Tuesday, April 26, 2011

...the last time

I can't remember when I first starting helping out at the track meets at Podunk High, but it was many years ago. Nor can I remember when it was that someone asked me if I would mind announcing--the regular wasn't available, and no one else was willing. I knew close to nothing about scores, heats, flights, final calls, and open pits, but it didn't matter. I wasn't afraid of speaking into the microphone, and that's what counted.

Before long, I was the regular announcer, the Voice of the Vikings. I learned to watch the field and judge when to call the next event, keep an eye on the head coach (someone always wants to talk to the head coach), listen to requests from the hand-held radio, all while sharing stories and laughs with the scorers in the booth. There was the time that I forgot to turn my mic off and broadcast something far and wide that should have been kept between the ladies and me. There was another time that I asked everyone to help place the hurdles on the orange marks. A cantankerous coach from a neighboring school bellowed up at me, "They're FLESH colored!" I wanted to ask him to look around and tell me just whose flesh was the color of those orange marks--but I refrained myself. For several years after, "They're FLESH colored!" was all it took to set the booth crew giggling. My children both participated in track, and I had a birds-eye view of all their events. It was perfectly ok to lean out the window to cheer them on--sans microphone, of course! (I wonder if anyone noticed the change of inflection in my voice while announcing the winners when one of them scored in the ribbons? It couldn't be helped.)

I announced my last track meet today. The season isn't quite over for the kids, but this was the last home meet. Next year, someone else gets to be "The Voice of the Vikings." I hope they enjoy the job as much as I did.


Leslie Morgan said...

I would imagine the growing group of "last times" is making your adventure seem more real and imminent. I mean it is, even for me all these miles and a time away.

I would love to sit in with a gaggle of women and hear you rip off an unseemly comment!

Oh dear. WV - shmat. "There's Doozy over there with the girls, talking shmat again."

Doozyanner said...

Ha! Great WV, Les! I don't even remember what it was that I said, but do remember the horror of realizing that everyone in a three block radius heard me. I've never counted days like I'm counting them this year. My to-do list has sub-lists. I'm getting things checked off slowly but surely!

Leslie Morgan said...

Well, I think that's how one eats an elephant, Dooz. One bite at a time.