The places they go

Published 11:44 am Thursday, January 20, 2011

(Special / Connie Nolen)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss is a great book that has become a classic graduation gift. Fitting for graduates of all ages, the book examines the possibilities of the future. In the story, the creatures of Seuss are frequently “off to Great Places,” but sometimes stuck in “The Waiting Place.”

Some of our PHS alums enjoyed great excitement recently when they traveled to Phoenix to experience the BCS National Championship Game. PHS 2007 grad Dawn Lowery was one of the first spotted on television. A member of Auburn’s dance line, the camera panned to Lowery’s lovely face early in the broadcast.

PHS was also represented on the field when Jake Holland from the class of 2010 saw playing time with the Auburn Tigers. Many other PHS alums were in Phoenix performing with Auburn’s band.

Since the kids were leaving Auburn traveling into an ice storm, I worried that they might end up sleeping in an airport on their trip home.

PHS 2010 grad Kaylee Perkins, also a member of Auburn’s dance line said, “We were not snowed in at the airport, but our flight was delayed three hours due to technical problems. They had to replace a part of the plane before we could fly back to Montgomery.”

I’m glad I didn’t know these details until my former students were safely back in Auburn. Even though these band members were stuck in a waiting pattern for awhile, Perkins assured me that the trip made that wait worthwhile.

“Being at the game was the experience of a lifetime! The band gets the fans pumped up,” Perkins said. “We know that the football players feed off the crowd’s excitement, so we wanted to make the University of Phoenix Stadium feel like Jordan-Hare Stadium.”

Perkins reported that performing on the field was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking with so many cameras around. Of course, the added pressure was worth the ecstasy that followed. “After the game ended, the Auburn fans were ecstatic,” Perkins said. “People were throwing rolls of toilet paper around in the stadium, and hundreds of cameras were flashing at once.”

The next day, my students were excited to talk about seeing PHS grads on television-perhaps because my students are in waiting right now-waiting to hear about scholarships and contest results as they anticipate their journeys to great places of their own.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at