Rushing way into football season

As we move into the month of August, it seems like summer is almost gone. An expression that we often hear is “where did the summer go?”

As I reflect back over the summer it has gone too fast and now we will think about some nice fall weather before winter sets in.

During this month of August, most schools start the fall season. Quite often, these late August days can be hot and humid, not good weather for studying. Most of the newer schools are now air conditioned, something unheard of when I was in school. This does make it easier to concentrate in these schools when it is cooler.

Fall months are also the time when colleges and universities get back in session. I was out of high school for several years before I was able to go to Ohio State, so it was a bit difficult to get back into a habit or routine of studying.

Also, I had to work weekends, so I missed many activities that I would have enjoyed. One of them was the Saturday Ohio State football games. I didn’t have the money to buy student tickets, so it really didn’t matter.

While football was always important at Ohio State, I don’t remember that it got the attention or is as important as it seems to be today.

It was not until I graduated and went to work for The Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service that we had money to buy season faculty tickets. I was married at that time and my wife, Francis, was working. She had graduated from dental hygiene at the university and was enjoying her profession. She died at the young age of 58, and three years later, I married Betty.

We did enjoy all the color and excitement at these games. Among the most enjoyable activities was the band. Halftime shows were beautiful and well conducted and as much fun as was the football game. Also, the performance at the end of the games when “Carmen Ohio” was played and we all sang was especially enjoyable.

We also learned that we could go to St. John’s Arena before the game and watch the band practice during their “skull session.” They would go through many of the numbers that they were going to do during halftime, except they weren’t marching. It was fun to see the excitement.

To be in the stadium and see all the people, the color and hustle and bustle of the game was something one had to experience by being there. While television does a good job of showing the games, it isn’t like being there in person.

Our faculty seats were located in an area with other faculty, so we often saw many former co-workers and were able to catch up with their lives and what they were doing and where they lived.

Unfortunately, we are not able to go to the games any more. Our weary bones don’t do well squeezed into those hard, backless benches. When we were younger, we could handle the discomfort and enjoy the game. But time takes its toll.

The trip to and from Columbus seems a lot longer than it did years ago. The distance hasn’t changed and the roads are a lot better but somehow it is longer than we like.

I haven’t been on the OSU campus for several years now. Many of the landmarks that I knew may be gone or are changed. But that is the way life goes, change is continual, ever moving on. I am fortunate that I have enjoyed an active, busy life.

Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Contact him at 149woodside@twc.com.

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