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The Madison Record

The good old days of youth

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
I take little trips down memory lane every once in a while.
I grew up going to school in the Huntsville.
I started out going to kindergarten, first and second grades at Madison Academy. Then, I went to elementary school at Weatherly Heights Elementary School. Then it was on to middle school at Whitesburg Middle School and I graduated from Grissom High School in 1988.
From Grissom, it was on to Calhoun Community College in Decatur and it took me three years to complete my studies at the University of North Alabama in Florence.
When I think back to my school days, I have fond memories of elementary school. No doubt about it, teachers had to be creative when it came to teaching and I know they still do today. Everything was done by hand. It was the same in middle school and high school. Yes, in those days, we had modern technology, but nothing like it is today. Ha!!
On my way in to work today, I heard a song on the radio from my high school era. My niece, who will be a senior this year in high school, laughs at some of the music Jennifer and I listen to. I like it when one of the local radio stations has its "retro" weekend from the 80's during a holiday.
I think most kids will agree that your middle school days are rather strange. You go through so many changes and your trying to find yourself and your likes and dislikes. High school was a lot of fun, but college was even better – for me at least. I established several friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I went to Florence during the July 4th holiday and drove through the UNA campus. A lot has changed, but I'll never forget it. It's where I met Jennifer. Although we met at Calhoun, we didn't establish a real relationship until UNA.
My mother ran into the mother of my first girlfriend from elementary school. I'm sure they talked about everything. What's interesting about this is the fact that my first girlfriend is now a nurse and when our on Austin was born nearly five years ago and then our daughter Carlie, a year ago, she took care of both of them in the nursery. We talked and she has children nearly the same age as ours.
Scouting was a huge part of my life while growing up. I spent several years in Scouting and really enjoyed it. The scoutmaster of the troop is still there and I've kept in contact with a few of my friends from those days.
With the world of e-mail, it's so easy to send a quick note to someone you're thinking about. Austin can't keep his hands off the computer now and is learning more about it than me. We have to watch him. I don't want him to become a "computer junkie." The same thing for Carlie. What's neat about it is the fact that Jennifer and I can instill the qualities of life we established while growing up.
I think my memories are pretty special.
I had a wonderful childhood. It was simple and easy for the most part – as it should be when you're a kid. It will get complicated enough when you become an adult.
Perhaps Austin and Carlie will instill some of our traits in their children.

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