Tag Archives: nostalgia

3 Generations of Courtney Coherent

3 Generations Summer 90

This Valentine’s Day I would like to celebrate the non-romantic love in my life. Above you have one of my favorites photos with my mom and grandma. I could not be the person I am without these two strong, loving women in my life. Knowing that I have their support has gotten me through many hard times.

That’s love, Gentle Readers.

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Courtney Coherent, Circa Halloween 1989

For my first Halloween, I was a clown. Do you know what your first costume was?

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What I Found in Boxes of Childhood Books

This month my elementary school of employ is having a Read-a-thon, and naturally the Reading Corps members have been helping out. It involves students keeping track of their reading hours, both at school and home. There’s also a book exchange, where people can donate used books and students can take them for free.

I got to thinking about the boxes of books from my childhood that were sitting in the storage space at my mom and stepdad’s house. Surely there were books that I could easily part with. Last weekend I went home for a visit, giving me the perfect opportunity to dig through those boxes and bins. I came to the realization that I was a very lucky child to have access to so much reading material. I also discovered some very amusing items, which I will share with you here.

I had more books based on TV series than I would care to admit. The most blatant is this impressive collection of books based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Granted it was my favorite show for most of my elementary years, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. As I recall, most of the books were atrociously written. This cover amuses me the most because it’s clearly just a poor quality screenshot from a Season One episode.

I didn’t have cable as a child, so I never actually watched this show. I was given History Mystery as a birthday present, perhaps around age ten. I remember distinctly that my uncle Tom was quite enamored with it and kept saying, “Shelby WOO!” Emphasis on the Woo, in a tone worthy of a bachelorette party.

I began to exhibit signs of the English nerd at an early age. I loved the PBS show Wishbone, and the Pride and Prejudice¬†episode was my favorite. (To other kids, probably “that boring one with Wishbone talking to people at fancy parties.”) I was also the proud owner of this Great Illustrated Classics edition. Jane Austen, you speak to me at any age.

I was a big fan of Michelle Kwan, having followed her religiously during the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. (Don’t even get me started on my Tara Lipinski grudge.) However, even my obsessive ‘tween love couldn’t get me to like this book. It’s all about setting goals, working hard, and following your dreams. Except boring.

By far the strangest discovery was My Crazy Cousin Courtney Comes Back. By the author, you will be glad to know, of My Crazy Cousin Courtney. I had never read or even laid eyes on the first book. I believe this was given to me as a gift because — whoa! — my name is also Courtney! She is apparently a Beverly Hills Brat, so you can see how much we had in common. Do you think I gave this one away? Of course not! I’m holding on to this treasure for life.

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Courtney Coherent, Circa 1990

My grandpa was one of the people who taught me to love books. He inspired me to be an English major and a reading teacher. I miss him always.

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Courtney Coherent, Circa 1997

In honor of my first day of tutoring, which happens to be tomorrow, I decided to share a photo of myself at age eight. Should I inspire my third graders with a Club Stephanie book?

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Courtney Coherent, Circa 1998

I started at an early age. Before my feet could touch the floor, in fact.

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It’s Gonna Be Me, Revisited

Do you guys remember how “It’s Gonna Me” was the best song ever? Allow me to refresh your memory.

It’s March of 2000. That Y2K bummer is still hanging over you, but there’s a bright spot on the horizon. *NSYNC’s second album No Strings Attached is released to record-breaking sales. Your best friend comes over with her freshly purchased copy. The two of you listen to the album in your unfinished basement, borrowing the CD player that your mom uses for treadmill workouts. After dancing around to the already-familiar beats of “Bye Bye Bye,” you don’t know what to expect. But wait — is it possible? The second song is even better!

This was the Golden Age of *NSYNC. Justin had his curly blonde mini-fro. The boys wore ridiculous articles of denim and brightly colored leather. They were still doing highly choreographed dances in various lines and V-formations. The video is worth viewing for the doll makeup alone. When they break out of their packages at the beginning? Be still my inner ‘tween!

However, there is one detail that makes this song a classic, and that is Justin Timberlake’s delivery of the word “me.” Or should I say, “maaay”? That afternoon in my basement, we listened to the song at least three times in a row, just to hear the slow build to his proclamation of “It’s gonna be maaay” around minute 2:18. JC plays it safe in the second verse because only Justin can pull off the complete butchering of a basic English word and make it sound genius.

Foolish child that I was, I preferred JC over Justin. My boy band favorites tended toward the second most popular member. I was too set on being different to pick the most popular, but the overt strangeness of the bottom three was also off-putting. That left me with the moderately handsome brunette who got his fair share of lead vocals. (What up, Brian Littrell?!)

Happily my tastes have evolved. So when “It’s Gonna Be Me” popped up on my iPod during another day of filing, I could appreciate it in a whole new way. Or should I say, “waaay”? The way it utilizes Justin’s star power without making his solo career seem imminent, a la Celebrity. The way it manages to be danceable and sweet at the same time. The way it reimagines the pronunciation of “me.” And with that, gentle readers, just watch and enjoy.

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