This weekend, we celebrated our 30th class reunion. Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since my classmates and I walked across the stage of Century II to forever become alumni of Wichita North High School.
I consider myself fortunate in that my days in high school were significant and a whole lot of fun. I was active in theater, music, and writing; attended every varsity football game and most basketball games; hung out in the parking lot behind Godfather’s Pizza and even dragged Douglas Street. Sure, I could’ve studied more, taken better college preparatory classes, and skipped a few parties, but overall, my memories of high school are sentimental, maybe a little romantic, but definitely positive.
And there is something about being a graduate of Wichita North High. The architecture is inspiring, the history of the school written upon its steep, brick walls, and contained behind the stained glass of its tower. The land upon which the school was built is historic and meaningful, and possibly this rich narrative along the banks of the Arkansas River is the reason those who have walked its halls and exited its doors as alumni are forever etched in its tradition.
There is pride in being a graduate of Wichita High School North and it spans across its classes, from the first graduating class of 1929 to the upcoming class of 2015. North High alumni are truly part of a tribe in its truest definition as a community. This sense of belonging is apparent when I look at those closest to me, because the majority of them are North High graduates. My husband is also a North High graduate.
As we toured the renovations of our alma mater, I imagined the echoes of voices and the slamming of red and white lockers; the smell of hamburgers on the grill across 13th Street at Jack’s Carryout; the ghosts of those days from 1984 almost palpable; and I realized how privileged I am to be a small part of this history, this story. Throughout the weekend, I was grateful to share in the story, grateful for the friends I made, and grateful to always carry this sense of belonging.