It has been a really long time since I have written a “Throwback Thursday” post. I’m upset that I didn’t think about writing this post sooner as Homecoming was nearly two weeks ago. Therefore, this TBT post serves a dual purpose; not only was it a Boilermaker Homecoming, it was also our anniversary celebration. We were going back to see our friends, to visit our Alma Mater and to celebrate where we were married.
It All Began With An English Muffin
One of my favorite parts about going back for a Purdue football game is seeing our friends. To paraphrase what a friend once said to me, “the sign of a good friendship is being able to pick up right where you left off even if you haven’t seen each other in years“. It has been over 10 years since all of us have graduated. Every time we all get back together, it feels like we do pick right up where we left off. It’s tailgating at the home games that brings us all back together each year.
Alan and I started tailgating the fall after we all graduated. The first year we parked right in the middle of a 10 year tradition of tailgaters. We would reserve our spot on the hill by 6 am (sometimes as early as 1 am). We would walk a full size grill six blocks, at 7 in the morning to begin cooking breakfast. It was breakfast that endeared us to all those folks up and down the hill that unexpectedly had us barging in on their tradition. We cooked up several sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches on English muffins and distributed them to our neighbors.
A couple of years later Alan and I had to step away from tailgating. It was all going to end before it even began. Then along came Tammy and Mike, who picked up the mantle and have been carrying it ever since. They are doing an amazing job and I’m really glad that they have been able to continue the tradition and give us all something to come home to.
And Then “She” Joins Our Tailgate
Clearly what all of our tailgates lacked were delicious desserts. As a single guy I couldn’t bake, besides my place was behind the grill. Beth was always a member of our “clan”, she hosted just as many parties as she attended inside the group. She is an amazing baker and thus provided bakery quality desserts. When ESPN GameDay came to West Lafayette, Purdue (undefeated) was playing Wisconsin (also undefeated). At this tailgate we exchanged contact information, and around Halloween when we went on our first date in West Lafayette.
In 2006, when Purdue was visiting Notre Dame, we got engaged. We got married, a year later, at the church we attended as students at Purdue, and held our reception on campus at the Student Union. We are around the 4th or 5th couple to marry within the group. Purdue holds a lot of fantastic memories. So this year we wanted to spend the weekend at the school that brought us all together. We wanted to show our daughter where we met some great friends.
Parties and tailgates, football games and breakfast club. Putt-putt, late nights at Steak-n-Shake, and midnight bowling in the Union. Squirrels in the dorm, Rez, Mario Kart and the All American Marching Band. To quote some song lyrics, they are “Nights I can’t remember, Friends I’ll Never Forget”