Homecoming creates special memories

ESCANABA – “Fight, fight for Esky High- march down the field to victory”

The smell of fall is in the air- and so is hot popcorn, hot dogs, hot cocoa and coffee.

You can almost see your breath as darkness steals away the autumn colors. Colors etch memories into our brains. Whether it’s orange and black (Escanaba) purple and white (Gladstone) Purple and Gold (Rapid River) or green and white (Holy Name), I’ll bet you remember your school colors and fight song.

It does not matter if you were a star football player or the tuba player in the marching band or the captain of the cheer leading squad; homecoming had a special feel for each and every one of us.

For the popular kids and the plain old average kids, parts of the festivities and the football game stay with us for a lifetime.

It is about school spirit and hometown pride that make homecomings special.

What do you remember about homecoming back when you were in high school?

I recall the smell of poster paint. Each class made posters by the dozens. Orange and black was everywhere. Some of the posters had our class year on. Some had the numbers of whichever boys we thought were the most handsome on the football team.

I was artsy, so drawing cartoons of the Eskymos crushing our opponents was great fun. The yelling at the pep assembly, the competition for the “Little brown jug” and the crowning of the homecoming queen (we didn’t do homecoming kings way back then) were traditional favorites.

Our clothes were more casual back then. Except for the homecoming queen and her court, blue jeans and a nice top were the standard. Less money was spent on dinning and dates back then and it seemed and more focus was on the football game.

Back in my Mom’s day, (class of 1949) the student body held a snake dance to get into the school spirit for the big game against Menominee.

My aunt Sandy (who lived at our house and was like an older sister to me) was in the marching band. I recall being a little snot-nosed kid tagging along with Dad on the ride to go pick up Sandy from band practice.

When the band was getting ready for the homecoming half time show, rehearsals were tough. Mr. Chown would make them practice again and again, back and forth across the field. My Dad and I watched from the truck.

“Rum-it-tummity, tummity tooty tum”, my Dad would chant as he patiently waited.

Homecoming is not really about winning or losing. It’s not about the fanciest dress or the best float. It is about teamwork and being a part of something; a community.

Enjoy this weekend’s game and festivities and make some good memories to pass on down to your grandchildren.

Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.