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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Our #domecoming2018 adventure!

I spent many summer evenings with my good friend Greg Davis at the legendary Houston Astrodome watching the Astros.

We were even once at a Houston Oilers' playoff game where we joined in on the "Houston Oilers number 1" song. I'm sure we sang the song at obnoxiously loud levels.

So it was great to be able to take my kids into this mystical building they've passed by many times but never have been able to enter for their entire lives.

The last time I was there was for sadder times in 2005 after the Katrina evacuees were forced to live there after New Orleans was under water. Upon entering more than a decade ago, it still looked like a place stuck back in time from the moment it's doors had been closed for the last time.

Monday night, "Eighth Wonder of the World" looked less like it did in it's heyday, but for the 25,000 who got a chance to enter, they were full of happiness.

In the long line wrapped about the stadium, there was a sense of excitement. Ticket holders, had an energy about them that felt like they were about to go watch their favorite band perform or see the big game of the year. While no such event was about to take place, these Dome fans were feeling emotion about just getting inside the place after all these years.

Naturally there were a ton of Astros jerseys, but also lots of Oilers colors and gear. I guess time heals the Bud Adams wounds.

Me? I was wearing my Houstorian "Come and Take It" shirt.

Domecoming organizers created a carnival like atmosphere outside with food trucks and music/songs one would have heard inside during baseball and football games all those years ago. Talk about a time warp.

You probably saw her in the media, but there was a woman dressed in her original Dome usherette dress from the 1960s. It had that space motif that looks like what people in that groovy decade thought the future would look like.

I for one am glad the Astrodome will survive. In a city bereft of iconic symbols, the Astrodome is one that stands out.

A few years ago, I had the privileged of spending an afternoon at the The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. This is a museum of broadcasting. If you want to see artifacts from your favorite TV show, this is the place to go.

What else it has, is an amazing collection of video. You sit down at a computer and watch history. I naturally typed in 'Houston." What I found was a fantastic special CBS News produced on our fair city in the 1960s. Uncle Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, both from around here, worked on the show.

One of the segments focused on the building of the Dome and what a statement the city and county felt this structure would make to the world. Here is a city built on a swampy coastal prairie that can do anything it wants thanks to innovation and hard work.

Don't you think that ethos survives today? The Dome is still a statement and historical reminder of where we came from and where we are going as a city.

Oh, and since this blog technically covers the Houston media...let's talk about that real quick. The Houston media was out in force covering this one. I got to wave at The Factor himself, FOX 26 star Isiah Carey.

My boys and I were made famous on abc13 KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia's Facebook Live! When Lodhia walked past our part of the line, the people in front of us got very excited and exclaimed, "There's Pooja Lodhia!"

We passed FOX 26 reporter Lindsey Henry conducting an interview.

And just to add to the excitement while waiting in line, we had TV news helicopters buzzing overhead. My kids were excited to see SkyEye 13.

All in all, we had a great day. Thank you Harris County, Judge Ed Emmett, the Astrodome Conservancy and everyone else involved.

Can't wait to see what you do with the place!

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