Last Friday, during a substitute teaching gig, I was recruited to do a yearbook photo shoot with the seniors at the football field as the field sees its final days.
Typical for South Dakota, it was windy which allowed me to catch a nice breezy flag shot just before the sixth grade took the flag down, ceremoniously folding it following proper flag etiquette.
All of this leads up to the featured blended image. Flag waving in front of the school, seniors enjoying a warm, autumn afternoon and a football field that will never feel cleats digging into the turf or hear the roar of the crowds again.
Change is never easy. You fight to hold on, you fight to let go…
Witnessing the end of something or someone near and dear is always difficult and the demise of the Grant-Deuel High School football field is no different. It’s the end of an era with no possibility of future high school football memories to be made…
It’s not that I’m such a die hard football fan, but I am a fan of community pride. Volunteers from the community and school would show up in droves to work the games in various capacities and, of course, pump up school spirit as cheerleaders and pep band members. Fans would start parking vehicles early in the morning or even the night before a home game just to get their favorite spot. The community would hum with chatter the next day after an exciting game with their own strategy analysis.
High school football was a catalyst for teaching the importance of hard work, perseverance, tolerance and teamwork. You win together, you lose together, and the big one… life isn’t always fair.
So, here’s to the final farewell of Friday night lights and the Grant-Deuel Wildcat football field.
Works published or created before 1923 are considered public domain so I should be safe with this image from 1913 taken in Gary, South Dakota. A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright andwhich may be freely used by everyone.
Below is a scan of the original mounted print:
The image below has been edited to crop out the torn edges, visible spots retouched and made the shadows a little richer.
Along with old photographs comes stories and memories triggered from days gone by. My mother-in-law recalls a dance hall above this bar and when the dancers would be rockin’ the floor the ceiling lights, in the bar, would swing.
Farmers’ Night, usually occurring in March before spring work, was held in the dance hall where families would enjoy entertainment and hoped to win a prize. She remembers one Farmers’ Night as though it were yesterday: A handsome young man, that she had been corresponding with in Oregon, had returned to Gary and there he was… at Farmers’ Night. They were married the following fall…
Thank you to Buck Dessler of Gary, South Dakota for retrieving this gem from his childhood home.
Have you ever wondered about copyright laws and old images? The following link contains a chart with the laws when working with older images:
Young children spend much of their time in the land of make believe, but imagination is not reserved only for children’s play. Adults constantly use their imagination to help them invent new things, visualize, solve problems, enjoy a book or movie and think creatively. No wonder Albert Einstein felt that “imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Imagination is a cognitive skill that is used throughout life and not reserved only for children. Why do you suppose the popular ad, Calgon take me away, has been so effective?
Keeping our imagination sharp is a highly useful tool in creative thinking and problem solving. Unfortunately, we do lose some of our playful curiosity and imagination as we mature. A study involving 350 children showed that kids’ natural tendency to daydream and wonder declines sharply around 4th grade. ~ Psych Info That is about the age peer acceptance becomes increasingly important to a child. We begin to worry about being “dumb” or saying/doing something wrong, as perceived by others. We are also constantly reminded to “pay attention.”
Einstein, who said we need to be child-like to be creative, also said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” How true…
Now, excuse me as I go off to dream of faraway lands filled with adventure and intrigue .
Parenting is not for the faint at heart with the sleepless nights soothing infants to more sleepless nights waiting for teenagers to come home safely. There are ups when we are so proud we could burst and we have our down moments when it seems the challenges will never end.
Then one day you wake up and your child is starting senior year of high school. Where did the time go?
And, if at the end of the day you can still share a laugh or two, consider it a job well done.
As with all things in life, it brings to mind the old adage originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets: This too shall pass.