination, it could only be done by a risk taker and that was the kind of woman I wanted to be. I wanted to be brave, take a chance, prove to the world I could do it! If I could find a charm of a fire twirler, I would buy it, because it was always remind me to be my best and strive for the top! Today, my daughter is considering being a part of the color guard in the Marching Band with her big Brother. Guess I have to go baton shopping. It will be a blast. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Oh, just for fun, here is a link, so you can see just how much fun it is to twirl with fire…. enjoy.