Archived Story

High school reunion comes soon

Published 10:57am Friday, February 1, 2013

I watched the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower on my flight last week. It was a charming and heartbreaking book-to-big screen about three high school kids dealing with all the trials and tribulations that ensue during that time in your life. The soundtrack was not bad either. The movie felt timely as my 10 year class reunion is at the end of this month!

I graduated in 2003. Bush was president, we were looking to invade Iraq and look for weapons of mass destruciton, the space ship Columbia blew up, Elizabeth Smart was found, unemployment was at 6.1 percent, there was a $25 million reward out for information on Saddam Hussein (who would be captured that December), Concordes took their final flights, Bush signed a $87.5 billion aid package for Iraq and Afghanistan and Massachusetts’ highest court declares that gay couples have the right to marry under the state constitution.

Gas was a $1.83. I could fill the bug up for $20.

Michael Jackson was still alive and in the hot seat for a molestation charge. There was that home video that sky rocketed Paris Hilton to infamy and paved the way for Kim Kardashian, In Da Club by 50 Cent and Hey Ya by Outcast were the major party songs. Reality shows were just about to kick off…I could write an entire post on The Newlyweds, starring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Belly button rings were all the rage (I never got one, I was too scared of needles).

It is hard to believe ten years have gone by, but I suppose that is what everyone says.

When Virginia Spears and I participated in Career Day at BRHS a few months ago, it was the first time I had darkened BRHS doors in years. I was reminded of all of the possibilities that are in front of you at that age, for better or worse.

For worse, for example. On a tour of the Tallapoosa County jail recently, I spotted an old classmate. I could not help but wonder at point in their life they chose the wrong path. What had made me so different that I, too, was not there?

I would guess it was my loving and devoted parents and environment. It is true that high school is that platform where you make or break your future.

I had a great high school experience. I loved class, especially English class. I was probably overly involved in clubs and civic activities. I played volleyball a few years before I quit to be on the Cinder staff (ironic, no?). I had cute boys to crush on and take me on dates. I had a gaggle of girlfriends to be silly and get into trouble with. I sobbed during my tribute speech to Dr. Tommy Bice at Senior Day.  He is so awesome and should be proud of his past 10 years, too.

Others, I am sure, did not have the same experience … but it was an experience.

First cars, first dates, first a lot of things. We all have our high school stories that molded us, and most of them are pretty funny now.

Note to high schoolers across the street … it will get better, yeah –  college is #totes awesome – but you will really miss some things about high school.

I hope that the 2003 reunion has a great turnout (get your money turned in if you are reading this!)

We have a great night at Carlos’s Mexican Grill downtown planned, complete with a Motown band.

It will be lovely to see everyone and see where our stories have taken us. What stories we are currently writing …  and living. I imagine that we may have more in common now than we did way back then.

I think we would all surprise our 18-year-old selves.

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.