A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I was once a high school senior.
Though I don’t think much about those days almost a half-century ago, a flood of memories came rushing back as I considered the fate of the Class of 2020.
What they are missing (I’m sure they’re tired of being reminded) simply cannot be regained.
They will have indelible memories, just not anything like their expectations.
The final semester of the senior year is like no other. For starters, it comes during springtime in Texas, when we can have some of the most beautiful weather anywhere. The countryside is ablaze with nature’s bounty, and you’re spending time and making memories with some of the best friends you’ll ever have.
There are the usual and official events, and then some others.
Like senior skip day (the unofficial message: please stay until second period roll call), the only time we got to view some of our classmates in their swim wear during a school day.
The one fellow who got busted when the state troopers showed up at the lake was a graduate from the year before.
Then the senior prank. I was not a participant, but when you’re in a class of 500, only a small percent took part.
We gathered around that old Morris Minor (that’s an English car), painted in the school colors of gold with all our names in purple, wondering what it was going to take to remove it from the school lawn with no tires and its lug bolts removed.
The senior trip, such as it was, for a class that size, was a day trip to another lake park for a picnic, though some of us ventured up the night before to camp out following baccalaureate.
And while I was not a participant in UIL events or athletics, we got a taste of that from our son who was in One-Act Play and on the golf team and all the band activities and prom, etc.
But there was plenty else for us to do, from church activities to concerts and so much more, certainly more than I would care to discuss here.
(Larry Tucker and I compared notes and determined we were likely at the same concert venue in Dallas for some of those concerts.)
It boggles the mind to try to imagine senior year being any other way. Yet those young men and ladies who came into the world post-9/11 and entered school in the depths of the Great Recession now must contend with something the world has not experienced in recent times.
They must have a lot of questions, most of which cannot be answered adequately because there are no satisfactory answers.
We don’t know what to tell you, and we wish we did. We wish we could take it all back and make your senior year happen the way it was supposed to be.
And if one of you is writing a column like this somewhere around 2067, just imagine the stories you can tell.