One of my fondest memories from high school was Friday nights at the football game. The slow afternoon in anticipation, the bus rides, the cadences, dancing in stands with my bangs waving in all directions, practicing the shows at half time: I had a lot of fun at football games.

Last Thursday I spent the evening with an old high school friend catching up and attending my first game in nearly 11 years. I think the anxiety of attending our first high school game in years was evident at dinner as we shared memories.

There are so many noticeable changes I noticed when walking around. New bathrooms were constructed on both sides, cement was laid below the stands, the football team had new uniforms and colors, a new gate with a new stadium name welcomes visitors, a new scoreboard that flashed messages to the team. The biggest change was where the band sits.

When we made our way up to the old familiar place where the band should be, we noticed it was fairly empty, no instruments or boxes.
I was so confused.
I guess the band was out rehearsing?

Oh wait, maybe…

We walked to the other side of the stands, up the wheelchair ramp, looked up and Ah ha! There’s everything I was expecting on the other side! Maybe it’s not a big deal either, but it’s weird. We then noticed the band was out in the track field warming up for the the halftime show.

I was disappointed. Although the band had a wonderful halftime show, although hearing the fight song felt so familiar, the alma mater that I remember was different. Time has taken its toll and changed everything.

We walked to the other side of the stands and went up to where we used to sit. I wanted to recapture the visions I lived with for four years in high school band, and I couldn’t do that where the band sits now. We stood up there for a few moments reminiscing and enjoying the way it used to be.

Stepping back in time was strange. Maybe there’s a reason it took me 11 years to step foot in a place I have avoided since, but I don’t know what that reason might be. Being there with a familiar face helped.

Firefighter bravely fighting the Marek wildfire
Firefighter bravely fighting the Marek wildfire

Since talking to my roommate on Monday afternoon, he assured me I would receive a call if anything bad had happened to the house. I have yet to hear from him. At times like this, when we’re all busy living our lives, no news is good news.

After seeing that only 40 structures were burnt, and knowing a large majority of them were mobile homes, I am pretty assured that my house is safe and unharmed.

For a great map to see the impact of the two major fires near my house, go check it out here.

When I return to LA on Sunday and get back to my neighborhood, I’ll be sure to try and take and post photos. It’s gonna be pretty interesting to see what it all looks like. Until then, if you wanna see some of the fires, Flickr is a great source.