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.


  1. WOW. Thanks, CUZ! Wasn't expecting to weep at 5:30am today, but that was just PERFECT. So glad that you were able to be there for part of it to see just how much you meant to all of us. I haven't written a poem since high school, but if I were to try to write one about the reunion, I would want it to convey the same sentiments. Love you and miss you all!

  2. OK ... I did a second-rate Dr. Seuss knock-off, and Mr. Ausbrooks follows by one-upping Longfellow. Perhaps that's why he was the teacher, and I wasn't. No wonder we loved the guy, who obviously played a big role in many of our lives. By the way, it was great seeing all of you again!

    ... Andy Mayberry

  3. Amazing!!! Too bad there are not many teachers like you left. I too like Vicki cried today! I am so glad God placed a man like you in earth to help mold all of us into what we are today. Many thanks!

  4. It was absolutely shocking to hear such eloquent and touching words coming from the same man who once coined the phrase, "Don't give me no flack, Flint." Ausbrooks, You da man. Very few teachers care for their students the way you do. You made a big difference in the lives of the Class of 88 and you are still. I pray that I can build the kind of relationships with my students that you have built with us.
    By the way, I just wanted to tell you that Mrs. Ausbrooks (and you) have raised 3 awesome kids.
    Good Job!

  5. Hi Mr. Ausbrooks! What a beautiful poem! It was so great seeing you again after all these years. Even though I only had you for Earth Science in 9th grade, I still remember you as one of my most fun teachers. I must've really learned a lot too--I've always enjoyed astronomy, weather and geology (from an "armchair" perspective)--and yours was the only science class in which I received an "A." Thanks for your interest in your students so long ago, and I know we all count ourselves fortunate to call you friend as well. Looking forward to our next reunion!

  6. I'm really impressed! You should write a book. Teachers like you are very rare. Most of them don't leave the kind of impression you've left on all of us.
    By the way, what ever happened to your wife's 'vette? You know, the Chevette?

    Kathy Flynt James

    1. She ran it off into the prime meridian (median) one cold day. No chain would reach her to pull her out so I used two rolls of barbed wire to hook to the car and pull her out.