This is my parting shot. My -30-, if you will. The end.
Not often do editors get the chance to write whatever they want. And now that I have the chance, I can’t pass it up.
My time at Central has spanned three decades and I’m only 31. I came to Central in 1998 as a freshman, due to the perseverance of Eric Jones ’87, an admission counselor at the time. He came to my high school at Guthrie Center, Iowa, and we ended up playing H-O-R-S-E in the gym. Not sure if he let me win on purpose, but it helped with my decision.
At first, I think I was like many high schoolers. I wanted to do my own thing and blaze a new path. I didn’t want to come to Central because we were one of those legacy families. My great-grandfather Cornelius Evers was a professor. My grandparents Clyde ’41 and Annie Williams Evers ’43 met at Central in physics class. My parents Scott ’71 and Bonna Evers Gonzales ’72 also met at Central. And my sister Sunny ’99 was a senior at Central when I was a freshman. I didn’t want to continue being Sunny’s little sister at Central. Turns out, I wasn’t. I was my own person. Professors got to know me. Coaches treated me as Abby. I had my own friends, but it was also nice to have family at Central. In fact, Central actually became my family and my home over the next four years.
After a one-year hiatus to Southern Illinois University, Larry Happel asked me to return to Central as the interim sports information director while he took a sabbatical. I’m so glad I did. But I’m also glad he came back. There’s no way I could’ve kept up that pace past one year. It was an eye opener and a great opportunity that opened a door when Central needed a new Bulletin editor and writer.
That was in 2004, and this is what I’ve been doing ever since. It’s been good, challenging, fun and exciting. Most who work at Central understand it’s not an 8-to-5 job. Especially those who have been here a while and have strong ties to the place. I’ve been at work at every hour of the day. Re-inputting basketball stats at midnight; arriving at 3:15 a.m. for “The Early Show” with Harry Smith ’73 and his CBS News crew; crafting an emergency message for the Central community at 4:30 a.m., pounding out articles for the Bulletin at 10 p.m., and sending news releases at 6 p.m.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Except a husband. And that is why I must say goodbye. Godspeed Central. Don’t worry; I’ll be back for alumni track meets, Homecoming and any other excuse I can find. After all, I am Dutch and always will be — even though I have a Norwegian last name now.
Things I’ll Miss About Central College
- Breakfast of Champions. Most serve for the students; I served so I could eat, too.
- Caramel bars
- Café@Geisler’s lattes and bagels. Do you see a theme yet?
- Cook-to-order Mongolian on Fridays at the Central Market
- Dutch athletics
- The Dutch bridge and pond. Although, I won’t miss getting thrown in on my birthday.
- Photo shoots. I secretly enjoyed being the stand-in for testing the lighting and holding the giant reflector.
- The beautiful campus and how it feels like home
- Ron Schipper Fitness Center and the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex. I spent many, many hours there as a student and an employee. Maybe it’s not Jaarsma Bakery, but I love the smell of H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse.
- Fine, I’ll say it: “The People.” Nearly 99.9 percent of the time when a student or alum is asked, “Why did you go to Central?” the answer is “the people.” I’ve met a lot of great people at Central, as most of you have, including lifelong friends.
Abby Gonzales Larson ’02 served as news and marketing writer at Central from 2004-11. She and her husband, Nic, live near Osage, Iowa.