This Homecoming, people will gather with their friends and family just as they’ve always done. But there will be one thing missing: The Olde Heidelberg. It was destroyed by fire Aug. 18.
“The ’Berg was the type of place you took your family or friends from out of town, because no other place in Columbia had that ‘Mizzou hangout’ type of feel,” said Shaun Thomason, a May 2003 MU graduate and member of Marching Mizzou. “No other place has that feeling.”
Thirty-seven years ago, a tradition started at the Homecoming game’s pregame show: a performance by the Marching Mizzou Alumni Band.
Each October, alumni band members are invited back to participate in the annual event.
A normal week for me usually entails spending several hours at the local library viewing microfilms. I enjoy poring over old newspapers, reading about events that took place decades ago. Like most researchers, I tend to get distracted when searching for information on one subject — my attention gets drawn off in another direction.
Last week, for example, I was reading through an old newspaper when I came across a story by the Associated Press that said the Missouri School of Journalism was expected to take possession of its newly constructed building, Jay H. Neff Hall, on the university campus within a few weeks. The newspaper, “The Sedalia Democrat,” was dated June 20, 1920. The article went on to describe the Evening Missourian as “one of the leading dailies of this part of the state.” This same newspaper carried a story about the fire that destroyed the Pettis County courthouse, which was the story I was researching at the time.