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Archive for Saturday, October 14, 1995

PARADE BRIGHTENS DREARY DAY

October 14, 1995

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A chilly sprinkle didn't stop KU's homecoming parade. But that didn't mean everybody who watched it cared about it.

It rained on Kansas University's Friday the 13th homecoming parade.

Still, a respectable-sized crowd turned out along Jayhawk Boulevard to see the floats and hear the KU marching band.

"I think it's still an exciting time for students, and I've seen quite a number of parents," said a retired faculty member who waited for the parade in front of Danforth Chapel.

Some students rushed to the sidewalk in front of Wescoe Hall to see the parade's brief pep rally for the KU football team, which faces Iowa State at 1 p.m. today in the annual homecoming game.

Others, like Rhonda Kieffer, a KU junior from Pratt, rushed away from the parade. She had to get to a 2:30 p.m. test in a speech science class.

"The parade is just something to do because it's out of the ordinary," said Paul Johansen, a sophomore from Carbondale, Colo., who waited for the parade with a friend and about 30 other students in front of Lippincott Hall.

Angela Reilly, a sophomore from Leavenworth, said, "Maybe it's something we'll remember when we're older, when we're alumni."

The tradition of homecoming may have been lost on some students who nevertheless endured the gusts of an incoming cold front to see the parade, but others managed to work up some genuine anticipation for the weekend's major event -- the big game.

"I think traditions are important," said avowed "football-a-holic" Shon Parsons, a senior from Des Moines, Iowa. Most of his friends from home went to Iowa State. Today, he's hoping the Jayhawks trounce the Cyclones.

You'd think Melissa Moore would have at least taken notice of the homecoming parade. After all, in 1987 she was homecoming queen at East High School in Des Moines, Iowa.

But now she's a 26-year-old KU graduate student in Slavic Languages and Literature, and the excitement of homecoming is, she said, history. She was busy Friday afternoon working on a take-home exam due Tuesday, and she didn't give one thought to leaving Watson Library to see the parade.

"It's really tied to football, and I don't like football," she said.

Heather Dickerson, Moore's study partner, said, "We're graduate students. We're not allowed to care."

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