Homecoming Memories

It is a fall Friday in Washington Indiana. Southern Indiana weather is known for being extremely fickle, except it seems in September where no matter what it decides it is always beautiful. The leaves are changing, the farmers are beginning their harvest. The days are warm during the sunshine and cool at night. The campfires can be found all over town as people enjoy the crisp evenings and the sound of the secadas sending summer off once again. Anyone who is from Washington knows that this weather means only one thing, football. That familiar game that goes right along with our best fall memories. No matter where life has taken you thus far you can always shut your eyes and remember a Friday Night at Hatchet Hollow. The nights so cold that blankets and hot chocolate still can’t seem to warm you up. You can hear the sound of the band as you pull up. Most of you may remember a game for a great play, a great win, or a close defeat but everyone remembers Homecoming. The homecoming game was always the best game of the year. The spirit week that builds up to it, the float building, the bonfire, the parade and the queen crowning. An annual event that leads to a lifetime of memories. Each year it comes and goes and each year the crown is passed on to a girl for her to treasure forever. All these memories are so unique because they can connect every generation of graduating Hatchets.

I did some research on the annual football homecoming and wanted to share with all Alumni my findings. I went up to the high school and1020

they have on file every yearbook from the opening of the school to the current date. It was quite a trip down memory lane. I looked up the history of the homecoming game and tried as best I could to find who won the queen that year. My research concluded that 1948 was the inaugural homecoming for football. Up to that date all that the yearbook included in regards to “queens” was a May Queen, Prom Queen, and Basketball homecoming queen. In 1948 the yearbook stated “student council voted for the football queen at the beginning of the football season.” The challenge with the earlier years compared to the later years was the yearbook did not always feature a picture of the queen. So due to this research we will call the start of the homecoming tradition 1948. From there it seemed to take the form of what most of us alumni now remember it as today. In the year 1952 the yearbook stated about homecoming “The Annual homecoming, celebrated October 5th began with the traditional bonfire the night before the game and was climaxed with a parade of gaily decorated cars and floats.” This seemed to be the start of the parade and float building contest between the classes. The parade grew every year and is now a local tradition. In the 1983 yearbook it even talked about a class competition of painting windows downtown for the parade.

Since homecoming has been going on for so many years it would be impossible to name every queen in this article. So in the spirit of the year 2013 I thought I would go back and try to find the name of the queens in the years of reunions. (I.E. 1983 etc.) In 1963 Connie Chestnut was named Halloween Queen. In 1983 Stacey Barley won homecoming queen. She was escorted by current Football coach Kelley Brashear. In 1993 Misty Davis was crowned homecoming queen. She was escorted by Hatchet football standout Mickey White.

So whether you live in Washington today or away from your old hometown it can be safe to say you remember homecoming. Pass these memories on to younger generations. Tell them about all the fun you had with homecoming. One thing is for sure, it is a memory that will last you a lifetime.

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