Sunday, October 25, 2009

Going Home

Going home is not as easy as it sounds.

My dad wanted to move back to his hometown of Alvin, Texas. It was soon after my mom had died and he felt the need to go home.

So we moved him into a nice apartment complex there in the heart of Alvin where he and his siblings were all raised and attended school. As a matter of fact, you could say that my dad and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan went to the same school....even if it was 3 decades difference in time. This move lasted only about a year or so, until he realized that 'home' was back here in Beaumont.

I guess it was about ten or twelve years ago when several years of graduating classes from the 1930's began having shared reunions and I had the honor of taking my dad so he could attend and reminisce. That was neat being able to sit in and listen to him and his classmates talk of their stories from ....'back in the day'.

One of the last reunions was scheduled around the last formal public viewing and visitation of the old high school before it was to be demolished for a new school. Let me tell you something; the folks that made the trip to Alvin for that final public visit were amazing.

You could see it in their eyes and their smiles. You could hear it in their voices as well as sense it in their presence. That common bond between Alvin High School Yellowjackets.

There were tears and laughter all being shared openly. Memories were filling the halls and classrooms where the different years of classes were gathered.

Then there was the lull in conversation when a name would be mentioned and for whatever reason, that individual had passed on ahead of them...then almost at a predetermined time....the silence would be broken with the familiar phrase: "Hey, do you remember the time that...."

I am certain that many memories were revisited that day; the simple stirrings of first loves; the friendly competitions between team mates, and the banding together to pull out a victory on the field of play....were only a few that I noted hearing while trying to blend into the background and listening to the shared stories.

My dad as was many of his classmates were surviving members of the notable group of people called the Greatest Generation that had also survived the great depression and had fought in the war to end all wars.

These people had managed to go home for a visit of the old high school and came away with a different set of memories.

I suppose these folks had never been told that you can't go guess is that they probably wouldn't have cared if they had either.

Call me sentimental....but I was hoping Nolan Ryan was gonna show up and top off the day for me.

Reckon you can go home after all...if you really want to go there...


  1. I'm glad your dad had the opportunity to give it a try. He needed that -- even for a year. Good post, Jake. :) Hope you're doing well and hugging on that grandchild.

  2. Well done, sir. Well done, indeed.