I recently had a craving for chili cheese fries and a hot dog. I went to the local fast food joint and indulged. My husband watched me eat and asked me if I enjoyed it. My answer was, “It wasn’t as good as when I was younger.”
I went on to tell him my fond memories of Friday night high school football. My parents loved going to the high school football games. Getting ready for the game was almost as fun as being at the game.
My father would get the stand seats out and clean them off and put them in the car. When the weather was cool he would also get a couple of blankets. My mom would make hot chocolate and put it in a big shiny silver thermos. My dad would roast peanuts and then put them in a brown bag.
If my memory serves me right, we never left the house early enough. There were always complaints of how late we were. The entire trip to the stadium would be about the seats. There would be complaints of having to sit too high or too far to the right or left. Often my parents would complain about where we sat the last time. The funny thing is, I remember we always pretty much sat in the same spot.
As soon as we got there, I was ready to hit the concession stand but I was never allowed to get anything right away. We would drink our hot chocolate and eat our peanuts. I never really paid attention to the game much. I liked watching all the other children walking around. Most of them would have drinks, popcorn, or some other treat from the concession stand.
I don’t know if my parents enjoyed torturing me but they never let me go to the concession stand until after half time. During the first quarter it was too early. During the second quarter they always had the same explanation as to why I couldn’t go food.
“It will be too crowded,” my dad would say. “Wait until half-time is over,” my mom would say.
When we finally made our trip to the concession stand, I was always overwhelmed with what I was going to get. There were so many choices. My favorite was the Frito pie. I loved to watch them make it. They would split open the bag on its side and pour the chili and cheese right in the bag. They would put all of our goodies in a small brown box and back to the stands we would go.
Each bite was better than the next. I would try to make it last but I always finished it way before the last quarter. I would proceed to bug my parents to allow me to go back to the concession stand to get more. They always said no. I never got two trips to the concession stand except once.
I was eating a chili cheese dog and my father got really excited and knocked my hot dog onto the ground. I remember crying uncontrollably. I don’t know if it was the pitiful look on my face, if my dad felt really bad, or because everyone was staring but my dad scooped me up in his arms and took me back down to the concession stand.
When we got back I proudly showed off my Frito pie, hot dog and I even got a pickle. I don’t know if my memories are better than what actually happened or as clear as I remember. I do know that I have never had a Frito pie or hot dog that tasted as good as the ones I got at the Friday night games.
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