My grandmother will be 88 this year.
She still remembers her school’s fight song and it goes a little something like this:
“Strawberry shortcake, Gooseberry pie!
Will we win it?
Well, I guess!
Tomball, Tomball, YES, YES, YES!!!”
You have to see her to really appreciate the emphasis she gives to those last three words. She raises her fist and really lets the air have it. She graduated high school when she was 16, so that would have been around 1940. She tells us that she was on just about every team- volleyball, basketball, softball… I believe it, too. She’s one strong lady. Once when we all checked into a hotel together back in the 1980s, the hotel clerk asked my grandmother if she could climb the stairs to the second floor. I looked at him like he was a crazy nutball fruitcake Teenwolf wacko and said, “My grandmother can climb a mountain!” He should’ve known better than to mess with this lady and by “this lady”, I mean me and by “me”, I mean “my grandmother” and by “my grandmother” I mean me and by “me” I mean the enchiladas they serve at Panchos and by “the enchiladas they serve at Pancho’s” I mean absolutely nothing.
My grandmother, my “Nana”, is one of my favorite people ever.
I have always LOVED reciting her school’s fight song. They sing about gooseberry pie, for goodness sake. I have no idea what a gooseberry is or what pie made from them would taste like, but I love singing about them. The other day I started chanting it and my 4-year-old kept asking me to sing it over. He likes gooseberry pie, too, apparently. My husband wanted to toss me out the sun roof by my 18th round.
I thought her fight song was unique, but after Googling it, I ran across this dude below named Joe Diroff. He was nicknamed “The Brow” in honor of his really long gray eyebrow fur. At first, I didn’t like Joe. He ruined the image of my grandmother being the sole chanter of strawberry shortcake-esque fight songs left on the planet. After reading about him, though, I started wishing I could stick Joe Diroff right in my back pocket.
He was apparently a common sight at Detroit games and was actually able to be found on the Pistons court acting the fool. He would get the crowd behind him at basketball games, baseball games and football games while he would LOUDLY recite things like:
“They’ll never CATCH UP, ‘cuz they can’t cut the MUSTARD!”
“Let’s get pumped up!”
(while carrying a bicycle pump)
“Can we do it, are we tough?
We’re the Lions, RED HOT STUFF!”
(Don’t you love the thought of an elderly old man cheerleader?)
“Let’s go bananas!!”
(while carrying a…banana!)
You guessed it…
“Strawberry shortcake, gooseberry pie…”
He was like the Carrot Top of elderly male cheerleaders with all of those props. He’d get a broom out if it looked like his team was going to “sweep” the other one. I wish I could have been at a game to see him reciting them, especially the one about the mustard. That is so cheesy. Actually, it’s more mustard-y. And also my favorite.
He died in 1997. He was 74. By my calculations, he would’ve been 89 this year. I guess back when my grandmother and The Brow were young, the gooseberry pie cheer was all the rage. I love that they were born around the same time and have been reciting their school’s fight song ever since.
|Gooseberries. (What in the heck?) Source
Do you remember any school cheers?
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