What Happened in 1999?
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way." And thus, Charles Dickens, by way of Tom Kraus in 8th grade English, sums up 1999.
1999 was a big year for us. We bonded over "Senior Skip Day," Grad Night at Walt Disney, and hanging around Sarasota. We parked our cars in the gravel parking lot and snuck off campus for lunch. We shuttled between the orange, blue, purple, and yellow buildings, going to classes with Mr. McCracken, Mr. Goffard, Ms. Abrams, and others, while stopping to catch some sun in the field or buy a cookie from the cookie cart. We went to Cobalt. We dressed up in wacky outfits for Senior Servitude Day. We played varsity sports, we took AP exams. We laughed, we had fun, we made memories. We graduated, said goodbye to Pine View, and left our little campus for big new adventures.
A lot happened in 1999, at Pine View, in Sarasota, and around the world. These events, both big and small, sad and happy, humorous or not, left an indelible imprint on our lives.
Although many of us were probably not aware of this at the time, 1999 was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations, an ironically fitting title for life in Sarasota. It was also the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, and a year for many important national and international events. The U.S. Senate opened the impeachment trial of President Clinton, Microsoft released the second version of Windows 98, and Napster debuted in June, changing the way we all "bought" music. Columbine, the war in Kosovo, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal dominated headlines.
In 1999, George W. Bush announced that he would seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France, and the world population reached 6 billion people when the six billionth person was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 12th.
What were we watching on T.V. when we weren't studying for AP Economics? Ally McBeal and The Practice were both big hits, and The Sopranos, SpongeBob SquarePants, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Family Guy all made their T.V. debuts.
When we went downtown to Hollywood 20 to see a movie, we were watching Shakespeare in Love, American Beauty, Life is Beautiful, 10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, Fight Club, Magnolia, The Matrix, Office Space, and the Sixth Sense. We waited in line for tickets to see Star Wars Episode 1 on opening night. We laughed during Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and then laughed again remembering when Greg Goldman brilliantly assumed the Austin Powers persona for the 11th grade act in the Pine View Talent Show.
What were we downloading off of Napster and listening to on 93.3 FLZ? Britney Spears had just burst out on the scene with Hit Me Baby One More Time, Cristina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson soon followed with their first albums, and the Backstreet Boys continued their boy band dominance with Millennium. Blink-182 released Enema of the State. Destiny's Child, Ginuwine, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Jennifer Lopez all had number one hits, and Cisco was wowing everyone with his amazing lyrical ability in The Thong Song. Even Tupac came out from hiding and released an album. Sarah McLaughlin's I Will Remember You gave us a poignant graduation song, and Baz Lurhman gave the Class of 1999 advice in Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen). At the Grammy's, My Hearth Will Go On, by Celine Dion, won song of the year and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won album of the year.
What sports teams were we watching and cheering for? The Denver Broncos won their second Super Bowl in a row, defeating the Atlanta Falcons. Florida State defeated Virginia Tech and quarterback Michael Vick to take the National Championship. The New York Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves in the World Series; the San Antonio Spurs defeated the New York Knicks in the NBA finals; the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup over the Buffalo Sabres, and Charismatic won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Tiger Woods won his first PGA Championship by one stroke over then 19-year old Sergio Garcia.
It is hard to capture here all that happened in 1999, and all that 1999, and the years that we spent at Pine View, meant to us. It is a time in our lives that contained so much, changed so much, and made us who we are today. The Reunion Committee hopes that you will join us in June to remember 1999, Pine View, and all of the great people who shared these experiences with us.