Archive for Monday, October 7, 2013

Travels bring new ‘gems of knowledge’

October 7, 2013

We take an annual fall trip to Allen, Texas, to visit our daughter and son-in-law and see our granddaughter perform — she is a cheerleader and this year was nominated for Homecoming Queen. On this trip I picked up a few gems of knowledge.

First, I learned that there is a benefit of getting older other than retirement and grandchildren. When you are 75 or older, you do not have to remove your shoes when passing through airport security. For those of us who are on the very, very mature side of life that is a real benefit. The security agent said “You got a belated birthday gift.” All the other security procedures are still in place for older folks.

Believe it or not, I discovered a benefit to walking with a cane. You get to board the airplane first and in the case of Southwest, that means a good seat. I know why some folks like Kansas City International. It has a lot less walking than Love Field. But I guess walking is good exercise.

As you probably know everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the homecoming corsages. The corsage is a bit hard to describe, but it is about four feet long, hanging by a necklace from shoulder to ankle. It features mums, stuffed toys, ribbons, feathers, sparkly trimmings, other flowers, etc. As far as I know, Texas is the only place where the huge corsage is popular, and it has been a tradition for many years. They are unique, attractive and expensive, with many costing $100 or more. It is a far cry from the simple mum corsage popular in Kansas.

Allen’s $60 million stadium was jammed for the homecoming game. I heard people say it seats 18,000 or 20,000. Anyway, there were lots of fans there, and I would imagine getting a seat at a restaurant during the football game was relatively easy.

Attending hundreds of games over the years, I’ve seen some of the ugly side of sports fans, but it was something that I had never viewed at the high school level. The teams were lined up for the kick off when an adult fan ran onto the field surprising and shocking everyone. What followed was an ugly scene as security staff members and the police wrestled the idiot to the ground. Since he refused to walk, he was dragged off the field fighting all the way. Finally, the Allen police got handcuffs on the guy and removed him from the stadium. I congratulate the Allen police and security people on handling the situation professionally in front of 18,000 spectators.

I did notice that there were lots of security personnel at the game. Apparently, there had been threats via social media to throw eggs at the homecoming royalty and disrupt the proceedings. The Allen administration took it very seriously and changed the route that the royal party used to enter the stadium.

I would imagine that some kids from the opposing school thought it would be funny. Well, it wasn’t, and in our modern world, threats need to be taken seriously. It is sad that a few anonymous cowards can force plans and traditions to be changed.

Actually, there were no problems during the game, and the teams and cheering section displayed great sportsmanship. Incidentally what was supposed to be a tough game wasn’t, and Allen romped to a 35-7 win.

No, neither of my grandchildren were the royalty winners (my grandson was up for Homecoming King at Free State High School in Lawrence), and both said that didn’t matter and enjoyed the experience. I think both of them were happier that their teams won. For once, our trip to Dallas went off without a hitch and even the flights were on time. The only sour note was I was shocked at how much the grass had grown in a week.

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