Goodin Watters, Lynn
I currently reside back on my family homestead on the Manatee River with my wife of twenty four years and three college age children. I met my wife Sherree while I was a cadet at the Citadel in 1980. We were married after my college graduation in 1984. Our son AJ (21) is on the Presidents list at MCC and will graduate fall of ’09 to enter USF in pursuit of an engineering degree. Our eldest daughter Katelyn (19) is a licensed cosmetologist and is starting MCC seeking a degree in Marketing. Madelyn is our 17 year old. She is on the Presidents list at MCC and will graduate in the fall of ’09. Then she will seek a degree at USF.
In 1980 I joined the Corps of Cadets of the Military College of South Carolina. It was loads of fun following all the rules at a four year all male military college. After graduation from The Citadel in 1984 I entered the financial services industry and moved back to Bradenton. In 1987 I went to work for the State of Florida that moved me to Jacksonville then Tallahassee. Because of my work with the state, my family traveled all over the Eastern United States and we chose to home school our children through their high school and into their college years. In 1997, I left the state to become an investor in the real estate industry. I became a nationally recognized personality in the private note business and travelled all over the country. This took me to an office on Park Avenue in New York City. My father died in 1998 and I returned to Bradenton in 1999 to take care of Mom. We semi-retired 1999-2001, this allowed us to work on the old homestead and travel. I went back into the financial services industry in 2001.
Presently, I am the owner of a financial planning and insurance practice (thesagesinc.com). We have been so magnificently blessed. By the grace of God we have wonderful children, fabulous friends, great health and sufficient wealth to meet our desires. By virtue of the time and place you were born, you are wealthier and have more freedom than 99% of the people who have ever lived on this planet. How will you answer when you are held accountable for that? Everyone has a certain unique ability. I hope you are utilizing yours. Mine is to teach people how to experience spiritual and financial freedom.
I have wonderfully fond memories of the years at Southeast High. There are so many experiences that come to mind. More importantly are the relationships that I still cherish to this day. There are so many people from those years that I will always be grateful for having cared for me. I look forward to seeing many of you at the reunion.
LYNN GOODIN WATTERS
I married Steve Watters (Class of 80) 6 months after we graduated, on Jan 24, 1981. We weren't even married a year before we moved to Kingston, Ontario, Canada. That was Steve's last home up there and he wanted to go back....he missed the snow. While we were up there, we were blessed with the births of 2 daughters. Katie, in June of 82, and Cyndie in May of 84. After living in Canada for over 3 yrs, Steve missed the beach, so we moved BACK to Bradenton. He started working for Manatee County with their 911 system and I worked full time for Aileen's a couple years, and then for Self Service Shoes for a couple years.
After 5 years in Bradenton, Dwayne Smith called Steve and asked if he wanted a job in northern VA where he worked. It was a chance at a new life away from Florida, so we jumped at it! At first, we lived in a townhouse in Sterling, VA, and later moved into a split level house. After 5 yrs in Sterling, we moved to Leesburg where we rented a house for the first 2 yrs there and then finally bought our first home. During our time in Leesburg, both our girls graduated from Park View High School in Sterling. Katie married a nice young man named Pat, and Cyndie married another nice young man named Scott.
Katie has blessed us with 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter, while Cyndie has blessed us with Scott and their dog, Snickers. We love our son-in-laws very much. We couldn't have asked for better husbands for our girls. Our family is rounded out by our dog, Skippy and my houserabbit, Hoppy Dale.
Steve has been with PRC/Northrup Grumman for 18 yrs and I am a volunteer at the Loudoun Museum in Leesburg. I also spent a short time volunteering at Bunny Lu Rabbit Rescue, until my asthma became a serious problem and I could no longer work there.
Steve and I have been very busy with our church life too. We were members of Potomac Baptist in Sterling for a number of years, where we were Youth Leaders/workers for 6 yrs and also did a lot of other jobs. Steve was ordained as a Deacon and later became a church Elder. He also ran the church soundboard and later we taught the 3-4 grade Sunday School class. I was a founding member of the church's Praise Team and a member of the choir. I also spent some time as the Nursery Director, but our greatest joy there was working with the Youth Group and getting involved with mission trips to Canada. Steve and I led 5 mission trips to Canada, taking the Youth there on 3 trips and family groups on 1 trip, and then going as Staff for another trip. Both Steve and I have a heart for Missions and Church Planting.
After about 7 or 8 yrs at Potomac, we started going to our current church at Crossroads Baptist in Leesburg. It was much easier to get there in the dead of Winter, only having to drive 3 mins instead of 15 miles. At Crossroads, Steve is again running the soundboard, and is head of Missions group. He led a group of 12 people on the church's very FIRST mission trip this past July. I help out in the nursery and also teach the 5 yr old- 3rd grade Sunday School class when their normal teacher can't be there. On Weds nights, I work with the Youth Group. Our church only has about 40 people there on Sunday mornings, which makes for a very small Youth Group, but that's okay....we'll grow!
For our 25th anniversiary, Steve and I went to New Zealand for about 3 weeks. We drove all around the South Island for over 2 weeks. We spent time in Christchurch and visited friends there. While there, we took a day train to Greymouth and back. Greymouth is on the west side of the South Island and going to and from there on the train took us through some beautiful country. After Christchurch, we drove to Dunedin and then over to spend a few days in Queenstown, where we went on some Lord of the Rings tours and yes.....we BUNGY JUMPED OFF A BRIDGE!!!!! It was fantastic!!!!!! I would do it again in a heartbeat! ...and this from someone afraid of heights! We also did something called Fly By Wire (look it up on the internet) which made me sick as a dog! After 3 or 4 days in Queenstown, we drove to the west coast, saw some glaciers along the way and then up to the northern coast, where we went kayaking for the first time, on the Abel Tasmin Sea and on a whale watching trip. Ever been sea sick???? Kayaking was fine, but on a boat in ocean....ugh! Never again! When we finally got back around the island to Christchurch, we flew up to the North Island and stayed at a Appaloosa farmstay. On our anniversary, we went on a Lord of the Rings tour to.....where they filmed The Shire! We stood in the doorway of Baggend and under the Party Tree! It was amazing!!!! Our trip to New Zealand was wonderful and we can't wait to go back again!
Anyway...that's my life so far! I can't wait to see what the rest of it brings!
Steve and Lynn Watters
526 Peppermill Terr. NE
Leesburg, VA 20176
As any member of the class of '80 will tell you others - We're not as old as you all! Around 30 years ago that was a problem but now it's not so bad.
After dressing up in the funny flat hat and listening to the same graduation speech as all of you (and every graduate in the subsequent 28 years), I made a last minute decision to attend Manatee Junior College and got through there in two years. That worked out so well that I made another last minute decision and went to the University of Florida to major in journalism. In and out in two years I thought, but life can take some turns and mine did. I made it through three of the four semesters needed to graduate. I even met a girl who was gullible (desperate?) enough to to date me. We were both seniors, except I was at UF and she was at Eastside High School. But she was legal, cute and a great conversationalist (So I'm told... she didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish). Since we didn't have much to discuss, we found other, ahem, ways to communicate (cough, cough) our interests to each other. She did try to teach me her language but I've yet to catch on (translated that means I don't have to talk to my Mother-in-law).
Life got a bit strange at this point - first I got a job in a tough market and dropped out of school 2 credits and a month short of graduation in Spring 1985. I figured I would just finish up with a correspondence course. I went to work as a photographer with the Tampa Tribune and with my weekly income decided it was time to live dangerously. Lidia and I were married in August 1985, exactly one year after we first discovered we had nothing to say to each other. I stayed at the Tribune for three years, leaving in early 1988 to freelance. Now I would have time to get that degree work done, which I finally did in 1989. Lidia was in school at USF for her Engineering degree.. then Business.. finally settling on Education (she comes from a family of teachers in Honduras, so I knew this would eventually be her destiny).
In late 1990 I decided freelancing sucked and joined the staff of the St. Petersburg Times. Two years later, Lidia got a job teaching Spanish in Citrus County so I transferred to the Citrus Edition of the Times and we moved north. We've lived in Citrus ever since and love the community. It was small and slow, much like Bradenton in the seventies. We also have a second home on Roatan, an island off the north coast of Honduras. We go down whenever possible to visit friends and family; Scuba dive the reefs and smuggle Cuban Rum back here.
Life continued pretty much unchanged until last year. Well, unchanged except for having a son in 1996, but everyone knows a kid doesn't change your life much (I'll wait a few moments so all the other parents can stop laughing). I won't bore you with child rearing stories since that will give us parents something to bore all you non-parents with at the reunion.
Nowadays I spend my free time taking my kid to karate tournaments, reading history and cavediving throughout North Florida.
In 2007 I hung up my cameras for the most part and became an editor fulltime overseeing the Times North Suncoast operation. I hope to help our paper transition in the new web-powered media world during the next eight years and then retire to Honduras. The only trick to that plan is 23 years after getting married, I still don't speak Spanish (but I do have a handy translator in the house).
Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday (I can't make the event Friday night, so that means everyone better be at the Saturday party too).
Cheer, cheer for Southeast High. Cheer for the Seminoles.
Our team will win this game, they'll fight 'til the end.
So wave our colors of orange, blue, grey. Long may they ever wave.
Heap, big Indian Seminole brave from Southeast High!!!