Remembering 25 Years Of Friendship

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Let's take a trip to the summer of 1989. President George H. W. Bush was President, acid wash pants and loud colors were the style, and the airwaves were filled with the most awesome music. However, it was the summer that also was met with some skepticism. Both Valley View and John A. Patten graduated their last sixth grade classes. In fact, John A. Patten Elementary was closing its doors and that fall moved all their children to Valley View Elementary School making it K-5. However, unknown to us there was another item that would have a big effect when we went back to school.
We found out later a number of African-American students, who lived in St. Elmo, would be attending Lookout Valley Middle/High School. Now before this I had a few friends who were "black", but I did not know a lot of them. 

As the first day started I can only imagine what some of these youth were thinking especially as they crossed the railroad bridge on Cummings Highway. We at Valley View had a few students before then who were black. These were the Mason children so seeing more "black" children didn't bother me. However, as new youths came off the bus it was strange.  However, I became friends with many of them.

Over the next few month tensions were a little high, but many of the youths came together and became friends. In fact more African-Americans came with the closing of Kirkman High in 1990. Over the next five years we had some problems just like a lot of other schools, and uneducated children caused some issues. However, we became stronger and many of those children are friends to this day. 

Our savior loves everyone black, brown, white, straight, gay, atheist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, and so on. Today, I'm glad I have gotten to know everyone I have known over the years. Let's leave the color where it belongs in a box of color sharpies. 

To my friends Claude Pepe Mason, Chad Mason, Almondo Hill, Mark Clemons, the Patel Family, and others, thank you for being great friends. Lookout Valley High would have not been the same without you. I look back on 25 years, and I see some gains and some fall backs. However, as the old quote stated, "Rome was not built in a day." We just need to strive for showing love to one another.

Alex McKeel, Lookout Valley

Capitol Hill Week Senate And House Republicans

School safety and the state budget headlined action on Capitol Hill this week as Governor Bill Haslam presented an amendment to his fiscal year 2018-2019 spending plan.  The new proposal includes $25 million in nonrecurring and $5.2 million in recurring school safety grants to protect students.  The action comes as members of a School Safety Working Group, appointed earlier ... (click for more)

Cameron Hill (What If?)

I enjoyed looking at the photo article of Cameron Hill, but did so with a sense of sadness and loss. As an old man, retired, I have plenty of reflecting time. I was just a kid, barely 10 years old, when the destruction began, but even in those days I paid more attention to the news than a 10-year-old should, and I remember the controversy between the city and County Historian Zella ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Debating Future Of Mountain Center; Vice Mayor Gee Goes Off Council After Marrying And Moving Out Of Town Limits

A discussion regarding the Mountain Arts Community Center lease and memorandum of agreement with a non- profit organization that has been formed with a proposed to manage it took place at the Signal Mountain town council meeting Friday afternoon. City Manager Boyd Veal had created a document for the purpose of starting a discussion and to identify how the council would like to move ... (click for more)

Students OK After Bag Containing Meth Found At Nolan Elementary

Officials say students at Nolan Elementary School on Signal Mountain are okay after discovering a bag that contained meth. The incident happened on Friday afternoon during a reading fair.  Principal Dr. Shane Harwood sent this message to parents: "Good Afternoon Nolan Families - We wanted to share some information related to an event that has taken ... (click for more)

Ooltewah, Meigs County Post Wins In Ooltewah Invitational Softball

On the first full day of play in the Ooltewah Invitational, the host Lady Owls and two-time Class A state champion Meigs County posted impressive wins at The Summit. Ooltewah’s Hadley Morrow overcame a rough start and scattered seven hits, Kayla Boseman smacked a two-run home run in a three-run fourth inning, center-fielder Addy Keylon made a sensational catch to save a homer ... (click for more)

Hixson Rally Tops Notre Dame In 5-4 Thriller

The Hixson Wildcats collected a dozen hits in Thursday’s baseball win over Boyd-Buchanan and they made it five wins in a row on Friday over Notre Dame, despite getting only half as many hits. The bottom line is this:   Who cares how many hits you get as long as you score more runs than the opposing team? The Wildcats only had six, but they were able to score five runs ... (click for more)