Sunday, November 16, 2008

The AFA Football Game or How I Spent my Saturday

Yesterday, I volunteered to carry a flag for the half time program at the AFA vs BYU football game. We spent nearly 8 hours on site. The volunteers included enough people to carry all the flags of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, we carried our flags in order of statehood, so I was second in the line. It was fun getting shout outs from the cadets, if you were carrying the flag of their home state. I got to carry the flag of Pennsylvania, which is my home state.

We rehearsed carrying in the flags in the morning. We were then tailgated by the cadets before the game. We sat next to the band in a section reserved for us, so we watched the game amongst our kilted friends. The half time show combined the brass band from the Academy with Pipers and Drummers from the various pipe bands (El Jebel Shriners Pipe and Drum Band, Colorado Irish , Isle of Mull, Michael Collins, Pikes Peak Highlanders and two others whose names I cannot recall at the moment) from up and down the Front Range of the Rockies along with Scottish and Irish dancers (who were from the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers and the Bennett School of Irish Dance.) If and when the pix come my way, I will post some. I know a lot were taken. By the way, if you have never heard a pipe band playing with a brass band, do find the opportunity. It's awesome! In Colorado, Denver Brass and a Pipe and Drum Group do a joint concert around Christmas. I have also seen the Marine Band from 29 Palms playing with the Pipes and Drums and it's amazing, especially with the mountains as a backdrop up in Estes Park.

It was brutally cold in the morning, but it got much better by lunch and game time. We were lucky in that the weather had changed, as we had snow and brutal wind the day before. I was glad of my and my mum's knitting prowess as I accessorized my kilt with a sweater my mum knit for me more than 40 years ago and with cabled stockings and mitts that matched, that I knit for myself. My daughter, Erin accompanied me to the game and was wearing the gaiter (neck warmer) that I knit for her last winter. Our friends, Katte and Curtis Judd were there as well. Katte, too, was wearing the mitts that I had knit for her last winter. We were also very glad to have our cloaks with us. Curtis, Katte and Erin own and were wearing their Half Moon cloaks and the AFA mascot, The Bird, was quite enamoured of them. I was wearing a full length cloak I made for myself about 10 years ago. I find Half Moons to be too heavy for me to wear for any length of time and so I made myself a Melton wool cloak from stock leftover from my mum's store as a cover-up for my period clothing, it also works for covering up when wearing a kilt on a cold day.

The game happened to be my daughter's first football game. It was part of her birthday celebration as she turned 25 on Friday. She enjoyed watching the fans and seeing the traditional bits that the AFA does during their games, like the parachuters, the fly over, the falcon flight, the cute cadets doing the pushups after a touch down, etc., the game of football, not so much. We were all highly amused by a group of cadets in the seats in front of us who stood through nearly the whole game and danced to the music. It turned out that they were the Swim and Dive Team, who there to show their support and it was a privilege not a punishment, even though they did look kinda silly. We did find out that attendence at the football games is mandatory for all cadets. They don't necessarily have to sit in the ranks during the game as they can sit with family and friends if they are attending, but they must attend.

For the DD's birthday, I made her French toast for breakfast in morning from a french batard, took her to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (We loves, loves, loves James Bond, we do!). Then we had her favorite dinner consisting of London B, fresh green beans and instead of the usual smashed taters, we had smashed yams.

In all, it was a lovely weekend.

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