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Local artist went to high school with justice nominee in Texas

Jackson Cheatham had plenty of cool experiences in high school, but there was one he didn't even know about until more than 40 years later.

Mr. Cheatham, a Thomson artist and professor at the University of Georgia, grew up in Dallas, Tex., and attended Hillcrest High School there. While watching a news broadcast about recent Supreme Court Justice Nominee Harriet Miers, he finally put his past together with hers.

The two attended high school together in the 1960s. Mr. Cheatham said he didn't know her well, especially since it was a very large high school and she was a year ahead of him, but he added that she was one of those students everyone knew would succeed.

"She was just like her superlatives which are in the annual," Mr. Cheatham said. "She was smart. She was into tennis; she was on the tennis team. National Honor Society. She was just one of those students that was doing everything."

After seeing President George W. Bush's nominee in the news, Mr. Cheatham kept thinking she looked familiar. When he finally put it all together, he pulled out his old yearbook and looked her up.

Her nomination didn't surprise him now, but he said as a teenager thinking about what may become of his classmates wasn't something he spent time doing.

"She was one of those excellent students and a very nice person. She was very much involved in all kinds of things," he said. "...You knew she would excel in whatever she did, but I don't think any body really ever thought about that possibility."

After moving to Atlanta and later to Thomson in 1980, Mr. Cheatham's acquaintances in high school fell to the back of his memory.

But remembering one of his old classmates as the president hopes to have her on the highest court in the land certainly added a unique twist to his high school years.

Web posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005


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