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Back Home : Where friends are family and memories just get sweeter
  Illustraion by Shannon Mooney ('94)

eagle tale

About the author

Kelley Reese is currently making new memories in Denton as assistant director of news and information for UNT Public Affairs and Information Services. After earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from UNT in 1995, she moved to London, England, to work as a newspaper reporter. Her return stateside brought her full circle--back to Denton and her alma mater.



HE FIRST TIME I WALKED INTO CLARK HALL, there were three guys outside juggling, while riding unicycles. Another played the accordion.

“Interesting times ahead,” I thought. And trudged up the stairs to the third floor room that would eventually become my home — to meet the people who lived around me, who would become my family.

Almost 10 years later, when I walk by Clark Hall while on campus for work, in my mind I can still see Casey and Steve and Pete riding and juggling. And CornMo (a.k.a. Jon) playing his accordion.

I feel the bonds of family, and I remember the many late nights and early mornings. The classes missed, or attended in pajamas. (Yes, I really did that. More than once. As did my roommates, and friends. They just don’t admit it.)


Real bonds

I’m not sure what means more to me now: The knowledge I gained in my classes, or the friends I made and good times I shared.

Take, for example, the futile attempts to pretend we were silent a moment before the RAs came by for quiet-hours rounds. As the memory of Shelley West fleeing from the group to dive into bed while yelling, “I am asleep!” pops into my mind, those years in the dorm win out every time.

Shelley and D’lee, Angela and Sherry. Suite mates for two years, and my unofficial roommates in the dorm. The bond from those first two years of living on campus, and the other years spent in apartments and houses around town as we all finished our degrees, is unlike anything I have with any other people.

As time passes, we’ve all pursued our own lives. Two children are already born, one more is on the way. We’ve each made new homes in new states, and countries. And we have “real jobs” now. Real lives.

We’ve stayed in touch. More or less. Sometimes months go by before we phone, sometimes just days. But no matter how long it’s been, whenever we talk, it’s as if time has stood still. We pick up just where we left off.


Coming back

We found that to be particularly true as we got together for our own “Reunion Within the Reunion” last year at Homecoming.

We attended the “ceremonial” bonfire. We saw Brave Combo play before the game. We visited the third floor of Clark Hall and inevitably discussed the whereabouts of the Flying Couch Potatoes (those ever-present jugglers). We walked to the University Union and talked about how big the trees are now.

We shared memories of our favorite times on campus and off. We visited Cool Beans in honor of all the “classes” we attended from the roof at lunchtime. We discussed life as it is today. And we laughed. The way we always did — do.

While that weekend fast-forwarded us right back to the politics of being 19 and the indecision of a group of five, it was one of the best weekends I’ve had as a 20-something.

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the year we all moved into the dorms at North Texas. And as the reality of that sets in, each of my memories from those years grows sweeter.

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