Queen’s Homecoming 2006

In the early hours of Saturday morning, I heard something on the CBC news report about Homecoming Weekend at Queen’s. Suddenly it dawned on me – it’s been 10 years since Bronwen and I graduated. I thought it might be cool to actually drive down to Kingston to check out the festivities, so we packed the kids up and set off.

We started out near West Campus and joined the alumni parade, led by the legendary Queen’s Bands. Aidan got a real kick out of the pipers and the purple people (engineers covered in purple paint). We had to explain to him that only the purple people should slam their jackets on the ground.

One of the alumni (PHE ’89, I think) saw Bronwen’s Music jacket and said “I’ve never seen one of those before”. He then pointed out this rarity to his friends. Ah, it’s good to be reminded that Queen’s Music has almost no impact on the vast majority of the student body.

We headed over to the Music Building to see if anyone was around. It was completely deserted. There were signs of recent activity (leftover coffee, a few slices of stale cranberry loaf). I guess we missed the Messiah sing-along and group photo. Guess we’ll have to be more punctual in 2011.

After lunch at Lone Star and a short walk along the water, we headed up to Fort Henry. It was almost closing time, so we did a quick walk around the lower fort. It’s pretty quiet during fall guiding – just a couple of soldiers playing cards and women knitting. The fort looks great, though. The masonry work they’ve done over the past couple of years is a vast improvement over the scaffolding that was there. I got a little nostalgic, but managed to hold back the tears.

We left town long before the parties on Aberdeen and throughout the ghetto started in earnest. I think we’ll wait a few more years before exposing Aidan to Purple Jesus, Oil Thighs, and the phrase “public intoxication”.

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