In 1975, I was a loyal Highland High Ram. My favorite colors were black and white -- our school colors. I spent every friday afternoon at a football game cheering for my friends on the field. The best part of the game -- the drumline that played at half-time while the Pep Club marched. (In case you are wondering -- Pep Club is the equivalent of a song squad, or a dance team.) When I was a junior, my friends and I were the ones marching on that field as the drum line played the "Highland cadence." At the homecoming game, bag pipes played along. It was magical.
So now, when I hear the sound of a drum line, it takes me right back to those autumn afternoons. And I am lucky because I live down the street from Great Oak -- the local high school, where the drum line practices every night under the stadium lights. I can hear them when I walk out my front door. If I close my eyes and listen, I feel like I'm back at Highland, wandering the halls, passing notes in class, sliding down the banister, planning what to wear to homecoming with my girlfriends. It doesn't seem like that long ago, but it is. Years and years. Those drums bring the gift of wonderful memories.
Last Friday night was the homecoming game at Great Oak. The whole neighborhood turns out for the event. We are there every year along with everyone else to support the kids we know and love. It's fun to see the stands filled with teenagers wearing red, white and blue. There's so much energy. When I walk into the stadium I remember what it was like in 1975. Cheerleaders, pep clubbers, a band, and lots of teenagers wearing black and white. Things haven't changed all that much, except now there's Astro-turf instead of real grass.
There is one more thing that differs between then and now. My high school didn't have a homecoming court -- with a queen and princesses. I don't know why. It always felt like something was missing, especially if I went to another school's homecoming and saw the train of cars parading the queen and her court around the stadium. It made the homecoming game special. Instead we got a ram that sat tied up to a post eating grass.
But now, the missing piece is complete because there is a homecoming court at Great Oak. This year as with other years, there was a beautiful homecoming queen and beautiful princesses. This was one of them -- she was my favorite.
I cried a little when her dad walked her down the red carpet.