Three stories. 300 words.

Community members retell memorable life stories


Junior Celia Moreno Gonzales, freshman Kynlee Flippen and alumnus Willis Green stand with pride. Gonzales is a foreign exchange student from Spain, Flippen shared a memorable experience with her father and Green was a high school student during the era of educational integration.

Reporters were asked to write stories with only 300 words. This proves that it is not the quantity of words on a page that makes a story captivating but the quality of words.

Every perfect stranger has a story; only 300 words later, maybe we aren’t so strange after all.


A new chapter

By Joe Haynes-Stewart, News Editor

For a moment, there is nothing but eagerness on her mind, but the bitterness of reality quickly swoops in. Tears fall down on her face, for it was time to leave her loved ones.

Her plane starts boarding. Although the desire to venture beyond what she had always known was strong, the pull to stay with her family was almost stronger.

Never in Celia Moreno Gonzales’ life had she been away from her parents, making this journey even scarier. However, it is too late now as Gonzales feels the wheels elevate off the ground and heads across the globe. Alone.

She was living a dream, but the realization that she would be gone for a year was sweeping through her faster than the plane was making it harder and harder to see her home country Spain.

She had been imagining this moment since she was 8 years old, but it never occurred to her young, carefree mind how much that goodbye would hurt her and her loved ones left at the airport.

While looking out her window, Gonzales remembers something that can provide her with much needed comfort. She had almost forgotten about a book that had been given to her.

The book’s title was familiar to her: “Celia.” She received it for her birthday by friends that are special to her. The book contains a tale of bilingualism and traveling. It so closely relates to Gonzales’ situation that it was bound to reassure the conflicted traveler.

She cracks it open and begins to read. It occupies her mind during her near day-long flight, until she is finally greeted with the abrupt thud of the wheels against the runway causing her eyes to move from her book to the window. Her ambitious eyes set on America, and any fear vanishes.


Saved by the bell

By Zoe Rushing, Advertising Editor

As his voice echoed over the phone, broken and small, she sat speechless on her bed unsure of what to do or say. The phone began to shake in her sweaty palm as questions began circling her mind. Why is this happening? How could this happen? Why now of all times?

Freshman Kynlee Flippen father’s voice stopped, and silence stood between them until he spoke up once again. Plans were made, treatment discussed, and a promise was made between. He would fight with everything he had, and that one day, he would ring the bell. She prayed it would be more than a promise, and it would be over one day.

After that phone call, every visit Flippen made to see him was her favorite, and the Christmas they shared at Grandma’s house that year was the most joyous it had ever been.

After that phone call, every little joke about his shiny head or her goofy nature was the funniest either had ever heard.

After that phone call, every time she saw him trying to stand up and walk on his own or wrap his leg back up as tight as it would go, all she could do is admire the strength it all must have taken.

And after that phone call, she saw the man she called dad change. Now when they sat for dinner, he always talked and never looked away. His eyes, even through the exhaustion that came with his condition, were always set on the people around him.

Time continued to pass until February 2022, her phone screamed out and a notification popped up. She opened her phone and saw a video, and on her screen stood her dad, tall and strong, and soon the phone rang out with the sweet song of a bell.


Integration complications

By Kailyn Williams, Staff Writer

Coming off of a state championship run in 1967, Willis Green, an African American student, and the Dunbar High Buffalos were on cloud nine. They were living the dream all athletes work to accomplish. Life was good, considering the current circumstances of the world, until times changed and segregation was overcome — leading to integration.

Integration was supposed to be a period of healing across America, an expectation that would prove fallacious. Texas High, a school for white students, would be met by Dunbar High, a school for Black students. A sense of displacement overwhelmed all the students of Dunbar as they made the ever so undesirable switch to Texas High.

“Texas High didn’t want us here, and we didn’t want to be here,” Green said.

Time only made matters worse. Whites on one side of the class, Blacks on the other. Blacks on one side of the cafeteria, whites on the other.

“If anybody crossed that line, there was a conflict,” Green said. “If any white students came over and wanted to make friends with a black student, his counterparts would be upset with him, and vice versa.”

Cliques. Gangs. Riots. War. Crossing the imaginary line meant a silent act of violence.

This mutual disgust bled into the locker room. Teammates tormented each other on the field, resulting in losses, which caused the coaches to form a plan. In the locker room and bus, the athletes were required to stand or sit next to someone of the opposite race. The athletes were forced to get to know the person beside them.

This went on until they became a family. Finally, these brothers began to win. Sadly, Texas High as a whole remained divided, but every overcoming story has to start somewhere. At Texas High, it was the football team.