Mike the Mailman: Weather or Not, Penn State Homecoming Drums up Contagious Energy
Happy Penn State Homecoming, Happy Valley!
This is always one of my favorite weeks here at Penn State. Alumni stop by my office throughout the week to say hello; it's so great to see familiar faces, especially when they introduce me to spouses and children, and maybe even bring me some cookies.
This week there are so many events all around campus, culminating with the game on Saturday against Purdue. I'm actually judging an event that I am really looking forward to being a part of.
At this time, I would like to congratulate (and give some advice to) the honorary grand marshal of this year's homecoming parade, Adam Taliaferro. Adam, as a previous honorary grand marshal of the best homecoming parade in the land, I encourage you to soak up every moment. It was one of my favorite rides on College Avenue. Enjoy your Penn State Homecoming and wave a lot!
It's amazing to think, after this past weekend's beautiful weather, about how just the other year, it was snowing during the Penn State Homecoming Parade. The fun and positive, passionate and contagious energy that's generated for and during this parade, though, is never impacted by whatever weather shows up.
Just this past weekend my wife, Katie, and I experienced what I would refer to as the complete opposite of homecoming as we helped our younger daughter, Michaela, complete her move to York. We made it a family affair, meeting our oldest daughter, Marykate, there, as well, as she came from Philadelphia.
We unpacked, arranged furniture, hung some of Michaela's original artwork and even managed to get to one of York's hot spots, the White Rose bar and restaurant, to watch the game Saturday afternoon. It was really odd being in a bar outside of where Penn State football is followed intensely. We were glued to the TV while others around us had no idea why we were randomly cheering (especially at the end!).
A great twist was, our Sunday included an invite to a barbecue at the home of my friend Mike -- my best friend from my growing-up years. It's funny how when his daughter Julie went to Penn State, Katie and I were here for her, and now our daughter is residing in his town of York and I feel some comforted and grateful knowing that Mike and his wife are there for Michaela.
I truly believe that it is a small world. It seems no matter where you go, you will find someone in the area you know or who knows you. It may be a friend of a friend, your mom's aunt's neighbor's babysitter or, like Mike, a dear friend from childhood.
And no matter where you end up, you can always visit your favorite valley. Homecoming weekend or not, Happy is always here.