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Thursday, May 17, 2012

And One Time at Band Camp....

My high school band is having a reunion over the 4th of July.  The band director's husband, Bill Graham, who was also the drill designer and color guard instructor, as well as a fantastic math and science teacher, has been posting pictures from the 35 years of marching band.  It has been great to walk down memory lane.  What really sticks out in the pictures is that no matter the year, they show kids smiling, working together and loving it. 

My high school band wasn't your typical band.  In fact, our entire music program wasn't exactly typical.  It was exceptional.  And this isn't my memory enhancing itself.  I've stayed somewhat involved in music throughout my adult life and I often run into people- 2,000 miles away from my hometown- who know my band director or have heard of the program.

We competed nationally against bands from New Jersey to California.  Huge schools out of major cities.  We played in the Hoosier Dome, the Silver Dome, at universities. And that was just the marching band.

I was fortunate to play in a percussion ensemble that played at the National Music Educators Association conference in Chicago.  Ms. Wenzel our percussion instructor was amazing.  She also directed our jazz band and it was a blast.  (I still remember playing for a supermarket opening, getting stuck in the frozen food section and passing around fish sticks).  I was in a brass quintet that could hold its own against any professional quintet I've heard.  In fact, in college, when I had opted out of music, the instrumental music director found out I was there and begged me to play.  Sadly, I had really let my chops go, but he had heard our quintet at a festival and remembered it 5-6 years later.  And I went to college out of state.  But he knew Mrs. Graham.

It's not to brag, but I want to be clear- this wasn't just a half-time, spring concert kinda group.  It was and is an institution in my home town. 

For me, it was life changing.

I didn't exactly want to be in band.  I love music, but honestly, I wanted to be a basketball player.  At 5'4" at 12, with a decent lay up, that was reasonable.  The trombone was fun, but band was too intense.  But then my asthma got worse, I didn't grow much more and that dream was put on the bench (I still play a mean game of Horse).  I had actually quit band by junior high and Ms. Fiezli who had taught me in 5th and 6th grade asked me to come back, just for the contest.  That was all.  She needed a trombonist.  I figured, why not- she was nice. 

If you've ever played in an ensemble- sports, music or drama- when you're part of something bigger-- it's great.  So I rejoined the band.


I really only wanted to do concert band.  Marching was not my thing.  We were the Marching Quakers and wore three cornered hats.  No joke.  With knickers.  I kid you not.  I wasn't exactly cool to start with, so this really pretty much sealed the deal on my inner nerd.  Since I wasn't a partier, I figured why not?  I wasn't exactly on the road to cooldom, so band couldn't hurt.

Then, Ms. Fiezli, sneaky as she was, convinced me to try out for field commander- or as many people call it drum major- as a sophomore.  She thought it would be a good experience.  Not very many sophomores were selected over the years.  I thought I was safe.  I liked to keep a low profile. 

I made it.


Now not only was I in marching band, I was one of the leaders.

Unlike many of the prior field commanders, I didn't rush out and buy a varsity jacket with FIELD COMMANDER on it.  In fact, I never bought one.  To me, at first, it was something that I did so I could play in the quintet and jazz band.  I also got a double knit polyester skirt in lieu of the knickers.  A bonus. 

But it was in marching band that I learned how to lead people.  I learned to get over my severe shyness.  I learned what motivates people.  I learned how to get others to lead.  I learned to be organized.  I learned hard work.    I learned that falling off the box (literally, not figuratively) does not break you.  I learned that when the beat is off and you're losing control, focus on the 1-2 people who can really help you bring it back together (the snare line) and block out the rest.  I learned that at 15, I could get 135 kids lined up, quiet, focused and lead them into an NFL stadium as the adults watched from the sidelines.  I learned that sometimes adults don't play nice.  I learned that everyone matters and one mistake, from one person not caring can cost you. I learned that there was life outside of my home town.  I learned that absolutely anything is possible if you work together and dream big.

(I also learned more than there is room to type from the Graham's, but that's a story for a different day.  Let's just say that if you think I'm a nice, good person, thank them.)

My senior year we won our class at Grand Nationals.  It was a first for our school.  We had a lot of second places.  We won a lot of regionals.  But my senior year, we won our class. 

I am 42 years old.  That moment still ranks in the top 10 for me.

We won. Our little rust belt, small town high school won our class and finished 10th in the nation.

For all the crap that I took for being a band nerd, for all the teasing I still get about having been a band nerd (and yes, I do have stories that start "and one time at band camp..."), I have this amazing moment that is shared with 135 other people that I still proudly call my friends.

At the end of the day, I'm just a hack trombonist who loves music.

But that feeling of accomplishment is part of my soul.

So laugh if you will, but one time at band camp, I learned that anything is possible.


vitor68 said...

I know that being in the band wasn't exactly "cool" when we were in school. As a matter of fact, I remember many of the kids that were in band being mocked and being called every bad name I can think of.

But, the band was the part of our high school that actually won awards! Not the football team, baseball team, track team...It was most definitely the band that was exceptional! I think people can look back and realize how true that is.

Robert Harmon

Rebecca Furbay said...

As a member of that band that won that championship I appreciate all that you have said! Not to was my senior year when we won again two years later!

I would not trade those high school years for anything! I, like you, feel that those experiences and those people helped shape who I am today. Many people would never go back, given the chance, to high school - I am not one of those people. I would do it all over again if I could. There were so many kids that never had the chance to experience what we did as teenagers. When I think about all the places we got to travel to and all the things we got to see it was an education like no other!

Many of the people who were my friends in high school are still my friends today (you included). Not too many people can say that. We were not just friends, we were a family and the Graham's were our parents. Today even, these two people are like my kids third set of grandparents.

So, thank you for saying what most of us marching quakers felt, and still feel about our high school band program!

Becky (Jacoby) Furbay

Anonymous said...

WOW! I couldn't have said it better myself. Do you think the Grahams will ever know how much they truly impacted and shaped our lives? Thanks for sharing this!

Steph Price

Anonymous said...

As one of the many " band geeks ", i must say no matter how many years go by....those memories will be same of tte best as long as i have life in me! I was and will always be proud to be a " MARCHING QUAKER " Darla

Anonymous said...

Lori, let me set things straight. YOU were one of Mrs. Grahams favorites. Some of us were ignored by her and talked down too. You were a field commander and were given special treatment. You were pushed ahead of other people better than you as field commanders and musicians. Mr. and Mrs. Graham was very good at marching band and winning awards but they did NOT treat all kids the same. I know many students that were hurt by her unfeeling comments and many students that where better musically than other students that were placed in lower because she didn't like them. Say what you will, but I know the truth.

Anonymous said...

You probably won't publish my comment. but you were give favor by Mrs. Graham.

Mama Bean said...

This is almost too pathetic to garner a response but...

I watched Mrs. Graham work with MANY students who could barely tell their left from their right, couldn't read music to save their life and couldn't find a beat. Or couldn't write a coherent sentence using proper English. I also saw her help students who were pregnant. Or students whose parents were abusing them. Or students who were going down the wrong path. I never saw her turn away any student when they wanted to return to band- assuming they were committed to working hard.

As for your personal attack, I'm sorry, but that's hilarious and doesn't garner any comments. It was 25 years ago. Get over it.

Mickey Dolan Moore said...

Wow, that's a long time to harbor a high school grudge. If Mrs. Graham ever "talked down" to anyone in that band, I never heard it. If anyone ever gave her a reason to, it was me. I was a complete shit to her at times because I was a moody, bitchy teenager who didn't like "a teacher" in my business. They don't make a lot of teachers like the Grahams. They never turned it off. They had no private life. Their door was always open. If you needed them they were there. If "Anonymous" couldn't see that, perhaps the giant chip on their shoulder was blocking the view.

Lisa Amos said...

This response is for the two "Anonymous" comments.

I can't want to post your comment but not own it. I don't believe the Graham's ever showed favortism towards anyone. You had to work hard for the spots/positions that were assigned to you. There were several times I recall being drilled (guard group) after a performance/competition and it wasn't pretty but I appreciate the fact that nothing was ever sugar coated. If you want to be a competitor you want your instructor to tell it like it is because it makes you try harder the next time around. The Graham's were not trying to be mean and it's too bad you took it that way. I'm just wondering how on earth you handle constructive criticism in the real world. Like Lorie said, "It was 25 years ago. Get over it."

Lisa Amos

Gwen Nichols said...

For heaven's sake, get over it, and learn how to write. The Graham's have hearts of gold, but could also mete out tough love when necessary. Most of us worked their asses off and some goofed off, but if you were rewarded with the challenge of a leadership role, you deserved it----and worked harder than anyone else.

Thomas Uptegraph said...

@ Anonymous: WOW! Cheryl, Bill, Marva and Joan put up with a lot of teenage bullshit. To attack them and Lori anonymously unbecoming of someone in his/her 40s. Hoping you find peace and serenity!

Anonymous said...

I so concurred!!!! Shawn

Mama Bean said...

My friends rock.

squirrelfriend said...

You were not just any field commander. You were amazing and far more mature than most teenagers. You were my role model and my rock and I was incredibly proud to have shared the box with you and that incredible experience.
As for the Graham's, I have had the pleasure of teaching with them off and on for the last 20 or so years and they continue to volunteer countless hours to the program along with their home and their money to any in need. As a student I learned a lot from the band, but teaching with Mr. G is like a master teaching class in and of itself. Thanks Mama Bean for a great blog post and for reminding us of one magical moment.

Mama Bean said...

I love ya, man!

Kimberly Coats said...

As a former band geek from the great state of Kansas...I LOVED Marching Band. Those were the best three years of growing up and I too learned so much about discipline and leadership from band.

And to anonymous....I suggest you get some professional help. Let it go...25 years AND as a blogger myself, if you can't put your name to it and OWN it you're pathetic.

Jeff Furbay said...

Anonymous is just dead wrong. Plain and simple. End of discussion. Thank you Lori for advocating what music can do for young people. Also for putting credit where credit is due to the Grahams' for making it all happen.

Anonymous said...

It has been 5 days since I posted and you haven't allow my post to be shown on here. I guess that I don't blame you because you want people to agree with you and only show your point of view. I am 2 years younger than you Lori and I did see the Grahams' show favorites. I'm not saying they were bad to kids, just better to some. Both you and Jeff Furbay were on the list. I and many other kids were not. I don't want to argue about this but just state what I saw. Maybe you and Jeff just didn't see this because you were one of their favorites. I saw it and know that others did also. What is the point of having an open forum when you don't allow other opinions than your own.

Mama Bean said...

Okay Mr. or Ms. Anonymous- I didn't post it because you don't have the nerve to sign your name.

If you are 2 years younger than me, Jeff was on staff- not a student- when you were in band. He was a senior when I was a freshmen. Yes, staff people did have perks over students.

Also, don't be mistaken, this ISN'T an open forum. This is MY forum. MY opinion. If you READ the disclosure that I put on MY blog, you would have understood that. If you want to voice YOUR opinion then write your own blog. Clearly you have a LOT of pent up issues about high school that you need to work through. I also have a very nice request that says I don't post items that people don't sign. I posted your original complaint out of a courtesy because I do post others' opinions regularly.

As for Jeff, considering that he is the current band director and has dedicated his life to teaching students, I think the "favoritism" he was shown was really based on his dedication and commitment. I think it was a good investment of time on the Graham's part to nurture and encourage someone who they felt would carry on their legacy. They have groomed at least 8 other band directors- and those are just from kids I knew in band.

I didn't post your previous whiny complaint about being attacked because it was childish- YOU personally attacked people, took no responsibility for what you said and then when others disagreed with what you wrote previously and dished it back, you whined about it.

I'm thinking that might be why you weren't successful in a team environment and weren't looked upon as a leader- or a "favorite."

YOU said they were "hurtful" to kids- I consider that being "bad.". I never saw that. Ever. They had high standards and didn't put up with kids who dialed it in.

I also beg to differ about being a "favorite"- I busted my butt- I spent many nights, long after all the other kids were home, figuring out to teach drill, watching videos to help improve sections that were in another planet, tutoring kids who weren't going to make the grade requirement to compete. I don't think the Graham's favored me- I think they had a lot of respect for a young girl who worked extremely hard. All that "favoritism" that you alleged was really a lot of extra hours doing a lot of work that very few people saw. If anything, they were far harder on me than anyone else because they had very high expectations. It was me, the other FC's who packed everything up every single night, drove kids home who didn't have rides-- for every band practice that you attended (if you were even in band), I can assure I spent another 2 hours doing all those "extra perks"-like picking up trash.

Just some food for thought. I have no idea why you seem to have an ax to grind with me, Jeff or the Graham's.

And I absolutely positively will not post another comment from you unless you sign your name.

Cathy Krajenke said...

I wasn't in band - not a strand of musical DNA to my name! But looking back, I didn't realize until after I left high school how impressive our band was compared to other high school and even to college bands. And I'm guessing all that greatness took a lot of hard work behind the scenes. I don't remember complaints about the Grahams in high school either as teachers or band directors.

You gotta love haters who spew venom like that and won't put their name to it. I don't put any stock in people's opinions when they can't spell or use proper grammar. If they didn't pay attention in English class, they haven't paid attention to much else in life either - and not worth listening too. It is your absolute right to not publish someone's comment (funny that "Anonymous" didn't read down that far!). But I do appreciate that you put it up there now - it gave me a good laugh for the day.

toughmutha said...

Amen Mama Bean! Quite frankly, if this "anonymous" person chooses to remain anonymous, they must have likely been that way in high school and that might explain why they feel they did not get "preferential" treatment. I feel truly sorry for anyone that holds such negative feelings for that long!

Adam said...

Lori, did this guy leave high school two years ago or twenty? Perhaps he needs to move on with his life. Just a suggestion...

Stephanie (Fuller) Schriver said...

Oh, my goodnes. I just read through all of this. Thank you, Lori, for reminding all of us how much we should appreciate the hard work and dedication of teachers in our lives, and that of other students like you. I left band after our Sophomore year to pusue other interests - primarily Speech Team where another AMAZING teacher, Miss Lynn Tschudy, dedicated not just her time, but her SELF to her students just as the Grahams did (and still do to this day). Although I left band, I still have fond memories and am well aware of the things I learned there that are still with me today. I often joke about Air Force basic training having been like "glorified band camp", and also have started many stories with "This one time, at band camp..." (Thank God none of those stories have anything to do with a trumpet protruding form someone's orifice - HA!) And even though I was not in band our Junior or Senior years, I was welcomed back by Mr & Mrs Graham, as well as all the past students I knew, when I marched in the Alumni band for the 4th of July Parade in 2008.

Anonymous, I certainly hope that you've not grown up to be "one of THOSE people" who blame EVERYONE ELSE for the problems in their life, and have such a ridiculous sense of entitlement that you have allowed yourself to become a stagnant and small person. Such a shame to have learned nothing from those who cared so much about you and your future.

I agree with Lori's request to take ownership of your commentary. However, I also believe that your name doesn't really matter. We know who you are simply by the content of your character displayed here.

Anonymous said...

I am the second anonymous but I was not the first one. I was just stating what I saw. I said that what I saw wasn't bad, just that some kids were treated better. Maybe, I saw things differently. I am not hating on the Grahams' but you don't seam to think there COULD have been any favorites at all. I did, that's all I'm saying. As for Jeff, I was in band 2 years after he graduated but my older brother was in band with Jeff and graduated a year before him (1984). So, although I wasn't in band with Jeff, I was around band all the time and could see it. I saw it with other band members as well as myself. I'm sorry if you don't like the fact that I wont sign my name. I had good times in band, I was only agreeing with the first anonymous that someone other than he/she saw favorites but you can't see that it could have been possible. I know you spent extra time and work but this doesn't take away from the fact that some other band members could have done what you did if they had been given the opportunity.

Mama Bean said...

This is why you should sign your name. And I have to say, I kinda wondered because your grammar was correct...

The other band members DID have the opportunity to do what I did. I auditioned, as did everyone who wanted, in front of other band directors and past field commanders- not the Graham's or the other band directors. We auditioned in front of the band- and every year I was the top choice by my fellow band members. We even had a written test one year. In fact, the year I made it, it was a bit of a scandal because some of the boosters' kids didn't make it. One even pulled their kid out of band. So no, I most definitely was not handed it nor were any of the others.

If you or your friends thought they could have done it, they should have tried out. And if they did try out and didn't make it, it's because they didn't cut it.

I absolutely agree that teachers have favorites. I've received many emails from past teachers saying I was one of their favorites (ironically, not the Graham's!) but it's because I was engaged, bright and cared in high school. I think what you perceived in high school was that because students were favorites they received special treatment-- I would argue that they became favorites because they were willing to go the extra mile. Mrs. Wittkop and I were extremely close (closer than I was or am to the Grahan's) because of all the hours we spent working on student council projects and discussing books. It didn't mean I didn't do homework or got an A. I would say she, like Mrs. Rapport, were harder on me because they knew my ability.

My husband is a teacher and a coach. He has favorites. They are the kids who put in the most effort- regardless of ability. We become close to students each year who have overcome adversity, work extra jobs to support families-- and we absolutely help them with jobs and connections when we can. It doesn't impact their grades.

I have a successful business, have done well throughout my life and I am constantly perplexed by the people who sit back and say how lucky I am and how they could have done it, but yet didn't.

It's because I take risks, put myself out there and work very hard. Very, very hard.

And I learned that in band. By trying out for field commander.

Anonymous said...


This is Anonymous #2. You make a good point. Perhaps it was all in my perspective. Mrs. Graham really hurt me my 1st year in band and I never got over it. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

I guess I understand both points of view. I alway's felt like an insider that was an outsider. My high school years were both rewarding and tramatic. I was ADD/ADHD and was taking Ritalin (amazing what I found out about that stuff and it answered alot of questions I didn't know I had) Also thankfully I hated taking it and about my Sophmore year my mom discovered I was better OFF that stuff. But regretfully, the damage was done to my social reputation. I was an outcast for something I could't control. My son has ADD/ADHD and I see how others can be frustrated by his behavior. So I have gotten my classmates point of view about myself through him because he does alot of the same things I did.. Being bullied is beyond anything I can describe. How is it (while I don't condone it) I can identify with these kids who shoot up a high school and I hear people say "How can it be that bad that you want to kill people" To that I think "you have no clue what misery is and how to deal with it as a child and adolesant". Now that you have a little background on me I will offer my point of view.
Do I feel their were favorites. As a kid and young adult most deffinately yes. BUT, I never saw the extra work you did (not to say you didn't and I belive you did). Was I jealous? Absolutely! I wanted to be FC as well, but as my scattered brain wouldn't keep it together. Not anyones fault it's the way I was born.. But did I feel anger and jealousy towards successful classmates? Sure! I wanted to be popular, I always wanted to find that 1 thing that would change peoples perspective of me and give me a chance in friendship.
About the Grahams. They never gave up on me, and found ways to push me to accell to the maximum of my abilities. I have heard others stories that are not nice and I won't discount them as they are entitled to their story and perspective. But for me they were awesome and alot of who I am today as a productive member of society is a direct result of their dedication to not letting me fail! They never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself.
The thing is now as an adult and parent I now understand alot. Time heals some wounds, and some wounds will never. To some people I still have hatred for their cruelty beyond measure. It may not make sense to some, but it's how I feel. I think Lori you worked very hard and accelled as a direct result of that. I think as I look back that you were the correct choice for FC and I think you did a bang up job and I remember truely being proud of the Field Commanders that represented us in the front of the band. I was and still am very proud of being in band. But I hope this mess of a comment is read as "What I felt then is not what I feel and understand now" This journey of understanding my childhood and the people who were in it is still evolving to this day. I still live with ADD/ADHD and I sometimes can be a difficult person to know untill you take the time to understand how my scattered brain works.
I hope this helps you and annonomous Lori. And maybe this wasn't the place for me to share this but I just felt compelled to share my opinion and shed light on where my perspective comes from..
Mike Jarvis

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I said this in my earlier post since I can't see it now but I want to clarify if I didn't.
While I may have felt there were favorites when I was younger, as an adult I know know and feel the "favorites" were kids that worked hard and proved they could be counted on above the others. So they were given MORE responsibility as well as perks as well as attention and it was deserved for your hard work and dedication. As an adult I realise Mrs Graham had more reason to talk to a field commander than a regular band member. She may have noticed you being blue or out of sorts because she spent more time with you and knew you better. Not anyone's fault that's just how it works. As a kid that could be viewed as someone being a favorite. Adulthood and perspective should squash the kid way of thinking.. If there is one thing I've learned in life it is to make sure you see things from all sides and others points of view before making judgements. You do yourself and them a disservice if you only consider your own.
Mike Jarvis

Unknown said...


What a wonderful demonstration of love and admiration by posting your remembrances of Cheryl, Bill, Marva and Joan. I still maintain contact with them from time to time and even worked as Marva's assistant Marching Band director for several years when she was finishing her teaching career at Chagrin Falls High School near Cleveland.

I agree with you that the music students at NPHS during that time period had so many unique, specialized, and quality ensembles from which to choose, I use it as my theoretical model as I begin my own teaching career soon. After 20 years as a performer I will offer what I can as an educator of young musicians and artists.

I used to keep my pride in those experiences to myself out of fear of being labelled a "re-liver", someone who continually places themselves in the past without moving on to new endeavors. But I now proudly revisit those days between 1984 and 1988 (knowing that I do, indeed, have a life that goes beyond those years mentioned) and cherish those shared experiences with my friends and (now) colleagues, knowing that those experiences were life-changing ones. They were Real experiences for every student that wanted them. That program (NPHS) took EVERYONE, regardless of ability, and gave each student the opportunity to participate fully, or to just do the base requirement.

Joan created the opportunity that allowed the percussion ensemble to play for two of the "heavies" in collegiate percussion pedagogy. I auditioned for each of them later in my college career and they remembered that experience, too. The percussion dept. gave carwash upon carwash to earn money for new drums (Pearl) and during the winter of my senior year, Joan bought a set of used steel pans from Illinois (with her own money) and created a steel band in the image of her (and my) alma mater, the University of Akron.

Cheryl asked me to come back to New Philadelphia in 2004 and offer a day of percussion to elementary students. Even after 15 years away, she was involved with past students and keeping them involved in the system she loves. Cheryl ,and the entire staff, was, and still is, a student-centered educator. That staff was a unique blend of styles, each with their strengths that were able to be presented in ways that enhanced to program. During my 5 years there, I can count on one hand the times I read music the was a stock arrangement. FIVE years worth of music and over 95% of it hand written, arranged and created by Joan Wenzel! That is amazing! Marva did the same thing! Amazing!!

So, Yea, I'll revisit those days for inspiration and may steal a few ideas from that staff for my own program someday. Why not?? They gave us students an experience that many of us will never be able to have again at any level. And most of us (40-somethings) are now fully realizing that gift.

So, thank you, Lori. for bringing this to our attention again at a time when we can really start to understand the breadth and uniqueness of that experience.

PS I was thinking about trying out for Field Commander as an 11th grader, but Joan told me if I did, she'd kill me. I don't think she said that, but her eyes and pursed mouth did. You were a fantastic FC, as well as Julie and Nita. By far, one of the better looking FC corps we had during those years. LOL

Stephanie Henning Carpenter said...

Mrs. Graham yelled at me all the time. But I know that she loved me!! Mrs. Graham was our "coach" and coaches yell.

Stephanie Henning Carpenter said...

And another thing, if Lori received favor, she deserved it. She was musically gifted, self-motivated, a tremendous leader, straight A student and very hard worker. With whatever "favor" she received required a tremendous amount of responsibility from Mrs. G. If "favor" is you get to go 1st in the buffet line at camp, then you also have to get 135 teenagers to go to bed so they are worth something at practice at 8 am. There will always be an "anonymous" out there who is jealous.

Mama Bean said...

Very well said. Thank you for putting it out there. The Anons could learn a lot from you!

And while your ADD may have made us crazy ("Mike.....HOLD STILL!!!) I don't think anyone ever doubted your commitment. And I remember you being bullied...I'd still be pissed, too. If it makes you feel better, one of them got taken down a few notches in college. I ran into him a few years later and he apologized for being an ass. And his back story was really about a bad home's why he bullied you. But we should have done more to stop it.

Your post is amazing. I'm glad we're back in touch!

Mama Bean said...

All I read was that I was cute....

But seriously, Joan is to blame for you not auditioning? We would have had a blast... you would have looked awful in the skirt, though. And we did need you in the snare line. You and Dave were those 2 people I looked to to pull us out of many quagmires!

I love how you recognize the Graham's dedication as a professional . I don't think we fully appreciated it at the time. Or the quality of instruction. I didn't even think about the stock arrangements.... that's all I ever saw after high school.

You are so talented and I'm so glad you're teaching.

Dan Abbuhl said...

Does anyone know what happened to Sean Ford. I heard that he was in the military but did he ever do anything with his trumpet. As I recall, he was very good.