Taking a Trip Back in Time


Kevin's senior portrait (left) and Kevin today (right).

Ally Downs, Staff Writer

My father, Kevin Downs, graduated 33 years ago from WHBHS. He was a flannel-wearing dare devil, who loved partying with his friends and going for long rides with his then girlfriend, but now wife, my mom, Bonnie Defriest.

The story of my how my parents met at WHBHS is what some may call magical. They met in 1983, during my father’s senior year and my mother’s sophomore year.

For my father, finding the right girl had been a struggle, but when he laid his eyes on Bonnie, he knew she was the one. “Her smile. It was a beautiful smile, even though she had braces. I could tell it was beautiful under all that tinsel,” he said.

For Bonnie it was Kevin’s eyes that made her know they were destined to be together forever. “His eyes, they were a beautiful color. Easy for someone to get lost in.”

Bonnie had their whole happily ever-after planned out. “Oh yea, I spent hours on end thinking of our wedding and how many kids we’d have. I really wanted twins but I’m beyond grateful for the three children we were blessed with.”

They’ve been together for over 34 years and are living happily in WHB together with myself and my sister and brother.

WHBHS was a lot different in 1984 than it is today. When asked about what has changed over the years, Kevin stated, “Everything, the technology, like computers, phones, and smart boards. Oh, and the punishments. I see and hear about a lot more kids getting suspended for things we only got detention for.”

Back then kids would only get detention for most things. If two kids got into a fight they both would only be given detention.

The students have changed as well. Back in the ’80s our school was populated with kids who wore flannels, denim, high-wasted jeans, and letterman jackets.

Out of school, Kevin would meet up with his friends to hangout. “We’d go four wheelin’ and hang out in fields with our trucks in a circle, shining the head lights so we could all see each other having fun,” Kevin said. Today, Kevin doesn’t have a lot of time to hangout with friends, instead he works and takes care of his family.

The only thing Kevin misses about high school is “being young.” His advice to high school kids is “to keep working hard but to always have fun because one day it’ll all be over.”

One of Kevin and Bonnie’s children, Emilee, is a senior at WHBHS. While walking around the school, Emilee thinks a lot about how her parents could have been in the exact same place she is.

Emilee said, “Knowing I could be sitting in the same desk my mom or dad could have sat in is pretty cool. It’s just so cool to think my parents were walking in the hallways I’m walking through right now.”