There’s Only One Tree Hill

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I love watching TV. But, more than that, I love finding a good show. A show that is centered on a world of its own, with characters that I feel like I’ve known my entire life with insight and wisdom for the future. I found that in “One Tree Hill.”It was 2011 – I was in the transition period of entering college and missing my friends who were away in other states. I remember coming home from classes one day; flipping through the channels, and there was nothing on, until I stumbled upon “One Tree Hill.” I’ve had a thing for Chad Michael Murray since I was, like, 10-years-old, and had decided to watch a couple episodes way back when. But, my mom didn’t think it was appropriate because we just happened to watch the episode of Haley and Nathan’s bachelor/bachelorette parties and there was a stripper involved. I tried it a couple seasons later and it was the school shooting episode. I was enthralled and terrified at the same time, and decided that it was not the show for me.

But, being in my 20s as the narration played and Lucas Scott talked about moments in our lives passing through like towns on highways, I knew this was a show I wanted to get into. I watched a few more episodes, then decided I needed to get Netflix to watch the rest of the series. Only to find that it wasn’t even on Netflix. A few weeks later it was up, and the rest was history. I watched all eight seasons (at the time) and was fully prepared for the ninth season. That was an incredibly exciting time to be a fan, since it was the last one.

In January 2012, I won tickets from Kristin Dos Santos on E! for an Evening with One Tree Hill through a Twitter contest, and it was one of the greatest nights of my life. It took place at ArcLight Cinemas in LA with most of the cast, including Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz (then Galeotti), Lee Norris, Antwon Tanner, the list could go on and on and Mark Schwann, the genius creator. We watched the first episode of the ninth season and it was followed by a Q&A panel. I had a horrible migraine that night, but that didn’t stop my inner fangirl from shining. My goosebumps had goosebumps as we watched the cast recalling high moments in their careers, rocky points on the show and funny moments in between that happened behind-the-scenes.

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That weekend, the Team True Beauty event was held at the Bardot-Avalon Hollywood. Everyone was dressed up and it was a fun night of mingling with celebrities, like Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House), Sara Paxton and of course, the ladies of “One Tree Hill.” Haley was my favorite character, and since I knew Joy would be there, I was anxiously awaiting her arrival. Everyone was incredibly sweet and gracious, and took the time visiting with all of the fans and listening to their stories. My night was made when I was the first to meet Joy; she gave me a hug, a high five and took the letter I had written (because I’m cheesy like that). We had dinner, mingled a little more, then Shantel VanSanten gave an incredible speech about inner beauty and loving yourself. From there, we were entertained by Everly (Joy’s group…Again, at the time). I was obsessed with their song “Quicksand,” which was featured on “One Tree Hill,” and they opened their set with it. It was such a surreal experience!

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Bethany Joy Lenz; HALEY JAMES SCOTT

Later in the year, because I’d been talking non-stop about the show and wanting to visit Tree Hill, on our visit to South Carolina to see my aunt and uncle, we made a couple side trips to Wilmington, NC. We saw just about every location that ever appeared on the show, from the high school and River Court to the houses and Karen’s Café. Most of the locations  are downtown, just feet away from each other, but others were on the outskirts. My poor dad was the driver and went all over the city. It’s a charming little place with very evident magic that Tree Hill has left its mark on.

In between the big moments of visiting Tree Hill and meeting its famous residents, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful friends through the fandom and I’ve had great Twitter conversations with some of the cast, whether it was recommending a restaurant or antique stores or wishing me a ‘happy birthday.’ Not only is it a wonderful show with incredible talent, but really decent and good people who are making a difference in the world.

“There’s only one Tree Hill, and it’s your home.” 

I’m thankful for the memories and for the fact that “One Tree Hill” is still alive with all of the conventions coming up. One is actually taking place this weekend in Wilmington…So, this is in honor of the show that added more than just entertainment, and all of the fun that I won’t be having in good ‘ole Tree Hill…This time around!

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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