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


Roy Exum: One Nameless Ghost

One hundred years ago the United States was at war. The most intense fighting during World War I was on what was called The Western Front. The Germans wanted to invade France from the north and in order to do it, they had to push through Flanders province in Belgium. It has been described as a hell unequalled in raw hand-to-hand combat, In just four months on Flanders fields, ... (click for more)

Parking Discrimination Downtown

Many taxpayers who reside in Chattanooga (but outside Chattanooga's core) feel left behind when it comes to neighborhood paving, sidewalks, policing, streetscaping, street sweeping, public transportation, and other services. Some think most tax dollars are spent on downtown and not in their neighborhoods. It's not as if they can't vicariously experience the largesse of downtown. ... (click for more)

Strong Thunderstorm Causes Damage, Power Outages In Dalton

Shortly before  5 p.m. , a strong thunderstorm went through downtown Dalton, knocking down numerous trees, causing power outages and also causing damage. At this time, no injuries have been reported.  The Dalton Fire Department and Dalton Police Department responded to multiple reports of damage. The DPD closed several roads due to downed trees and power lines. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Honors Military Veterans

A Memorial Day service was held at the National Cemetery on Monday. (click for more)

Seth Ruhling Wins Chattanooga Chase 8K And One Mile

It has been six years since Seth Ruhling ran the Chattanooga Chase and maybe he had forgotten just how tough that 8K course really is, but that’s didn’t seem to matter Monday morning as he celebrated Memorial Day with victory in the Chattanooga Track Club’s oldest race. Ruhling graduated from Collegedale Academy in 2013 and is now a 21-year-old student at Southern Adventist ... (click for more)

Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic Set For Saturday at CCS

The 13th Annual Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic, presented by Great Clips, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday June 4 at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga. Tennessee defeated Georgia 38-14 last June at McCallie School in Chattanooga. It was Tennessee's fourth consecutive victory in the series that dates back to the first game held at Ridgeland High in ... (click for more)