In the late summer of 1976 my senior year of high school was approaching. I was competing for the starting quarterback spot on the football team. We had a brand new coach who didn’t know any of us, what we’d done or what we could do. Two-a-days hadn’t started yet. I was out mowing the lawn when he called. My Mom waved me in the house.
“Hey,” he said. “Want to go watch the Husky scrimmage?”
I’d grown up listening to Husky games on the radio. I’d never been to a game. Never been on the campus. I had two college teams I followed, University of Washington and BYU.
“I’ll pick you up in an hour.”
I don’t really remember all that much about the scrimmage. I do remember Husky Stadium. They played on astroturf. Cool. I remember the coach talking to me about college, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, did I want to play college ball. I knew, then, that I wasn’t going to play football; although, I had the presence of mind not to tell the coach.
I eventually won the starting quarterback spot. I respected the coach; although, learning a new system meant we were in a “transition” year. That translated to our record. We didn’t do very well.
I went to college at BYU and never went back to the University of Washington campus, until this summer–38 years later.
My son, Ryan, graduated from the University of Washington, with a Masters Degree–two Masters Degrees, in fact. His graduation brought me back, back to Seattle, back to a campus I hadn’t been to in a very long time, back to 1976–the summer before my senior year in High School.
In truth, I had been back to Seattle. Although I moved away, my parents lived there during the early years of my married life. I brought my young children, Ryan included, to visit in the summers. I think that is one of the reasons Ryan chose UW for his graduate degrees.
Now, I was back. And, I really didn’t know very much about the campus, or the school. Things had changed, a lot, in 38 years. Although, the stadium was still there, under renovation construction.
As we walked the campus, Ryan taught us about the school I did not choose yet admired and still follow. The visit reinforced my love of education and respect for those who inspire and instill in others a desire for it. And, as a proud parent, I basked in the glow of my son’s achievements :). He is a good, kind, intelligent and accomplished man who has blessed my life. He will be an asset to the organization smart enough to employ him. And, the campus will draw him back, as it did with me.
And, I took a few pictures.