Another Bison alum celebration happens this weekend. Former Bison and their families from all over the country are planning on attending and for the next three days, the population of McCook is expected to swell to beyond 10,000 people. Motels have been booked for months and it's my understanding that even all the dorm rooms at MCC have been rented. It's truly going to be a grand time, reminiscent of Bison 2000.
Although I'm not a Bison alum, McCook has been my home for the past 15 years and I've never wanted to live anywhere else since I moved here. McCook is the epitome of small town living; good friends, good neighbors, little crime, things to do and people who are always ready to lend a hand. It just doesn't get any better than that.
I plan on attending as many of the festivities as possible. With Coach Bonow, the legendary track coach and history teacher at McCook high school, as my friend and designated driver, we'll be at the concert at Norris Park tonight featuring "On The Fritz," an awesome band that makes over 200 public performances annually and features a Bison alum as their drummer. The concert kicks off at 7 p.m. and the word on the street is you had best get there early.
The Nelson Family Sculpture will be dedicated at the Nelson family home at 608 Norris Ave. at 11:30 tomorrow morning and I'm sure many of you will want to attend that.
Unfortunately, the band scheduled to play the street dance on Saturday night had to cancel but they have been replaced by a DJ, the beer garden will still be open and a lot of people will be there too, including me and Coach. We're going to try and make as many venues as possible because Coach figures he's probably taught or coached at least 75 percent of the people who are going to be here this weekend and many went on to attend MCC where I had the privilege of teaching them too.
Of course, clubs and bars in McCook will be popular over the weekend and I suppose the most popular one will be Sports because of their longevity in the business and the fact that most of the Bison alum that will be here this weekend have gone there at least once in their lifetime. Ben Coburn, the manager of Sports, says that several reunions from different Bison classes have already reserved spots at the club so that will be a happening place, along with The Looking Glass, Sarge's, Overtime, Mrs. B's, Charlie's, and Kelley Creek Pub.
The one thing I've heard this week that disturbs me however is the number of people who don't plan on attending any functions at all and, on this matter, I agree with my good friend, Dick Trail. I've talked to too many people who say that they didn't particularly get along with their classmates when they were in school and they don't expect things to be any different this time around.
The interesting thing is that I hear this from successful people; people who have made something out of their lives and yet their high school experiences are still so prominent in their minds that they choose to sit out this wonderful, even remarkable occurrence, that only happens every 10 years.
My heart hurts for these folks whose bad memories of high school still haunt them 30, 40, even 50 years later. I hope they will reconsider and try and connect with those classmates who perhaps gave them a hard time when they were in school. I think they will find them much different now than they were then, if they'll just give them a chance.
Whether they do or not of course will be up to them but time waits on no man and I think it's a tragedy to be so haunted by the past that you forget to live in the present. I suspect those people they think the worst of, will be more than happy to see and reunite with them once more because, regardless of how old you are, there may not be another opportunity.
I congratulate the planning committee that put this all together and hope that everyone connected with Bison 2010 has a wonderful time, reconnects with old friends and, just maybe, makes new friends out of old enemies.
That would be the best way to celebrate Bison 2010.