By Clarene Evans Nanney
(Second from Left)
The names of the graduating class of 2008 are now forever etched in the annuls of time, in our hearts and probably hidden somewhere on a special wall of the greatest school in North Mississippi. Walking across the stage and receiving my diploma was as special for me as it was for any one of those 51 seniors who recently received theirs and the only difference was the number of graduates.
When my class, the class of 1963 assembled for our last big march down an aisle together as a group, there were only 33 of us. Can you imagine only 33 graduates making up a graduating class? At the time though, we were one of the largest classes to ever graduate from good ol’ BHS.
I miss those days and before you know it, some of you will as well. All too soon, your childhood will be stripped from your being like a limb is wrenched from a tree during a storm. When this occurs, you suddenly have to start acting and thinking like an adult. Now trust me on this one, that time, however welcomed at the moment, will last for a long, looooooooooong time. Never again will you be that carefree, never again will you be that vulnerable.
But, having said that, I still want to go back and be a kid just one more time even if get into trouble for talking, or being late for class, or for skipping school altogether and going off to the fair or even for sneaking into Mrs. Brown’s home economics room and hemming a skirt for my girlfriend who didn’t have a clue how to sew. I think I’ve told you that story already. It really is funny and I’ll probably live to regret sharing that one!
I want to go back in time and be able to climb the bleachers to the very top row and watch the homecoming football game from there and not care how cold it gets. I want to actually learn geometry. Mrs. Vandiver was right, I did need it after all. I want to actually go back and read the "House of Seven Gables" and not just the Classic’s comic book version by the same name. I want to recite the poem about Flanders Field where poppies grow, between the crosses row by row and draw a picture to illustrate it for Mrs. Floy Bludworth . She was the one who first introduced me to poetry in the sixth grade. I want to go back and tell Mrs. Eudora Grisham Kemp that learning to diagram a sentence really does have a place in the structure of a paragraph after all. And last, but certainly not least, I want to finally find Kenya on the globe in Mrs. Hoover’s history class and be able to tell her what crops are actually grown there.
I want to learn it all this next time around. I know now that I wasted so much of what was lovingly offered to me. Eventually the childish games that at the time felt neither childish nor like games, were replaced with adulthood and the many decisions that came with that phase. The gray hairs came and were covered over with chestnut brown hair color for a while but eventually were left alone because they became too many.
The next time around I promise I will actually pay attention in class and realize what is important and what is not.
I know now that I took my childhood for granted and thought my youth would last forever. It didn’t and I want a “do over”…….please………