Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Senior Year

My life in appalachia senior year

In the year 2014 senior year in Appalachia = tough classes, complicated decisions, scholarship applications, college applications, proms, formals, senior night, the last high school sporting event you’ll play in-EVER, ipads, laptops, ear buds, texting, instagraming, snap chatting the silliest face you can come up with, exams, memories with friends made bittersweet because you know the end of the school year is speeding ever closer, the wish that it would all just be over, the wish that it would never end.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    January 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Cherish it, it will go way to fast. I remember my daughter’s and my son’s Senior years. Of course you have both of yours at the same time.
    What ever they decided, I know they will do great! They are awesome talented, blessed girls.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I treasured my high school years, but at age 65, I am happy to not face them over again. My wife and I are really enjoying our retired life together. Lots of good memories from high school and afterward, but the best memory of all may happen tomorrow!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I hear you! These high school days remind me of when my daughter was little. Some days felt like a century and some, like a nanosecond.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I never got to have a senior year nor a graduation day. Not parties, no prom, no week of hedonism at the water’s edge. But now I am in my senior years, rapidly approaching my graduation day. I know I won’t wear a cap and gown, my hope is for a robe and crown and a rest upon a golden shore. My name need not be written on a rolled up scrap of parchment for all the world to see, for it is already inscribed in a book that most of the world will never ever gaze upon. A limo may come and pick me up but it cannot take me all the way. I might have a bit of a layover before a trumpet will play the “All aboard,” then I’ll be off to my Graduation!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Many times we do not realize they were good times until they are gone.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    bittersweet personified….

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    January 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Tipper to be young again those girls of your have the world choices at their fingertips. They will do fine with all the talents they have and the love from the Wilson and Presley families and friends with such Godly upbringing.

  • Reply
    Ron Perry, Sr.
    January 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    It will be a happy time and a sad time as well. The memories will always remain. I graduated from HS in 1954 and from time to time look through my HS yearbooks and the memories are still there. I am sure that the girls will have a bright future in whatever field of endeavor they choose.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull, PhD
    January 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Oh my Tipper:
    All this brilliant advice and analysis of what to do at this wonderful time. I believe the girls will do fine!
    Our grandson is all caught up from his return from his ‘out of state’ choice of a university. NOW HE IS AT THE BIG UT AND WE TALK WITH HIM OFTEN. How sweet it is!
    Best to all of you!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    January 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I know the feeling you and the Deer
    Hunter are experiencing, but this is
    the best of times. Those girls will
    appreciate what you two have done for
    their lives. They’ll do well.
    It’s snowing at Topton, my porch was
    white when I left and the highway is
    already getting slick. I love this
    cold, snowy weather…Ken

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Those were the best days! Oh how I would love to go back to that time in my life again. Best of luck to the Pressley Girls as they finish their senior year and make their college choices!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Tipper–The first portion of your list I can identify with, but most of the remainder are lost on me or in a fair number cases, meaningless to me (I do own a laptop, a necessity for a writer, I guess). I have three comments.
    While I was fortunate enough to participate in sporting events well beyond high school and letter in two sports as an undergraduate in college, your implicit message about the last sporting event EVER is a critical and highly important one. I watch from afar in abject dismay as Swain County, my highland homeland, remains caught in a “football is all” mentality. Somehow some parents, some (but by no means all) teachers, school administrators, and the school board there think football participation is more important and deserves more emphasis than academic pursuits. An indication of that was a ridiculous decision by the current superintendent a couple of months back to dismiss ALL classes in the county on a day the football team was participating in the state playoffs. His predecessor was quoted publicly that the three most important things in life were “faith, family, and football.” I have no trouble with the first two but the third is ludicrous. Thankfully you and Matt have far more sensible priorities.
    Tell the Chitterer and the Chatterer that these remaining high school months, along with college years, will be the greatest ones of their lives. There’s no way they can realize that now, but it doesn’t hurt to point it out.
    Finally, and I can speak only for myself, I look back on those high school days, now so many years removed, with great fondness. I remain in touch with a goodly number of classmates (e-mailed one of them this morning) and cherish the good times we knew.
    All best wishes to the talented twins as they complete one stage of their lives and move into another a few months down the road. And fortunately you are busy enough to be able to deal with the changes coming to your life. Just remember, as they say in the song playing on my computer right now, their hearts will always be in Brasstown, as the Smokies and Swain County will always be the home of my heart.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

    As hard as the empty nest syndrome is on the parents I think it may be harder as a Grandparent. My Beautiful Bride and I have a Grandson graduating this year, just the other day we were discussing what we will do when he no longer just drops in to chat with us almost every day and put the touch on us for food or gas money. We are dreading this as we are very close with this fine young man and we know he will be adding a whole new group of friends as he goes off to school and our special time with him will be greatly reduced.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 9:04 am

    So well put; and wonderful observations by your other readers. will we be privy to your and the Deer Hunter’s perspectives on this time?
    And why do these years so impress themselves on our persona; so often my identity seems tied to that time mingled in with Mommyhood even though my body keeps laughing at me for thinking that!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I remember this time of my life well. Of course, I only had one at a time, so that made it easier, that is, if knowing our children are about to embarque a new phase of life, one that I may not be as involved in as I once was. It will be quiet at first and then lonliness and then the opening of a new phase of life for both parents and child. When the visits occur, especially over the holidays, the noise will arrive also. Clothes and whatever messes were usual come back for a short time, etc. Yes, it will be touch in the beginning, but you, too, will adjust to the empty nest as it is termed. Love and care won’t chage; it just happens differently. It’s the phone calls that keep us growing with them. My kids loved their once a month ‘goodie’ package. You will survive; they will grow up to be responsible adults and you will be proud. Their decisions may not totally agree with you, but that is the tough part of gaining adulthood. Their future life will be what they make of it.

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    January 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I rember those times as much better than they really were. I wish I had a do over. It would be more fun, less worry.

  • Reply
    kay dallas
    January 21, 2014 at 8:23 am

    a prayer for you and yours my dear cyber friend.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Tipper, You can be proud of your girls. So much talent (music, singing and dancing) and beauty on top of it all.
    They will go as far as they choose to go.
    I was talking with them last week and told them I see them putting all that talent on a bus and taking it on the road.
    Education comes first and then the world is theirs.
    I know they will do well no matter what they choose.
    They have what my Mother called “moxie”. That’s a good thing.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 21, 2014 at 7:34 am

    It is a bittersweet year as each child makes this transition, both for you and your children. It was when I realized that I was no longer 18….another stark reality

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 21, 2014 at 7:21 am

    There are times in their infancy and early childhood that we wonder if the period of croups, sudden bodily temperature rises and other emergencies will ever pass. But they do. A little while and the growing baby (in the case of twins–babies) is an inquisitive child, going to school, growing independent, moving up the ladder of development. How could teenage yeas turn into senior-i-tis? And
    then suddenly, places at the table are empty, the house is so much quieter. Mothers want to cut the apron strings, allow the freed nestling to fly on his/her own. The problem so often is with the parents–a desire to hold on, to delay change. But in consideration, we usually can transition–a change that is sometimes harder for the loving parent than those grown and moving on to a new and challenging life. But inside, nothing changes that life-long love affair with the ones entrusted to mother (and father) for oh, too short a time! As a parent, you trust that you’ve given them strong wings that can move against the winds of challenge. And so you let them go, you let them fly!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Yea,, and to think in a few more months there could be wedding bells.. My wife and I married the same year I graduated, ( she’s 10 months older than me).. It could happen… Looking back now we were just a couple of kids.. but 32yrs later we’re still together, not many of our class mates can say that..

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