Column: Proud of our soon to be graduates

Published 8:08 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

We have entered the month of May and what an exciting time of year it is. High School seniors will walk across the stage, receive their diploma and embark on a new adventure in life.

While I am not one for pomp and circumstance, In fact, I disdain it. I do enjoy seeing the transition of students to graduates. 

Fortunately in Lincoln County, all of the school’s graduations move quickly. They have it down to a science and it isn’t as painfully dull as my alma mater’s graduations were. Even Brookhaven High School’s graduation is quick for a 5A school. 

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One of my favorite pictures that I took last year was a mom hugging her senior boy from Enterprise. She had a firm hold on his head as she held him tight in the embrace. I can’t imagine what the emotions are like. 

This year will be special in its own way. Loyd Star’s graduation is May 17 at 6:30 p.m. I’ll be there working to take pictures of another class of Hornets. I’m not sure if any future Hornets can best Carson Hughey’s speech last year. I do know I’ll be filled with pride when my brother-in-law Cole Rutledge walks across the stage. 

Over the last five years, I’ve watched him grow from a boy into a fine young man. He is still the same as when I started dating his sister. He is goofy, absolutely obsessed with video games, Coke Zero and rock music. You can’t miss his red hair and you can miss his arms that are covered with tattoos, some he did himself. 

This year has been a little odd. He was always the third wheel for my wife and I on dates. A new job, working out at the gym close to the office and apprenticing at my father-in-law’s tattoo shop has kept him busy and I haven’t seen him as much. 

I’ve known him for a short part of his life but I’m immensely proud of him. His next step is on to Co-Lin to play in the band, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he skipped town to become a WWE wrestler. 

While some men struggle to figure out how to cook on their own, Cole has a knack for cooking new dishes. I think his experience at Bettys has helped him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to open his own restaurant one day. 

If anyone is still wishing for a breakfast/mexican/steakhouse hybrid restaurant you might need to give Cole a shout after he is done with Co-Lin. He might become a tattoo artist too. Either way, I think he will have fun. 

I am proud of Cole and all of our area graduates. While this chapter of your journey is coming to an end, the next chapter awaits and is full of adventure. Good luck to you all and enjoy these last moments of high school.