January 30, 2009

80's Trivia - Round One

One of the highlights of the 20 Year Reunion was Saturday night's 80's Trivia Game. Twelve of our classmates got to participate along with a few others scattered in the audience. However only four made it to the top - Dana Oates, Jerry Flynn, Andy Mayberry and Kevin Young - out of which the dynamic duo of Dana & Jerry took the win.

So to let the rest of you have some fun, I'll periodically have a Trivia post here on the blog and perhaps on the Sheridan88 site as well. For now, see if you can answer the following questions - just leave your answers in the comments section - but don't peek at the other answers first! Oh - and NO GOOGLING!!

1. Which one of the following artists DID NOT sing "That's What Friends are For"?

a. Aretha Franklin
b. Gladys Kinght
c. Stevie Wonder
d. Elton John
e. Dionne Warwick

2. Which one of the following kids WAS NOT a New Kid on the Block?

a. Mark Wahlberg
b. Jordan Knight
c. Joe McIntyre
d. Danny Wood
e. Jonathan Knight

3. Dire Straits came from which country?

a. England
b. Ireland
c. Canada
d. Germany
e. New Zealand

4. Run D.M.C.'s DJ was _______________

a. Terminator X
b. Melle Mel
c. Jam Master Jay
d. Spinderella
e. Mix-master Ice

5. Remember the song "Mexican Radio"? Finish this weird lyric from this 1982 song: "I wish I was in Tijuana, ___________________"

Click on "COMMENTS" to leave your answers - be sure to include your name.
The correct answers will be revealed next week.
Stay tuned - NAME THAT TUNE coming soon!

Trivia questions courtesy of PCAT: Preparation for the Pop-Culture Aptitude Test by John Sellers

January 29, 2009

Growing Up Star Wars

Kirk Demarias is a fellow Arkansan (a Northwesterner) with an incredible retro blog who recently featured a post about a fast growing Flikr Photo Group called "Growing Up Star Wars."

Now, most of the female readers here won't appreciate this since the Star Wars saga had it's most lasting affect on the boys of the 70's. But if you're like Trent Allen or Rickey Whitaker and still have your Death Star, X-Wing Starfighter, Tie Fighter, Landspeeder and all 54 action figures packed away up in your attic, then prepare to drool. (I envy these guys. Seriously.)

I wish I had photos to contribute to this group. The closest thing I have is this photo that I posted back during the 12 Days of Christmas series I did in December.

January 27, 2009

Football Photos

One of the things you'll be seeing on the blog in the days & weeks ahead is various groups of photos from the slideshow. Some of the slideshow pics have already been featured on the blog, but many I've been "hiding" so they'd be a suprise during the reunion. I also hope to be able to provide a bit of commentary on the different sets of pics.

The first group you'll see below is the incredible treasure trove of black & white photos taken by Jamey's dad, Preston Black. If I'm not mistaken, all but two of the photos below were taken by Mr. Black. Some of these you might recognize as being used in our yearbook, and yet some have never been seen until the slideshow.

The first 10 or so shots were taken at War Memorial Stadium in an exhibition game (am I right on this?) played just before the Jackets' winning season began. The rest were taken throughout the season, including the 2nd round playoff game against the Arkadelphia Badgers.

Oh, and for those of you who'd even notice, these aren't necessarily in chronological order.

How would you like to download some of these? Well, I asked Jamey if I could make them available to you and he generously agreed. Just CLICK HERE to download any of the photos you're interested in. Only please be sure to give proper credit to Preston Black as the photographer.

January 25, 2009

Before and After

Looking at the photos from the 20 year reunion, I've noticed a few similar poses & people that were in photos from 20 years ago. Here are a few.

David Lunsford and Shelli Smith then.

David and Shelli now.

Band members James Springer, Aaron Wilson, Jason Moore and Jerry Flynn then.

James, Aaron, Jason and Jerry now.

Football teammates Alan Holmes, Jamey Black and Steven Coleman then.

Alan, Jamey and Steven now.

Cindy Grace during the Sr. Plays then.

Still behind the mic - (Judge) Cindy now.

I grabbed these pics off of Vicki's profile (hope she doesn't mind!).
Here are best friends Lynn Taylor, Chris Allen, Lee Shaw
Martin Tunstall, Melinda Hill and Vicki Ausbrooks then.
Still friends after all these years...
Chris Allen, Lee Shaw, Vicki Ausbrooks
Martin Tunstall, Melinda Hill and Lynn Taylor now.

January 20, 2009

Friends and Stars

One of the highlights of Friday night's reunion at Lakeside was having as our special guests, Scott & Darnelle Ausbrooks. Mr. Ausbrooks had expressed to me his desire to attend the reunion from the very beginning, and we were all glad he came. I think we'd all agree that he's still the same 'ole fun & witty Ausbrooks.

Tuesday I received the following email from him and he asked me to share it with all of you. What you're about to read is simply a beautiful and brilliant work of prose. I have to tell you, you should read it - out loud - several times to fully appreciate it's eloquence. I also think it would help to share with you the last two lines of Mr. Ausbrooks poem, to help you understand the rest.

Were it not for friends like you, I would be less by far-
And less is more, as we've been told- except for friends and stars.

Here is his message in it's entirety:

To the class of 88 ( I will let Aaron post this if he see's fit)

I wanted to say that I had a great time Friday night seeing the old bunch again. You all are the best. When I was up in front I looked around and saw the room filled with the most talented, funniest, smartest, greatest group of guys and gals a man could ever know. It would take many lifetimes for a man to befriend that many people of such high caliber but I am most blessed- I knew you all and made friends with you all in a few short years.

I wondered what it would be like seeing all of you again. I wondered if any of me had rubbed off on you as you sat in my class and if I could detect any sign of it. To my surprise what I found out was that the many things you brought to my class each day rubbed off on me. I am a product of having known each of you and being exposed to your special talents and your personalities and I love every one of you for it.

So, I too penned a verse about how I feel about you all -many of which I saw for the first time in 20 years Friday night. It comes from the perspective of a science teacher so forgive the astronomy references but mostly it comes from my heart.

Missing My Friends

Thoughts of you billow in my head like clouds in a summer sky
and some, like raging rivers, rush, flooding my mind's eye.
Still others are mere whispers in a sea of conscience thought
but I hear them all and treasure every happiness they've brought.

Some call forth a memory, an echo from the past
The record of a friendship made that will forever last.
It sweetens my existence, just one grain at a time
The sum of which enhances life, its richness is sublime.

But there is more to friends like us than the sum of parts-
together we create a living being in our hearts.
It has needs and must be fed or it will surely die.
This entity exists on love, on hope it does rely.

The brightest star that lights some world can't endure disintegration,
into its many particles-eternal seperation.
Those atoms feed on one another and energy released.
Proximity is the key to this atomic fusion beast.

So life, like stellar evolution does, proceed somewhat to form
and for a lustrum burn we bright and exceeding warm.
But without fuel the brightness wains and just before collapse,
A dying gasp is sent forth- a thought for us perhaps.

And what is friendship anyway but a chain of selfless deeds-
done by one unto the other in response to needs.
I have needs and one of them has taken precedence of late.
That is to see my friends again and to them relate-

That sense of loss that I endure each day we do not share,
our common goals, our lives, our souls, in this I do despair.
Were it not for friends like you, I would be less by far-
And less is more, as we've been told- except for friends and stars.

With love-Scott Ausbrooks

Someone explain the fusion part to Scott Herron please.

Wow. What a great message to receive from your teacher! Now would you do two things? Leave a comment for Mr. Ausbrooks here for others to read (don't forget to include your name). And then, if you desire, visit his profile page on the 88 site to send him a personal message.

A Suess-ful Reunion

A couple of weeks before the reunion, I had asked Andy Mayberry to present to us a story or monologue reflecting on our days growing up in the Sheridan schools. When he sent me the rough draft of what he'd come up with thus far, I was reminded why I chose him for this task.

I think you'll agree with me that he truly delivered!

A Seuss-ful Reunion
By Andy Mayberry

Twenty years have passed.
Well … 21 to be factual.
It’s time to re-unite.
Something that’s almost contractual.

Some of us talked.
We wanted to gather,
to collect and assemble,
and have a chance just to blather.

It was Aaron who stepped up,
and then others did, too.
They said, “How we wish
we had something to do!”

So there you have it.
We’re the class of ’88.
Garnered, amassed,
to reminisce and celebrate.

Our classmates are scattered.
Some of them far … and some of us are wide.
We’re spread across the country;
across the Great Divide.

Some are here. Some are there.
We’ve looked for them …
well, practically everywhere.

Like Mandy Jester Martindale,
Moltz and Moon and Jay Mizell.
Some we’ve found. Others we’ve not.
But of all we can say, “We miss them a lot.”

Jerry Flynn, Kerry Bannon,
and Mark Freiermuth.
They were on the class web site when I wrote this.
And that is the ABSOLUTE truth!

Susan Averitt Bobbitt
left us a little prematurely.
We’re glad to see her again;
happy to reunite, surely.

Some of us have been friends
Since … oh, about 1976.
That was the year of Kindergarten,
and it really had its kicks.

It was America’s birthday,
and there were fireworks galore.
The world seemed so new,
and our bright eyes just wanted … more.

Our teachers … we loved them!
And our new friends were really cool.
“Maybe this would be OK,” we thought.
“This prison … that some call SCHOOL!”

The merry-go-round was a hit,
but recess was far too short.
Chase and tag for boys;
Now THAT was the sport.

Girls played with dolls.
Others cooked and played “kitchen.”
Some jumped rope outside.
Some were already learnin’ naggin’ and … but I digress.

Of course, I’m just joking.
The girls, we loved both then and now.
The young sweeties are now ladies.
To them, we tip a hat … and take a bow.

I remember one kid ate paste.

He’s not with us tonight.
You see, he was held back.
No names will be mentioned.
But it wasn’t Trent or Jamey Black.

Instead, Jamey threw a pencil.
The lead is still stuck in my arm!
In Middle School he kneed me,
but I’m sure never meaning any harm.

(It was a “rasslin” move called a “Two” … named after it’s creator, Mr. Wrestling II. Oh, yeah!)

Elementary was exactly that,
but then came Middle School.
Fifth grade through eighth;
and what was “cool” was the rule.

Six periods per day;
we changed classes in Middle.
Bladder relief ONLY at designated times;
you had to hold your piddle!

Mr. Whitworth was our principal.
He was honest, stern, fair and good.
Discipline was the name of his game,
and you always knew where you stood.

With age came sports,
and lots of other activities,
like band, dance, and cheerleading,
and increased “social” festivities.

Of course, in Sheridan,
deer season was tops for many.
Opening day? Boys at school?
About 20.

In seventh grade we met the “others” …
the kids from the North.
East Enders came to Sheridan,
and we were told to treat them with “warmth.”

We discovered soon we liked them.
We were like sisters and brothers.
We’d have been with them all along
if we’d had our druthers.

When eighth grade was over
high school awaited.
Whatever status we’d earned
had quickly been negated.

Ninth grade was scary.
The seniors were big.
And we heard that in a couple years
we’d have to take Trig!

There were these MONSTER teachers
who wanted us to hit the books!
People like Mrs. Graves, Mrs. Cook,
… and some pencil-neck geek named Scott Ausbrooks.

There was a look to be had,
and bald was a gamble.
It was a push for Mr. Easton,
but looked great on Larry Campbell.

Calvin Klein, Lee, or Wrangler:
Your jeans pick may have varied.
Big hair, mullets, and leg warmers:
With each, a message was carried.

Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Hank Jr., and …
remember Club Nouveau?
We tell our kids music was better then ...
because … well, “We said so.”

Cheers and Alf and Family Ties
were some shows of the day.
I enjoyed them all and
wish they’d never gone away.

Sophomore and junior years brought
students from Leola and Grapevine:
More good friends for years to come
and lives forever intertwined.

Our senior year was terrific.
For many, centered around a team:
A special group of “Campbell’s gang”
that helped us all live a dream.

Yesteryear’s names and pleasant thoughts
are too many now to mention.
And then there’s the simple fact
that a-slippin’ is my retention.

When I wake from a long night’s sleep,
sometimes I think it’s summer vacation,
and all the joys of childhood and teens
will stay with me the duration.

It was a different world back then.
It was one we all enjoyed.
Time took it away,
but good memories cannot be destroyed.

I love the Class of ’88 …
not just because it was mine.
It’s the people who hold a place in my heart.
The memories there are divine.

CLICK HERE to download the poem in a MS Word document.

January 17, 2009

It was... surreal.

The Sheridan High School Class of 1988
20 Year Reunion
Lakeside Country Club
January 16, 2009
(more photos to come)

January 14, 2009

More Web Stats

The Sheridan88 website continues to see more action as we are now within 48 hours of our 20 year class reunion. You'll see in the graph above that we've had a little spike in hits the past few days, reaching almost 70 hits on Monday. Keep in mind that this graph only represents ONE HIT per visitor. In other words, if you visited the website four times during a day, it only counts the first. This means you can probably multiply the numbers above by quite a bit. Just think of how many times you went to the site yesterday... and multiply that by 70.

I mention those boring stats simply to draw attention to the website and to express how instrumental I think it's been in planning this reunion. I'm indebted to a friend of mine who told me that her senior class used the same site for their reunion and it worked really well. Once we got it up and running, our classmates did the rest by signing up, filling out their profiles and uploading photos.

By the way, if you haven't uploaded photos to your profile page yet, it's not too late. This will help us recognize you Friday & Saturday night.

As soon as the reunion is over I'll be resuming the regular posts here on the SHS 88 blog. They might not be as frequent as they were before Christmas, but I'll at least post a few things each week. The first couple of items we'll have here on the blog will be photos from the reunion and the slideshow that everyone will see this weekend.

See you Friday.

January 12, 2009

The Slideshow is in the Can

Almost. I'll be finalizing it early today. Almost 600 photos and 24 minutes of great memories await all of us on Friday & Saturday night.

Bring kleenex. Seriously.
My wife was crying and she doesn't even know you guys!

The show is designed to take us through elementary, middle and high school up through graduation and senior activities. The photos and music have been carefully selected to best represent our years together. It ends by paying respect to those of our class who are no longer with us. I think you're going to like it.

These will be available for purchase after the reunion - cost & details TBA.

Here's a sneak peek at the DVD cover design:

January 7, 2009

Reunion Attendance Tops 100!

Lot's of action on the 88 website tonight as people continue to register and the Friday attendance tops 100! We even had two new classmates join the site - welcome James - er... um, OFFICER James Holmes and Darren Yarborough.

January 2, 2009

Blog Update

The SHS Class of 88 Blog will be somewhat inconsistent over the next couple of weeks. I'll still be posting some things every few days... but I can't guarantee daily posts until the reunion is over or at least until I get the slide show finished. My apologies to David Damron who has informed me that he gets his daily fix reading the SHS 88 blog each morning before starting his work day! :)

If you're coming to the reunion (and by the way, you only have until NEXT WEDNESDAY JANUARY 7th TO REGISTER!!) you'll see why I need to put the blog on the back burner. I have a folder of over 2000 digital pictures that I have to sort through to see what makes the show & what hits the floor! It's just not possible to maintain the blog, finish the slide show and keep peace with my wife and 4 children all at the same time, so the blog will have to suffer a bit.

In the meantime, maybe you've missed some posts here on the blog & would like to go back and catch up. You can use the "Archives" links in the sidebar, or click on some of the categories below:

Go WAAAAYYY back to Elementary School
Watch all the senior performances during the NHS Lip Sync Contest
Or watch any of the three Senior Plays
Check out Basketball, Football, Cheerleaders or Band articles
Or re-live various graduation memories

All this and much, much more - right here on the SHS Class of 88 Blog! There have been over 150 total posts on this blog since it's inauguration back at the end of July, so please enjoy!

Until next time - whenever that is - I'll leave you with these pics (courtesy of Paula Ferguson)...

...Larry & Cindy Campbell, Paula Ferguson and Trent Allen bundled up during the cold winter...

...and Darren Yarbourough, Kevin Young, Misty Pratt, Andrea Winston, Shelli Smith, David McGhee ('86?), Ky Fiser, Larry Campbell and Jari Seppela enjoying their summer senior trip.