My husband, Dylan and I walked along the sidewalk in front of Gering High School Saturday, Sept. 28 to cover the homecoming dance. As we squeezed through the front door, past the line of students, I was excited to show him the new building.

Then the fun began for me as I worked with the challenging lighting to capture the students showing off their dance moves in the commons area. Moving around the commons and seeing the excitement from the student body, Dylan told me how it’s been 10 years since we first went to Homecoming together. “Wow, now I feel old,” I said.

Homecoming was the first dance we went to together as a couple. I recall spending most of the afternoon getting ready for the dance as I curled my hair and painted my nails. Slipping into my dress and pinning up my hair, I frantically kept checking my phone, knowing Dylan was on his way to pick me up. As my mom fastened my high heel straps, the doorbell rang. My heart started pounding. It was time to go.

As my dad let Dylan into the house and they talked downstairs, I approached the top of the stairs and looked down in terror. OK, I just have to walk slowly down each step and hopefully not fall. I am not the most gracious person in heels and when you add a long dress into the equation, the likelihood of falling was highly probable.

Luckily, I made it down safely and Dylan and I headed to his house for photos. After a few dozen shots around their house and a goodbye to his parents, he drove us to the high school. Typically, we parked at the end of the parking lot out by the track, but I was not about to stumble across the parking lot in heels, so he found front row parking.

We walked into Canon City High School and checked in with the teachers before going into the gym and finding our friends. The gym floor was covered with plastic to prevent damage, but connecting pieces covered with tape were slick. So, we took our shoes off and danced barefoot.

The music was blaring, which limited conversations to between songs but we didn’t care. We danced in our group showing off our silly dance moves and laughing. During an up tempo song, all of my girlfriends and I showed off our Macarena skills as the guys stood off to the side of the gym watching. Once the song ended, we decided to get some air and water in the commons area. That’s when I realized I had lost one of my earrings. The search began as we headed back to our dance spot shining our phones’ flashlights on the floor. Luckily, we found it, but little did we know we would have a similar search and rescue for our shoes.

As we rocked back and forth for the final slow song of the evening, we didn’t want to go home, although our feet were tired from standing so long. We headed over to the bleachers where we took off our shoes to see a pile. We searched for several minutes before finding the pairs to our shoes and learned to stash our shoes inside the bleachers at future dances.

After slipping back into our shoes, we made our way out to the car, relieved from the hot gym with the cool outside air. Homecoming was over and the anticipation that had been building all week had finally settled.

Thinking about those memories as I walked around GHS Saturday, I was amazed at how quickly 10 years had passed since Dylan and I first went to homecoming. All I can hope is the GHS students create as fond of memories from their first homecoming in the newly renovated GHS as I did during high school and can one day look back and be grateful for the friendships and laughter shared during high school.

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.

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