Well, it is the Monday following Homecoming and I am compelled to churn a couple of thoughts. First of all, we should get the football angst dispensed with: Yes we would all prefer we were having a better season, but the ability to get together and simply enjoy each other's company in the context of major College Division 1 football is essential regardless. And its fun.
For instance, on Saturday night there were no jokes along the lines of "well at least we are saving on gunpowder this year." No, the Aztec cannon worked overtime and since it was Homecoming and we had a steady parade of celebrants to the field, our ears were constantly ringing.
Speaking of the steady parade, alumni president Adrienne Finley honored Bob and Darlene McCray with the Aztec Spirit Award. Bob McCray, hobbling on the foot he broke at Notre Dame, had the entire McCray enclave with him on the field to celebrate. And speaking of playing hurt, Buddy Black was there. He was the Homecoming Honorary Chair and Buddy managed to smile and wave perfectly despite the rotator cuff surgery. Meanwhile, Bob White and Kevin Falconer were seen huddling up on the Press Level.
Other noticeable Aztec Greats were on the field. Fred Dryer, having fulfilled his duties as Grand Booba of the Boo Parade, tossed the opening coin. And Akbar Gbajabilamilla looked good on the sidelines as the reporter for the Mountain Network.
While crowning the Queen and King, Dr. Jim Kitchen was looking good, but not as good as Lakeisha Nacoste and Nathaniel Donnelly. Nathaniel, as the past president of the Student Veterans Organization, had spent the morning at the alumni association's 12th annual War Memorial Ceremony. There, Bucky Peterson gave the keynote address as a packed crowd remembered fallen Aztecs and were treated to several stirring speeches, the annual wreath-laying, and a spectacular vintage plane flyover accompanied by an emotional echoing of "Taps." Shortly thereafter, 130 "Golden Aztecs" filed into Casa Real for some serious reminiscing, a hearty welcome from Ed Blessing, student body president in 1958, and a delightful San Diego State nostalgic romp from NBC 7/39's consummate pro and Aztec alumnus Ken Kramer.
So, yes, Aztec fans and faithful alumni all got to enjoy the reunions, the tailgating, the reminiscing, and each other. And even though one thing might make the experience a little better, the experience of being in each other's company is a real good one.