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Squaw Valley mints memories

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In the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, the Placer Choir with Collan Walker, director, and the Placer Band with Don Whitehead, director, were invited to perform with a massed band of other musicians. We rehearsed the music that was given to us at our own school. The other high schools did the same. There were 1,322 in the band and 2,358 choir members. When we met for rehearsals we knew our music. We all met at Squaw Valley on the day of the ceremonies. As the buses pulled in, the musicians got off with a blizzard in our faces. We got our instruments and went to our places to stand on frozen snow. Our feet froze and the instruments were so cold, we had a hard time playing. We stood for a long time in the blizzard, and finally Vice President Richard Nixon gave the signal to start the ceremonies. The minute we started playing, the sun came out and the day was beautiful. Just when we ended the ceremony the 2,000 pigeons were released and then the blizzard returned and the students, half frozen, rushed back to their buses to get warm. Even with the horrible weather, some thought a higher being was responsible for this miracle. We all had an experience we won’t forget. DON WHITEHEAD, Auburn