This week recruiting I get to visit my home state, Mississippi! My companion is Amazon, fearless X-Camp Counselor and guardian of half names. Our trip to Missi-Sloppy (a Marcia Lindstrom term) started off rainy and wicked! The whole trip down, we drove under gray skies. We arrived in Starkville on the campus of Mississippi State University in the middle of a flood. Quickly we noticed random girls walking around campus with designer rain boots and running shorts. Yes, rain boot and running shorts.
It was not just a few girls. It was enough sightings while we were looking for parking that we felt obligated to ask a few who passed. The first girl we asked said she didn’t have clean jeans. The second girl said that her jeans wouldn’t fit in her boots. Hum… We met a good friend of mine at the student center of MSU. We asked her at the same time I was text messaging Auburn alum and sister of a current Auburn student. It was uncanny how precise the story duplicated itself across the SEC. I even asked a friend who lived in Oxford, home of Ole Miss, about the boot phenomena.
All girls witnessed with boots and running shorts wore designer boots. They had paisley, polka-dots, stripes, or plaid boots on and Nike running shorts. Why? What fashion statement does this send? Is it a cultural thing? Is it a sorority hazing? Or better yet, is it the minimum leg required shown on campus before the first frost of the year. Maybe it is a dress code for cow colleges (Miss. State & Auburn). No wait, it has been spotted at Ole Miss as well. Maybe this is the female answer to guy’s Bama Bangs.
As we left town we stopped at a local store that sold MSU gear, footwear, and Greek-wear. We found a rack stocked with hundreds of Nike running shorts and over in the corner were those fashionable boots. So if you want new rain boots, Sperry is the brand to buy. They will look great with your running shorts. If someone can figure out why these girls decided to make this fashion statement, please tell me. Until then I will continue to think for myself and wear what I want. Maybe they should pick their own clothes out too.
After leaving Starkville we visited Camp of the Rising Son. I listened to the rain falling on the trees and longed to be seventeen again. I loved working at CRS. Now, I am traveling all over the southeast recruiting staff to work at Space Camp. Amazon and I stood on the back porch talking to Carrie Browning, CRS Camp Director for about an hour. When I was seventeen, Carrie and I worked as cabin mates. She was the counselor, and I was the AC. If someone would have predicted that she would be the director of CRS and I would be managing Aviation Challenge as grown ups, we would have both thought you were crazy. It was good visiting Lake Anne, even if the dock was covered in water.
On the drive to the farm I think Amazon discovered why all the girls needed rain boots. We turned of highway 407 onto to a dirt road. Yes, I am sure there is a redneck joke somewhere. Amazon thought I was going to take her out in the middle of nowhere and feed her to alligators. She said, “What is this?” I was shocked. I thought she was a country girl from Tennessee. I asked if she had seen a “dirt road” before. Her answer was classic! She said, “Only in movies!” The roads were messy and sloppy. And I am sure the crew that works on camp vehicles will look at the Endeavour and ask if we went off-roadin’. No, we didn’t need to play in mud puddles, but we did visit my home. And to me home is from Starkville, to CRS, to Winona, and across to Okra-Land, Delta State University. But that is tomorrow’s story.