Sunday, September 25, 2016

Homecoming 2016

Throughout the nation, high schools, colleges and universities host homecoming celebrations this time of year. So it was Saturday in Bozeman, Montana, with the Montana State University Bobcats, blue and gold, hosting the University of North Dakota Hawks on the gridiron. Yesterday morning the homecoming parade snake down Main Street. We were in attendance to support the locals and watch our flutist perform.

Main Street was bordered with Montana State flags and banners on the lampposts throughout downtown.
We set up across from Ted's Montana Grill. This is about as close to the food source as you can get, for Ted Turner's Flying D ranch, where the buffalo roam, is down the road to Big Sky.

 We are Montana, so, of course, there was a horse troop..

and another.

 Then horses hauling the Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply covered wagon.

Followed by a pooper scooper to pick up offerings left behind by equine friends.

Then came the Montana State "Spirit of the West" marching band. Note the mascot, foreground, laying one down a with a young fan.

Marching band alumni converted to towed band status.

 Most of the Tubas had "Thank You Norm" covers. Who is Norm?

Before getting to that, first, the university president's Mercedes went kaput. That's what you get for driving non-American. Four beefy guys pitched in to push.

 Assisted by a not so beefy little girl.

 And yes, Norm is Norm Ashjornson, BS MSU 1960 and Honorary Ph.D. 2014.  How does Norm get the recognition?

Generosity. Norm (in the antique jalopy) pledged $50 million to build a new engineering center on campus and had the good sense to do so while still living.

The politicians showed up. Incumbent Democrat Governor and lawyer Steve Bullock (left center in blue coat) tried to smile and be approachable -- really.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte (cowboy hat) was moving so fast, in and out of the crowd, greeting people and shaking hands, that I didn't get a picture of him until he had passed. There is something to be said for the energy and grit of someone who has built businesses bottom up and has created thousands of fantastic paying jobs doing so, as opposed to a life spent proselytizing behind a lectern.

If you are a Democrat and you want to impress voters, then show off your two seat Smart car, a vehicle that no one in their right mind would rely on to motor through a Montana winter. And call yourself Denise Juneau, support Common Core, market yourself as gay and Native American, and get slaughtered at the ballot box in November. Yes, Denise Juneau wants to regulate our lives and she is happy to say that she will do so.

Atlas Van Lines is the official moving van of the Montana State football Bobcats.

Bridger Orthopedic are official team physicians for the Bobcats. The football season is mere warm up for the orthopedic set,  Their salad days are coming with a burst in demand sure to occur when the local ski areas open around Thanksgiving day.

Have you wondered how people get around on bicycles during Montana winters? Those big balloon tires float through the snow and provide broader traction on ice -- some are even equipped with studs. 

What would a homecoming be without a homecoming king and queen? Voting in unconventional royalty has become conventional, and so it is with Montana State.

Homecoming would not be real without floats sponsored by the Greeks on campus.

 The SAE's were there.

Shades of Animal House.

The Sigma Chi float was populated mostly by girls. I suppose the guys were still sleeping Friday night off.

ATP on a float (Okay, trailer) too.

Closest to home was the Bozeman High School Marching Band.

Our family was represented by Blythe front and center, straddling the center yellow lines. Our green haired drummer, Blake, is in Germany this school year. When she returns for senior year perhaps she will contribute some newly acquired Oom Pah Pah to Hawks musical lineup. The marching band gene runs in the family.

I had never heard of a Fanbulance, but there was one in the parade, serving fans who would be stricken by starvation if they didn't have a ready vehicle for pre-game tailgating.

If you want to impress Montanans bring out your 938K Cat wheel end loader. They sell for around $200 K.

And follow up with a big fork lift urging the Bobcats to Fork the Hawks.

The best political play was put on by Roger Koopman an incumbent running for a seat on the public service commission. Roger says he is Pro Energy and Pro Consumer. He's got the eagle, he has the trio singing "God Bless the USA" and he has sunshine on his side.

And though it has nothing at all to do with energy development or electricity rates, Roger makes it clear he is a stand up guy for the national anthem.

 Montana State is the home of Bobcat Rodeo.

Its College of Agriculture is also home for the Pre-Veterinary Club, Collegiate Cattle Women of Montana State and Stock Growers of Montana State. There's more cattle than people in Montana -- virtually every one of them grass fed -- corn and soybeans don't grow here.

And followed by the street sweepers to clean the final traces of horse manure.

Alas, Montana State lost a hard fought game 17 to 15. Wait 'til next year.

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