Monday, August 06, 2007

Brats Homecoming

I grew up as an Air Force Brat and moved around quite a bit as a kid. This weekend I attended a "Overseas Brats Homecoming" that was held in the D/FW Hyatt. I wasn't really looking forward to it. My sister has a friend who said that she was going to come to it and my sis didn't want to go to this event alone. So, we signed up for it months ago. The friend never showed and we were on our own.

High school was not something I look back on fondly. I attended 4 different high schools and just wanted the hell out. I have fond memories of Junior High. We were in Baumholder Germany for three years (7th, 8th & 9th grades), so it was a very good stable time for me.

By the time we moved to Naples Italy, which is where I graduated from high school, I was just burned out on typical High School BS. My senior year, I had an Italian boyfriend who had a car. Much of my time in school was spent waiting until school let out so I could go hang out with him and his family. Lunch time, for me, was spent hiding in my Physics teacher's room reading a book and eating a packed lunch.

So I wasn't really looking forward to this weekend. We didn't know anyone.

But you know what, my sis and I had a great time. If anything, it was a great time spent with my sis. She lives in Valley Ranch, which is fairly close by, but life gets in the way and we just don't get to see each other that much.

The other thing that was a little uncomfortable was what to do at the homecoming. Well, the organizers had several hospitality suites set up and everyone hung out in each suite. We visited the Italian suite and the folks there had old year books and photos of Naples. There were several folks there who graduated in 1981. They were a lot of fun and we had similar memories and shared teachers. They also had Italian beer, wine, and espresso.

We also went to the German hospitality suite. The lady who runs (which is located here in Southlake) had come up the night before and brought a ton of candy. So their suite was the candy suite. I ended up meeting up with a guy who was in Baumholder when I was there. He was in the grade ahead of me. He had done an incredible job of keeping up with former students. I was amazed. I also met up with my seventh grade English teacher - Mr. Hobbs (H-O-B-B-S). We were his first seventh grade class he'd ever taught as he liked teaching the seniors. It was great meeting him again and just reminded me how much I loved his class and him, too. Turns out he's retired to Tyler. I hope to keep in contact with him as we weren't really able to visit as well as I had wanted to do. We had another guy there who had graduated in 1982. He was very difficult to talk around and my sister and I were amazed that we were as polite to him as we were. He was very closed minded and would make derogatory remarks towards gays (we had several gay teachers overseas, but it was never an issue). He was also very religious and made derogatory remarks toward some of the teachers who taught all those years ago. We were very tolerant of him as we really didn't want to offend him. It would have been nice to be able to talk to Mr. Hobbs without the gentleman there, but alas. . . we couldn't.

It was fun to go. I was surprised at how much fun it was.

Visiting Europe is nice, but living there is a totally different experience. I have, over the years, actively not thought about it because the feelings it brings up sometimes is similar to grieving. I will never live over there and give those experiences to my family. It's difficult to explain, but the people I met at the Homecoming know it all too well.

No comments: