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
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.
Pretty and our parade chairs heading home
it’s a wrap for this unforgettable season