We rolled into Santa Anna with the RV behind us and two grandsons in tow about 8:00 pm. We headed for the nice addition the school has at the back of one of the end zones. They have put in nice roads and facilities for teachers/employees to bring in homes, and I believe some homes in the addition may belong to the school. At the back of this neat new addition, they have RV hookups. The school generously offered for us to park our RV there for the night while we covered their midnight madness.
After we got the RV set, we loaded up our two grandsons ages seven and eight and headed for Dairy Queen. We enjoyed a great meal followed by ice cream, of course. While there, one of the employees waiting on us mentioned she was a cheerleader and would be rushing from work to the school for the big event. I am always impressed with the number of activities and jobs small town kids can do and how well they do them all. Small town kids are well rounded, hard working kids.
A family came in to Dairy Queen dressed and ready for the midnight madness. It was a pleasure to see and observe them. One of the smaller children enjoyed making a suicide at the soda fountain area and took great delight in their tasty creation. All the while I was super nervous our grandsons were going to wear their ketchup and kept after them about it. One little girl in the family wanted to sit at a big table at the back but the older kids had already sat down at a different table. She was determined to stand her ground and eat at her table. Mom kept a close eye on her and let her sit alone while they waited on the food. When the food arrived mom told her that whenever she was ready to eat her food was at the table with the family. The cutie sat with stone determination not to leave her chosen table; so alone, she stood her ground. After a minute or two, mom joined her at her chosen table with food in hand. The two of them enjoyed their meal together. A quiet moment of time away from the rest of the family. It was sweetness at its best and a joy to watch. We escaped Dairy Queen with ketchup and ice cream free shirts. The boys shorts weren’t as lucky.
We headed back up to the school and hung out in our RV until about 11:30 when we headed up to the football field. Once there, we visited with coaches, parents, and fans. I always enjoy visiting with people and getting to know them. Seeing the same people through the years covering games is a definite plus and helps give purpose to what we do. Spotting a familiar friendly face at a game is always a delight.
I followed the boys onto the field and quickly realized the grass was wet and knew I’d have soggy socks and feet shortly. Sure enough I did and knew most of the boys were enjoying that pleasure right along with me. It was muggy, the air was thick, and the crickets were having a hay day. They were everywhere; reminiscent of a scene out of a Moses movie. I had no idea my 7-year-old grandson was a cricket fearer to the extreme of all rational thinking. Poor Michael was wresting two boys and one was a screaming crying maniac because of the crickets. I wrongly laughed and then quickly realized the level of terror he was dealing with. People in the stands were enjoying the show my city boy grandson was putting on for them. It was a show for sure. Eventually he sucked it up a little and made it through the night.
The band played a few songs and the cheerleaders cheered. People were enjoying the cool evening and watching the boys practice when my grandson wasn’t distracting them with his cries of cricket horrors. I took lots of great shots and enjoyed being on the field even with wet feet. I was impressed by how well a very small freshman player, Kellan Evans, held his own. Coach Simpson had told the boys to pair off with players their size. Kellen did but at some point he came up against a larger player. I heard one of the players say “how did that happen?” Coach Simpson replied that he had no idea and watched closely thereafter. Didn’t phase Kellan at all but it warmed my heart to know coach and teammates were watching out for each other.
As the night wore on the crowd thinned out. But the boys kept on going. When practice was over everyone was treated to watermelon by the cheerleaders. Or at least I think it was the cheerleaders as I saw some of them carrying watermelons around earlier. I then was invited into the coaches’ office to do some interviews. Interviews always make you a bit nervous especially when you are tired, and it being the middle of the night didn’t help. I told everyone if they had a major mess up moment we could start over. Everyone did great but me! I had a mess up moment as in total blank out after stating my name. We all got a chuckle from that and then we started over.
Once the interviews were done, Coach Simpson offered us a tour. As we started the tour, we were informed some exes where running sprints on the field for nostalgia. I thought that was pretty cool. We went on with our tour and got to see the bats in the gym and some other cool things but cut it short as we were all exhausted. My cricket fearing grandson loved the bats. You just never know.
I snapped a cool photo of the field, all lit up from our RV, as we headed in for what was left of the night. When we all woke up around 10 my oldest grandson said, and I quote, “Last Night was a Long Day!” I responded with, “yes, it was.” We got around and headed down the road a little to the Santa Anna park and let the grandsons enjoy the nice facilities there. On our way out of town, we topped off the perfect trip with Beef and Bean Burritos from Alsups.
Thank you Santa Anna for an amazing trip.