Homecoming II: The Parade

[Marge Van Gorp.  There were several good possibilities for the lead-off photo for this column – including those that included me, for Pete’s sake!  But how could it not be Marge?  She played softball with my Mom!  And she still writes the “100 Years Ago . . .” column for the Echo.  Marge, you are our parade queen!  🙂 ]

[Runner-up:  Mrs. Alexandria, Patty Wicken, on the right; her daughter, Terri, in the middle; and Lisa Schultz on the right.  I thought they were cute.]

[Runner-up:  Al Grundei’s (Class of ’67) mom, Rosemary (Class of ’38).  With Margaret Krey Lempka (Class of ’67).  I thought they were cute.]

[Runner-up:  C’mon!  I had to be in there somewhere!  My teammates, however, probably thought I brought them down.  Marlene Zimmel Bettin, on the left, and Bev Roers Korkowski, on the right (obviously), are the first classmates, other than the redoubtable Joe Drexler (2 times), to ever join me on the Homecoming jaunt down Broadway (we did not Boogaloo Down Broadway, I hate that song.)  Yup, cute.]

The parade began again this year at the fairgrounds.  That’s fine – makes assembly easier.  But it totally confused me as to reportorial coverage – well, a lot of things confuse me.  In the years the parade begins at the Catholic church, I’m able to stand at the front of the formation and get photos of the Homecoming court and the grand marshals (or is it grands marshal?).  But this year, as I entered the fairgrounds two cameras in hand, I noticed all the convertibles at the start of the line-up, but their passengers were out-and-about doing meet-and-greets.  So, I continued on – photo ops abounded with floats and alumni of all shapes, sizes, and ages in various conveyances.  I think I was somewhere behind a 4H building when movement began – I would never be able to get to the front of the parade to capture the royalty.  Classmate Bev (aforementioned) phoned ahead to her husband Cliff to see if he could get them as they came down Broadway.  We’re thankful for those he was able to get.

[The other passengers in the Grundeimobile.  Tom Lempka, Doug Drexler, and Al, all Class of ’67.  Cute?]

[Class of ’56.  (Oh, you can read that.)]

[Class of ’56 was multi-vehicled.]

[Class of ’54 snuck in (and he knows who he is), allegedly as a spouse to a ’56er.]

[The football team, with some groupie alumni women!]

[Tom Akenson’s (rain coat) classic ’38 fire engine ferries the Class of ’68 – at least until they hit Broadway, or so they say.  Current fire marshal, Dennis Stark (l), inspects the rig.]

[And here they are!  Yeah, they can still walk.]

You may have noticed people look a little bundled up.  As you may recall, we had beautiful weather for the last three Homecomings.  And it was lovely (sunny – hey, we’re in a drought!) this time as well, but a tad on the chilly side – 50-ish.  With a slight breeze, the supervisor and I began talking ourselves into only staying for half of the football game (as you will learn later, we stuck it out to the end).  Today was the first day of fall – I celebrated by making the first pot of chili of the season.

[Classes of ’61 and ’63.]

[Class of ’48, as was the birth of their tractor.]

[A mixed group – we have become progressive enough to allow the commingling of classes.]

[The band followed the team.]

[The East Gate entry (and exit) to the fairgrounds from whence the parade began.]

[Somewhere behind the teeming masses was either a grand marshal or Homecoming royalty.]

[Oh, here’s Hall-of-Fame grand marshal, Joani Nielson, better known to Super Fans as a hockey mom.]

[Cheer, oh cheer for Alex . . .]

[The line-up of older people . . . er, alumni.]

[I think we’re moving . . .]

[Cheerleaders.  (Oh, you guessed that?)]

[We’re heading down Fairgrounds Road to Broadway.]

[The 70’s?  And they’re riding?  😉 ]

[I believe this was the figure skating club.]

[There’s Bev and Marlene ahead.  Since I was always stopping for photos, I had a tough time keeping up.  They set a mean pace.  So, despite my years of training with the Fat Boys Walking Club, 5 miles per day, 6 days a week, I was working up a sweat in 50-degree weather!]

[The cheerleaders lead us onto Broadway.]

[That’s Bev in the foreground; kids seeking candy in the background.]

[And they all came to see the Class of ’65!]

[Bev and Marlene receive a standing ovation!]

[Reminder:  The Secret Garden is in its 2nd and last week at the AAAA!]

[Marlene’s thinking, “I should have done this every year . . .”]

[“I never knew I had so many fans?”]

[We risk life and limb heading into the 8th Avenue “dip.”]

[The “dip” provides some contrasting topography – without the need for a building permit.]

[Trying the keep an eye on the cheerleaders so they don’t disappear in the “dip.”]

[OK, some of the ’68ers walked . . . and threw candy.]

[Bev and Marlene keep on truckin’.]

[You may recognize this as the article photo above.  🙂 ]

[Candy and children litter the street.]

[The rest of the parade falls into the “dip.”]

[And then we were buzzed (to be explained anon).]

Remember Bev’s phone call to Cliff?  The next 9 photos are his taken from the “dip”:

[Marchers who realize they are now more than halfway to the high school!]

[Then a P-51 Mustang flew over . . .]

[And the crowd gaped!!  (Thanks for these photos, Cliff!)]

[Waiting for the next pass . . .]

[And here it comes again.  A tribute to Hall of Famer and WWII ace, “Bud” Peterson.]

[Good-bye.]

[Meanwhile, back at the parade.]

[The Grundeimobile “marches” on.]

[As do Bev and Marlene, as we near the end of trekking Broadway.]

[Broadway telephotoed.]

[I don’t know who she is . . .]

[But she made the photo!  (The school has advised:  She’s Jodi Crouse-Wanner, Lenore Crouse’s (search blog, also played softball with Mom) granddaughter.  🙂 ]

[And now commencing our turn on 15th to the high school.]

[School, dead ahead.]

[The volleyball team!  🙂 ]

[Aaaayyyyyyyyyyy!]

[The swim team?]

[The parade is over . . .]

[Is she a future Cardinal star?]

Next:  The game.

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