MOST TEXANS who grew up in small towns can identify with and appreciate how meaningful their high school’s homecoming festivities can be to an ex-student. And, that meaning can grow exponentially as one approaches becoming an octogenarian.
My high school alma mater, Teague celebrates homecoming biennially rather than annually, as is the case with most Texas school districts. Teague exes and the school set the 2012 observance for Oct. 5-6. With 57 years having elapsed since my high school graduation, I am conservatively anticipating that event because, at my age, health and being ambulatory can be an issue at any time.
I SUPPOSE that a biennial event can become more important to septuagenarians because in two years, who knows? But, heck, I’m an optimist. I’m planning for this one and several more.
And, the THS schedule is spread out over a couple of days. There is, of course, the Friday night football game with a reception afterward.
Saturday begins with a parade. That night is the banquet at the high school cafeteria followed by something called “mix-n-mingle” at a local country club.
A few years back, a fellow classmate and I were visiting at the parade and the subject of the banquet and “mixer” arose. My friend asked, rather condescendingly I thought, what the Lord would think about my attending an event where alcohol would be served.
“I think He’ll be fine,” I replied. “I don’t drink so I’m going to watch out for Him since He’s going with me.” That closed the subject.
Yeah, I know, it was rather mean of me. And, Lord help me, I enjoyed it.
BUT, BACK to the homecoming schedule.
It seems that everyone involved in planning such an event is a golfer because there’s always a tournament scheduled. I don’t golf, because I can’t afford what my anger at failure does to cases of golf balls.
I tried to play golf for about a year and played maybe two-dozen rounds. Of course, I did this without benefit of lessons and by playing each of those rounds with two guys, one of whom had the same amount of experience as I and the other who’d played maybe a dozen rounds more than we had, again without benefit of instruction.
In those days, golf balls weren’t as well made as today’s and it was easy for someone with my ability and experience to do considerable damage to the surface of the ball. As a knowledgeable friend of mine said of any ball I hit, “Well, we know which one will be yours; it’ll be smiling back at us.”
Actually, I couldn’t afford the game strictly from the standpoint of how many balls I can ruin with one stroke. And, if I don’t ruin them, I also lose an inordinate amount.
So, I don’t embarrass myself any longer by pretending to be a golfer or even a less-than-average duffer.
Also, I’ll be among the exes who don’t attend the school pep rally Friday afternoon. Time and my age sort of dictate that. You know, saving my voice for the game.
Saturday begins with alumni registration in the morning followed by an afternoon parade.
THERE’S SOMETHING on the list about dropping off digital pictures for a banquet slide show that evening. Think I’ll pass on providing pictures/joke material to those in control of the microphone. Besides, at my age I don’t have digital pictures; they’re mostly glossy black and whites. I’ll just enjoy what others provide.
Banquet topics include a business meeting at that Saturday night event. Hopefully, the session will be short and painless although I recognize the necessity of having it when enough alums are available for some sort of quorum.
But, the receptions, parade and dinner offer opportunities for recollections with classmates and other old friends. And, stacks of years illuminate and enhance the memories of younger days immensely.
Willis Webb is a retired community newspaper editor-publisher of more than 50 years experience. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.