“And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.”Terence Mann, Field of Dreams
When I was in high school, football games were never about football. Freshman through Junior years, I played alto saxophone in the Daviess County High School Band of Pride, and Friday night home games meant marching at halftime, playing in a raucous pep band, and, when it was all over, loading everything into the massive red and white trailer for the next day’s competition in Hopkinsville or Murray or Lexington. Those were good days.
A few weeks ago, I brought my wife, my Mom, my Canon 5D Mark III and Zeiss 50mm to the Daviess County vs. Apollo game. My wife’s from the other side of the world so I wanted to show her my old stomping grounds and a bit of American football, but my motivations were primarily nostaligia. I wanted to reminisce.
We sat near the pep band, but I didn’t sit there for long. I had to stop by the grassy slope where we used to hang out and not watch the game. I had to hit up the concession stand for the ubiquitous hot chocolate and those round nachos that are so wide they chap the corners of your mouth.
I had to visit the press box where a few years after college I ran camera for Time Warner Cable Channel 8. I had to smell the grill smoke, see the parents with consumer camcorders, and hear those obnoxious but well-meaning plastic clapper things.
Those good old days are getting a older every day. I lived them here and lived them as well as I could. Before the missteps of my twenties, I marched on this field and I loved all of it.
Speaking of which, the marching band wasn’t there that night, so we left at halftime. This was never about football.