I just sat here for ten minutes trying to think of a good way to describe the feeling I get when I drive to Cabot.
I don't know. It's weird. I haven't lived there in over ten years, but it's such a special part of who I am. And every single time I close in on the intersection of Highway 319 and Highway 5 – and start seeing business signs with "843" phone numbers listed on them, I get this combination of excitement and anxiety and nostalgia and – I don't know what.
It's been so long now that I don't really expect to see people I know at the gas station or when I walk on campus at the high school. Heck, the kids in school there now were about six years old when I left for college. They don't care about who I was in high school. They don't care that I graduated with honors or had the lead in the school play or lettered in band.
But that's not why we go back. We go back so that no one forgets him. We go back so that no one forgets that Tom Martin went to CHS. He loved it there. He graduated and went on to do good, noble, selfless things. And he was within months of his 10 year reunion when we got the news that he wasn't ever coming back home to Cabot.
So now we go for him.
Last week, my family and I traveled to Cabot High School to present the 4th Annual 1LT Tom Martin Memorial Scholarship to a very deserving Cabot High School senior – Kevan Sharp.
Left to Right: Leo Rangira, Laura Martin Rangira, Erika Noyes, Kevan Sharp, Candy Martin, Ed Martin, Sarah Martin Hood.
This was the first year that our family had personally selected the scholarship recipient and it was every bit as rewarding as we had hoped. Becky and Jason weren't able to make it — but we hope the entire board can be together in Cabot to present the scholarship someday in the very near future.
It was special to be there. It was special to be able to talk about Tom to a whole new generation of Cabot High School students. We chatted with old friends and former teachers — and we told lots and lots of stories.
I may not be able to describe that Cabot feeling – but it is unmistakable.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.- Tom Martin (and Garrison Keillor…)