Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wallflower Vintage Presents: Homecoming: An American Tradition

Homecoming king and queen circa 1970

Homecoming Court 1969

Homecoming Queen 1963

1956

1950s Homecoming Queen and attendants

Meryl Streep

Homecoming Parade 1957

1970s Homecoming

1980s Court

1960s Homecoming festivities

Why write about Homecoming? Did I not try to stuff the ballot box with freshmen votes my senior year at college - trying to become the first non-sorority Homecoming Queen in the college's lengthy history? Did I not secretly cheer when the cheerleader float came too close to a guardrail and a few cheerleader legs were broken? (Not a proud moment). Did I not march in the Homecoming parade with a flugal horn I could not (and never could) play - because the nerdy band needed warm bodies to fill the holes? Did I not play the cymbals for the National Anthem - through the entire rendition of the National Anthem? I never was allowed to even touch the cymbals after that. Did I never once have a date for homecoming (high school and college)?

Forgive and Remember.

Obviously, I appear in none of these photos.

Nonetheless - homecoming is and remains a very American tradition at high schools and universities. According to the uber smart Wikipedia; Homecoming has been around since the mid 19th century. It celebrates the return of Alumni and former residents and is usually centered around a football game between team rivals. The week of homecoming is chock full of float-building preparations for the big parade. Spirit week promotes school unity with such events as class day, school color day and the like. Friday is usually reserved for the pep rally. Here introductions by bubbly cheerleaders of the Varsity football team and the unveiling of the Homecoming Court are made.

The big homecoming parade encompasses the entire school with floats from classes as well as sports teams and school clubs. The marching band usually takes the prominent spot at the head of the parade as the varsity football team brings up the rear. If you think small town America is dead - you've never been to a Homecoming Parade.

Friday evening or Saturday morning is reserved for the 'BIG GAME'. Half time is rife with tradition as the Homecoming court are paraded out to the field - King and Queen at the helm - to the cheers of students, alumni, parents and teachers. That same evening the Homecoming Dance takes place - usually in the school gym.

And: Great fun was had by all.

Oh, did I mention that I was not elected queen my senior year in college?

It was a sorority girl.

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