Raiders of the Last Year...

Updated: Apr 29

It's been nearly six weeks since Los Alamos began social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While everyone who has been cooped up at home is probably going a little stir crazy right now, I imagine this must be an especially difficult time for the 2020 Senior Class at Los Alamos High School. That's why it was heartwarming to read that every senior received a yard sign commemorating their membership among the LAHS Class of 2020.

For the seniors who are at home sitting out their last chances to compete in sporting and academic challenges, to hang out with friends and classmates whom they may not get to see again after the impending Tide of Adulthood carries them off to exciting and unfamiliar shores, to give a special teacher a final nod on the last day of classes that says, "I realize now that you were not my adversary, but rather an inspiration," a yard sign may provide little solace at a time when life must seem so strange and uncertain, and certainly so unfair

Caroline and I like to take regular Sanity Drives through the community to help ward off the cabin fever that is every bit as infectious as COVID-19. During our latest drive, we counted quite a few of the yellow and green signs around our neighborhood. Living in a small town gives many opportunities to learn about your neighbors, whether you've actually met them or not. Community begets kinship, which is why I believe activities that help build Community (big C) are so important.

When I was a senior at LAHS, our class witnessed an assassination attempt on the president, the release of Raiders of the Lost Arc a month after graduation, and then, later in the summer, the Centers for Disease Control took note of a strange new form of pneumonia that would later be recognized as the first five cases of a frightening new epidemic—AIDS. Those things pale in comparisons to current events, although I have to say that Raiders of the Lost Arc on the big screen still rivals any movie I've seen since.

So to the next generation, I salute you! Your emergence into the "real world" during a time of trepidation and uncertainty will test your resolve and try your patience. And all of these things will end up making you stronger. I hope many of our seniors will hang onto those signs so that some day they may look upon them as a reminder of how extraordinary it is to be alive, and how strangely wonderful it was to grow up in Los Alamos, N.M.

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James Rickman

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