Back in the 1930s when a patron balked at paying the 75 cents for a season ticket to the Thayer High School football games, the player-salesman remarked that it was a "bargain at any price."
The school had set a goal of selling 200 tickets in the fall of 1938 at 75 cents for the four home games, meaning that at the regular price of 25 cents each, one game was free with the purchase of the season ticket.
The first game of that season netted only $16 for Thayer, a far cry from the $175 that Willow Springs had reportedly made hosting Mountain Grove.
It just goes to show how things have changed.
Instead of players and school representatives hawking tickets, today they warn you to show up early to relieve the traffic crunch and claim a seat.
With the inflationary factor of today's buck, it may be a "bigger bargain" than it was back in my day.
The lady at the gate at Thayer (this year) asked for $3, and she even threw in a program. That's less than the price of a gallon of gas has been, until recently.
The bleachers for the Thayer 2008 Homecoming game on Oct. 4 were packed and cars lined East Walnut, the street in front of the school, overflowing the parking areas.
As the warmth of the sun faded into a beautiful crisp fall evening in the Ozarks, the excitement ran high. Out-of-town alumni mingled and the pretty homecoming queen and her court held sway before proud parents and town folk.
That was all to be expected, after all it was the annual homecoming game, but what followed surprised the out-of-town folks and made a guy in the stands from California, there with his alumna wife, shake his head as fireworks exploded in the night and lit up the sky. No doubt it woke up the turtles and alarmed the bullfrogs on the Warm Fork River, which serves as a backdrop for the football field.
When the smoke cleared, the green-and-white clad Thayer team, big and fast and obviously well-coached, went on to beat the team from Willow Springs in convincing fashion. The guys around me couldn't even find fault with the referees, a knowledgeable officiating crew from Springfield.
The loud speaker at the stadium said there would be a reception in the Elementary School cafeteria after the game. Some of my group, there for our 55th reunion went and were delighted to find one of the most scrumptious buffet food lines we had seen anywhere. Someone we asked said Connie did it. At any rate, we didn't see anyone to pay, which made it even better.
So, I'd say that Bobcat Homecoming Friday night, was a "bargain at any price."
(The first set of bleachers at the THS football field was built in the fall of 1951, which was in centerfield of the baseball diamond. They felt, at 365 feet from home plate, it was a safe distance for the obstruction. They were estimated to hold about 700.)