As the saying goes, “I wasn’t born in Nacogdoches, but I came as soon as I could.” Greg and I both grew up in Dallas, and my family would often make the short 1 1/2 hr. drive to Tyler State Park to camp out in the summer. And, that’s where I fell in love with the Pineywoods. I often wish for those first summers back when I was a young girl and smelled the fragrance of the pine trees and felt their soft needles under my bare feet. It was lush and brilliant green, and so different from the concrete jungle of MY hometown. Fast forward to now, and I’m so grateful for the steps that brought me here and for the life for which God has privileged me.
I couldn’t write my life story and leave SFA out. It’s been Greg’s employer for the last 29 years; it’s, also, where we each received our degrees. Like so many others, that town that was home to the university to which we came as freshman, eventually became OUR town.
When we were first married, Greg was photographer for the student newspaper, the Pine Log, and I was a student worker in the Computer Science department. Our daughter was born when we lived in the New Raguet Apartments. This was student family housing on the grounds that now belongs to the SFA Charter School. Many afternoons were spent fishing, picnicking, and walking at the Ag Pond. Collegiate sports was comprised of Lumberjack football and Ladyjack basketball and not much else.
It doesn’t take long to grow roots in a town such as Nacogdoches. You spend enough time here weaving common interests with people at your church, in your school, at your job, you can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m reminded of the quote from Our Town, “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”
So, here we are again, on the eve of another SFA Homecoming. You’d think after thirty-two of them, they’d become dull. But as I grow older (and wiser), I realize those same things we thought were boring, have become the things that have endeared us to this place. Surprisingly, I’m hoping to attend yet another SFA Homecoming parade. I might even throw up an “Ax’em Jacks.”