I really like the way Sheila Sanders begins her “Harperville News” column on page nine this week. “For the first time, in a long time, it felt like old times,” she writes. “That is, it felt like a regular, normal pre-Covid event. Scott Central Homecoming 2021. Exciting football, great music, pretty girls in fancy dresses, friends and family. Over the last two years, it has felt at times like things would always be different. Friday night was truly like coming home.”
That’s what we need these days more “old times.” More pre-Covid type times. More normalcy. Maybe it is on the way. Sooner than later, let’s hope.
Last week a “memory” popped up on my social media page. It showed photographs of our crew on September 29, 2012 at a Mississippi State University football game tailgate. That memory made me long for “old times” more so than ever.
Everyone was smiling and happy as my buddies and I stirred something in a pot. It must have been a Mexican themed tailgate because there were tortilla wrappers, hot out of the grease, cooling on a clothes line it looked like.
It was also very obvious that my buddies and I have aged quite a bit over the last nine years. You don’t really notice that kind of thing on a year-to-year basis but when looking back to 2012... yikes!
“Boy were those fun times,” I wrote to the guys when I texted a copy of the photo to the group. “Yes they were, and we’ll have plenty more to come,” one of my friends replied.
I sure hope so.
Wife, Danny, and I have not been to a single ballgame this year. For ten years it was rare that we ever missed a game, and tailgating with the same large group of friends on a hillside at MSU.
Then came COVID-19 last year and we all know what came along with it. Nothing! Nothing to do in large groups anyway.
The tailgate on the hill resumed this year, but Danny and I, although vaccinated, still have not ventured back to campus. The surge in the delta variant for one reason, and not having gotten a booster shot yet is still keeping the two of us out of large crowds.
Honestly, I think we are probably safe, but obligations at work and home simply don’t allow for much margin of error when it comes to getting sick or getting quarantined.
And we can’t take the chance of carrying the virus into my 89-(almost) year-old dad’s house where he lives alone. He’s vaccinated too, and eager to get the booster as soon as possible. But still we’re waiting for the numbers to go down and for things to get a little closer to “old times” before we chance it.
Hopefully that will be soon. Hopefully we’ll be back on campus before the season plays out if only for one game. Time will tell. COVID-19 will tell!
It is especially bad missing out this year because every home game the weather has been exceptionally cooperative. In years past the hot days were the hottest days and the heat in the stadium unbearable at times. This year sunny, cool days. Go figure.
For now, though, I guess we’ll continue to tailgate from the living room where we don’t even get the television channels that Mississippi State plays on so we stream the audio live and make do.
Perhaps the drop in positive COVID-19 numbers in the last week or so is a sign of better days ahead. I feel like the delta variant and the super surge associated with it has probably helped to change the minds of a few vaccine hold-outs. In my opinion that is a good thing, because whether you believe in them or not, vaccines may be our quickest route back to “old times.”