Yesterday a new 40’ RV pulling a new olive Jeep rolled into Fontainebleau. This was remarkable only because he was playing “Dixie” over external speakers. Might this be Phil or Silas? Naw, it was just some rich guy with ties to Ole Miss. After a few minutes it occurred to me that Phil, Si, and I all graduated from a high school whose teams were known as the Rebels, now highly unfashionable. There the band played “Dixie” several times per game, our car decal featured a Confederate battle flag, and our band’s majorettes always strutted their stuff in unitards made of that same flag from cotton corduroy. The school’s first Spanish teacher came from Ole Miss, complete with a thick southern accent (always genteel, never rural). I suspect she brought her creativity to influence our school’s eventual mascot of choice, Colonel Rebel. This school was formed in 1955 from six much smaller high schools, and everybody involved hated the idea of losing his community school to a larger consolidated school. Fistfights came with lunch until late in the football season when everybody realized the true enemies were now Minden and Springhill. There was more than one good reason to nickname us the Rebels, and so the name has stuck for 58 years.
Times change though, and I read yesterday that the Cleveland Indians baseball team is going to use a less offensive logo on their caps. Ole Miss has replaced Colonel Reb with Mr. Ole Miss, despite the fact that there was more support for Admiral Ackbar, a rebel leader of Star Wars fame. It’s just not cool to play “Dixie” or fly the Confederate flag anymore. We old guys have to grow up and try to change with the times.
But you won’t ever see this old guy on Twitter.
This morning I heard an impassioned, or maybe disgusted “Aw, c’mon guys!” The voice was adult and male. The guys were 7 to 8 year-olds wearing a church group’s gold tee-shirts and clearly enjoying the aftermath of last night’s thunderstorm. They had discovered the thrill of stomping those abundant mud puddles onto each other.
I never did that.
These little guys were camping in RVs with family and learning to ride bicycles on the road. There was a 30 minute class on turn signals, using the brakes, and which side of the road is safer. Nobody fell, not even the ones without training wheels. Well, maybe one did, but his mother quickly made everybody feel better by saying “Durham got a hard head. He ain’t hurt!”