Back 2 School Reunion

573 Magazine has been going strong in the area for nearly 15 years now. We've seen some beautiful places, experienced some epic adventures, and met some amazing people since we got started. Lately Team 573 has been feeling very nostalgic, and as we think back on the days and friends of 573 Past we tend to wonder how things have changed over the years and where those amazing people are today.

...jog down memory lane...

Autumn can often bring about fond thoughts of days gone by and apparently we're not the only ones feeling the urge to jog down memory lane and see where life has taken some of our favorite 573 friends. Last month 573 Magazine got a wonderful message from an "old" friend.



“Hi. My name is Trey Smith... The reason I messaged you is, I was in your AUG/SEPT 2013 issue of 573 Magazine. I was in the Back to School story. The reason I reached out is because I had the time of my life with all of the kids I met on the day of that photo shoot. I was 8 years old and didn’t have a care for the world. I am 16 now and trying to figure out life. I would love to see all those kids again and just see where life took them.

how cool would it be to see what those kids are doing now?

In the story each kid got a small paragraph about what we wanted to be when we grew up, so I thought how cool would it be to see what each one of those kids are doing now? Imagine doing side by side photos to see how we’ve grown, or even just proving a point that life doesn’t go as we always plan. Things happen, choices are made, and those are decisions that make us who we are. For example, I am 16 years old and a youth pastor in Farmington MO. If you told me that’s where I’d be today 8 years ago, I would have said you’re crazy!


My point in all of this is, I just thought it would be cool to see them again. If you think this is in any way, shape, or form a maybe good idea please text me back. lol Have a blessed day!”

Reunion Story!

Trey’s idea wasn’t good. It was great! And thanks to him and his unwavering efforts, we were able to track down the whole gang, and even reunite 5 out of the 6 kids that took part in the 573 Magazine 2013 Back to School Shoot for a very special Back 2 School Reunion Story!


BUT FIRST…


Let’s travel back in time to 2013 to refresh our 573 memories!

The Arcadia Valley Academy is an enormous campus, with many possible locations to choose from. There are over 200 rooms. With 6 kids modeling, accompanied by their parents, hair and makeup, our assistant ZuZu, the photographer, and myself, we had a full team to help take this to production.

...polka dots, checks, and stripes...

This ancient academy proved to be the perfect location to juxtapose the bright and bold back to school apparel, with it’s spotlight on polka dots, checks, and stripes, and maybe some plaids and houndstooth, too.


Polka dots, the most frivolous and fun of all the prints. After all, the pattern shares its name with the peppy dance form.

I think if polka dots made a sound, it would be,”oom pa pa, oom pa pa,” just like the beat of a polka. I can imagine polka dancers dipping their toes in paint before the dance, then leaving the dance floor speckled, or polka dotted. The polka dot fabric is related to the dance form, but more likely because both became popular around the same time, in the late Nineteenth century. Everyone knows about the “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and maybe Frank Sinatra’s first hit recorded with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra “Polka Dots and Moonbeams.” But did you know that Blues guitarist, Buddy Guy, regularly plays a signature Fender Stratocaster that is black with cream polka dots? Not to mention Flamenco dancers often flip and twirl their full skirts of polka dot fabric.

...playfulness and giggles...

The polka dot fabric of today still evokes playfulness and giggles, and that’s exactly what was happening when the friendship that was being forged between two of our little models the day of the shoot-Jayden and Peyton.


Peyton (above right) is an athletic eight-year-old who loves swimming, riding horses, and participating in a variety of sports. She is still undecided whether she would rather be a veterinarian or a fashion designer...possibly pet couture?


Six-year-old Jayden (left) is a competitive dancer who spends much of her time practicing her stunts and perfecting her tumbling skills. Although referred to by her mother as a little diva, she loves the dirt and action when watching her Uncle Billy race his modified dirt cars around the track.


With the talent Jayden already possesses, it isn’t difficult to imagine her reaching the goal of becoming a professional performer in The Cirque Du Soleil when she grows up.



...worn by the pop culture of today.

Often seen in private school uniforms or the scratchy wool kilts representing the different clans, plaid fabric is becoming less serious when worn by the pop culture of today.

Plaid, the ever so serious plaid...

Not only is plaid in other colors now, besides the traditional red, navy, green, and yellow, there’s hot pink and black, even silver. It’s used in both casual and formal attire, preppy and punk. I like to see it worn in contrast to a loud print, or over polka dots, etc.


Reese, the six-year-old Director, was not so pleased with her feathery flock. Actually, she was disappointed at not being a bird herself. Reese loves performing, whether she’s dancing, playing piano, or doing gymnastics. She also likes to read and do arts and crafts. Above all, she loves to shop! She likes an audience, so she would like to pursue a career as a pop star and/or a fashion designer.


Stripes have been in textiles since the loom was invented; the stripe was produced every time a new color or textile was added. The stripes were more pronounced when the dyeing of the fibers became incorporated. There are the Stars and Stripes on our National flag, as well as others. And at the other end of the spectrum, there were the black and white prison outfits; who could forget Jail House Rock? In the fashion world, however, it was none other than Mademoiselle Coco Chanel that introduced women of the time to both striped fabric and comfortable, corset-free dressing. She spent time off the coast of France, taking inspiration from the sailors she would see hauling in their catch.



Gianna (above)(10) loves theatre, singing, and dancing. When not on the stage performing, you can find her reading or on the softball field. When thinking about her future, the stage comes to mind: an actress or singer. However, she’s also interested in Interior Design.


Leif (right) (7) plays outside most of the time; up in a tree or on his bike is where he can usually be found. He would like things in his future to be safe and orderly, which is why he would like to be a police officer when he grows up.


Eight-year-old Trey (below) spends a lot of his free time outside building forts, catching bugs and wildlife while playing safari. He’s a natural performer and took it upon himself to be in charge of FUN during the downtime of our photo shoot. There was a lot of dancing and laughing going on. It comes as no surprise that Trey sees himself as an entertainer of sorts when he grows up.


Everyone was attentive and cooperative meaning that the most difficult part of the day was ignoring the delicious aromas flowing down the hallways from Thee Abbey Kitchen. The Academy has a lot to offer whether you’re just passing through town or if you’re planning an event or wedding.

SNAP BACK TO THE NOW…

Trey

Still taking charge and keeping the funtimes going, Trey Smith, now 16, is shaping up to be quite the leader. Not only was he responsible for putting together this reunion shoot and tracking down our motley crew, he also tends a small flock as a local youth pastor.

How cool would it be to see everybody again…

"I am 16 years old and the youth director at Christian life Church. When tax season starts up I also work at O’Neal Tax Service! I love it there! I am from Sainte Genevieve, Missouri, but now I live in Farmington. I am in 10th grade and some of my current interests are making movies with my best friend or playing piano for hours on end.



The reason that I reached out to you guys started with finding the original 573 Magazine from 2013. My sister found it and gave it to me. I started flipping through the pages and when I saw everybody, it hit me. I instantly thought, “How cool would it be to see everybody again…” and in my mind I said “it would be so cool to get the old gang back together again” lol. So I started to wonder if 573 Magazine had all their contact info.

“Let’s make it happen!”

I contacted 573 and talked to them about how cool it would be to redo the photo shoot eight years later and see everybody now. To see if everybody turned out to be what they wanted to be or see if they went down a different path. They said “Let’s make it happen!” So then the real challenge began.

I started looking for each and every teenager. The first one I found was Jayden, then I found Gianna. I kept looking and I found Reese and eventually Leif...it took me forever! The last one I just could not find was Peyton. So 573 made a post on Facebook and we found her in no time!

an amazing experience both the first time and the second

The reason I had the drive to find everybody was all because of the first day I met them. I had a blast taking photos and laughing with the kids. I was only eight years old and didn’t have a care for the world. Now I’m 16 and trying to figure out how life works. It was an amazing experience both the first time and the second time around.



When I was little, I told you guys that I wanted to be an entertainer. That was my dream and now here I am at 16 years old and I entertain teenagers just like me that go through everyday problems and I teach them about how God can help get them through it.

staying in contact

I wish I would’ve stayed in touch with everybody because it would have been WAY easier to find them, but unfortunately I was young and didn’t have social media or a phone so there was no staying in contact for me.



Seeing everyone in person was jaw-dropping. I couldn’t believe how much everybody’s grown! How beautiful all the girls were and even how much the photographer had changed. It was just crazy! But it was so amazing to see everybody still smiling even after all we’ve been through over the years. It was awesome!

...we now know a little bit more...

This shoot was different from the last one because none of us knew anything about life when we first met. Now we’ve all been through break-ups and heartache. We’ve lost people in our lives and we now know a little bit more about reality, so we have all gained some maturity since the last photo shoot.


I guess you guys can say you got to watch us grow up!


Jayden



"I’m currently a North County High School Freshman. I am self taught at the piano and the ukulele. When I get free time I enjoy drawing, dancing, and spending time with my family. I stopped competitive dance two years ago and am now a North County High School Varsity cheerleader and am on the North County High School competitive cheer team.



My newest dream is to become an Olympic Track Athlete. I'm on the North County High School Track Team, and I train at Gold Star Academy in the areas of cheerleading and tumbling. I plan to go to college for cheerleading and track and am still undecided what I want to major in.

...a neat experience.

I am actually friends with two of the models from the original shoot! Gianna, who I used to see through competitive dance, and Reese who is in the same grade as me. Trey is the one who reached out to me about remaking the photo shoot and has stayed in touch with me since.



Being in the same place with everyone again was a neat experience. To see how much we all have grown...it brought back lots of memories from the original shoot. I was only 6 years old at the first photo shoot, so I had lost a lot of memories that were brought back at the reunion as we talked about the original day and looked around the Academy.


Thanks for doing this, it was really cool! I love to model and would be interested in any other 573 opportunities!



Gianna

I am currently 18 years old, and loving life! I am from Bonne Terre, Missouri, however I currently reside in Fayetteville, Arkansas for my freshman year at University of Arkansas. I have a wonderful and supportive family that consists of two little brothers, Bodhi (12) and Asher (9), as well as my wonderful parents, Joe and Shawna.

My goal...become a corporate attorney.

My current interests are reading and dancing when I have free time. Sports and activities I enjoy now are dancing and golfing. While I still do have passion for interior design, it is more of a hobby than a career interest now. The acting and singing part really did not uphold throughout the years.


Presently, I am in the Pre-Law program at University of Arkansas where I am majoring in Political Science in hopes of attending Law School after undergrad. My goal is to become a corporate attorney.


I stayed in touch with Jayden and Reese through dance, we all attended the same studio together.


It was lovely seeing everyone together and in person again, it definitely gave me a reminiscent feeling observing how everyone has changed throughout the years.


This shoot was different from the previous one simply because of the time that has passed between them. I mean, eight years, that is a lot of time. Within that span of time, I am sure all of us have learned many lessons and made many memories, thus creating a different perspective on life and who we are individually. We wear what we have seen and learned on our faces, hence why with each face you see, you see a different life, a different story. So, even though I knew these faces, for some I didn't know the story behind what made them, them. It was honestly interesting and the amount of deja vu I had was incredible.



Reese


My name is Reese Worthington and I am from Bonne Terre, MO. My parents are Jennifer and Robin Worthington. I am now in 9th grade at North County High School where I am a member of the North County Raiderettes.

I have changed my goals...

My interests are very similar to those from 2013. I still enjoy dance, gymnastics, listening to music, and art. I have changed my goals from those that I had in 2013 though. I now plan to attend college at Mizzou and study broadcast journalism, in hopes to become a news reporter. I also hope to become a member of the Golden Girls Dance Team while attending Mizzou.



Thankfully I stayed in touch with a few of my fellow models. Jayden is one of my closest friends, and I have taken several dance classes with Gianna throughout the years.

It's always exciting to reconnect...

Doing the reunion photo shoot was fun. It is always exciting to reconnect with people that you worked with in the past and see what everyone is up to and how they have changed.



This photo shoot was much different from the last. In 2013 we did several wardrobe changes and location changes throughout the venue. Also being younger, the venue was much spookier to me then. I enjoyed doing both photo shoots and appreciate 573 Magazine for inviting us back to have the reunion shoot.



Peyton

Currently I attend Farmington High school and am in 10th grade. At school I am a part of Key club Knights in action and am an FFA officer. My hobbies include reading, tennis and hanging out with friends.



I still try to stay as active as possible. I quit softball a couple years ago and picked up tennis. I really enjoy tennis and the girls I play with!! I still ride horses occasionally, but not as much as I would like to.

As long as I'm working with animals...

My fashion designer dreams wore off a while ago, lol but I still would like to become a veterinarian or a wildlife conservationist. As long as I'm working with animals, any job sounds great!

Unfortunately I did not stay in touch with any of the other models over the years, but I did enjoy seeing them all again and hope that in a couple years, if we’re not all too busy with our new lives, we can reunite again!!


Reunions sure can be a blessing, and this is the perfect time of year to reach out and reconnect with friends, family, and those from our past who invoke some of our favorite moments and fondest memories.



Get out there!



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