Friday night football is alive and well in Scott County. The barrage of homecomings began last Friday night at Lake and will continue this week at Sebastopol. Seems early for homecoming, but I suppose with as many schools as we have, we have to get started early to work them all in.
Remember when we had homecoming parades that were really big events? The old reel-to-reel home movies we had showed pretty girls with big hair and big dresses waving happily at the crowd.
High stepping majorettes would be prancing around in their tight little outfits tossing batons high up into the air. You could see the tuba player puffing away hard at his gigantic instrument but the movies were silent so no sound would ever come out.
Floats were elaborately decorated concoctions representing the different classes and different homecoming themes. They were probably pretty colors too, but lots of these movies are either black and white or they faded out in their boxes long ago.
The most memorable homecoming game that my mind conjures up was the one of my senior year.
Seems like homecoming came much later in the season than it does now and it seems like it was always really cold. That could just be a figment of my imagination though.
Our football team seldom won a game back in the late 70s and we’d pretty much expected that we never would. The team tried really hard to get the ball across the goal line and those of us on the sidelines and up in the stands yelled really hard, hoping the sound of our voices would push them a little bit further along their way. That didn’t work.
Homecoming for the Class of 1979 would be different.
Our theme that year had to be called “The Theme From Mahogany” because the senior class sponsor, Mrs. Buckly, was also our senior English teacher and she wouldn’t let us use the only name of the song any of us knew it by, “Do you know where you’re going to.”
Perfect English, you know.
I was the senior class president and one of my best friends, Cindy Beatty, was the student body president. Cindy was, and still is, really pretty and sure enough she got picked as Homecoming Queen. And as a true good friend should do, Cindy picked me to escort her across the football field. We were royalty if only for a little while.
In a week’s time, for our float, we had crafted a giant paper maché globe on the back of a flatbed trailer and topped it off with a huge mortarboard. The hat was so big that its gold tassel was made from a cotton mophead spray painted gold and hanging from a gold painted rope. It was exquisite for the day. At least in our eyes.
The parade was grand as it rolled from the school to town and around the blocks of downtown Newton, and the night was perfect for playing ball. Perfect indeed.
When the final whistle blew, Newton High School had won the only game I can ever remember winning. We yelled louder from our seats of distinction along the sideline than we’d ever yelled from high up in the stands at Morgan Field.
Then we danced the night away at our homecoming celebration. We sang and laughed, and hugged, and some of the girls might even have cried. We knew where we were going to. We were already there. We were on top of the world. For a week anyway!
Children of a different generation will be out dancing and singing and laughing and hugging in the coming weeks, and a few of them might even cry. Let’s hope not. Let’s hope they’ll enjoy themselves half as much as me and a class of about a hundred did on a beautiful fall night as the decade of the 70s neared its end.