Everything happens for a reason. Hindsight is 20/20. Disclaimer: This is a personal story, but more than a personal story.
For the most part, my youth was a happy time. I had a stable family. I had a community of extended family, neighbors, church and school that nurtured and impacted me.
But during my sophomore year, I found myself in a situation that challenged me emotionally. I began dating a young man who was three years older than me. He had the opportunity to take advantage of a young woman that was enthralled with him, but he always behaved as a gentleman. Even all these years later, I speak highly of him. For two months we had a wonderful relationship; even though we had very different backgrounds. Then there was a good reason we broke up.
One of the great disappointments of high school was not making cheerleading for junior year. It’s all water over the bridge now and I am long over it, but at the time it was devastating. I cried most of the evening. Late that night I called the former boyfriend to share my feelings, and that would be the last time I would talk to him for some time.
|Senior Sam Lykins attempting to |
fix the broken microscopes
The following morning my mother took me to the bus terminal as I headed out of town, to help my aunt with her new baby. We heard on the radio of the vandalism of my high school. We were as shocked as anyone would be, but I put it out of my mind. During that week the students that remained in Fairborn for their spring break worked very hard to get the school put back together and it opened on schedule without so much as a hiccup. Had I been home, I am sure I would have been among them.
Later I learned the former boyfriend was involved in the vandalism, but had made the decision to drop out of school and join the army. This was difficult for me. I did receive a couple of letters before he shipped out to Viet Nam. Many years later we were able to talk and catch up; we had good lives.
Page two…the rest of the story. I won’t pretend to have any idea of the politics of this; but the gist is that in the wake of the vandalism, the science department had been destroyed. When the insurance money came, the science department was further down the list than those teachers would have desired. Those were days when teachers could easily find jobs, and three of them resigned.
And one of those openings was filled with a person by the name of Jerry Derge.