Stress and Joy of Homecoming

Posted on November 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Why is it that we become so self-conscious as our school’s homecoming approaches? What are our former classmates going to think of us? Will they recognize me with gray hair, or no hair at all, and carrying an inner-tube around my waist? What if I don’t seem to have been as successful as others? Next year will be my 50th anniversary class reunion, but living just a few blocks from my alma mater we usually join the festivities each year.

Homecoming-DrRoyceThe honored 50-year reunion class of of 1963 included many close friends who were just ahead of me, so we enjoyed a delightful weekend filled with surprise encounters with those we had not seen since college days. It was an unusually beautiful, crisp fall day. The quadrangle in the middle of campus was covered with tailgaters, social club reunions and a BBQ picnic followed by the homecoming parade down College Street to the stadium.

MC president, Dr. Lee Royce, is pictured on the platform at the annual alumni dinner bestowing awards and reporting on the remarkable growth of the university with more than 5,000 students. We are pictured with several of our classmates at the banquet with the oldest alumnae, Dr. Ed Hewlett who is 101 and graduated in 1932. His son Ed was in my class and daughter Janie graduated with Bobbye two years later.

Homecoming-AlumniFellowshipping with our generation of students was filled with reminiscing and anecdotes of campus life I had long forgotten. It is not that my memory was worse than others as it was choosing to suppress memories of things better forgotten! Prior to the parade we passed a photo-shoot of the homecoming court and had a photo taken of Bobbye, homecoming queen in 1965 with the current homecoming queen.

Homecoming-HCQueenIn spite of the fact the Mississippi College Choctaws fail to win the ballgame (yet again), it was a nostalgic day of recalling a significant stage of life and the lasting influences of education in a Christian environment. And, by the way, we felt pretty good about how we looked compared to others to whom the aging process did not seem to be so kind. (I’m wondering if they went away saying the same about us!)

The following week flowed into a busy time of catching up on fall yard work, hosting overnight guests, and accommodating the trick-or-treaters, such as the group pictured below, who inundated our house on halloween night.


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