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gimme an “f”

September 27, 2011

It had been almost twenty years, but my reactions were elemental. 

The drum line, articulating the crowd’s collective anticipation, thrummed in my chest.  The marching band’s renditions of “Louie, Louie” and “Day Tripper,” fan favorites of my school’s band so many years ago, echoed in my brain.  The smell (of … what?  fall air?  popcorn and hot dogs and sweat?  grass?) immediately hurled me back to an older place.  Even the colors were the same — red and black — as those worn by my own high school team.

"San Dimas High School football rules!"

In many ways, attending our local high school’s football game was like waking up in 1991.

In the following ways, it was not:

1).  Our local high school football team is really, really good.  My own high school’s team tried really, really hard.

2).  While I attended Friday’s game wearing school colors, I did not, as I would have in 1991, wear a short red satin skirt, green eyeshadow, and nude pantyhose (you are welcome, fellow football fans).

3).  For the first time in my memory, I actually watched the game.  With my husband narrating each play to our boys and to me, I learned.

Our seats were close enough to the field for me to hear the coach’s red-faced tirades when the boys made a sloppy play.  I could hear the crunch of helmet on shoulder, the thud of shoulder on grass.  I could see the players’ faces when they took off their helmets (so young!), and watch the trainers mix Pedialyte in their water bottles.

If I turned to look behind me, I saw a stadium awash in red and black.  There was not an empty seat on the home team’s side.

It was altogether thrilling, made more so by my increasing appreciation for the game.  I can’t wait to go back.

Today, I hope you revisit a memory that thrills you.  Thanks, always, for showing up.

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