Belton • 1989-1995

In 1989, the Sebecks flew across the Atlantic as a military family for the last time.  The Department of Defense changed our orders from Colorado Springs to Fort Hood within the last month of packing, and all my dreams of being an Olympic skier turned in to fears of sleeping with rattlesnakes and living in a dust bowl.  [Let me note here that it would be another 5 years before I would see a snake… and that would be out in the woods along the creek bed. I never saw a rattlesnake in my yard until I moved to California.  Go figure.]

We found a house on 5 acres in Belton about 5 miles from where my life started in the trailer on Dog Ridge Road.  My mom started teaching at Nolanville Elementary, where she still teaches today.  Danny started 4th grade at Southwest Elementary, while I started 7th grade at Belton Junior High.

Jack was still with us.  We added Bustar shortly before we knew we would lose Jack in 1991.  That basset hound traveled more than most satellites.  We also brought over our new, red, 1988 Jeep Laredo which just finally went to its junkyard-Maker about 5 years ago.

In October of 1990 (8th grade), my father was sent overseas with Delta Company 1/32 Armor to serve in Desert Storm.  He would miss that year’s Christmas photo but returned 9 months later in April of 1991.  They let me miss school the day he returned and didn’t count my absence against me on my attendance record.  I remember that being a really big deal to me.  War.  Perfect Attendance.  You know.

I met Christan and Amanda (and Rachel and Zoe and Teresa…) hours after starting junior high.  We would meet before school around the oak tree in the courtyard, wearing our Umbros and white Keds.  Amanda and I were the only ones to NOT receive an award at our final choir banquet in 1995.  We remain close.

I met Anna in 9th grade.  She is in nearly every one of my high school photos.  We went to France together (French Club) and New York (Vicki Boren, Thespians) and Mardi Gras (Kremer and French Club, again).  Our parents would not let us drive past the county line, but we could take planes with adults.  Anna, what are you looking at?  Katie, why all the perms?  So many questions from the early 90s.  So many questions.

I got my driver’s license the summer after I turned 16, the same year my father retired from the military (1993), the same year Clinton was elected to office.  I drove a new, maroon, s10 pickup truck… and drove it until it died in 2004.  That truck went from Texas to North Carolina to back to Texas to California to Colorado to Michigan.  It was hit by Christan’s dad on Christmas Eve, a semi-truck on my mom’s birthday, and a lady in a mini-van on the 4th of July.  It also survived me backing out of the garage with the door down (Danny’s fault) and hitting a lamp post base in the school parking lot.  It was a good, solid truck.

I would lose all musical credibility my senior year by choosing to perform in the senior play over auditioning for the Texas All State Choir after placing 1st at both Region and Area.  It was totally worth it.  Look: a genuine smile.   (Michele, that’s your sister-in-law hugging me.  Oh. My. GOSH.) 

I am still extremely self-conscious in photos.  I ruined an entire roll of film and drove my mother to tears by making faces at the last second for this senior photo-shoot… me in my huge, over-sized varsity jacket (for choir, not sports… but you knew that).   Using humor to cover insecurity was a new talent for me, and I used it relentlessly.  That’s one of our former Christmas trees in the background, planted and happy.  Sebecks are recyclers.

Sorry about the roll of film, Mom.

In 1995, I graduated as a Belton Tiger with Honors and Thespian cords.  Our class song was Garth Brook’s The River.  Our yearbook printed the wrong year on the book’s spine and a DIFFERENT wrong year under our class photo.  I’m trying to be less country for you, but it doesn’t seem possible.

I was accepted late to Texas A&M University.  I had never been on campus and never seen a game.  I had spent 6 years in one house, in one school, in one town… my longest stretch ever, and I was ready to move.

I took Anna with me, of course.

What was your first car?

Timeline posts are a chance for me to get my life in order.  Literally.

1976-1978 • Belton

1978-1980 • Schonaich

1980-1985 • Fort Knox

1985-1989 • Erlangen


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

22 responses to “Belton • 1989-1995

  • Nancy

    my first car was actually a 65 Pontiac Bonneville…It came as a package deal when I got married in 71… Still married after 40 years, but we traded that huge boat of a car in for a VW bug in 73…

  • Tricia

    I remember your truck, and I can still hear you telling me in very technical terms how to know you’ve made a complete stop: “wait until you feel the puh-chunk.” I still say puh-chunk in my head… and scold my husband for not waiting for it. 🙂
    My first car was a hand-me-down from my oldest brother– an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, circa 1985, maybe? It was a good car, but then any car is good when you’re sixteen and desperate for more freedom than is really good for you….

  • zoe

    I too remember the truck ….and your wonderful letters you wrote me while I was in California. You were a wonderful writer even then.
    love the pic of the high school choir gals 🙂

    My first car was a maroon Nissan Sentra…..I didn’t get my license until I was 17 and after completing 2 drivers ed classes cause I am just that cool.

    • texasnorth

      I remember writing you when you were in Cali, too. I was so very sad that you had left! There are so many hilarious choir photos… and one of me and Amanda with our non-award faces. It’s been so funny to look through those photos with 35 year-old eyes now.

  • Anna

    If I remember correctly, your truck was garnet, not maroon. I don’t remember why this was important, but it’s 20 years later and I remember that, so there you go.

    My first car was the Hoopty. I think if I tried I could actually remember the kind of car it was, but I think hoopty sums it up enough. I do remember it was a 1977 model, because we were the same age. I was so jealous of your truck. And by the way, to this day, I can’t drive back from Fort Hood on 190 under a certain pedestrian walkway without thinking about the Fourth of July.

    Can you remember why we weren’t happy with the way we looked? Because I look at those pictures and think, dang, we looked good and were thin!

    • texasnorth

      It’s true. Everything. I remember that a lady backed into my door while sitting at a gas station in your ’77 hoopty. And, yes. The truck was garnet. I totally forgot that. It was important that it NOT be maroon when I was undecided (or un-accepted) on college. But then we went to A&M and it became, of course, maroon.

      I can’t drive to Ft. Hood without thinking of the 4th of July and the wreck (you and I and Christan and I were in a lot of wrecks. Hmmmm.) and the concerts.

      And New York and France! I totally forgot to put that in there! I need to before I forget again.

  • Corrie

    Katie, I’m loving getting to know your past through these blog posts! You’re an amazing writer.

    My first car was a 1989 Ford Tempo… baby blue with light pink pinstriping on the sides, which my brother tried and failed to scrape off in the two years the car was his before being passed on to me. This was 1998. I named her Toby. Her muffler fell off on the way to school one day. She had automatic seatbelts that moved forward when you opened the door and back when you shut the door… until they broke. Then she just made an awful “Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” noise when you opened the door, as she tried to make the seatbelt move. Did I mention my mom reversed her jeep into it, punching a hole into the side? Which she then covered up with a smily face sticker and another little one that said “crashing sucks”? Did wonders for my confidence at my catholic HS where most kids were getting brand new cars for their 16th birthday. But I loved that car. Loved her till she kicked the bucket in 2002.

    Keep the stories coming! We should plan a little reunion once our family makes it back to Ohio 🙂 We’re going to see your brother and Sarah this weekend on the coast.

    • texasnorth

      Baby blue with light pink pinstriping. THAT is the best first car ever. EVER. Catholic school or not 🙂

      I’m so jealous you and the fam are headed to see Danny and Sarah! I’m hoping to get out thereat Christmas or right in the new year. Squeeze them hard for me!

  • Amy B.

    And to think, we thought we’d never look as outdated as our moms did in the photos they showed us from their youth. It’s been an affront to my (apparently imagined) good taste to have that debunked by Mr. Griggs’ incessant postings of photos from my high school days on Facebook. The perms. The BANGS! The glasses that covered 3/4 of my face! What were we thinking? How did we not know how ridiculous that would look in 20 years?!

    • texasnorth

      Mister Griggs, indeed. That man is on a mission to kill any good memory we have of the visual past!

      • Anna

        You should see some of the things my students wear — not just the sagging and Ed Hardy stuff, but it’s like the 80’s all over again. Neon colors, ripped jeans, LEGWARMERS, like they came up with it. I tell them to take pictures, lots and lots of them, especially on the days they have put together special outfits they’re really proud of, and make sure to post them to Facebook and tag, tag, tag everyone. Because in about 15 years, that is going to be comedy gold. (Well, it’s comedy gold for me now, but they’ll catch up eventually.)

        • texasnorth

          Like they came up with it. We were in the big city this weekend and some kids were in front of us… baby blue shorts and George Michael tank tops with pink and green stripes. I’m not sure how that decade got permission to COME BACK, but obviously no one tried to stop it. Of course I’m not going to stop it. They’ll see. THEY’LL SEE.

  • Dori (Dieckert) Williams

    I thought you were just the coolest chick ever and you were SO nice to me and acted like you didn’t mind me hanging on you and looking through you purse. All Sebecks are super nice and tolerant of annoying kid sisters!

    • texasnorth

      Aw, Friend… you were (and are) such a beautiful lady. I never for one second minded you hanging on me. Your mom continues to be one of the most lovely women alive. If the Dieckerts had a fan club, I would be the president.

  • hopefulleigh

    Love the pictures! My first car was a gray, rusted out ’87 Cavalier. It was only for around town. Highway driving would have killed it. But it did the trick!

  • lia

    Ford Aspire New in 1995. I made the down payment it with the money.. my money that I made at Dinos Delicious Yogurt.

  • Carley

    My first car was a ’92 Chevy Cavalier. I got it used in ’98, from a guy who’s dog rode everywhere with him. Every. Where. So. The car smelled like dog. To the max. After having it professionally cleaned it wasn’t too bad. It was still a cool enough car for a 17 year old. Smell and all. Fun Fact: I also found $300 in the trunk of the car one day while I was cleaning it. That was awesome.

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