I watched the Lumberjacks get ax'd again on Saturday. They haven't had a terrible season, but they took a pretty humiating beating from Texas State. Not a cheerful way to celebrate Stephen F Austin's 85th birthday. It was a familiar scene, however, and evoked memories of homecoming games past.
(I recently replaced my stolen camera with a very nifty Canon Power Shot SX110. I took tons of photos and vids. I am trying to shake my moniker of The World's Worst Asian.)
The rest of homecoming weekend was dandy. We arrived early enough Friday to spend a boatload of money at the bookstores and to enjoy some darn fine Mexican cuisine. It was just cool enough that night to make us thankful for the heat radiating off the bonfire. It was pretty eerie to watch the students carry torches from blocks away, stepping to the rhythm of the marching band, and launch them onto the mountain of tinder.
Fire and smoke are mesmerizing, let me tell you.
This year's bonfire was a nicely organized event. The sound system was great, making it possible for us to hear the pep talk from the coaches and players. There was even a local cover band playing 80s tunes (the theme of the weekend). And there were fireworks.
Saturday morning we went to the historic downtown area to watch the parade. It seemed as if the whole town turned out to see the floats and the homecoming court. I smiled with private satisfaction at what I always knew to be true - while high school homecoming royalty may be selected primarily for looks, this is not necesarily the case in college. These individuals were pretty ordinary-looking folks, with long lists of accomplishments and affiliations.
We discovered Raisin' Cane, a really terrific little fast food establishment. They only serve chicken strips. They don't need to serve anything else, 'cuz I truly believe anything else would have paled in comparison. OMG, was that some good eatin'!
We got a huge run around trying to locate the tickets I purchased in advance. The alumni association told me to pick them up at will call. Will call told me to go wander around the big parking lot searching for the alumni association booth. The alumni association had left by the time I found their booth. Back to will call to state my case. Have I mentioned that nothing ever happens easily for me?
So, we missed the National Anthem, dang it, and the fight song. Grrr! The game was disappointing. But the Lumberjack Marching Band, AKA The Boldest Sound from the Oldest Town, did not disappoint. They were as solid as I remembered. And they appeared to be having just as much fun in the stands as we did all those years ago.
Homecoming is really for the alumni. If you haven't been back to your alma mater, go. This business about "never looking back" is nonsense. A good long gaze at your past is a strong reminder of how far you have come.