Julie Watson McCann graduated in 1985 from Dora High School, and she’s packed a lot of living in past 19 years. Julie is a certified scuba diver, she worked as a professional photographer for eight years, worked for Kodak for ten years, and she currently works as a benefits administrator for the North Carolina school system.
She married Patrick McCann five years ago this coming April and together they live in Clover, South Carolina. Clover is a small town (population 3500) near the North Carolina state line.
Julie and Patrick live in a hundred year old house on a tree lined street in Clover. “The house looks a hundred years old right now Julie jokes, but in a few years, it will look like a show place.”
She left Alabama just after graduation so she hasn’t seen many of her old classmates. She said she did go to the ten year class reunion and saw a lot of her old friends. She has kept in touch with a few of her friends through Christmas cards.
Julie’s favorite high school teacher at Dora was Clay Mann who was her art teacher. “When I started his art class, I really couldn’t draw… at all… but Clay taught me that when you love something, you should pursue it even if you’re not that good at it. Pursue it because you love it. I followed his advice and still enjoy doing art even though I have very little talent.” Julie is a talented photographer. Her photographs are really very good.
Julie also has a camera collection. “I have about 300 cameras many of which are antique,” she says “I’m really a junk collector and that’s why I had to have a big ‘ol house.” She also collects jewelry, glass and vintage clothing.
One question that is always asked in these interviews is: what did you learn at Dora High School that has helped you in life. Julie says that she learned to “get along with other people. When you get out into the workplace, there are a LOT of personalities out there. You must deal with them. You can’t avoid them just because you don’t like them,” she says. “You look past the things you don’t like in someone, find something you do like and move forward on that common ground.
Julie says that she hasn’t changed much from high school. “I’m have a little more confidence in myself, I’ve seen a little more of the world and I’m a little more open minded than I use to be,” she explains.
She has had a chance to do a little traveling since graduation. Last year she spent a month in Mexico exploring the Mayan ruins and every year, they go diving at some tropical island. Her advanced diving rating allows her to explore ship wrecks and some of the more risky things underwater.
What will she do when she grows up? She smiles and says, “I’m going to finish that damn old house.”