Before their time

I often wished that Poway High School held a five-year reunions. I don’t know why they don’t do it — five years gets nearly everyone through college. We probably still look like our yearbook pictures, but we’ve made progress through the world. Unfortunately, some of our fellow classmates are no longer on the journey with us.

In lieu of a reunion, I occaisionally look at how alumni from the Class of 1996 at both Poway and my first high school Roswell High are doing. In trying to see how some of these people have changed, I once again realize how little I knew them.

Tonight, I saw that Ezekiel Webber passed away earlier this year in April. Zeke was in the theater guild at Poway — he was a funny actor and singer, especially in Guys and Dolls in 1995. The more I recall, I also believe he was a speaker at our commencement.

Doing a Google search, it sounds like Zeke made a difference whereever he went — as an Eagle Scout, an undergrad at Dartmouth College and a UCLA law school student. It also sounded like he fought the good fight for lesbian, gay, bigender and transgender issues.

The mention of Zeke’s passing reminded me of another classmate who died. Just two years after graduation, Mimi Bowles died near Oceanside. The circumstances behind her death were unfortunate.

I feel bad that I wasn’t able to instantly recall her name. It took me about 15 minutes to fully remember her name although I can easily remember the story in the newspaper about her death — including the mention of her progress at Palomar College, her internship at the Poway News-Chieftain and the questions about what happened and why.

I was never close with Ezekiel or Mimi, but I’m saddened to read of their passage. Although I never made many close friends at either high school, I feel that there’s some connection because we experienced the typical trials of adolencence together.

When I graduated high school, I took a positive look towards the future and the opportunities that we’ll be able to create. To hear that some have already left us as young adults is a tragedy.