Experience the Power of a G.I.R.L.!

Sunday afternoon, the 9th. of April, 2017 was an absolutely gorgeous spring day in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the mid 70s and cloudless blue skies. It was a great day to be outdoors which is where thousands of people gathered on Main Street to celebrate the good times of bringing the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship trophy home to the University of South Carolina with a ticker-tape parade minus the ticker-tape.

Yahoo – we party!! Pretty and I were there as were our Gay Boys Basketball Buddies and #1 Fan Gamecock Matt. Without realizing where we were sitting, Pretty plopped our small folding chairs right next to a local TV news team which was covering the parade so not only did we have great seats, we also were interviewed by a TV newsman and once again made local news. (That interview can be viewed on social media if anyone is curious.)

We watched every car carrying VIPs,  every motorcycle, a live rooster (Sir Spur, the Gamecock) riding in a small driver-less motorized vehicle, a deputy sheriff on a real big horse, A’ja Wilson’s DJ brother playing festive music, dancing troupes, Cocky the Gamecock mascot and tons of floats – green ones, red ones, silver ones, gold ones – truly any color imaginable in the midst of a caravan of colors as they passed by us on Main Street which was their route to the State Capitol grounds for the closing ceremonies.

I love a parade – Pretty will vouch for me. I just love a parade. But I particularly love a parade that celebrates women and their achievements. I took 129 pictures at the parade and worked on them last night while Pretty was talking on her cell phone with the Apple Help person for two hours trying to figure out how to make her Mac happy again. Poor Pretty.

As I cropped and re-cropped the images, I was struck by the power these basketball heroes gave to the little girls, teenage girls, grown-up women and yes, even us eat-up-with-elderly older women as we celebrated their victories in one grand final gesture of appreciation.

If I could, I would put all of these images in my post today, but alas, I know that’s asking for a lot of attention which won’t happen. So, as a compromise, I’m choosing my favorites.

The G.I.R.L. Power float

Bring the babies, too – even when they nod off

It’s a Family Affair

(photo courtesy of Pretty)

Dancing in the streets

Women on motorcycles – 

rev ’em up, Sisters!

I spy Cocky!!

Gamecock Legend Sheila Foster is jubilant… 

 other basketball alumni enjoy the ride with her

Our Heroes: The Stars of the Show

Kaela Davis, A’ja Wilson and Allisha Gray

These girls and the team made basketball history

Coach Dawn Staley high above the crowds

where a true basketball Queen belongs

along with the Team that made her the Queen

I’m afraid I was too short to see the action on the Capitol steps as the parade came to an end, but that was okay. I found my sights away from the stage.

This little girl had a bird’s eye view

This one did, too

a Pretty face in the crowd

taking a break to tie her shoes

a teenager tweeting her pics

an older woman rode her bike to celebrate

Gamecock colors – complete with pom poms

These girls are champions, too

 Which one of these girls will be our next Congresswoman, Olympic medalist, astronaut, teacher, preacher, policewoman, Forbes 500 CEO, President of the United States? The mind races with the possibilities for their futures…and for ours…because we’ve experienced the magic of G.I.R.L. power today.

Whew! We are exhausted – time for us to ease on down the road to Casa de Canterbury where we should be p-a-c-k-i-n-g instead of partying. Oh, well. You only go around once.

Go Gamecocks!!

Pretty and our parade chairs heading home

it’s a wrap for this unforgettable season 


About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Life, Personal, photography, politics, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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