Tiny, tiny town. Cornfields, soy bean fields, deer everywhere late at night. That is where I think of when I think of “home.”
My little hometown is reported of having a population of only 800. My graduating high school class had a mere 34 students in it. My mother’s teachers were my teachers–and I was called by my mother’s name frequently. It’s tiny by just about anyone’s standards… but still bigger than some. The only thing that travels faster than basketball news in my hometown is gossip. I haven’t even been in the new “auxillary” gym since it was built; we used to just have two, one at the elementary school (connected to the high school) and the ‘big’ gym. We have a caution light, a car wash, a gas station, a coffee shop, a subdivision, and even… our own Subway! When I used to go ‘run to the store’ for groceries or whatever, it was a 20 minute drive.
The big city is slowly encroaching upon it; my favorite thing to do on warm summer nights is to lay out under the stars because it is so crisp and clear out… but now city light pollution blocks even that small comfort.
My biggest dream as a teenager was to move to this city. Now that I’ve been here almost two years, where do I want to go most often? Home. Borden. Friendly faces, everyone waves when you pass them on the highway, less traffic, less noise, cleaner air, hills, trees, wildlife. Is it a wonder that I’ve been homesick? We pull together in times of crisis. The Henryville tornado that made national headlines on March 2, 2012 was visible from my parents’ home (Dad was home that day. “We” lost “our” basketball goal, ripped out of the concrete. All of this as I was at work in Indy, on a sunny day, making frantic phone calls home.) We rally. We lend a hand. You cannot keep us down. This small town is made of great things, and great down-to-earth people.
But my little hometown will no doubt be driving en masse to Indianapolis this weekend.
One word: Basketball.
Our little high school team won Semi-State last weekend, and this weekend will, for the first time ever, be playing on the big stage of Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Indianapolis Pacers).
Semi-State was played in Seymour, another former city of mine. I hadn’t been to a game in a long time. I knew it would be crowded, but I… I had forgotten just how crazy we can get over a high school basketball game. (This is Indiana, after all!) The costumes came out. The dyed hair. The generations of former students. The noise from our section of the gymnasium was deafening. Friends and family I haven’t seen in years came out in droves. (And I even learned my cousin is expecting baby #2! I haven’t seen her since her baby shower for baby #1!) Borden packed that gym to the rafters! There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the entire town of Borden will completely take over Bankers Life Fieldhouse in just a few short days. And since the game is being played in my own new backyard, of course I am going to be decked out in my red and black for this game–I could not miss the chance to go! (Which of course meant cancelling part of our roadtrip this weekend…. totally worth it!) This is our own little bit of March Madness at its finest.
Hopefully, in just a few days, I will be able to share with you pictures of our first STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP.
We are Borden. How ’bout them Braves?
I am no stranger to high school athletics. I played basketball all four years, and in two of which we won sectional but fell in the first game of regional. It’s such an amazing feeling to have a crowd cheering you on; the nerves can be great, but when you know you have the backing of your entire town behind you, you feel invincible. I hope those boys know how much their hometown loves them and is proud of them, no matter what the final outcome is.