My heart has been crushed since learning my alma mater will NOT have the now famed ‘GHOE’ – Greatest Homecoming On Earth. North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC) founded 130 years ago, announced last week it is canceling this year’s homecoming activities due to COVID-19.
So, what does that REALLY mean to me and perhaps the approximately 100,000 others who anticipated attending homecoming this year? The good news is the game will still go on October 31, 2020 inside the Aggie stadium — though no fans will be in the stands. And a few tailgating opportunities remain.
But, the real travesty comes as I won’t get to hug, dap, or even high-five friends from my college years. We would have a lot to catch up on – family, careers, exes and the latest ailments as we age. From a bum knee, to a stiff back or to my ganky left big toe, I won’t get to hear or tell any of those stories.
I won’t get to sneak a kiss from an old flame or two or three. I won’t get to stand on the plot of Delta Sigma Theta and sing the Sweetheart Song. I won’t get to oversleep and miss the 8am parade like I normally do. I won’t get to eat fresh fried fish from the food truck on the corner of Benbow Road. I won’t get to buy that lemonade drink that’s served from a real pineapple. I never really knew what it was, but it looked so pretty.
I won’t get to say thank you to my ol’ professors who I couldn’t stand while in school, but learned to love after I graduated. I won’t get to get lost on campus because of all the new construction, that I don’t recognize the university anymore.
I won’t get to pack inside the gym or hotel suite and dance until my feet hurt because the dj is so damn good that it doesn’t matter. I won’t get to act like I remember some of my fellow Aggies when I have no idea who they are. I won’t get to flirt with complete strangers because that’s what you do at homecoming.
Finally, I won’t get to lose hours of sleep because you don’t get sleep at homecoming. You party, remember old friends, make new ones, and celebrate the moment in time when your life would be changed forever.