Brewton natives march in inaugural parade

Published 2:33 pm Monday, January 24, 2005

By By LYDIA GRIMES Features writer
Four Brewton natives were among those who were in the midst of Inaugural activities in Washington, D.C., this week.
Tava Davis, Ashley Tyler, John McCracken and Meghann Hultz, all members of the Auburn University Marching Band, marched in the inaugural parade one Thursday.
"Tava was thrilled and honored to be able to go," her mother, Debbie Davis, said. "They went up on Monday on chartered buses and have been having a lot of fun."
While in the D.C. area, the group visited some of the Capitol's most famous sites.
Ahley Tyler's mom, Linda Tyler, agreed.
"Ashley was very excited to be able to participate," Mrs. Tyler said. "Ashley said that it was very cold in Washington but they were having a good time. This is her final performance as she graduates in May."
Ashley Tyler wasn't the first in her family to have the opportunity to participate in inaugural events. Her older sister, Christina, marched in the parade at the second Reagan-Bush inaugural, Mrs. Tyler said.
John McCracken is participating in a co-op program and is at home working at Smurfit-Stone this term. He had to ask to take time off in order to join the band in Washington. His mother, Diane McCracken, said that he had told her that this year has been a wonderful year to be in the Auburn Band and this trip just topped it off.
Meghann Hultz's mother, Teresa, said that Meghann called to report that band members were having a good time but it was very cold.
Mrs. Hultz said the AU band was the last one in line at the parade and when they went by President Bush, he waved at them and said 'War Eagle.'
About 320 band members of the AU Marching Band participated in the 55th Presidential Inaugural Parade, which Marching Band Director Rick Good described as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Thursday marked the third time the AU band has participated in a presidential inaugural parade. The last time was in 1989. Coincidentally, Good said that same year the AU football team won the Southeastern Conference championship and played in the Sugar Bowl. It also happened to be the inauguration of the senior George Bush.
The AU band was the only one from Alabama invited to participate in the parade. The only other group from Alabama invited to participate was the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids.
Selected from hundreds of applicants, the band had to submit a photograph, a two-minute video clip and a recording to the inaugural committee as part of the application process. Three separate committees then reviewed the materials before the inaugural committee extended the invitation on Dec. 10.