Monday, March 01, 2010

Cowboy Legends

Tonight I finally have a little time to finish up a blog post I started over a week ago. The Friday before last, we had quite an adventure that involved driving to the booming metropolis of Abilene, Kansas for a high school basketball game. It was a special game at which former Abilene all-league players were honored as Abilene Cowboy legends, and one of those legends was my father-in-law!

We were joined by Chad's brother Mark on our trip out west, which was a surprise to Chad's parents, since he didn't tell them Mark was coming. We joined them for dinner at a Mexican restaurant there called La Fiesta (which I'd recommend if you actually have to eat in Abilene), where we met our friend Dante, which was another big surprise for Chad's parents. Towards the end of our meal our friend Ted joined us with his two kiddos as well, and Mark (dad) and Ginny (mom) were even more shocked! Chad did a great job recruiting our friends to join us for this special evening. Dante, Ted and Chad started playing basketball together in about 4th grade on a team that Chad's dad coached, so they've definitely known my father-in-law much longer than I have!

I have to digress just a moment to share a related story that I thought was pretty darn funny. Earlier in the week, my friend Leigh Ann sent out an email to a bunch of colleagues to see if anyone was attending the TGIF event on Friday afternoon. I sent my regrets, telling everyone I'd be traveling to Abilene, saying something to the effect of "I know you're all jealous that you're not going to the basketball game to watch your father-in-law be inducted into the hall of fame." My friend Ellen responded, "Oh, but I am going to the Abilene High basketball game--Brad (her husband) is being inducted into the Cowboy hall of fame as well." How funny a coincidence is that? As my friend Corrie put it later, it's a scary small world sometimes!

Back to the story. After dinner we headed over to the game (about two minutes away) and found a parking place in the incredibly crowded lot, where apparently 80% of the town of Abilene was already parked. Chad's parents got to sit in the special VIP section while the rest of us slummed it up in the rafters, which was fine with us since we really weren't that interested in the game at all. The guys spent some quality time chatting while I took tons of pictures, which of course, I loved. Although none of them were terrific shots since I was working in artificial light trying to shoot fast-moving action, I still had a good time playing photographer.

The recognition ceremony started at halftime, and because Mark's senior year (and only year at Abilene) happened to be the Cowboys first year in the league, he was actually the oldest "legend" honored during the ceremony (although we were proud that he looked quite a bit younger than some of the other guys near his age!). There were probably around 50 or so honorees in attendance, and while most walked out to center court and waved politely to the crowd, when they got to my father-in-law at the very end, he strutted out and started hamming it up, raising his hands in the air like he was a rock star. It was hilarious!

We were so glad we were able to go see Chad's Pop be honored, and so glad our friends and brother got to come along as well. It was a fun evening and I know Chad's parents were very thankful we were all there! Although the the pictures aren't great, enjoy my slideshow of the evening below!


amber said...

Congrats to Chad's dad! I must admit I was extra impressed by the guy who showed up wearing not only a Husker hat, but a sweatshirt as well! :)

cw said...

Thank you for taking so many great pictures of this historic event. I am sure the Library of Congress will be contacting you soon for image rights.

The best line of the night did not make the post. At dinner, someone asked my Dad why they didn't honor anyone pre-1967 (my Dad's class). Dante quickly said, "Because they're all dead."

cos said...

.. It doesn't rhyme with punts.