On an Unexpected Day

October 2, 1971 was a beautiful fall day on the Bowling Green State University campus. It was my freshman year and classes were probably in their third week, plus I had arrived early to audition for the Falcon Marching Band (which I made).

The football team was off to a surprising 2-0 start and the first league home game was on this day as the Broncos of Western Michigan came to the flatlands of northwest Ohio. The home Falcons dominated the Broncos that day (23-7), so expectations we sky-high near the end of the game because arch-rival, the “school up north” (Toledo) and their well-over 20 game winning streak would be coming to town soon.

As the game was nearing its end, we band members are readying ourselves to take the field for the traditional post-game concert. As I was racing onto the field, a student photographer unexpectedly approached me and asked me to raise my hands and horn in victory. He took a few pictures and that was the end of it.

My roommate was an avid photographer, thus told me that the BG News (the campus newspaper) archives all the pictures taken, and then sells them for a reasonable fee. Eventually, I found the picture and purchased it, along with a few others.

Move ahead about 18 months to spring 1973 (my sophomore year). It was a pleasant spring evening, so I decided to attend an outdoor concert performed by the symphonic band. Once there, I learned that the marching band’s recorded album of this season (1972) arrived. A friend showed me a copy and there it was – an artist had transformed the picture taken of me on that day into a drawing serving as the album cover.

Of course, some said “no way” as my glasses were removed, but I had the original as evidence – And to this day, that photograph resides inside that album cover.