September 2012 (1) Candygrams

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Friday, September 7, 2012---Spirit of Troy Spirits

My next day began early after a much needed good night of sleep. We rushed to the USC Pep Rally in Times Square. When we arrived at 11:30 a.m. for the noon rally, the Spirit of Troy and a large Trojan crowd was already gathered there. Trojan Candy roamed among the fifty band members as they warmed up and then stood in the bleachers.

Times Square
Times Square
Kyle Wilson
Drum Major Kyle Wilson
Our beautiful twirlers
Sax players
Arthur Bartner
Our illustrious Band Director Dr. Arthur C. Bartner
Clarinet players
Tuba players
Tuba players
Cymbal players and drummer
Cymbalists with Drummer
Flute players
Song Girls and Yell Leaders
Song Girls and Yell Leaders with USC fan
Band lines up
The Spirit of Troy lines up
Pep Rally Crowd
The crowd gathers for the Pep Rally.
Dudley Poon, Pat Poon, Eiko Bates, and Raymond Bates
Dudley and Pat Poon with Eiko and Raymond Bates at the Pep Rally

Check out my two YouTube videos. The first shows the start of the rally, and the second shows the band marching off at the end of the rally. The Spirit of Troy was AWESOME! In addition to the Trojans who were in attendance, several passers-by stopped to listen to the enthusiastic music. Some of them must have been wondering...who are these people? We're USC Trojans, and we came to your city to BEAT the Orange!

We next walked into the Marriott to shop for USC souvenirs and stop by the USC Alumni Reception Center. There, I saw friends Carol Fox (USC Trustee and fellow USC Trojan Guild member) and her son Chris Fox.

Chris and Carol Fox
Chris and Carol Fox
Rose and Sandy
Sandy and Rose also said "Hello."

Leaving the Marriott, we walked several blocks in the stifling heat and humidity, to see the "glass" Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The flagship store was packed with customers and sight-seers like yours truly.

Apple Store
Apple Store on Fifth Avenue

My evening finished with the Spirit of Troy reception at the Old Castle Pub and Restaurant in MidTown Manhattan. Dr. Bartner brought a small contingent of band members to perform a rousing pep rally indoors. Band Alumni and boosters left the pub, ready for the big game tomorrow!

Old Castle Pub
Old Castle Pub and Restaurant
Some Spirit of Troy
Spirit of Troy at Old Castle Pub
Dr. Art Bartner
Band Director Art Bartner

September 6, 2012---Off to the Big Apple!

Seth Travis and Tim AliceMy sister Pat, brother-in-law Dudley and I landed very late at Newark. It was 2:00 a.m. EST. On the United plane with us were two USC Football Equipment Managers. Seth Travis and Tim Alice flew in early to work! We flew in for pleasure!

After a short night of sleep, Trojan Candy set out for a day of sightseeing in the Big Apple. We arrived at the 9/11 Memorial at 1:00 p.m. There was a tremendous amount of security since the 9/11 Anniversary is near.

The park is expansive. There are two enormous waterfall pools, each about an acre in size. One is located where the North Tower used to be and the other where the South Tower was formerly. The banisters around the perimeter of both pools lists the names of the 9/11 heroic victims. Such a touching remembrance!

The Survivor Tree is situated in the middle of the park. It's a pear tree that survived the 9/11 attacks.

South Pool
The South Pool is where the South Tower used to be
The Survivor Tree
The Survivor pear tree survived the 9/11 attacks
Pat Poon, Elsie Greene, Walt Greene, Dudley Poon, Barbara Halvorsen, and Tom Halvorsen
As I first entered the Memorial, I saw four fellow Trojans who are connected, like Pat and me, to the USC Rossier School of Education. Elsie Greene, Walt Greene, Barbara Halvorsen, and Tom Halvorsen.

There were scattered Trojans strolling throughout the park. Two familiar faces walked up as I walked near the Survivor Tree. They were two Trojan Mikes! Both are former presidents of the Trojan Coaches' Club. Mike Donovan and Mike Gin just flew in this morning.

As we conversed, a few New Yorkers walked by and said, "Go, Trojans!" while giving us the Victory sign. Trojan Candy likes New York City already!

Mike Donovan and Mike Gin
Mike Donovan and Mike Gin are past Presidents of the Trojan Coaches' Club

Our next stop was the Uptown "W" Hotel, the site of Pat Haden's "The State of Troy" Reception. The "W" is across the street from the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf Astoria Hotel

I saw several "old" friends and made many "new" friends in the reception. The friends that I enjoyed visiting with and meeting were alumnus Sean Kearns (Annenberg '97- USC Club of New York), Adam Bart (USC Associates), alumnus Bryan Dick (Cinema '99), USC photographer Dan Avila, Jeff and Toddy Benjamin (friend Farren Benjamin's parents), Sandy and Rose (Orange County Trojan Guild members), Dave Jacobson (Scott's dad), Chris Fox (president of the Trojan Club of San Pedro-Peninsula), Margyn Lew and Mitchell Lew (President of the Board of Governors). There were also many USC Athletic Personnel friends working the event.

Sean Kearns
Sean Kearns of USC Club of New York
Dudley Poon, Adam Bart, Bryan Dick, and Pat Poon
Dudley and Pat with Adam Bart and Bryan Dick
Dan Avila
USC Photographer Dan Avila came to take pictures too.
Jeff and Toddy Benjamin
Jeff and Toddy are Farren Benjamin's parents.
Dave Jacobson and Margyn Lew
Scott Jacobson's father Dave with Margyn Lew
Margyn Lew and Mitchell Lew
Margyn Lew with son Mitchell, President of the Board of Governors of the USC Alumni Association

After the reception, the attendees were seated inside a small auditorium for Pat Haden's address. He first mentioned the accomplishments of our Athletic Department. Pat spoke about our proud Olympic Heritage, the new John McKay Center, the Heritage Hall Initiative and our plan to present our current athletes with a really "robust" college experience.

Lindsey and Mom Denise MundayNext, a dramatic video of our new Women of Troy Lacrosse Team was presented and was followed by Head Coach Lindsey Munday's presentation. She is "gung ho" about the upcoming inaugural season, and she promised to build a "power house" team at USC soon!

Pat Haden took the podium again and described Coach Munday as being a "super competitive" person. Then he said, "It is in our Trojan DNA to be Champions!"

FIGHT ON, to that!

September 1, 2012---USC vs. Hawaii Game

Jim YeeBoomer RoepkeTrojan Candy and husband Jim walked over to the Fan Fest as soon as we arrived at the Coliseum. We saw a friend manning the Chevron Booth. Former USC punter Boomer Roepke gave me a big hug. But, I still had to get the football through a teeny hole to win a t-shirt. Needless to say, I didn't win a shirt. However, we had better luck at the Carl's Jr.'s Wheel. Anyone who spins the wheel wins something! That's more like it!

As we entered the Coliseum, we were given a red wrist band that read, "TROJAN PRIDE 55" in memory of "Junior" Seau.

Audi suites
It was such a bright, beautiful day. There is an addition of six doubledecker Audi Suites on the east end of the Coliseum.
RIP 55
Near both 15 yard lines along the north sideline there was an inscription painted in the grass that read, "# RIP 55."
The fairly empty stadium erupted when our Trojans came out of the tunnel to warm up.
In Memoriam
Pre-game activities included a moment of silence and big screen salute to "Junior" Seau and Fred Matua.
There was a flyover at the end of "the Star Spangled Banner."
Traveler galloped around the field when Conquest was played.
Four captains
Then the four USC Captains, Nickell Robey, T.J. McDonald, Khaled Holmes (4/14/2011), and Matt Barkley walked onto the field for the coin toss.
Hawaii won the toss and deferred to the second half. With the kick-off, our 2012 football season began.
First offensive play
On USC's first offensive play from our own 25 yard line, Matt Barkley completed a pass to Marquis Lee for a 75-yard touchdown! The Coliseum erupted!
Our first defensive play
Our defense on their first play.
Jr. Seau video tribute
At the start of the second quarter, Junior Seau's family walked onto the field for a video tribute to our beloved Trojan.
Spirit of Troy
At halftime, with our team ahead 35-0 over Hawaii, the Spirit of Troy took the field. They performed several intricate formations.
Spirit of Troy
The Spirit of Troy then performed their famous "Stars and Stripes" formation. Dr. Art Bartner created this formation for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics!
Spirit of Troy
The Stars and Stripes routine ends in the USA formation.
Card stunt
One section of our students performed a few card stunts. That brought back Trojan Candy's memories of the "Southern Cal" spell-out and the moving U.S. flag we used to perform at half-time with SIX sections when I was an undergrad. Such fond memories!
Another card stunt
Another tribute to Junior Seau. FIGHT ON, FOREVER, Junior!
Game Stats
Our team fought on to a 49-10 victory!

Beat Syracuse!

Trojan Candy will volunteer next at Heritage Hall on Thursday, September 20th.

I will be writing next about the USC-Syracuse game from New Jersey.

FIGHT ON, until then!