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