Sunday, September 10, 2006

The reunion

We had a decent turnout for the reunion last night. And while many of us remembered one another, we were very thankful to have nametags for the event.

The event was terrific for networking as many of us found out that we took similar career paths. Additionally, many classmates who are now parents (quite of few of you) were able to share tips with each other.

Overall, it was nice to get to see one another and find out what everyone is up to. Many of us that are now reconnected have promised to stay in touch with each other and have offered one another a place to stay when visiting.

For those of you who did not attend, I encourage you to attend the next reunion.

Many thanks to the reunion committee--Tonia Snyder Nation, Beth Townsend Laskowski, Jeff Shirah, Lisa Johnson Brown and Amy Weeks Frizalone.

A few photos online

I've created a Flickr group for the reunion. I've uploaded a few photos from the game and from the reunion. Go to


Yesterday, some of us gathered for a BBQ at Clement Taylor Park in Destin. Though we were not sure if the weather was going to cooperate (it was forecasted to pour), we were happy the rain stayed away. There was a small yet good group of people who showed up to chow down on the Sonny's BBQ and bring the family along to meet one another.

Though some classmates gathered on Friday night, this was the first chance for many of us to see one another. Everyone looked pretty much the same (ie. we all aged gracefully). However, we still knew one another's faces, but it had been 10 years so we kept asking one another for names.

Fellow classmates played with one another's kids while others chatted about what had been going on in their lives since high school.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The game

I elected not to meet up at TGI Friday's with everyone before the game, so I have no idea what happened. My parents invited my husband and I over, and I choose to spend the first part of the night with them and then walk from their house (right near FWBHS) to the stadium since I wasn't sure what parking would be like.

Right around kickoff time, it began to rain slightly. We decided to wait a few minutes for the rain to taper off a little. It did and we grabbed a few umbrellas and began our walk. Within a minute or so, the rain picked up...then it picked up some more...and some more...and...before we reached FWBHS, we were completely soaked despite our use of large golf umbrellas. The rain was flying in sideways and the wind was blowing rather harshly. Before we got there, lightning struck a few times and the game was called off before I could even get close enough to see the field. Sadly, we began our drenched walk home.

After getting back to the house and drying off, I talked to a few friends that had the foresight not to go because of the rain. I hung out with my parents for a few hours before finding out the game re-started somewhere around 10:00 p.m. Though the rain was long gone, I elected to drive over to the game so I could see the new stadium and astroturf field. I got there near the end of the third quarter. The score was 12-7, East Gadsden. Though the Vikes tried hard, they did not prevail and that was also the ending score. Disappointing.

My take on the stadium? It's nice that FWBHS now has its own stadium. I think having astroturf will in time provide the Vikings with a unique homefield advantage since they'll be used to playing on it. There is no track circling the football field. I found this rather odd. However, the absence of a track puts the bleachers right on top of the sidelines. You can hear everything the players (and coaches) along the sidelines are saying during the game. It's actually close enough for a crazed football players parent to get into a physical altercation with the coach for yelling at his son (especially since you can hear the coaches).

The bleachers are different from before, but not drastically different. Yes, even though the seats are red. The seats are after all, still metal, in the same location as before, and don't appear capable to hold enough people for the Choctaw FWB game...let alone parking for that game.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Day one observations

Today was my first day in FWB for our reunion. I spent the day bumming around and taking in everything that has changed in the area since I moved away. And although I only moved away a few years ago, things are drastically different.

For starters, Ivan completely wiped away the sand dunes on the island. Back in high school, you could only see the gulf from one or two spots along 98. Now, you can see the gulf almost continuously as you are driving. As you look to the soundside, the water appears nearly at eye level. While it is a prettier view, I miss the sand dunes and all the time I spent playing around on them growing up.

I also noticed that massive retail giants are finally beginning to take notice of our area. Starbucks seem to be popping up as if it's NYC. Everywhere I turned, I saw Starbucks. While I enjoyed this (I'm a loyal Starbucks addict), there were a few people around Fort Walton Square standing outside protesting the opening of Starbucks. Additionally, I saw the Hard Rock Cafe at Destin Commons and a brand new Ruth's Chris Steak House. (This is especially impressive since they only have 90 locations worldwide.)

However, what I did not notice was the beginning of true economic diversification of FWB/Destin. Retail, retail everywhere. No good (or good paying) jobs in my opinion. This is the reason I left FWB shortly after college and the reason I probably will never return. The area is gorgeous and I miss family and friends that still live there, but each time I return to FWB I'm reminded of why I left. Hopefully, things in this realm will eventually change.

Monday, August 21, 2006

First home game in new stadium this week

On Friday, August 25, FWBHS will have their first home game in the new stadium. No more going to Etheredge Stadium or having to share the field! How convenient would this have been ten years ago? Here's the entire football season schedule.

Update (9/4/06): The Vikes lost the first home game from Aug. 25 but came back to beat Rutherford on Sep. 1.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lost Vikings

We need your help. We still have some missing classmates. Check the list and see if you can help us locate anyone. If so, contact Beth at

Friday, August 18, 2006

Deadline for early registration

Oops. I almost missed the deadline, too. However, today is the deadline for early registration. Head on over to the official class reunion site and make your payment.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Other people's high school reunion experiences

Based on my last post, I figured it might be helpful to find a few firsthand accounts of people's high school reunions. From another quick Technorati search, I came up with the following sites with information on their experiences:
And from a YouTube search: