When I stopped at the main street barber shop for a shampoo and hair-cut ($12) I learned a few things. The Country Story - across the street which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month - prominently displays a sign PROM DRESSES so I asked the young woman cutting my hair if she had every purchased a prom dress there. "Yes, several.I bought my wedding dress from her too. " She lifted a photo off the mirror and handed it to me - a pretty girl in a very smart formal dress standing with her good-looking young man. " My daughter bought this dress for her prom last Spring. I kept telling her to go to the County Store but she turned her nose up at shopping in her home town until she could not find anything she liked anywhere else." We laughed.
" Is there a football game at the High School tonight?"
" Yes. Its the Opening Game of the Season. My daughter's boyfriend -that boy- is on the team so we will go - have to support the kids, you know. Its at 7 PM."
Jim, it turned out had been across the street at the Country Store while he waited for me. I told him about the football game. "Let's go."
Last night was balmy and the parking lot was already nearly full when we drove in at 10 minutes of 7 for the game. I did not know there were this many people in the town. Like people in small towns across the country we fell in step with the families ambling into Musselman Field for the Opening Game.
What's not to like? Happy people of all ages, laughter, the smell of fresh cooked french fires, strapping young guys suited up and scrapping on the Field under bright lights and a golden full moon, a bevy of cheerleaders crying for victory, and the band giving it their all even though no one could hear a thing.
It was great.
Just five minutes from our house on Gurnsey Drive.
After the football game last night I thought of the stadium in Charlotte on Friday nights during the 1950s. The lights blazing and our bands playing as guys I knew butted heads with rival teams.
I wrote to my friend and high school classmate Ed - one of the guys on the field in those Central High School games - about last night's football game here in Pa. Ed and I live on opposite sides of the beltway in the Greater Washington Metro area - he in Virginia and I in Maryland - but we keep in touch by email and share our memories of the Elizabeth Section of Charlotte, NC in earlier days.
I am adding his reponse to round out the view of the games.
I’ve been to several High School games in McLean. I really enjoy them. The smell of the dirt on the field being stirred up by the players cleats was the first thing that hit me. I remember that smell very well, having had my face rubbed in it many times. And like you, the enthusiasm of the cheerleaders and the band…was electric. The game on the field was pretty good too.
But what struck me most of all was………none of the kids was watching the game. They were all watching each other.
Oops, did you guys think we were watching you?