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A Tribute To Someone I Hardly Knew

When I think of Schindler’s List, I always think of a girl I went to school with named Alicia Foote.

More on that in a minute.

I met Alicia Foote in Writer’s Workshop in high school. [Then I might have thought of her as just Alicia, but now I always hear her full name in my head.] Writer’s Workshop was a wonderful class that anyone could take, from freshmen to seniors. And it was taught by one of my favorite teachers, who I sometimes believed to resemble a Panda. I thought I had him wrapped around my finger. I am sure he was totally on to me.

The first ten minutes or so of class, we were to do a free-write (wait, isn’t that what THIS VERY BLOG is? I give myself an “A”:P). The rest of the class, you could write stories, poems, etc. My asbestos friend and I ate it up. My other friend and I would eat blue raspberry blow-pops in class and turn our tongues blue.

Being the Co-Editor of the school newspaper, I spent a lot of time working on the newspaper during class. But I also found time to flirt (badly) with freshmen boys. And I became friends with a couple of freshmen girls who were in the class. One of whom was Alicia Foote. She was short with long blond hair and the biggest smile. From how I knew her, she was one of the few truly nice people I have ever known. The phrase “heart of gold” comes to mind. In any century, it is hard to find a high school student you could say that about.

So, through the year, I would talk to her in class, she wrote a little for the newspaper, and I believe I even sat with her at lunch sometimes. So, by the end of the year, when our school took five school buses of students to go see Schindler’s List in Toledo, she was sort of my friend. The seniors all claimed one bus. On the way home, after the movie and lunch, extra kids piled on to the senior bus. After all, seniors are so cool. The bus was totally overfilled. I ended up riding home on Alicia Foote’s lap. Never mind that I was three years older than her and probably 20lbs heavier, at least. She should have been on my lap, but somehow it didn’t work out that way. I still think of her like that on the bus that day.

I think the last time I saw her was when she hugged me at my graduation and my mom snapped a picture.

Alicia & I together on the occassion of my high school graduation.

Alicia & I together on the occassion of my high school graduation.

I believe she graduated in 1997. She is totally the type of person I would look up on Facebook to be friends with today. But I can’t. She died in a car accident a year or two after her graduation. She had a baby, who survived because of it’s car seat. And who will never know what a great person it’s mom was.

And yes, I cried writing this. Writing about a girl I barely knew. Who has been dead for years and probably forgotten about by half her own classmates. But I think I cry more for the loss of the kind of person I envisioned she could have grown up to be. A good, kind person. The world needs more people like that.


11 responses

  1. I stumbled upon this post today, and I’m so glad I did. I knew Alicia back in high school from SERVE projects we met at. We became very close friends. I had a bad feeling when I was in college that something must have happened to her but never knew until today. Thank you for posting this. You never know who you will touch or help.

    • Thank you for finding my blog and commenting. I wish Alicia’s story had a better ending. She is someone I could have seen myself reconnecting with on Facebook. But, we never got the chance.

  2. Hello. You may never get this but I just wanted to thank you for making this post. Alicia was my mom, and reading this made me very happy. It was a long time ago, and I don’t even remember her, but hearing about her like what you said is a blessing. I hope you’re very well. Thank you

    • Also, I hope you don’t mind me saving the picture of you two.

    • Thank you for commenting. I wish you could have known her. In the short time I knew her, she had nothing but a good, kind heart. My dad died before I could ever know him. I feel your pain. Seeing your comment instantly brought tears to my eyes thinking of your mom. A piece of her will live on in you. ❤

      • You’re welcome and thank you. I would love to have the unedited picture as you mentioned in the other reply.

    • I have some pictures of Alicia and a group of us who were all on a Youth Unlimited SERVE project together. If you would like some of them, I can scan them and find a way to get them to you. Alicia was such a great person. I still think of her and wish I had stayed in better contact. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. You know how sometimes you find yourself remembering someone who either touched your life in a particular way or served as an example to others?

    When Alicia was a senior, she volunteered to aid me with organizing and managing materials for my English classes at Chisago Lakes High. She was very bright and very kind, and she had little desire to “keep up with the Joneses” like most teen girls her age. I recall sharing many laughs together, and I’m glad for the opportunity to teach and work alongside her.

    From time to time, I find myself thinking of her, simply out of a sense of loss for the world. It’s a wicked world we live in, and it’s no exaggeration when I say that she was truly one of the lights, both to me and to others.

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