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In the stairway of a narrow cinderblock building, I am listening to Josh Halter, The Supposedly Subdued One.  There are, I am sure, worse places to listen to Josh Halter, but at the moment he is standing next to a pile of coolers, and this is vital to understanding Life As D-Row Knows it.

He is conducting a tour of the Steinbrenner Band Center prior to Ohio State's spring scrimmage, a tour consisting of a baby D-Row, their parents, and me.  D-Row is enjoying this, for D-Row has its own D-Row for a morning and a half.  If these junior high schoolers they care currently sheparding attend Ohio State and audition into the row, the coolers will indeed become a major aspect of their Saturday lives.  They are already vital to my understanding of bandom.

For starters, despite my wide and ranging history dork career, this is the first time I have been a member of a tour which begins with the words, "These coolers are very important."    (They are; this is where the larger instrument rows house their Gatorade, chocolate, and rolling set of organ donations.)  He then adds, somewhat worriedly, "I don't know where our cooler is." 

I know exactly where it is:  At the bottom of former Drum Major Greg Eyer's closet.  It fits there, you see.  The coolers for the rest of the band, the ones D-Row haul all over campus on game days, are four feet long and easily capable of hiding a body. 

"Our cooler," Matt The Badass told me once, "are like the ones people carry lunch in.  It can hold maybe a six-pack.  And the latch is broken."  This should tell you something about the status of D-Row in regards to the rest of the band.

"That's awful," I said.

"It has a TBDBITL sticker," Jason offered. 

"And, D-Row used to be a lot smaller," added Matt.

"So why don't you just get a bigger cooler?"

I was summarily informed that another, larger cooler had indeed been donated, but not in use.


Jason fixed me with his Thousand Blades of Fake Grass Lawrence of Arabia stare.  "It's blue," he said.


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