LEWISVILLE, Texas — We’re live in Lewisville, which is a suburb of Dallas. Correspondent Kris Gutierrez is doing a story on a new program the state has put in place to test high school athletes for steroids. Some think it’s a much needed deterrent for kids. Others think it’s millions of dollars to find a needle in a haystack. Lewisville High School is the backdrop for our live shots. The home of the “Fighting Farmers” is also Kris’ alma mater. We've received a hall pass in case we need to use the restroom.
We show up before the sun is up. The band has already been out for a while, practicing in the chilly morning air. It’s hard to be in a high school football stadium without reminiscing about your own high school experience. I went to a big high school in California for a year, where Friday night football games were generally not about the game, but more about socializing with friends, getting the latest scoop on who’s dating whom, and of course, scoping out the cute boys.
Maybe not everyone remembers high school fondly. You need only watch the news to see the violent endings created by students who feel tortured by their time at high school. For me, it was never like that. I graduated high school almost 20 years ago now and I don’t ever recall that kind of tension. There may have been jocks or nerds or whatever category you might have fallen into, but it never seemed like there was anyone in that much pain. Have things changed that much in two decades? Or am I like everyone else who remembers with rose-colored glasses.
I don’t know if it’s something about edging near 40, but it seems like the high school friends who I lost touch with in my 20, I really yearn to talk to now. Every time you reconnect with one of them, it takes you back — to a different time and place, to the person you were then, when all possibilities were open and your life had not been decided yet. I wish I could go back to that person and tell them not to worry so much. Everything works out.
Maggie Lineback is a Dallas bureau producer.