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 Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend

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milennialrebelette



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PostSubject: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:52 pm

So I reached out to my sister asking her about Rachel and about what she felt about the movie. She wrote me a long email in response so I figured I'd just share the whole thing. If you didn't know, my sister was a junior at Columbine during the shootings. She grew up with Rachel and was good friends with her. It was actually my sister opening up about Rachel and asking me to go to her grave site with her on the 15th Anniversary when she was in town, that inspired my own Columbine research.

"Hey Ki!

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, Stella is teething and it's driving mama crazy. I got super spoiled with the other girls, easiest babies in the world. I shouldn't complain, I love them to death but you know, sometimes being home alone with the girls all day can be difficult. Look at me complaining about having a wonderful husband who takes such good care of his family. I must sound like such a brat! I miss you, I wish you would come visit. It's good to hear that Aunt C is doing well, have you ever looked into being a nurse? Social worker, nurse, look at my lil sis saving the world!

Also, I had to think a lot before I answered some of your questions. Thank you for watching that God awful movie with me by the way, I don't think I could have trusted anyone else to sit there with me as I cried, got angry and laughed all at the same time. No way I could have done it on my own

The movie about Rachel was not the Rachel I knew. Her and I go way back. I started school at Normandy but then I lived with daddy for a little bit when I was little before I went back to live with mom. That's how Rach and I met, we were in kindergarten at Dutch Creek. We really became close when her parents divorced, since I'd been going through that with my dad and our mom for awhile. At Ken Caryl we were inseparable. None of the other girls got our crazy hectic home lives and had parents who were struggling financially. We kind of formed this group of girls with Jen and Sarah. We went to Southwest Plaza all time, were boy crazy, very typical middle school girls. It was the summer before 7th grade when she went to visit her relatives in Louisiana. She didn't have some big major conversion either. Her parents were very religious, but so were my parents, mom as you know, but also my dad and my step mom. She went to her youth group, I went to LifeTeen at Cabrini. If you weren't religious in Littleton, that's what stuck out. I know we've talked all about this when you moved back to Colorado your senior year to go to Columbine and freaked out since it was so different than where you grew up in Hawaii. so obviously it's still very similar. Beth, Rach's mom had to work her butt off and she wasn't home much and if she was she was exhausted. Our mom was starting to get really sick so she was in bed a lot and not very attentive. It allowed us to run a little wilder than our peers for a bit.

Our freshman year was the same. I made varsity poms as a freshman which got our clique involved with some of the older "popular" kids. We went to parties, we smoked (well Rachel more than me, I was always hesitant about smoking because of dancing, but definitely not drinking!) The way the movie portrays her as freaking out about one party, making fun of her friends for being drunk pretty much and being all hoitytoity... is just so far off. She partied with the best of us.. Nothing crazy, no one was an alcoholic or did anything horrible. Just typical high school parties. We'd go out Saturday night and sit in Church on Sunday.You know, Columbine. Rach made out with guys, the one thing I do know is she was very protective of her virginity,, she almost lost it to her boyfriend Steve,who she was madly in love with. That part the movie does have right about her faith being what led to her breaking up with him. But she didn't make it about him, she said it was because of her. That she loved him so much and knew she wouldn't be able to live up to her values because she didn't feel strong enough and because she valued him so much she had to break up with him to have her space.

The group of "mean girls" (who by the way looked like they rummaged through their own closets for their clothes, very little authentic late 90s fashion in the movie, which made it even harder to take seriously, the characters were probably dressed more like when you went to Columbine than me) but anyway they're probably loosely based on our crowd. No none of us ever slept with Steve, he was a theater guy, definitely not our crowd, except because of Rachel.

The one thing about Columbine's social scene that the movie, and everyone else, seems to have wrong is it wasn't jocks/popular airheads and then everyone else. If you were active in something at school, whether it was forensics, theater, band, sports, you weren't an outcast completely. It was the people who went out of their way to be against the school and make a point of being outcasts, that were ostracized the most. Yeah I admit I dated football and baseball players, and Rachel kind of got more into theater. That's what led to her originally distancing herself from our group, it wasn't some big religious revelation she had, none of her girl friends slept with Stephen. Theater takes up a ton of 0time. To be honest though Rach hated school, she planned on leaving after junior year. I know the rumors that floated around about her wanting to join some Christian acting troup, but honestly she just wanted to leave. She was struggling with her family, Dana had moved out, Bethany was married, her mom was super into Larry after all those years of working her butt off. She had almost no relationship with her dad through high school, I was at her mom and Larry's house all the time but I honestly could count on one hand the number of times I saw Darrel. She was already looking at apartments with Lisha, she turned 18 in August and she wanted to be done.

It was our junior year that we were the furthest apart. I was assistant captain of the poms squad and that took up a ton of work, I also worked at Bath and Body Works at Southwest Plaza and was a Confirmation group leader at Cabrini. Rach was super into theater and was working at Subway as well as super active in her own youth group.. We were just so busy. I did have a chance to go see her last play and I'm so glad. I remember talking to her one night, after she cut her hair for the role. It was short and red and super cute and super out there for Columbine. Her family made fun of her. She was crying. She said she was just so sick of it. She was incredibly sensitive, and that's what made her such a good friend and good person. She cared. She listened. But on the flip side, she also got hurt. She tried not to show it, but it was there. I think that's why she tried to throw herself into religion so much junior year, at least internally. Externally she was still the same as always. It wasn't uncommon for most people at Columbine to mention God in passing, again it was more out there to not be religious than to be Christian. So she didn't get excluded at school because of her faith. That plot line is just so ridiculous. I did go to Breakthru once with her, it was great. Very open, very intense I could definitely see why Rach liked it so much. You know when you're a teenager nothing makes sense and you're just trying to get it to make sense? Everything is just so intense. Rach felt all that doubly or triplely so.

I still have some of the notes she sent to me in class, she'd leave them in our shared locker at Ken Caryl, then later on the dash of my car, we both parked over at Clement Park because we couldn't afford school parking passes. She was just so real. Since we were little girls with big scrunchies, who played in our wonderful fantasy worlds outside on the greenbelt or on the playground, we'd pretend to be queens and princesses. Where no adults were fighting or yelling or too sick to get out of bed or worried about not having enough for groceries. We pretended to have banquets instead of rice at home. Her imagination was the best. When we got older, our friendship was bonded, the girls looked up to her eclectic style from Goodwill, and she used to help me with my outfits. I'd do her hair because I was much better at that. Neither of our mom's had the time to help us with it when we were younger, so we did it ourselves. As we got older we cared about boys, about what we looked like, things like that. But she also saw deeper and beyond our typical teenage woes sometimes, she talked about traveling about working on stages across the world. I always wanted to go live on the beach and she was supposed to come visit me when she was doing a play in our town. You know, big dreams.

I miss her like crazy. It's weird the Rachel that's made up for this movie and in a lot of the myths that are still talked about, isn't the Rachel that I knew, that most of us knew. She was exploring her faith more, but most of us were since most of us were Christian. She had a way with words and journaled prolifically so it's not surprising that's part of the legacy that she left. I can't judge Beth and Larry (though I do judge Darrel just a little because he was never around until she died) they didn't really know Rachel as a teenager, so they're trying to grasp on to what she left behind. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a little bit of guilt behind it. She was the forgotten middle child who compared to her siblings didn't take up much of her parents attention. She was a wonderful person and now that I Have little girls of my own I can't even imagine losing one of them the way the Nimmos and Scotts lost Rachel. So if putting together this movie and this legacy is what they have to do... I know Rachel would understand. I could see her groaning and rolling her eyes and laughing at parts of it, but she always had a big heart. If this is what her mom needs I'm sure she'd be okay with it.

I hope this answers some of your questions. It's good to know people out there care about what really happened to this day. I hope this helps them understand who Rachel was a little bit more. I know there was still some questions about what it was like living with mom down the street from the Harris family and more about what happened that day. The girls are waking up from nap time, so I hope it's okay that I respond to those later.

Love you!

Linds"

Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be more than happy to see if my sister can answer them.
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Screamingophelia
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:42 pm

Thank you!!


This was a long time ago but I spoke to someone named Lindsay online way back in the day but she was involved in theater at Columbine so I’m not sure if it’s the same one... but I do remember a story about Rachel’s coat and how her nickname was “dirty whore” I don’t think that was your sister though...

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milennialrebelette



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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:12 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thank you!!


This was a long time ago but I spoke to someone named Lindsay online way back  in the day but she was involved in theater at Columbine so I’m not sure if it’s the same one... but I do remember a story about Rachel’s coat and how her nickname was “dirty whore” I don’t think that was your sister though...

No probIem! It probably wasn't my sister. She never did theater she was a dancer and did varsity poems all four years. There were a ton of Lindsay/Lindsey's at Columbine then haha Talk about homogenous. There was even a girl named Lindsay with the same last name as my sister. Even when I was at Columbine no one could pronounce my name, and I was one of the darkest kids. I'm pretty light because my mom was white but my dad is Native.

I remember when we visited Rachel's grave Linds saying people in drama called her Dirty Whore. Her other friends picked it up as a joke.
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am

Wow, thank you for posting this. I love reading more about Rachel.
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:26 am

Very interesting. I am not surprised at all that they changed Rachel to fit the martyr that she has become.

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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:13 pm

Did your sister have any interactions with the trenchcoat mafia? Wondering if they were really as “awful” as the media made them out to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:27 pm

I feel like I really want to ask if your sister knows anything about the supposed ketchup incident. I feel like that is been such a lore  for the past 20 years and the stories people spin  about it seem to get More and more dramatic as time goes

I have heard ketchup  packets, then ketchup  tampons. But supposedly it was both Eric and Dylan being surrounded and called derogatory names. An acquaintance of mine in an article had mentioned he was there at the tail end of it but he never talked to me personally

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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:59 pm

Did your sister see Dylan in a depressive mood?
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:53 pm

I've forwarded everyone's questions to my sister. I'll let you know when she responds!!

I think this has been good for her. She struggled for years by trying to deal with the shooting and her loss the way she was "supposed" to. Going to church, saying the victims were in a better place, God has a reason for everything, this was a one time evil event, let's move on. I recently found out she became an alcoholic by the end of her senior year and into college. Varsity poms captain, scholarship to CU Boulder etc

When she was back in Littleton a few years ago the first time since my mom passed, I went with her to the memorial and grave sites and she started opening up. She's doing well now but knowing how easily she can put on a mask I'm glad she's opening up and processing stuff. Even with my masters in clinical social work it feels a little weird to be looking at my older sister in that lens. I mostly just want to be there for her, to listen and not judge like the rest of Littleton did. It spurred my own interests of course but my main priority is to be there for her. I know she's mentioned shes glad people are trying to find the truth about what happened to this day instead of swallowing the "official" BS.

Thanks again everyone!!
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:48 am

Did your sister ever talk to Eric or Dylan, seen them out and about or in school? Know them before the shooting and or heard rumors about them?
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PostSubject: Re: Letter About Rachel - In response to "I'm Not Ashamed" From A Best Friend   Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:54 pm

Thanks for posting this, milennialrebelette. It makes Rachel seem much more real and true to life.
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