NORMAN — As the father of Norman North band students, I cleared my schedule to travel to Lawton to watch their state competition performance. As I left Norman, one of my daughters called me.
“Dad, you need to pray for the Norman High Band. Their bus is on fire. We are stopped on the highway and we can see the black smoke. All the kids are safe, but they have lost uniforms, instruments and their personal things.”
The deafening siren passing by her bus confirmed, in a very sobering way, the surreal truth of her report. I made my way down the turnpike, and at mile marker 50, traffic came to a stop.
Twenty minutes later, we began to move. After three slow miles, I passed the charred remains of the bus, amazed and grateful that no one was hurt.
I continued on to Lawton and arrived to see the T-Wolves band march and receive all superior ratings. After their performance, I went to find my girls. It was there that something transformational was happening.
Word was spreading that Norman High would march. They had worked too hard. They were not going to let the fire deny them their state competition performance. Their ordeal had produced courage and determination.
In the moments that followed, I saw Norman North flutists, clarinetists and others offer their instruments to Norman High students.
As the Norman High band made their way to rehearse, the Norman North band applauded. When the Norman High band entered the field, the Norman North band sat mid-field to cheer on their neighbors.
Dressed in T-shirts, shorts, black socks and shoes, the Norman High band gave an inspiring performance, also earning all superior ratings. The Norman North band and all present stood to applaud and appreciate Norman High’s courage and skill.