Column: Reflecting on what’s been lost


Mandy Halbert

Photo editor Stu Mair uses photos and words in his final Red Ledger submission to pay a touching tribute to the loss of a visionary part of the newspaper staff.

Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of farewells from some of the seniors on The Red Ledger staff. Photo editor Stu Mair created this somber tribute to a valued member of the newspaper staff, lost in a Disney World lagoon this past fall. The initial music choice was “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, but due to federal copyright restrictions a royalty-free song was substituted. But you can imagine how moving the original choice would’ve been.

We all lose things in high school. I’ve lost hats and I’ve lost homework assignments (a lot of homework assignments). I’ve lost games and books. But of the losses I’ve experienced in high school, a loss from The Red Ledger’s staff stands above all.

It was November of 2015. A group from The Red Ledger was attending a journalism conference in Orlando, blissfully unaware of the tragic loss that would soon occur.

It was a warm, sunny day in the happiest place on Earth. The staff had spent the morning learning how to improve our newspaper and had just enjoyed a delicious lunch on the boardwalk.

The staff then gathered by the water, enjoying the views and the sunshine. Despite their better judgement, a group of them leaned over the rail, admiring the water.

All of a sudden, there was a splash and a scream.

In a way, we lost Ian that day, but in a way, he was still with us. We were all blindsided by the loss, though none more than Ian.

Ian has always been a close friend of mine. He is a loyal friend and a loyal staff member, but blinded by loss, we all turned astray. It’s in times of loss that the people who guide you are so important.

In the chaos following the disaster, Catherine acted as our seeing eyes while we wandered in the aftermath of loss. Blinded by the tragedy that had just occurred, Catherine guided us through the rest of the conference, for which Ian would have been grateful.

That warm November day, Ian lost his glasses. Leaning over the rail that day, nobody saw the imminent threat. Now, in the waters below the Disney Boardwalk lies, in the words of adviser Corey Hale, “a very studious-looking fish.” That day, The Red Ledger lost a valuable member of our team, but we all gained a laugh and a good story to tell.

We all lose things, and the high school is soon to lose its graduating class. But we can all take comfort, as we move on into the world in the lessons we’ve learned, the friends we’ve made, and the hope and promise of coming back.

Lovejoy and its staff, students, and community have given me so much over the years and for that I’m grateful. As I sign off for the last time, I offer my sincere thanks for all that everyone has given me.

In loving memory of Ian’s Glasses (b. 2013 – d. 2015)