Suzanne & Chip at our tenth high school reunion.

Before I delve into the Q & A with Suzanne, I want to describe from my perspective the Suzanne Fannin I knew in high school.  She and I had a different circle of friends, but of course, we all knew each other.  I have a sensory memory of Suzanne and her friends Tracy and Michelle, all forces to be reckoned with (pretty, popular, and fun-loving!)  My memory was of them singing at the tops of their lungs in the hallway, arm-in-arm with one another, as we changed classes one day.  I knew then they were tight and loved one another.  That will always stick with me.  Suzanne was a get-it-done girl.  And there’s always been the Chip factor; her lifelong love, who went to a different high school.  Today, we keep in touch via Facebook, and I see the tremendous pride she takes in the beautiful family she’s raised.  And now, she’s a doting, beaming grandmother!   It was so good to reconnect with Suzanne and laugh at some of our high school antics.  Suzanne, your story about the police check-point before school one morning has kept me laughing out loud since you dusted it off and reminded us that day in January! 😉

What did you do within a year of graduating HCHS in 1984?  Chip and I were married, and I went to work full time.

Describe your life since graduating high school.  What are you doing now?  Eventful!  Married with two kids. Meghan and Ryan. Both are now married. I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter Meghan, her husband Danny, granddaughters Emma and June, along with my son Ryan and his wife Jennifer.

Chip and I both work for the same construction company. We have been there since 1999, he is a superintendent and I’m payroll manager. We are currently living in Charleston SC as Chip is building a hotel at the Harbor. Blessed in my job, I moved with him and do payroll from our Charleston office. I miss our home in GA but travel home nearly every weekend. We are scheduled to be finished and back home in June.

What activity brings you great joy?  I enjoy reading, crocheting, camping, and spending time with Chip as well as seeing family when we’re home. We were on a bowling league before relocating and can’t wait to get back to that with other co-workers.

Do you still see any of your friends from high school?  Explain.  I see some occasionally out in the community but not as much as I would like.

How do you feel about turning 50?  What does “50” mean to you?  I turned 50 on November 25, 2015. It was just another day to me. I think I’ve accepted that I’m getting older. Although I do miss being younger but I enjoy where I am in life so getting older doesn’t make me sad.

What do you do to maintain your looks? (hair, makeup, skin care, exercise, etc.)  Not enough. I don’t feel like I have the knowledge of what looks good: make up color, tone, texture wise or how to apply correctly so I don’t wear it everyday. I tried to repair sun damage on face and sides of neck with R+F but have not been consistent enough to see if it would work. I guess you could say my face is the least thing I’m happy with as I turned 50.

Knowing what you now know, what advice would you give your 18-year old self?  Enjoy life, enjoy what you do for a living, stay close with your friends. Take care of yourself – exercise/weight maintenance and skin care back in the day would have left me looking better at 50 than I do. I think if I had gotten into a routine then I would continue it now. However, I didn’t and now I’m not consistent with it at all. Now I feel like the damage is done and there is nothing I can do to correct it.

What guilty pleasures do you allow yourself?  Chocolate chip ice cream. Who am I kidding…chocolate anything.

Name a couple teachers who were important to you in your educational years, and why.  In 4th grade it was Mrs. Orr and Mrs Rita McGarity. Between my mom and my math skills, it was decided that I need to repeat 4th grade. At the time I thought my life was over but later decided that it was for the best. I guess as my career is accounting and payroll it turned out to be a good decision. Both these teachers worked with me and were just great teachers!

What does the next decade hold for you?  What are your dreams and wishes for this decade?   This decade I’m on a 5-year plan. I plan to be retired from working down to an hour to two hours from home. IF I continue to work until Chip retires, it will be within a few miles of home. When he retires in 8 years we look forward to traveling. I so want to visit Ireland and Scotland.


With eternal thanks to Project Fifty photographer: Ann Bertschin

Suzanne’s piercing blue eyes don’t require much in the way of makeup.  A little brown + taupe eyeshadow with some eyeliner (MAC’s Power Point in “Buried Treasure”) smudged on top and lightly on bottom helps them pop!  A soft pink lipgloss and some blush help finish off her look.

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