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Stillman College homecoming brought back wonderful memories

Stillman College’s homecoming provided the perfect break from the wet sports scene in Dallas County.

The torrential rainstorm that hit Dallas County last week forced the postponement of several baseball and softball games scheduled in the area.

The timing was right for me to attend Stillman College’s homecoming festivities over the weekend. For the first time in 20 years, I returned to campus.

The setting was perfect for a reunion: clear blue skies, bright sunshine and temperature near 60 degrees.

During my walk across campus, I saw smoke rise gently from the blue sky off various grills.

A strong, spicy scent of ribs, chicken and ground beef cooked on a grill filled my nostrils. The intoxicating smell placed me in a trance and led me to several tents loaded with a delectable spread of assorted barbeque meats, baked beans and potato salad.

Old school R&B music played loudly throughout the campus.

After stuffing my body with various BBQ cuisine, I began seeking out former classmates one by one.

I spent several hours trading hugs with people I hadn’t seen in three decades. I forgot how much they all meant to me and in a few seconds, I got a quick reminder. The memories happily danced inside my head.

My heart instantly was overloaded with love and happiness, especially when I saw members of the Class of 1992.

We overcame growing pains and left campus with diplomas.

We all went through the difficult transition from high school senior to college freshman in 1988. We often struggled trying to find a thesis statement for research papers in English 131 and trying to figure out what equals X in Math 131 until getting into our major. We pushed and supported each other.

The only difference between us: I stayed at home and they lived in dormitories several miles away from home.

My development eventually led to landing the Sports Editor gig on The Tiger’s Paw, the campus newspaper. I eventually became Editor-in-Chief and thrived under the tutelage of then- Stillman College Journalism Professor, Stephen F. Jackson.

I’m not sure I would’ve survived without the class’ encouragement and backing during the early stages of my career path. It was always comforting that I could always lean on them for advice. I hope I returned the favor.

When I informed everyone about my updated ambitions, they all encouraged me to follow my heart and chase the dream.

A former classmate showed me love and chatsized me at the same time for staying away so long. She was right: this is my home.

Homecoming 2020 marked the day I returned home. While I can’t guarantee a return next year, I promise that I will not stay away again for so long. It was wonderful to come home again. I look forward to seeing more of my friends in the near future. It was a great opportunity to revisit the past and look toward a bright future.