Well, although it has been a trying year for the seniors of 2021, they made it. Seeing graduation ceremonies and parties over the weekend and this week has made me smile. The seniors of this year made it through a pandemic, two hurricanes, a freeze, and then a flood just to sprinkle on top of it all.

I am a proud member of the Barbe High School class of 2001. I can remember back in my days at Dolby Elementary, we would go to the library and use a bulletin board system to communicate with another class in Dallas, Texas. Granted, that type of communication for a nerd like me was already amazing, but do you know how futuristic it was to hear our username for the system was Classof2001? I just thought the year 2001 just sounded so cool.

Photo, Russ Conrad

Fast-forward to high school. The class of '01, to me, was a unique class. We had our cliques and groups, but at the same time, we also co-mingled amongst each other. To this day, while older and maybe fatter, most of us still talk or keep track of each other. The photo of what seems like a backyard concert is just that. We got a group together for a crawfish boil and pool party. I am on the far right in my favorite Hawaiian shirt and what I thought was a really solid goatee.

Take a look at that table. Yes, that is indeed a full computer sitting on top of it with a monitor. That, kids, is what I used to DJ with. I spent days and weeks downloading MP3s to build a collection of music. Each downloaded song was either music or a virus. You just had to spin the wheel and hope for the best. One of my best friends, James, brought out his guitar to sing his most famous song in high school. I won't say the name of it, but trust me, it is still a classic to this day, and most can still sing it word for word.

We were in a world that was pre-911, pre-Rita, no pandemic, no real worries at the time for our generation. Now, we are all grown up and have made it. Despite the problems that we would face over the coming years in the world around us, we made it.

I say all of this to tell the seniors of 2021 that things can get better. You have fought and struggled over the last year with the odds stacked against you. Keep pushing, because maybe in 20 years, you'll have weird pictures like I do to look back on and remember these times.

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