Not a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, I can’t tell you about my college experiences with the black and gold. My college days would be a snoozer compared to most. But what I can tell you is how wonderful I think this place is that USM and so many other places make their home.
The black and gold is not new to me. My hometown Panthers wore the colors and I’ve also lived in Oak Grove, so I’m right at home.
I recently began my 16th year in the Pine Belt and truly cannot believe I’ve lived here that long. I’ve bought two houses, one car, laid two pups to rest and made tons of wonderful new friends and “family” members.
I’ve had the opportunity to take part in a multitude of activities from Perry to Marion County and all points in between and many beyond.
From shopping, eating and artistic venues and endeavors to meetings, fundraisers and the like, it’s all here.
I enjoy spending time on campus attending a variety of events, whether serving on portfolio reviews with the journalism and mass communication students, talking to Mean Willie Green in the WUSM studio, sweating it out on game days or attending a wedding reception for dear friends at the Ogletree House... Running through the tunnel alongside other ladies at the annual Football 101: Chalk Talk event, singing along (silently) during a musical at Mannoni, tapping my feet at symphony productions, visiting with cute kids at DuBard or the Childrens Center for Communication, attending a meeting in one of the university’s many beautifully-appointed facilities, doing research in the Special Collections room at the McCain Library... you get the idea.
And then there’s that feeling of being not too big and not too small, but just right.
There’s a feeling of excitement when I see a car on Hardy with a tag displaying the county of my hometown or running into somebody who actually knows where Amory is. These days I have two homes – my home home where I grew up and my home here in the ‘burg where I’m enjoying living, like so many many others.
And Signature has been a bright spot in all of that. It’s helped me meet so many wonderful people, many who I call by name when out and about. I’ve just seen their names and faces together so many times I feel like I know them. Unfortunately, many times they don’t know me and must think I’m a bit of a stalker. Not so, I promise.
This issue of Signature is our Go Gold issue and dedicated to all things black and gold. It’s always a favorite to put together. And this year may be one of my favorites.
I’d like to think that most people know Dave Brandon, but I have met a few who haven’t, and that’s their loss. Dave is our ever-dependable delivery driver for our newspaper and magazine publications. And he’s probably one of the most faithful USM fans I’ve ever met. It’s amazing what he remembers. I had the pleasure of finally getting Dave to sit down with me and talk about some of those memories – black and gold and otherwise. He’s had a colorful life and most definitely brings a smile to your face with his cheery disposition and multitude of stories.
If you haven’t met Dave, make a point to. There’s also a great Food with Friends feature that took place at Live @ Five, and Sig Q&A with another USM favorite, Dave Davies.
The weather is getting cooler. Get out and enjoy these golden days of fall. SMTTT!