Halloween Day 1989 - North High School, Phoenix, Arizona
I went to a relatively safe inner-city school infested with gang members. In my four years there, I was hauled to security once, and that was by Big Willie (we are friends on Facebook) because I had thrown a grape at my friend, Sara. I was a Freshman and it scared me so much I don't think I have thrown a grape at anyone since. I even fear throwing a grape in the sink if it is slightly wrinkled. I place it gently. Anyway.
So back to the relatively safe thing - I totally give credit to Big Willie and Ron for the safe school that I went to every day. I'm not really kidding when I say it was inner-city. It IS in inner-city Phoenix. There were a lot of kids who claimed to be gang members and I'm not doubting them. But, Big Willie and Ron and the rest of the security team knew E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. They were seriously amazing. I don't even remember fights on campus until my Senior year when things got more volatile.
I LOVED my high school. Loved it. I was so blessed to have gone to such a diverse school. At the time I think it was probably 25% White, 25% Black, 45% Mexican, and about 5% Native American. That is a guess. I would love to see actual statistics.
I love this picture. It was in the yearbook my Senior year of high school and it was taken on Halloween Day. I am in the front with the HUGE permed hair. Black sweater. This is a good representation of the diversity of my school. I didn't know everyone in the picture, but I know quite a few people. They literally just grabbed a bunch of us at lunch and threw us in the picture. There were people from different grades, different backgrounds, different everything. I wish I had the original.
Today our local high school was on lockdown because a call came into the police department from someone who saw two men with a gun in the apartment parking lot behind the school. On the one hand, I was glad that the school took precautions. On the other hand, I wondered how often my high school would have been shut down under those circumstances. At the time we had an open campus and could pretty much come and go as we pleased. I know that my high school is gated and closed now.
This is really just a shout out to the adults that cared about us enough to keep us safe, and also got to know us well enough that 20 years later they are our friends on Facebook. Willie Craig, Marilyn Buhler, Suellen Brahs, Daniel Dodge...just to name a few! THANK YOU.