I remember the past occasionally through scraps of paper or assorted objects that I have kept over the years.
It was 1991 during a school year at Coral Springs Middle School. I was on a team with three other teachers. We decided to go all out that year.
It was the time of diversity in the schools. We preached it and practiced what we preached. We were trying to get the students to get along. We had all sorts, many from different nationalities, and some recently from foreign countries.
We did posters on the flags of the countries, worked on population figures, wrote poems about far away places with a slant towards different backgrounds.
I wrote a play and over fifty students were in it that night. We invited all the parents. But first it was feast time as many of the parents brought dishes from home illustrating their different backgrounds. It was a three hour festival. We called it the Ethnic Festival of the Arts. We even had tee shirts made up with all the students names on the back of it.
It was a real great experience.
The tragedy occurred the next year in September 1992. Below is from the clipping at the time.
Here on the northwest edge of Broward County, families, neighbors and classmates reflected on the five teenagers who lived, until a fatal accident in September 1992 claimed their lives.
“Twenty years ago, a three-car convoy charged down Lox Road headed to a bonfire to celebrate the Nikki Roller’s upcoming birthday.
They taunted and jeered one another to catch up. Jamie Bardol, then 16, was at the helm of her grandmother’s 1986 Pontiac Grand Am carrying seven of her closest friends when the car swerved in an S-curve and plunged into the Hillsboro Canal.
The passengers from other cars rushed to aid their classmates. Billy Longhini, 35, was in one of the other cars.
“Those were all my best friends,” he said. “I wish I could have done more.”
Only three survived that night: Jamie Bardol, her twin sister Lori Bardol, and Shari Gerber.
The dead included: Brandon Marcoux, 16; Katy Garcia, 16; Jennie Gentile, 15; Adam Garces, 16; and Nikki Roller, who was two hours shy of her 17th birthday.
They became know as B.K.J.A.N., an acronym used by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High classmates to simplify an event that was everything but. A Facebook page was erected in their memory.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/29/3026680/five-broward-teens-who-died-in.html#storylink=cpy
I was reminded of this because I was going through my closet and came across the tee shirt. On the back was Brandon Marcoux’s name. He would be about 37 years old now. Married with children, maybe? An occupation of pride, quite probably because he was extremely bright. They held a twenty year ceremony a while back. His people remembered this young lad. I figure I need to remember him too. A pure tragedy for all concerned.