Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ohio Traditions: Dotting the "i"

Today's Ohio State Buckeyes game has me thinking of the band and the Script Ohio formation.  The performance will be one day short of the 74th anniversary of the now-famous formation that has become an all-Ohio tradition.  That Ohio tradition is, proudly, part of my family's traditions.

I'm told the above is a photo of October 10, 1936 when the first "Script Ohio" was performed on the field by the Ohio State University Marching Band.  More than a band formation, the performance of Script Ohio has become one of Ohio's most memorable traditions.

I'm proud that my grandfather (Everett Naylor) and great uncle (Bernard Naylor) were in that photo.  The two brothers were marching band members playing a trumpet (though my grandfather had a different name for it).

My grandfather likely may have been the first person to "dot the i" as he did it with his trumpet during practices for the formation.  That was no big deal to him back then as it was just any formation back then.  

It was, according to the write-up on OSU's website, John Brungart who got to be the first person to "dot the i" on the field in front of a game audience.  Of course, the sousaphone players would replace the trumpets the next season and the rest is history.

During the intervening years, distinguished non-bandsmen from Jack Nicklaus to Woody Hayes and John Glenn to Gordon Gee, have had the same privilege of "dotting the i" in front of an Ohio Stadium audience.

The photo below shows 10 members of the 1936 band who returned for the 60th anniversary event and the chance to "dot the i" on the field.  My grandfather was among those ten.

2011 will see the 75th anniversary of the first Script Ohio.

Though my grandfather, who passed away in 2008, won't be among them this time, that October 2011 game will be a memorable one for the band to recognize those who went before them in performing a formation that not only spells "Ohio" but truly stands as one of Ohio's greatest traditions.

1 comment:

  1. My Uncle Everett, your grandfather, was a good and kind man. I enjoyed my few visits when I was able to come east. I especially enjoyed my last visit in 2007.