Friday, September 17, 2010


Homecoming: 1) A return home. 2) The return of a group of people, usually on a special occasion to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home; especially: an annual celebration for alumni.

Tonight is Winterset's Homecoming. It will be Kathryn's last of her high school years. If I remember correctly, this picture is of her from last year's homecoming dance.

Deise's picture from last year. I think the girls both had dates for the dance - much different than their grandma. I never had a date any of my four year's homecoming dances. But I still managed to have a good time.

I don't have a picture of me in my first homecoming dress, but I remember it well.
The Saturday before homecoming on October 18, 1957, we drove to Creston and bought some purple taffeta material to make it. Mom cut it out that night. The pattern had a fitted bodice, cap sleeves and a generous gathered skirt. I know I felt 'pretty' in the finished garment.
It was the first time I wore "heels". I think they were the same ones I have on in this picture - black suede with a rhinestone trim and very low, wide, "French heels." I was afraid I'd trip in real high heels.
The funny part of the whole experience was practicing putting on nylon hose for the first time. I gathered the first stocking down to the ankle, gingerly guided it over my foot and slowly pulled it up my leg - being careful not to snag it. Success. Now for the second stocking. Right. No pantyhose in those days. Not only that, but the stockings had seams down the back and those had to be straight! It was very grown up to be wearing hose held up by a garter belt.

We lost the football games my freshmen and sophomore years and tied my senior year. But boy the junior year game! I still remember how exciting it was. The score was 13-12 their favor. Then in the last 3 seconds of the game, Gary Richards kicked a field goal! We won! I was "so happy I bawled" according to my 1959 diary.

The red sweater and red plaid full circle skirt pictured above is what I wore to the homecoming dance my sophomore year. I had decided to be more practical and get an outfit I could wear to school, too, after its debut at the dance. I don't remember what I wore my junior year and I didn't even go to the dance my senior year - just to the game.

When I think of homecoming, Earl Hamner's novel, The Homecoming: A Novel About Spencer's Mountain, comes to my mind. It is the basis of one of my all time favourite TV shows: The Waltons. I don't think I missed a single episode during the time the show aired in the '70's.

Maybe the two meanings of homecoming are combined in my mind: a coming together in a simpler time.

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