Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Last Friday was Homecoming for our High School. It was a chilly cloudy day for the big parade down Main Street. It was a cold and snowy night for the football game (our team won). I went to the parade; not the game.

Here comes the band.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about Homecoming. It seemed such a strange tradition to me. Parades, ball games, a "Royal Court," a dance--how did this tradition start and what did it mean? So, of course, I went to Wikipedia. I learned that the tradition had its start in 1911. Kansas and Missouri had a big college football rivalry. A change was made in the location where their big game was to be held. "To renew excitement in the rivalry, ensure adequate attendance at the new location, and celebrate the first meeting of the two teams on the Mizzou campus in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou Athletic Director Chester Brewer invited all alumni to "come home" for the game in 1911." (Wikipedia)

Megan wasn't issued a hat this year, since her leg
injury consigned her to the "Pit."
So there you have it. From that beginning the tradition grew. Many, many years ago someone tried to explain the meaning of Homecoming to me as the team coming home for a game after an away game. However, since this happens more than once during a season, it didn't make much sense to me. What was the big deal about that? "Homecoming" meaning a celebration to invite alumni and former residents to attend a big game makes much more sense. But, as happens to traditions, the original meaning and purpose can be lost. The tradition continues and develops new twists. Nobody knows what it means, but everyone has fun with it!

My granddaughter, Megan, was marching with the band in the Homecoming Parade, which is what got me out of the house that chilly day. It was a big deal because it was the only time she got to march with the band this year. Her stress-fractured leg is finally healing. The doctor said it was OK for her to walk on it--just no running, jumping, or carrying heavy objects yet. It's too late for her to get back in the marching band for the competitions (she plays the xylophone in the "pit" instead). And she couldn't carry or play a bass drum in the parade (which was supposed to be her instrument this year), but she could carry cymbals and march with the band. This was a big goal for her ever since her leg injury grounded her from marching.

So, cold and wind and the fact that she was not feeling well that day could not keep her from being really excited and marching with the band in the Homecoming Parade!