I was fifteen years old at the time, and my family lived in Springfield, Illinois. As mentioned in previous blogs, my Father managed the local 7up franchise, and 1984 was the year when 7up won the contract to sell soft drinks at Champaign's Memorial Stadium during the football season.
I remember the tent. It was long, rectangular, and black & white striped. There were large, foldable tables - and folding chairs to seat almost 300 people. And of course, there was the "kitchen" - a food-service area with sandwiches, chips, and pop - at the end of the tent, as soon as you walked in. And there were banners: "7UP SUPPORTS THE FIGHTING ILLINI," as well as Rose Bowl-themed pictures, stats, and balloons. There were prizes, free jackets, free cases of pop; there were also free footballs - emblazoned with the 7UP/Illini logos - which my father took from my own sports gear in our garage, because I hadn't played with them once. Luckily - for the prize winners - their balls were in pristine condition.
It must have sucked to have had a gay son in the 80s; had I been straight, I'd have jumped at many opportunities…especially with those that Father offered. But little did anyone know that even at that age, my brain was starting to assemble Goodbye to Beekman Place - a choppy story, with just the opening scenes.
But at the time, I didn't see any of it. In the later games, my head was buried in Alan Dean Foster's The Clash of the Titans. I recall being cold, and being pissed that the crowd was being so LOUD. Apparently, our team was winning, and game after game, weekend after weekend, their cheers grew louder - like recent Chicago Blackhawks events.
In hindsight now, I regret not appreciating it more.
I still don't know how Clash of the Titans ended, but as an adult I now suspect that I missed more than the ending to a so-so book.