Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Going Home

The old adage is that you can never go home again. There is of course a very real sense in which that is true. Especially if you’ve been away from that place you identify as “home” for quite some time, in all likelihood both you and the location will have changed so much that nothing will be exactly as it was, as you remember it. Fully aware of those facts, I’m still excitedly looking forward to a trip to what was home for me during my formative years.

I grew up in the small south Texas town of George West, about 90 miles south of San Antonio and some 60 miles from Corpus Christi. Though we had moved around several times before I turned six, we stayed in George West and I attended school there all the way from first grade through graduation from high school. It was one of those small towns (population about 2000) where you know everyone. My folks moved from there shortly after I finished high school to be closer to their work in Alice, 40 miles further south in Highway 281. They had commuted back and forth all those years because they liked the atmosphere of George West and the great school system this small town offered.

Other than attending one high school reunion (the only one I was aware of for my class was a five-year reunion back in 1976) and going back for a funeral, I’ve not really spent any time in George West since graduating from there in 1971. I was pleasantly surprised about a month ago when I got a phone call out of the blue from one of my former football teammates who informed me that someone had taken the initiative to gather all the old films from our games and compile them on DVDs—a separate one for each season that we played. He also told me that those who played in those years were going to gather on June 30th out at the fair grounds coliseum to watch highlights of those games and to eat and spend some time together.

I wasn’t sure initially that I could clear my calendar to make the trip, but decided that it was too important of an opportunity to pass up to renew acquaintances with the guys that I shared a lot of hours with on the practice field and on Friday nights. Yes, Friday Night Lights is a Texas reality. The whole town turned out for our games. We compiled a pretty good record the two years I played on the varsity. We went 18-2-1, including shutting out 8 teams my junior year. Our one loss that year, 36-22, cost us the district title. We had given up just one touchdown all year prior to that game and it was on a punt return. We won the district championship my senior year, only to be annihilated in the bi-district game against the eventual state champ in Division 2A.

I’m excited about seeing these long-lost friends and catching up on old times a bit. My high school class voted me as Most Likely to Succeed. I’m certain that by the world’s standards and in comparison with what some of them have achieved in terms of financial wealth, I won’t appear very successful. Still, I’m looking forward to sharing my story, relating how the Lord has led in the life of my family during these years. I trust that I’ll have opportunities to share a word about God’s faithfulness along the way and just maybe to help point some to the Savior.

3 comments:

GuyMuse said...

I think you have surely lived up to the "most likely to succeed" vote of your classmates. Maybe not in the way the world sees success, but your life is making a diffence. Have a good trip to S. Texas.

Anonymous said...

I remember you and your family. My mom was Leora Ryan and taught first grade and my dad was Jim Ryan and was a welder. I think you and your family went to our church (First Baptist). You have a brother, right. I graduated in 1971 and have the same great memories of our childhood as you do. I have always felt blessed to have been raised in GW. My class was extremely close and we have had a reunion every 5 years and I have been lucky enough to go back to most of them. We just had our 40th!!!! and it was a huge success and we loved seeing each other and "remembering". I enjoyed reading your blog (the first I ever have). Ronnie Spross forwarded it to me. I think you have lived a wonderful life and have been a great credit to GW and our Lord!

Sari Ryan Martin

Gary Snowden said...

Sari,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Ronnie and I swapped some emails a week or so ago after he stumbled across my blog. We did in fact attend FBC George West all of those years and I also graduated from GWHS in 1971. I'm sorry that I'm struggling to remember you. The only class reunion that I ever knew about was the first one at 5 years in 1976. We were overseas from 1987 until 2002 as missionaries so I lost track of lots of people and didn't receive notification about any other reunions. About the only person I've had some contact with is Glynis (Holmes) Strause who filled me in via email a couple of years ago about what some of our old classmates were up to after she saw my mom at a funeral there in George West.

Do you still live in George West?