Former homecoming queen revisits alma mater

REED CITY — When she passed by in the parade earlier in the day, her smile reached out to the crowd lining the streets in the rain, and her eyes smiled too.

But Friday night, when she was escorted to the 50-yard-line during Reed City’s homecoming celebration, Maureen Milligan Bazzett was, indeed, home. Her name spoken over the microphone brought a wave, and an even bigger smile, and her eyes absolutely sparkled in the applause.

She said she was both excited and exhausted. Both then and now.

“I remember 50 years ago that was very exciting. It was by student vote, and I ran home during lunch hour to change clothes. We got to speak to the student body in the gym, and I was so surprised I got it. There was another girl,” she recalls, “who was just adorable, and I was sure they would pick her.”

Half a century ago, she and her escort, Tom Anderson “...went to the homecoming dance together. Neither of us were dating at the time.”

Although she was speaking over a telephone now, her voice seemed to be grinning as she said, “And I got to wear a tiara.”

Then she wondered if it means as much to teens today, “...wearing flip-flops and shorts instead, if it’s nearly as exciting a time in their lives like it was ours. Perhaps.”

She also had the special memory of her father running along beside the red convertible she rode in that day of the parade in the long ago, “ he always did, taking pictures.”

She was pleased to be invited back, and “we even had dinner together and were given a bag, along with a homecoming T-shirt to take home with us. How great it was to see people I knew, and to see Patti Critchfield again. Our mothers worked together forever, and I had not seen her in over 46 years, so this was wonderful.”

Soon she’ll be home again back in Minnesota, looking out over Lake Superior, sorting through new memories.