Saturday, June 08, 2024

Cherokee High School Graduation: Congratulations, Ariel! (published 6-8-2024; article #477)


Has it been forty-six years, since my high school graduation? I reckon so. Surely, my youngest brother and his wife will remember two graduations, two days apart, in the same week! Milestones such as these become fond memories!

This second article today honors Ariel! She is the older daughter of my youngest brother and his wife. This 125th entry under the family topic section and 103nd entry under the heritage section affirms that the maxim "as the twig bends, so grows the tree” is true.

Congratulations, Ariel!

Congratulations, Ariel! My wife and I love you, and we are proud of you!

The class of 2024 commencement ceremony at Cherokee High School began at 8 PM, on Friday, May 24th. After my wife returned home from work and gussied up herself, we started the drive, at 4:42 PM in our 2006 Frontier, to the home of my youngest brother and family.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by my youngest brother, his wife, our high school graduating niece, our eighth-grade graduate niece, my next-to-youngest brother, and my sister-in-law's sister and her husband. A light supper, which we enjoyed and needed, was prepared. The comfortable setting included five ladies and four guys. At one point, Robert, my sister-in-law's brother-in-law, was alone in the living room, overwhelmed by female conversation! Leaving the nearby kitchen, where my brothers and I were, I overrode the ladies and engaged Robert in a manly conversation! That, however, didn't last long!

As a graduating senior, Ariel had to be at the field house, near the football stadium, by 6:30 PM. The nine of us drove, in a caravan of three vehicles, to the high school parking lot, arriving just before 6:30 PM.

In the event of rain, the ceremony could have been held in the unair-conditioned gymnasium. The football stadium provided a better venue. The weather was warm, but not hot, and sufficiently humid. Light clouds, not carrying rain, drifted across the sky. The bleacher section faces east, so we had shade during the intermittent sunshine. The bleachers were packed with family and friends. Two hundred and twenty-six seniors were graduating.

The hour and a half wait went by quickly and enjoyably. My younger brothers and I talked about family memories. We even bantered each other a little! My brothers deserved what I dished out in humorous fun! Several songs, playing through the speakers, entertained or annoyed us. The announcement about the upcoming ceremony repeated itself about every 15 minutes and made us laugh. I almost memorized it.

The commencement ceremony started on time and ran just over an hour. A moment of silence and the National Anthem followed the senior-class president's welcome. The valedictorian and then the salutatorian each spoke. After the principal spoke, the presentation of diplomas began.

I took the following photograph at 8:51 PM, as Ariel shook the principal's hand and received her high school diploma! We had been awaiting the moment when the principal would call her name!

I couldn't capture Ariel's face, since we were seated near the 40-yard line, on the south side of the field. Ariel was one of the few graduates to wear the Beta Club gold stole and tassel. She also wore several other regalia distinctions.

After every diploma was presented, the high school alma mater was followed by the recessional. We were glad that the audience could stand during those! Concrete seats require remembering to bring stadium cushions next time! Dusk had turned to night. The stadium lights had turned on.

At 9:36 PM, I took the following photograph of Ariel, the high school graduate, and her family! The location is a few feet south of the field house. The football field is a few yards farther south (or to the right) in the image.

That is a handsome-looking family, even if I do say so myself! Don't you agree? I thought so!

As I said before, I will say again, “Congratulations, Ariel! My wife and I love you, and we are proud of you!” As a young Christian lady, your focus and direction are on the right path. We look forward to seeing what God has in store for the rest of your life!

As the years go by, Ariel will have good memories of her high school years. I still remember my high school days at Rogersville High School, which is now Rogersville Middle School.

The Tree Still Grows Tall and Straight!

My father and mother planted four trees in the yard, on the west side of the house, near the well house. One tree was for each of us four brothers. That was in June 1974. Dad, as Ferrell's Well Drilling (since 1901), drilled the water well. Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) had started the business in 1901.

I may have an archived photograph of the four trees, but I couldn't find one, to include in this article. Each tree is still standing tall, firm, healthy, and straight. They are deeply rooted in good water. They get plenty of sunlight. I saw them most recently on May 22nd. The previous article today that honors Lilliana includes my visit to the homeplace.


The maxim "as the twig bends, so grows the tree” is true. The four twigs that my parents planted bent straight up and grew tall. They provide excellent shade. Nourished by good water and sunlight, they continue to flourish. Over five decades, the trees have endured strong winds and severe storms. They still stand tall.

Ariel, winds and storms will try to bend you at times, as they do to everyone. Nourished by Living Water, Son Light, and the godliness of family heritage, you will continue to grow tall and straight and will continue on the right path that you have chosen as a Christian. My wife and I look forward to seeing how your future unfolds! We love you, and we are proud of you! You will bear much spiritual fruit for Christ and his kingdom.

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