Remembering Katie

In memoriam

Katie Talmage Homan

April 19, 1965 September 3, 2009

By Elin Swanson Katz

Thank God for the alphabet. Thanks to the alphabet and my last name Swanson " I was assigned a locker just two away from Katie Talmage in 1979 when we were both freshmen at Bethlehem Central High School. Happily, the school maintained its alphabetical order assignment policy for all four years of high school because it took Katie and me almost a year to actually talk to each other. Once we hit sophomore year, however, we never stopped talking, as Tim Talmage, the poor kid stuck with the locker between us, can attest.

People often complain about how awful high school was. I guess I'm lucky, because I had a really good time in high school, thanks in large part to Katie. Katie was my buddy, my partner-in-crime, my confidante, and my best friend. Together we navigated all of the highs and lows of high school: too much homework, not enough dates, crazy teachers, bonfire parties, football games, football players, driver's tests, rock concerts, big brothers, little sisters, curfews, unreasonable parents, junior prom, college hunting, senior prom, after prom, graduation, boys the list is endless. Every step of the way, Katie was there with me. In the days before cell phones, we tied up our parents' phone lines for hours on end, dissecting every important event in our day " which back then was pretty much every event.

What I remember most was laughing " well, giggling. More than once we took the bus from Delmar to Colonie Center, which was a good hour trip, complete with a transfer in downtown Albany, whispering and giggling all the way. So you know those annoying teenage girls sitting behind you, making you wonder if your hair is sticking up or something? That was us. But we weren't laughing at you, honestly. We were just " laughing. We laughed our way through high school, and Katie's silly, quirky sense of humor led the way. She kept me from taking myself too seriously.

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