Monday, October 5, 2009

High School Homecoming



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Good morning, ya'll. Coffee is hot and I have some scones I can split and toast if you would care for a snack. I like to make scones using scone mixes and we had some for breakfast yesterday. They usually call for water to mix but I like to use cranberry juice or apple juice for another layer of flavor. Yesterday it was a cherry mix and I used cranberry juice as the mixer. You don't taste the juice as such, but it is a little additional flavor. You might want to try it. Sconse are a slightly sweet biscuit and is usally cut into wedges or squares. They are very good.

It was homecoming weekend here this weekend and a good time was had by all from what I heard. Sweet memories flooded my mind of our Wilcox County High School (Alabama) homecomings for it was a wonderful week or two. Education became second in priority at this time and excitement ran sky-high.

We would elect the homecoming queen and court about a month before and it was a great honor. The queen was always a senior and usually the most popular and the prettiest girl in the class. The court would wear lovely evening gowns on the float during the parade and suits with great big pom-pom corsages at the game. Most of the crowd would also be dressed up and most would have on a corsage with our school colors of blue and white. It was quite festive and a big celebration.

The floats in the parade were a labor of love for each class and club. A borrowed flat-bed trailer from one of the farmers would be carried to a warehouse in town and we would all hope they would wash it good before they brought it for some of them could be kinda smelly. We would wrap it in chicken wire and following the plans drawn up by one of our artistic class members we would begin the arduous task of decorating.

Each hole in the chicken wire was stuffed with a kleenex which you would hold in your left hand. With the right hand you would take it by the middle and place the fluffy flower you had made in a hole of the chicken wire. If you needed colored fluffy flowers, squares of crepe paper would be used in place of the kleenex. The colored paper would be used to form letters or a pattern and would look rather good from a distance. It was not fun when we would run out of kleenex though for we would then use the cheap, school toilet tissue which would not be fluffy. You do remember the school tissue? Is is always the cheapest you can buy - kinda like using a page from the Sears Roebuck catalog. We would have spent many days cutting squares of crepe paper and making posters for you wanted your float to win the prize for the best float. There wouldn't be a roll of blue or white crepe paper within an 80 mile radius of Camden.

On the Friday of the game we would work all day on the floats. They would be brought to the football field behind the school and we would stuff paper, make posters, and decorate all day. The biggest thrill for the girls was the privilege to wear jeans for we had to wear dresses or skirts to school every other day. We would wear our jeans with the legs folded neatly to just below the knees, a sweatshirt or blouse, saddle oxfords or loafers with socks folded neatly around the ankles. If it was cold it was an opportunity to wear your boy friend's letter jacket, if you had a boy friend who played football. I never had one of those so I just had to wear my leather jacket or a heavy sweat shirt. To get a good picture in you mind just watch the movie, Grease. I wish I had a pink, satin jacket but mama didn't like that idea.

About 2 o'clock we would hook the trailer up to a nicely washed and shined tractor and they would be pulled to the street in front of the school. We who were in the band would put on our scratchy, woolen uniforms, and line up in the front of the parade. At 3 o'clock, Mr. Tommy or one of the other policemen or deputies would pull up in a squad car, blow the siren and away we would march down town. The school was on main street and we would slowly wind our way down town, around the town square and back to the school. The whole town would line the streets to see the pretty girls, watch the band and cheer us on and every year they would say it was the best parade there had ever been. Small towns are the greatest for encouraging their kids.

The floats would be lined up on the football field and the winner of the best float would be announced right before the football game. The game would be played, the queen and court presented at half-time and a good time would be had by all. Lots and lots of the alumni would be there for most of them never left town. The crowd would be noisy, the boys played their best, Coach McKelvey would pace the sidelines, the band would strut their stuff, the smell of popcorn would fill the air and it was Friday night in Camden, AL and most other towns in the South.

Most of the college alumni would come home and dress to the nines in their best, wear a big ole corsage and make sure everyone saw them as they walked in front of the stands. When you would get to the student section everybody would be glad to see you and admire your collegiate look. The skirts would be a little short, the makeup a lot heavy, the hair teased and sprayed and you would look older and cool. Coming home for homecoming was a big deal and you wanted to make a big impression for after all, you were now in college and a big wheel. You wanted to make sure all were impressed with how pretty and more mature you looked now.

I'm glad these traditions are still alive and well for these are memories you hold close and are dear. I still remember our queen my senior year for she was an exception to the rule. Sadie was our neighbor up the road and was not one of the in-crowd from town. She was not from a well-to-do family, worked after school and weekends at A. C. William's store but made great grades and was liked by most. Those of us who lived in the country got our act together and elected her our queen and she was honored and thrilled. We were so glad that one of our country girls was finally on the "throne."

If your school is having homecoming, get your big corsage, your best clothes, tease up that hair, spray it good and go have a good time.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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