30 years…

August is a significant month of the year. Not only is the end of summer in sight, but it also brings about the return to school for the boys. Steph and I made the decision a few months ago that she would step out of the workforce and step in to the role of homeschool mom. A role that she is more than qualified for and I have all of the faith in the world that if anyone can get the boys to where they need to be, she is the one who can do it.

With the start of school this year, I came to a VERY HUGE REALIZATION. 30 years ago this month, I, along with my best friends, started our senior year. Yes I said it, 30 years.

30 years ago, I had my last first day of high school. That year would be unlike any other year that I had gone through. 30 years ago, I had the EASIEST schedule that I could imagine. Sure I had the requirements (government, history, advanced math) but I also had a very slack schedule for the rest of the day, (art IV, library aid, office aid and wait for it……10th grade business math.) Yes, I was the only senior in business math and ended the semester with a 108 average.

The schedule that I had gave me a lot of time to be involved with other activities and created a lot of new friends, and new memories. I got involved in the drama club and our “Bug Brigade” homecoming float knocked off the Art Club for the first time ever.

My closest friends and I had been in the band together since 6th grade but this year, I made the decision to step out. I had a job during the summer that would have kept me out of it anyway but I wanted to watch a halftime show from the fence, not on the field. I wanted to hang out with friends, not practice every night until dark.

The friends that I had in band, I remained close to then, and I am still close with today. I called a few of them recently just to remind them of what happened 30 years ago. All are married with kids and grandkids, but even after all of this time, we are still close.

It almost never fails, that during those calls, we talk about memories of school. There are a lot of advantages of schools today over the school that I graduate from, (Senior class of just over 70) but one thing that St. Clair, had was I knew everyone in my senior class and most of the juniors.

When I was there, I couldn’t wait to get out. I couldn’t wait to be grown. I couldn’t wait to make my own decisions, be on my own, do what I wanted to do.

Now I find myself often thinking back of those days that have long since become just a memory…

21 Volkswagen bugs spread out over my front yard for the bug brigade…

Riding with one of my best friends in her red Toyota Corolla up hill in the left lane…

Band trips to Rome Georgia…(ironically I don’t live far from there now)

Freezing cold trips to Homewood competitions….

The art house…with the ceiling that one of your friends fell through….

Yellow Porsche 914’s…then Red Porsche 914’s…

Friday night lights….from the field and from the fence….

Having pizza at least twice a week in the lunchroom….

Going to your Senior Prom with your date but spend more time with your buddy’s date

Shooting pool at Joyce’s quick mart where she was known to look the other way….

Even better times….being the third one off the field following the tradition to run off

Graduation night….

A lot has happened in those 30 years, to all of us. Some are parents with kids at home while some are parents with kids in college. Some are even grandparents if you can believe it. We have all moved on, made new friends, had jobs, some served in the military.

Life happens.

As I look back on the past 30 years, I can’t help but wonder if the times that my boys will be experiencing in the next 8-10 years, will they even come close to comparing to the same time in my life. I am so blessed to have had the friends that I had then, and still have today. I hope and pray that Joseph and Jason will have friends that will be as close as family like those that I have that were with me in the good times, with me in the bad times, and are still with me today.

Keith

Dear God, Thank You for the gift of good friends. Even though we are scattered all over the place, we are still tied to each other. Help the boys to have the friends that will be with them for life. Help them to be the friends to others for life. Protect them during these upcoming years.