The Duke

Member Info: Where you are and what is your connection to AU

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Like any who dive in without reading directions, I missed this thread when I dove in to AUFamily (formerly AE) by recommendation of my only (lurking) brother who lives in Japan and follows recruiting, mostly. I am Danna, ToraGirl (TORA is "TIGER" in Japanese). This was Christmas Day 2010...and as it's Thanksgiving Eve, it just goes to show that holidays give me a bit more playing time. 

I've shared in other posts that I grew up in Auburn, caring nothing about football, daughter of a botany professor. Went to the AU Child Study Center adjacent to Haley for K, then Dean Road, Boykin, Drake, AJHS, then AHS, class of 1984, AU, class of 1988 (elementary ed, concentration in Spanish). AUM, Masters/elementary ed) 1998. Very, very blessed with countless opportunities to travel and serve worldwide (Africa, Japan, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, one day in Slovakia, England/Wales/Scotland, one day in France, Ireland, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Victoria BC, Nova Scotia/Montreal...all over the US...just do not take these times for granted and only list them in case anyone wants to talk travel) with my family (pastor husband, AU, 1987...MDiv and DMin, Asbury, 1994 and 2004). Teaching and preaching don't draw huge salaries, but flexible hours and meeting lots of people are definite benefits where time and connections are concerned. I am a Kindergarten teacher and that plus leading worship/small groups/occasional local Hispanic outreach etc. keep me happy and hopping. Two beautiful children...a Faulkner U senior and an AU freshman. 😍

My Auburn stories are more hometown. As a child, I remember the Kopper Kettle explosion and having to meet for church at the Village Theater, now a bank, while Auburn UMC's stained glass windows and more were being reconstructed. I was in high school and entering AU in Bo's time, as well as "Sir Charles" and the better days of Chuck Person. Auburn High School proms were held at the old Foy Union, and I taught myself to parallel park on the tight circle driveway there.  The nasty AHS class of 1983's grad shenanigans took our AHS lawn graduation away for posterity and we had to march to receive diplomas at the "new" (now demolished, I think) Student Act building. 16 years later and settled in the Montgomery area (now, just north in Millbrook), we did see the ball drop millennially at Toomers Corner while the Japanese family was here...very memorable. I miss the Eagle Cage between Haley and Parker, SaniFreeze, James (the soda meister) at Toomers, Denaro's ("pay what u think it's worth" pizza and pasta), the Hungry Hunter, The CoffeeBanque, and the Bootery, where I sold shoes during classes and on Saturdays so that Mr. Childs could attend every home game. I miss the quarter system and $4 student section tix., no drawing needed. I miss some AUsome professors in foreign language and education...specifically Dr. Jose Escarpanter, Dr. John vonEschenbach, and Dr. Sonny Dragoin. Saw some wonderful FREE (?) concerts...Lionel Richie, Pointer Siaters, Chicago, Alabama at the Coliseum during those years. I DON'T miss getting a ticket from the AU police while driving down a prohibited street (heavy-pedal, I confess) while on the way to pay another ticket for parking in the wrong zone, which was labeled such only after the ticket was issued. 😁😣

Although my mom, a retired AHS biology teacher, still lives in Auburn and laments the "annexation of everything",  I love seeing all if the new stuff, even though you still can hardly find a parking place no matter when you go downtown. The Arboretum (where we got engaged) is stellar and now a showcase, and Mama Mocha's on Gay St. has a rock-your-world menu. Auburn is home, and I'm so glad Daddy answered the call in 1968. It's a great but uniquely pressure-filled place in which to grow up.

I'm so thankful for this site, for all who administrate, encourage, and enlighten, and for the ties that bind us all. Happy and blessed Thanksgiving to everyone!! War Eagle always! Beat West Vance!!

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