Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Highwood's New Lights

Ekalaka Lights
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
The night Highwood hosted Geraldine in the annual six-man battle of Chouteau County, I found myself driving in from Great Falls. I had been to Rocky Boy earlier that day for another six-man game and with ample time on hand, I decided to check into my hotel room in nearby Great Falls.

After freshening up a bit in my room, I headed for Highwood—a short 30 mile trek. The darkness was rapidly taking over the grayness from that rainy day and by the time I reached the outskirts of Great Falls, my Mazda rocketship was heading into one of the darkest sectors of the universe. The rain fell steadily on that messy night—reminescent of my youth in the cold and dank winters of Northeast Ohio. Conditions seemed to deteriorate the farther I drove from Great Falls. Fog settled in thick patches along the route—some so heavy, it seem as though I was driving blind.

Through my peripheral vision, I remember detecting a faint light in the black abyss surrounding me as I focused on the road ahead. When I looked in the source's direction, I saw nothing—as if a glowing spaceship attempted to stay hidden in the netherworld before me. But the soft light became stronger despite the thick fog as the road drew me nearer to Highwood.

Had I been a stranger to these surroundings, I would have thought something fantastic was unfolding up ahead—something the world would read about in the newspapers the next day. And though I knew its source, a mysterious quality radiated from the new gridiron lights at Highwood. Like the star that guided wise men to Bethlehem, these lights formed a single beacon guiding all fans of the game to this gridiron shrine of six-man football.

Many other games were played that same night all over Montana, but Highwood's newly lit gridiron proved the most brilliant of all diamonds laying on the state's bed of black velvet.

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