I started writing this letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper 10 years ago when I had been out of high school for 25 years. I stopped because after I read it over I felt like it was just a bit corny and stupid. As I have gotten older… corny and stupid don’t seem as bad these days. So here is an updated version of my 10 year old letter:
It is hard to believe that it has now been 35 years. We were at our graduation ceremony out on the football field behind Northeastern and I blinked… and here I am. Weddings and divorces… births and deaths… wonderful careers and periods of unemployment… huge successes and crushing defeats.. we have seen them all. As we have gotten older, I have taken the time to reflect on things and realize that there are some apologies in order, so here they are: BJ, I want to apologize about that whole soap writing on the window incident at the sewer plant. I was just stupid and immature the way I handled it. if you ever see or talk to Donnie, let her know the idiot finally apologized. Joey, I want to apologize to you for not seeing you in that driving rain storm under that tree on Williams Circle that Sunday night. As you know, I was listening to the Eagles “Life in the Fast Lane”. I guess I was living it a little too fast that night. Carol, I don’t even know where to begin to apologize to you. I can’t thank you enough for your tolerance, patience and your friendship. You made getting through those awkward teenage years a lot easier than I probably deserved for them to be. To all my teachers, I want to apologize for my lack of effort. In looking back, I realize that you didn’t see one tenth of what I was truly capable of doing. I do truly regret that I didn’t put forth a lot more effort. Please don’t feel that your efforts were completely futile. There are lessons that I did take from each and every one of you and I hope that I apply them daily in my life. To all my classmates that I was either mean to or that I failed to help, I most humbly ask your forgiveness. There are situations (some of which will probably show up here) that I just chalk up to being a unsure, self consumed, oblivious teenager. It doesn’t excuse my failure to do what I should have done but I hope that any of you that feel I slighted you will forgive me.
Now, with the apologies out of the way, I have to say that going through those teenage years in Elizabeth City… at Northeastern High School, was the greatest. From the 7th through the 12th grade, we all took the journey together… the teachers we had, the clubs we joined, the sport events we participated in and attended were simply the best. The memories of our lives together carry me through many a day…. I am honored to call you all my friends… and I am proud to be.. the Northeastern High School Class of ’77.