Of all the friends I knew in my high school in Charleston during the 1980’s, I can only think of one person who didn’t either party, drink or have sex. Her name was Sheri Adank. She was a friendly, cute girl who was well-liked by everyone. Sheri was in all of our classes and everyone knew her, but I never saw her at parties or out cruising on the weekends. In fact, I don’t know who she was friends with. We all knew her and talked with her and liked her, but we didn’t do anything outside of school with her.
She must have had no social life at all. Her father was a preacher like mine, but she listened to her parents, unlike me. I imagine that Sheri probably sat at home most Friday and Saturday nights with nothing to do. I have no way of knowing, but I’m sure this was discouraging to her.
At the end of the year, Sheri and I were voted the friendliest and the best personality by our class. Sheri was also picked as our Homecoming Queen our senior year. The girl who never had a date, that I knew of, and didn’t hang out with the popular kids, was picked by our football team to be our Homecoming Queen.
Sheri was respected, liked and admired by everyone in our class. But she was not on the social list. This can be a very lonely position. I was also liked and had lots of friends, but unlike Sheri, I won friends in a different way. I drank, partied and joined in all of the bad activities that I knew were wrong, in an effort to make friends and be accepted.
I will never forget Sheri Adank. I always prayed that my girls would grow up to be like her. She was a courageous person who didn’t compromise her values to be popular. She never pushed God on anyone, or told people that they were bad. She didn’t have too. Everyone tried to be better when they were around Sheri because we all knew the kind of person she was.
Although she didn’t have a lot of close friends that I knew of, she had the respect of every individual in our class. Without a doubt, Sheri Adank was the best person in Charleston High School. I will always admire her and regret that I wasn’t as courageous as she.
I have gotten a few notes from her over the years, and she is still living a good Christian life. Here is her Facebook page if you want to see what she is all about: https://www.facebook.com/sheri.l.rowland