Adopted by Class of ‘99

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By Tommie Kendall

The paper work has yet to start, but I’ve decided to make myself eligible to be adopted by the Henry County High School Class of 1999. I’m crossing my fingers hoping they accept this invitation.

Our paths started together in kindergarten, then split apart, and now we’ll meet up once more on Oct. 17 at the 10-year class reunion. It’s destiny. My wife graduated from Henry County in 1999 and I graduated from Shelby County High School in 2000. And I’m more excited about her 10-year reunion than I would be about my own. I’ve been counting down the days for a while now.

When that 1999 class started school in the mid-1980s, I was one of them at Campbellsburg Elementary. I sat at the round table closest to the teacher with a boy on my right side and a girl on my left. I remember this because that boy threw up all over himself one day in the middle of class and I laughed so hard that I almost puked, too — the teacher yelled at me and I was in trouble for the rest of the day but could not stop giggling. As for that girl on my left side, she did an awful lot of flirting. She was cute, but not my type.

I have a lot of memories from that year. I remember that first day back to school after Christmas when we were allowed to bring one toy to school. I brought Lion-O, the main character from the cartoon Thundercats. With his bright-orange hair, he could swing his arms up and down, had a big sword and his eyes could light up. I thought I would have the coolest toy that day; I was wrong. Another boy brought a toy motorcycle that could ride all the way across the floor by itself. I tried to impress my classmates with Lion-O’s quick arm movement but they were too busy watching that motorcycle jump over wooden blocks. I will admit, it was cool.

I have a lot more memories from that year, including the girl that tried to kiss me each morning at the bus stop and our kindergarten graduation when I could not remember what I was supposed to do. The video that I watched years later backs me up on this one.

After that school year, my family moved to Louisville and I left my classmates behind. I think I must have rebelled because I was terrible during my “first year” of first grade. I got my name written on the chalk board at least four times each day and had to sit out during recess every day except once. (We were playing dodge ball on that day and I was so excited to be able to run around that I sprinted straight up to the girl with the ball and she tagged me out. I then had to go to the sideline for the rest of recess. I was bummed.) My mom even had to come sit beside me all day during class once. Somehow, I didn’t get recess that day either. I say it was because I was supposed to be with that 1999 class in Henry County.

Fast forward more than a decade and I was finally reconnected with my original classmates. As a junior at Shelby County, I started dating a Henry County senior whom I would eventually marry. I ended up going with that 1999 class to prom, their senior trip, project graduation and I watched from the bleachers in that hot gym during that June graduation. At that senior trip to Kings Island — not sure how I ended up going on that one — that girl I sat beside in kindergarten remembered my name. I was surprised. She told my future wife that I used to flirt with her, but we both know the truth.

It’s crazy how our lives can start one direction, go another and then end right back where it all started. Look at me, I’m now writing for the Local. Who would have guessed that? Hopefully by the time Oct. 17 rolls around and I join my original classmates once again, my adoption will be final. Then, I’ll be right where I belong, an official Henry Countian.

Tommie Kendall can be reached at (502)845-2858 or sports@hclocal.com. Follow his Twitter account at www.twitter.com/hcsports.