Posts Tagged ‘Lockney High School


Plainview, Texas – “You’ll go NUTS over us!”

Why is it that when I find myself (almost) the subject of notoriety, it’s always something that’s cast in such a rotten light?

First it was the Lockney ISD mandatory student drug testing thing.  The resulting lawsuit and media hoopla (we even merited a PBS documentary — no foolin’) overshadowed an otherwise pleasant first year of teaching, waaaaaay back in 1999-2000.

Last month, said school burned down, the alleged results of alleged arsonists with alleged teen angst that allegedly got WAY out of hand.   (For the record, I love both of the alleged girls dearly… and I wish I could express to both of them how much I and others are hurting for them.  I hope I allegedly get to do so in the alleged future.)

And now our local peanut plant has put my town in the national spotlight, because YES it’s owned by the same idiots who own the Blakeley, Georgia plant that has been at the root of (so far) over 600 salmonella poisonings and 8 deaths, and YES it hasn’t been inspected by health inspectors since it opened about 5 years ago, and YES an independent test confirmed the presence of the bacterium here too…

But come ON, folks… let’s not drown in all this negative press.  I think the hometown of Jimmy Dean and Jim Clark deserves a better legacy than THIS one.  Let’s pull out the big guns.  Let’s ignite the passions and imaginations of Hometown America and the entire free world.

I’m all for an aggressive bumper sticker campaign.

Maybe it could say something like, “PLAINVIEW:  It Could Be WORSE — You COULD Be Living In Blakeley, Georgia”

I’m open to more bumper sticker suggestions in the comment section.  Go nuts.


Back in business…

Me in the choir room biology/chemistry lab at First Baptist Church LHS – Downtown Campus.

Things are going surprisingly well.  Cozy.  Very cozy.


My school burned down…

More info when I have time to get it posted.  Here’s a link to pictures of LHS taken this morning: flames and smoke still present. (CLICK)

Classes are set to start back up Wednesday in two churches downtown.  Fitting — we could really use some serious divine help right now.


Of Longhorns and Wildcats…


It was 6:30 PM, Friday, May 30th. At River Road High School, alumni from the last thirty years were converging on the new school building–open only a few months–to catch up on the latest news and reflect on the good times with old friends, many of which had gone unseen for a decade or more.

It was called “Old School Meets New School,” and I had been looking forward to attending for the last several months. Since my graduation in May of 1995, I had visited my alma mater just once, for a football game during my Freshman year of college. I’m not sure who won. I’m not sure I cared then.

Like most teenagers, the real joys of high school were lost on me. My own obsession with how others might perceive me kept me from ever actually seeing any of them, aside from a few bosom friends and several tired cliches.

I was very enthusiastic about the idea of a 10-year class reunion back in 2005. For some reason though, it never materialized beyond a mail out that I received asking for a preferred date for said event. I dutifully returned it, and waited in vain for the next several weeks for further news. I chalked it up at the time to lack of enthusiasm on the part of my former classmates. It’s always easier to blame an amorphous group than it is to single out an individual.

But THIS was going to be different! Thanks to the marvels of (cough, gag) MySpace, I had been in contact with no fewer than 7 or 8 old friends who assured me that they would be there. So I told them I would be, too.

LonghornsSo at 6:30 I found myself, roughly 100 miles away, driving madly to the graduation of the Lockney High School Class of 2008.

I spent the next hour and a half in a sweaty, stuffy, criminally-overcrowded gymnasium, struggling not to pass out from heat exhaustion or special music.

Around 8:30, when my old friends were meeting up at a ritzy Amarillo dance hall for a late dinner and more fun, I was standing in the road at the corner of 4th and Poplar Streets, madly dashing toward the few remaining red gowns lost in a sea of noise, sweat, love, and melancholy. A handshake here, a hug there, a laugh or two, and those ever-present, insufficient words: “Congratulations. Well done. I’m proud of you.”

So much more I want to say. So many other things I wish I had expressed during the countless moments of classroom monotony. So many missed opportunities.

At 9:00, I pull my tired Mitsubishi out of the teeming cloud of Lockney, Texas. And I wonder how many of these wonderful kids I will ever see again. How many will succeed in their grand visions. How many will face tragedy, heartbreak, suffering, or will fall prey to the small town animal which they all pledged time and time again to unleash and escape.

So, am I sorry that I missed my reunion? Yeah. Of course.

But by God, I don’t know if I could have lived with myself if I hadn’t said goodbye and godspeed to those young men and women in red on that night.

Go Horns. With all my blessings, and with all my heart.

Cats… our time will come.

The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
February 2020
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