This has been sitting in my E2 Scratchpad for awhile. It was written in 2003; I was 18 years old, in my senior year of high school.


Kennard is a small town in East Texas of about 300 people. It is shaped roughly like a 'Y' turned on its side, due to State Highway 7, which runs through it, branching off in the middle of town. Appropriately enough, this branching area is called "The Y", and is the focal point around which Christmas parades and festivals gravitate. Kennard's hallmarks include a volunteer fire department, two restaurants, three gas stations, the post office, a car wash, (which was just built within the last year and a half from this writing), and in particular Kennard ISD, a 1A elementary/high school.

KHS's academics are acceptable, but its main showcase would have to be its athletics, basketball especially. Many would say that KHS is weak academically due to the strength of their basketball team, but such naysaying is usually traced either to the unathletic or to other schools who were handed their own posteriors during a contest. KHS's long tradition of great basketball began in the late 60's, when coach Johnny Carter led the team to state championships three out of four years, including an undefeated season in 1969-70. The older residents talk fondly of the good old days and the strength of KHS's team, so fondly in fact that one would think Kennard has been to Austin every year since 1967. Unfortunately, this assumption would be incorrect. Although Kennard has inevitably made the playoffs approximately 95% of all the years since 1972, they were unable to make it past the regional competition until 2001, when the girls' team won the state championship. The boys' team followed up the next year by making it to Austin, but due to injuries and other assorted reasons were unable to hold off Brock (the year before they moved up to conference 2A...) despite a four point lead at halftime. Regardless, the town's faith in its team never seems to waiver, and hopefully the coming '04 season, and seasons beyond, will see many trips down US-79 towards the state capital.

As many would expect from a town of its size, your business is your neighbor's business, which is to say that everyone knows what's going on with everybody else. Kennard is essentially a cultural melting-pot on a small scale; its population includes many residents of surrounding communities too small to be given a population sign, such as Bakersprings, Belott, Berea, Burrantown, Currietown (home sweet home), Neches Bluff, Ratcliff, Tadmor, and Weches.

Despite its quirks and eccentricities, I find myself welling up with pride as I write this. I spent the first 18 years of my life here, and am still counting. My memories of growing up here are overwhelming, and make me feel like more than just another homo sapien producing carbon dioxide for all these pine trees to eat. Many have stated that they hate it here; several of my peers can't wait to graduate so they can get the hell away from all the "small town bullshit." Others would just shrug it off as being another small town in a big state full of others like it, none of which they've heard of or care about. But it's my town, and I love it here.

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