Look to this day-
for it is life,
the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence;
the joy of growth, the beauty of creativity;
the splendor of action, the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory. And tomorrow is only a vision;
but today well-lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness, and tomorrow a vision
The words above appear at the top of the first few pages of the 1976 Bearden Yearbook. The school year began on September 7, 1976. Almost 1 month later, something unthinkable happened. While on a field trip to GSMNP, with her ornamental horticulture class, Trenny was walking alone around 3pm, with students both in front and behind her. They were near a rock overhang. She stopped for a brief second, and seemed to be looking at something off to the right of the trail. To the students that witnessed this, it appeared that she then stepped off the trail. It was misting rain and foggy that afternoon.
Thinking she would meet them at the bus parked in the Clingman’s Dome parking lot, the students continued onward. A short time later, they realized that Trenny was not among the group of teenagers in the parking lot. She never came back. Not that day, or any of the days to follow. Nearly 43 years have passed since that October day, back when Gerald Ford was president, a brand new car would cost around $4100, gas was $0.59 per gallon, and Trenny has not returned. Not a word from her. Her dear father, brother and sister, whom she was very close to, have since passed away. Surely if she were alive, she would have contacted someone by now. Reached out somehow. Sadly, she cannot. Except through blogs and sites like this one, where she has a voice, though someone must speak for her.
Where are you, Trenny? Where did you go? What happened to you? What made you step off of the trail? Why were you hiking alone?
And most importantly : Who harmed you and why?