Last night, EHS held their Alumni Banquet, a venue I have longed to attend but unfortunately continue to miss. Why is that important…well when it comes to world peace, or curing cancer, it isn’t, but for this 60-something year old, this banquet brings back great memories.
In 1971, I was so unhappy at my father from moving me away from my friends and to a new school. I was about to be a freshman in High School, and I so wanted to spend my High School years with close friends and not have to start all over at a new school. This was one of the first in a long line of disappointments that befell me in my early life. But isn’t it amazing how God turns these little blips in our lives into gold?
Disclaimer – I am going to break a cardinal rule and name some names, at least those names that I remember. But my grey matter is not what it used to be, so I know I will miss some very important names – please forgive me if yours is one of them!!!
You see the new school was Edinburg (without the “H” at that time 😊) Community High School, in Indiana, and my father was the new Superintendent. There are several things I didn’t like about this move, losing my friends, was just one. At the time, I was a slightly better than average athlete and musician, and I really didn’t want to start over proving myself to strangers. Also, at that age, as an only child, there is a certain amount of shyness and nervousness that seems to overflow those mid-teen years, so change was the last thing I was happy to embrace.
Now looking back, how totally insecure and nuts I was to be upset. First off, for a life-long teacher, who moved with my parents from town to town – school to school, becoming a superintendent was a big deal so I should have been happy for my dad. Secondly, and without a doubt most importantly, the people and students at this new school were ten times nicer, more helpful, caring, loving, and just down right friendlier, than those I left behind. The dark cloud I felt for sure that would surround me my entire High School life, had turned into the finest and nicest blessing one person could ever have.
Immediately, I was befriended by my now dear friends Bruce Walden and Jim Sanders. The teachers were great, all my classmates were exceptional, as well as those wonderful friends in the classes before and after mine. The school was brand new (we were the first freshman class to attend), and the people of the town were great – this had become the home I truly had never had!
I quickly found out I had great band mates, in Kevin Cecil, Cindy McMillan, Jim Beaver, Monte Sneed, Mike King, Jim Coleman, Jim Lazelle, and a great band leader Jack Carpenter. Songs like Aint Misbehaven, Make Me Smile, Black Magic Woman, and In the Mood, come to mind. I had great coaches in Steve Arnholt, Terry Small, Steve Hollenbeck, Jeff Daugherty, and others. Super teachers in Mrs. Richards, Mrs. Turner, and administrators such as Gloria Walden and Alice Taulman.
I remember vividly Wally Bryant playing Jim Croce’s’ “Age” which he performed so well. I remember the giant snow man we all built that one winter along side the sidewalk entrance to the school. I remember of course the 1973 sectional championship and our class one a couple of conference titles in baseball.
We had great cheerleaders, great romances, and great proms (Starry Starry Night). In fact, the one sure romance that we all knew would succeed was Deia Fitzpatrick and Billy Pittman, or Dilly and Beia as I used to call them. In fact, I was recently reminded of a picture from their wedding where nearly everyone in the weeding party ended up married, except me...But I would find the love of my life a couple of years later. One of those couples was Bruce Walden and Jamie Decker, a great couple if you ever saw one, much like Beia and Dilly 😊!
I remember Chris Gills terrible car wreck and was so happy to see him make it through that, although so very painfully. I remember Saturday nights just cruising around town – there wasn’t much else to do. I remember Eddie Wheeler’s band and the great Lynyrd Skynyrd covers they played. I remember hanging out at Bruce’s, sometimes with brothers David and Barry. Or jamming to records at Jim Sanders house, or “Satch” for Satchmo, as we liked to call him. I remember Carolyn Sadler, Melody Cox, and Denise Walker, constantly together as if they were joined at the hip.
I was fortunate enough to play sports alongside some great athletes. Bruce and Jim were two of the best. Billy Snyder, Stan and Jeff Curry, Dallas Luttrell, Bill Pittman was a heck of a short-stop, Jimmy Burton was a monster in football, Ernie Smith, Jimmy Dewar, and Randy Dover. The ’73 b-ball team of Rick Finley, Roger Rowe, Alan Pendleton, Eddie King, John Bower, Gary Brannigan, Ronnie Streeval. Other great teammates and classmates like Greg Stinson, Greg Pittman, Barry Burton, Mike Kell, and the Fewell brothers; Weenie and Hot Dog 😊. Rhonda Pendleton, Joy Salle, Janie Pile, Nina Perry, Karen Mosier, Shelly Cook, and so many more very nice and pretty gals. I especially remember graduation ands "We May Never Pass This Way Again," which was a so true prediction or testiment.
High school was a blast, and I have many very fond memories of that new “Home” town, but as they say, we all had to move on and grow up. I still keep in touch with a few of these folks, at least the ones I can locate. I know I have failed to mention some of those other super classmates, but I don’t have a yearbook and my memory seems to fail more than it succeeds. My sincere apologies for those I’ve failed to mention.
I miss those glory days but I am so thankful that God steered my parents and I to this wonderful community of people. I was, and am, so truly blessed to have known, worked with, played sports and music with, and just been friends walking the same walls, working through the same typical teenage challenges, with such a great group of classmates. I love all of you folks so very dearly…it’s a shame life happened for us, but it is what’s great about life – every opportunity and phase of our lives is a new chapter with new opportunities. I am just so very grateful for that page in my life – Thank You EHS!!!