Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Lewisville Farmerettes and Momma Fields.

I'm grateful for the life experiences I've had that have helped me grow and evolve from who I was in high school into the young woman I am today. However, last Friday, two of my best friends from high school came over to my parents' house in Flower Mound, and we had a great time thinking back on "the good 'ol days." I honestly feel so bad for people who hated high school, and thought it was the worst time of their lives...because even though I think life is BETTER now, it was GREAT then, too. Completely different, with different priorities, different friends, different mindset...but perfect.

I was in drill team in high school, and took a LOT of pride being a part of that team. We danced during half-time of EVERY SINGLE football game...for four years. I never sat on the bleachers in the "Rowdy Crowd" with a bunch of my other friends...we went on competitions annually, and had a Spring Show every spring. Squad parties, early morning practice, pep rallies, toilet-papering....we were busy girls. I remember thinking there was a lot of "drama" but looking back, I can't remember specific arguments or hardships; only that the hardships brought us closer as a team. I truly miss being a part of something larger than myself, and feeling like I had 60+ girls who would defend me if it came down to it.

Toilet-Papering Mandy's house...for a bunch of prissy girls, we had the whole TP'ing thing down!

We watched the end of the year video from 2002, and I felt nostalgic thinking about Ms. Fields. She was our drill team director...but so much more. She counseled us, individually, in her office. She talked to us about things that were too uncomfortable to talk to our parents about. She gave us advice (even when it was unwanted) and definitely "tough love," but she made us stronger. I remember having a boyfriend who was bad news, and in passing periods, she stood by the gym like a watchdog, insisting that I come in and get ready for drill team rather than spending time with him in between classes. She knew best. What I realize now, is she KNEW best because she had a lot of life experiences she had previously learned from. I still don't know as much as I'd like to about this woman, but I know she gave up a lot for our team. I knew she couldn't have been willing to do it unless she felt passionately about drill team. She had been a Kilgore Rangerette...under Miss Gussie Nell Davis (founder of the Rangerettes, and really, of the dance-drill team-movement). She was serious! We were all so lucky. She left LHS shortly after I graduated, and I pity the future teams. She put in her heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears...and we were better off because of her.

Momma as a Rangerette
Such a beauty! Struttin' as a Rangerette in Kilgore.
A total babe!
(All of these photos are from the LHS Farmerette End-of-Year Video from 2002. I apologize, I do not know who to photo-credit!)
This was her, "Oh my God, what?" face...in her office....

Each halftime performance, Ms. Fields (or "Momma Fields," as we called her) would stand in the press box. At the end of the dance, we'd hold the pose with our chins raised high, looking at HER. If we did well, she held up "I Love You" with her hands, and a big, proud, smile plastered on her face. If we didn't, she didn't...she didn't FAKE anything. She was real. Either really proud, or really disappointed.

This hand gesture meant more to me than any other from age 14-18. It still gives me the warm-fuzzy feeling.

When I was a freshman, I remember the senior class yelling at us and telling us how horrible we were. Oddly enough, I still idolized them. I wanted to be Bethany Chiles. She stood next to me in line (we stood according to height), and was admired by many girls on the team. She was talented, beautiful, and a natural leader. When she took me under her wing, I felt more special than I ever had before.

With every performance, I wanted to make Momma and the seniors proud. When the class of 2002 graduated, I wept. I thought drill team could never be the same without them. Oddly enough, the team reformed, and did the same thing in 2003. And 2004. I was even an officer from '03-'04, though I didn't enjoy this position as much as I'd hoped. I didn't enjoy telling my friends what to do/what not to do, and correcting them. Turns out, I don't enjoy confrontation...the following year, I declined trying out for officer again, and instead became a "line representative," or basically a leader that everybody still got to have fun with. Hehe.

My senior year, I wanted our team to be as talented as I remembered being my freshman year. I was hard on the new members. I remember being mean at times, thinking I was doing what was best for the team as a whole. I remember getting onto a new member after the New Line Tea...basically, she had JUST made the team, and was showing her boyfriend some PDA at Chili's. I walked over and told her that "Farmerettes don't act like that in public..." That sweet, innocent little girl, by the grace of GOD, is still my friend today. Thanks for having a forgiving heart, O'Shizzle. I don't think I could put on the "4 Year Senior Face" again at this time in my life--my heart has softened a lot. Plus, now-a-days, people would call me on my BS, and back then, the new members responded with a "Yes Ma'am." If they didn't, all of the other seniors would correct them and TELL them to respond with a "Yes Ma'am."

In hindsight, I don't think we were any stronger of a team in 2001 than we were in 2005. I think I THOUGHT this because I was probably the weakest link as a freshman. On a team, you're only as strong as the weakest link, and looking up to the stronger players makes you think you're a lot better than you are. I think the best part of drill team was feeling a sense of belonging, and making friendships along the way, that despite distance and ever-changing-personalities, have stood the test of time.

I'm grateful for all of the friends I made...those I keep in touch with, and those that remain a fragment in my memory...and most importantly, for Momma Fields. She taught me punctuality, respect of authority, and to stand my ground...

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