By EMMA PEREZ-TREVIO
The Brownsville Herald
July 14, 2004 To Patty: You were very nice to me. And I hope you have good luck in the future. I know you will be a good lawyer. Robin Esparza.
Esparza wrote the note in Patricia Gonzalez Amievas yearbook in 1984 the year of Milk Duds, Whoppers, Revenge of the Ninja and Eddie & The Cruisers on the big screen.
That was the year when at Hanna High School, seniors Marci Diaz and Sal Martinez were selected the Best All Around; Brenda Nettles and Anthony Salas were the Most Likely to Succeed; Lisa Lukefahr and Mickey Little were the Most Talented; Juan Loya and Denise Willette were the Wittiest; Cess Besteiro and Arturo Garcia were the Friendliest; Robert Leal and Christine Hall were the Most Beautiful and Handsome; Tina Juarez and Ernie Morales were the Most Courteous; and Lisa Rodriguez and Riley Hernandez were the Best Dressed.
Twenty years later, Gonzalez returns to Brownsville from California for her 20th class reunion, not as a lawyer, but as a journalist and public relations consultant, with a husband Raul, the last name of Portillo and their toddler Alan Raul in tow.
I look at our class pictures and I cant believe it. We look like babies, and now we have babies. What happened? Where did those years go? Gonzalez Portillo said.
Back in Brownsville, classmates William Bodden, Monica Garcia and Dean Gutierrez gathered Tuesday in front of Hanna High, enveloped by construction crews transforming the facility much like life has altered many a life in 20 years.
Gutierrezs son, Dean Jr., graduated this year from Hanna, his son Jared will be a senior this coming year and daughter Priscilla is an incoming freshman all at Hanna. Gutierrez had planned to be a doctor, but life steered him from that. He is a firefighter, contractor, investor and insurance agent.
Boddens 14-year-old daughter Nicole will be attending Hannas medical program while daughters Katherine and Samantha are still too young, but likely will follow in their fathers steps, too. Bodden owns a UPS business and oversees five others.
Garcia wanted to be a peace officer. She got close. She works in the Sheriffs Department administration building and has a civil process business. Twenty years later, she also has two sons, Michael, 15, and 10-year-old Austin. On Tuesday, she found herself, Bodden and Gutierrez reminiscing about their high school days. They expect a large crowd from the approximately 600 classmates from the Class of 1984.
Itll be great to see our old friends and talk about what we did and didnt do, Garcia said with a pause and gleam in her eye.
Well talk about the glory years and remember the past when we were young and restless, Bodden sighs.
You sound like a soap opera, Gutierrez quips, all erupting in laughter, already anticipating the fun of this weekends reunion.