Are You Ready for Some Football?


After attending and cheering on two victorious football teams this weekend…our town’s high school team and at Purdue, my kids alma mater…it only seems fitting to reminisce and share once again of the excitement that football brings to many small towns:

When my son played high school football, excitement was in the air when the Friday night lights were turned on at the football field. We heard the high school band ripping out the school song. We saw the cheerleaders jumping and cheering as the team ran out on the field. We felt the stands vibrating as the fans jumped from their seats, clapping, yelling and cheering the team on to victory.

These games were more memorable to us than watching a professional game. This is where we went to watch our sons in our small town play because it was tradition. This is where we went despite the weather to watch our sons play because they loved the game. This is where we went to watch our sons play because they hoped that they would be collegiate players. Of course, few did, but the majority of these kids graduated from high school and college or found an industrial job.

I had taken over a thousand digital pictures of my son each year. Of all of those pictures this picture is his favorite. It was taken at a sectional championship game that was being hosted at an old rival high school stadium called the “Brickie Bowl” which was going to be replaced by a 21st century stadium. But this old stadium, that he favored, had a blue collar, coliseum type atmosphere and this picture captured the feeling for him. And my son’s team won!

Four scrapbooks were created from the best of these pictures; one scrapbook for every year. Each book has every newspaper article about the game and has pictures that I took of him. The first two years the majority of the pictures were of him standing and watching from the sidelines and the last two years were pictures of him sweaty and dirty while on the field tackling or hitting the opponents.

My son’s books are stored in his closet, and he has pulled them out occasionally to show others. But what is awesome is that one day when his grandchildren are with him celebrating his birthdays, he will be able to show his grandchildren that he was once a young athletic teenager who loved football and loved the competition.

What did you do in high school that you would like your grandchildren to learn about you?  Pull out your laptop or grab paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of when you were a young person and start with these questions:

  • What sport or extracurricular activity were you involved with in high school?
  • What leadership positions did you hold while involved in that activity?
  • What awards or honors did you earn in this activity?
  • In hindsight what would you have changed, if any, about your choice?
  • How did your participation help shape you?

Friends Sharpen Friends…

2015-03-15 HBC friends

Proverbs 27:17 reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  Forty years ago I became friends with these girls from my church youth group. I was fourteen years old. They were sixteen and seventeen years old. At that age it was a significant age difference, but they still included me and welcomed me in their group.

The next two years I joined them on activities with the youth group. I spent many afternoons and nights at Kathy’s home eating her mom’s delectable home baked goods in between laughing and talking with one another as well as flirting with the guys who also came to her home. I loved not only the late night laughter and good times, but also the late night talks about life and teenage hardships that we helped each other through.

Time quickly passed and these ladies graduated from high school, and we all started on our separate paths. Some started working full time and others went to college. Next came weddings and children. On that path we also crossed intersections of sadness with divorces and death. I occasionally kept in touch with a few through annual Christmas cards but even those slowly stopped.

However, with time our paths crossed again when Kathy began coordinating reunions, and we all easily started catching up with one another again. The reunions along with social media have helped us to keep in touch with one another and to reach out during times of celebration, times of medical needs, and times of sorrow.

These ladies have played an important part in my life and I find it important to preserve the memories of my high school friendships for my children and future grandchildren. One day they will be able to read how life was like for me as a teenager in the 1970’s and how good friends helped me then and now.

Now is the time for you to pull out your laptop or grab paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of your friends and record how they influenced you, how you helped them and how they helped you.

  • Who was your best friend in your neighborhood?
  • What do you remember about your friend’s house?
  • What do you remember about your friend’s family?
  • What did you and your friend have in common?
  • What types of celebrations, trials and sorrows did you support each other through?