Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Homecoming Brings Back Memories

Covering Milan's Homecoming parade yesterday brought back many fond memories. I graduated from Whitmore Lake High School in 1986 and we had the same kind of hometown spirit back then as Milan has today. A very small and closeknit community, Homecoming in Whitmore Lake was a time to come together and show our community pride. The best part of all, though, was that there were only about 50 students in my class, so everyone had an opportunity to shine. In fact, last year, three friends were in town for the Ann Arbor Art Fairs and I asked a colleague if he wanted to hang out with three Homecoming queens and a Sno-Coming princess. Sure enough, my three friends, Kate Hennings (class of 1986), Lisa Hotz (class of 1987) and Jenny Hotz (class of 1989)
and I all enjoyed our time in the spotlight just as I am sure Sam Day, Kortney Meadows, Tori Turner and Kasey Splitt did this past week.

Although the Milan Homecoming parade was pretty brief at about 30 minutes, it was chocked full of hometown spirit, from the high school marching band, to farm tractor pulling a wagon full of cheerleaders to the class floats, local Scouts, Homecoming representatives and high school drama club. I shot video interviews with representatives from each class talking about their floats, but, unfortunately, my interview of seniors Jena Heath and Kate Klohs didn't work out. Sorry, girls! Somehow the video file got corrupted. But you can see snippets of the others as part of a our parade coverage and a shot of their float coming down the street.

Besides seeing how inventive each class was with their floats, my favorite part of the parade was a short chat afterward with 10-year-old Sarah Timmerman, her 9-year-old sister Alayna and their neighbor, Nina Palmer. Nina took the girls to their very first Homecoming parade. Of course, it was no surprise when I asked them what their favorite part of the parade was and they said, "the candy." Nina had a lap full of it for the girls to take home.

As I handed off the video camera to reporter Brian Cox at the Lighthouse coffeehouse in Milan so he could shoot the game and I headed home, fond memories came flooding back of my high school days. I remember working on the Homecoming floats, spirit walls and voting classmates to serve as class representatives on the Homecoming (football season) and Sno-Coming (basketball season) courts. I was the sophomore class Sno-Coming princess in 1984 and my prince was David Sherman. He really deserves all the credit for me earning the title as it was his popularity that won him the votes and his crush on me that motivated the class to vote me in to bring us closer together. While the plan didn't really work out, as I was dating someone older who attended Gabriel Richard High School, we maintained a close friendship. Sadly, though, we eventually went our separate ways and (That's us-->)I haven't heard from him in years. I've even asked old classmates about him, but no one knows what happened to him. Who knows, like many people in small towns across America, maybe he was like me, enjoying a Homecoming parade and football game somewhere and reflecting on those many years ago.

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