Graduation brings down the curtain on Patch Talk show
Stars and Stripes June 4, 2003
STUTTGART, Germany — Patch High School seniors Rachel Bowker and Lauren Miles are nearly inseparable. They complete each other’s sentences and can quickly rattle off what they have in common.
But that’s to be expected. The best friends have spent the past year working as the AFN duo Patch Talk, doing on-air wrap-ups of Patch news; announcing the basketball team before games; and hosting Patch TV, the in-house morning broadcast at the high school.
“They’re great together,” said Walter Fritz, the Patch teacher who oversees the activities.
Although Bowker and Miles said they are unsure what they will do in their careers, the experience doing the news programs will guide them after high school graduation this Saturday.
“You need to get over your fear,” said Miles, who plans on attending the University of Tennessee-Knoxville next year to study math education.
The lesson Bowker learned was just as simple: “Don’t mess up.”
Laughing, they both recalled the words each other had mispronounced during the past year, when they estimate they did nearly 180 spots. Miles had pronounced “continuance” as “continence.”
During the morning broadcast they needed to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance,” something they both forgot at times. They said whoever replaces them should make sure they know.
The duo become friends during sophomore year at a dance.
“I looked over saw her and said: ‘That’s a white girl who can dance,’” said Bowker, who loves to dance, too.
They became friends through dancing, and although they have slightly different interests, their personalities were a good fit.
For example, Bowker has performed in several community theater and school plays, but Miles couldn’t see herself on stage and instead worked behind the scenes operating the lights and curtain.
That close relationship, they both said, allowed them to work well as a team, whether it was calling basketball games or reading the morning announcements.
“We know what each other is thinking and how to make each other laugh,” said Bowker, who will attend Angeline College in Lufkin, Texas, where she will study theater.
Bowker’s parents teach at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart; Miles’ dad works for the U.S. European Command helping coordinate humanitarian assistance medical flights.
In the fall, they will attend schools that are about 1,000 miles apart, but they are making plans to keep in touch.
“The only thing that’s going to keep us apart is if we can’t afford to see each other,” Miles said.
Miles said she isn’t sure how she may rely upon on her Patch TV and AFN experience but Bowker has a plan.
Getting a job as an actress is tough, she said, but if that doesn’t work she plans to go into broadcast or radio. “I’ve gotten a feel for it,” she said.