Oct. 4 came and went quietly this year, but for the Stonewall Jackson High School Class of 1988 marked the 35th anniversary of the passing of our classmate Kelly Dawson.
Thirty-five years ago seems a lifetime now but those of us who shared the hallways with Kelly it still feels fresh. We can still share stories about Kelly, from his infectious smile, his humor, and a drive on the athletic field to be successful. Whether it be baseball, football, or the pleasure I had sharing the basketball court with him, he pushed himself and those around us to be better. And we all were better because we knew him. Ask anyone who knew Kelly or hung out with him and you'll not find a soul who had an issue with him. He was as well liked as anyone in school and he just had that way about him.
Thirty-five years is a long time and yet just a snap of the fingers really. We've grown up, gotten married (and divorced), had kids, found professions, moved away, moved back, and all the while sharing a tragedy to this day.
I found an old newspaper article from 1986 where then SJHS coach Kenny Rinker (we miss you too Coach) said that this just didn't happen in Shenandoah County. This was a "big city" incident we read about or watched on TV. He was right. It wasn't supposed to happen here but it did. Thirty-five years ago. Gone way too soon but never forgotten. #classof1988BKD
Charlie Fultz, Edinburg