Every year, there’s this marching band competition in Colorado. The SEC Games… marching bands, you know, where the musicians walk around, with drums, trumpets and stuff. Plus a bunch of other, family-oriented activities. Anyway, the prize is three tiny egg cups, shaped like swans. It’s symbolic, because they’re worthless, mass produced things.
My grandfather, Girolamo Dabergamo, was given them by his grandmother when he was three, and he lost them to his friend, George, in a bet. They weren’t much, but they had sentimental value. Of all the things that ever happened to him, it seemed like losing these egg cups was the worst. Anyway, move forward a few years, Girolamo and his George were in rival marching bands. Girolamo played the drums. They were always arguing about which one was best, so Girolamo suggested a competition, and George’s band agreed. The prize of course, was the egg cups. Girolamo’s band won, and that’s how it started, in downtown Pueblo, a steel town south of Denver. Now the competition is huge, it lasts a whole day every August and it takes place in Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Probably twenty of the best bands in the West, and the Midwest, compete every year, and the winners get to take the egg cups home. It’s quite a thing to have them. Quite prestigious. The current owners are a band called The Brass Gulls from Salt Lake City, and you can see the egg cups featured on their website. They go through to a national competition, I think. The thing I’m getting to though, is that the egg cups aren’t actually real. When Girolamo won the egg cups the first time, he had replicas made. It’s the replicas that the bands compete for every year. He gave them to me, a couple of years ago. I thought it was cool, but I don’t have much interest in marching bands. It was such a strange experience, like he was handing me some precious jewelry. I don’t know what he thought I was going to do with three swan egg cups. In December, Christmas Eve, actually, I got a phone call from the FWAMB, which is kind of the group that governs marching bands, asking for them to be returned. I’ve no idea how they found out, but I refused. I’m going to sell them eventually though. The way I figure it, if they want them so badly, they can buy them.