Class Action

I had an interesting exchange on Facebook with some old high school classmates last week. Over the last 1-2 months, the amount of people in my high school class (1989) who have signed up for Facebook appears to have exploded. There are people coming out of the woodwork! We’re closing in on our 20th reunion next year and I’m curious to see how that might unfold, given you can get up to date on nearly 1/3rd of the class via Facebook. 

Anyway, I had updated my Facebook status to say that I was amused at how many of the women that I was too shy to speak to back then had popped up on Facebook. I got a ton of responses, but the gist was basically that my assertion of shyness was ridiculous. Now, this is partially true – I would be the first to admit that if you knew me well enough, I was anything BUT shy. Alas, there was a whole set of people (ahem…women) that I was just too shy to talk to. Awkward, even. No idea why. I am sure it had something to do with confidence. It also seems that the women I wasn’t shy with were the ones I went to school with my whole life in Lancaster versus the other two towns, who we didn’t merge with in school until 9th grade (regional system). So I think you’d get a variety of very different answers if you asked people about me. Of course, most would simply say “who?”

Funny thing is that I never had a remotely serious girlfriend that went to my high school. There’s one person that I went on two dates with. That’s it. Seriously. The one girlfriend I did have in high school was from another school and I met her because she was bagging and I was ringing the cash register at our supermarket jobs, so I was forced to talk to her! 

So what’s with me? Multiple personalities? One of those people who you really have to get to know? Beats me. I was a wholly different person back then. Then again, it was half a lifetime ago now, so I would imagine we’ve all changed. I know a few who haven’t, though.

The Midwest Invasion of The King

Let’s go back to high school for a second. Meet Matt Wilson:

Matt joined our school senior year as a new student, something I’m glad I never had to experience. He came from Missouri, which at the time felt about as far away as the Czech Republic. Most new kids spend the first few weeks in an awkward silence, taking it all in and trying to forge some kind of path. Matt could have easily mailed it in – I mean, he wouldn’t be establishing any longstanding relationships, since he’d only be there for a year before we’d all splinter off for college.

Turns out Matt was outgoing from the start and didn’t have any problem at all engraining himself into our school. And he was funny. We all really got a kick out of his catch phrase, “The King.” If something was really cool, it would be “the king.” If I told him I went to the Bruins game last night and it was a fight-filled extravaganza, it was the king. He would jokingly say he was the king. As you can see in the yearbook picture, that’s his little quote. Funny. Matt and I became pretty good friends. I took him to the Bruins-St. Louis game and we spent the whole game basically making fun of each others teams. Being from the mid-west, he was a wrestler, too. Naturally.  He also hooked up with the foreign exchange student in a car during our Senior Banquet after-party. There was a lot of foot traffic around that car, so he was the hit of the class the next week or so. Just an all-around good guy.

But just like that, we all went to college and we never heard from Matt again. I think he actually went to Brigham-Young University, but my memory may be failing me. This is the classic “I wonder whatever happened to?”

For those of you who are really that curious, here’s the text of what he wrote to me in the yearbook:

Bro, as seniors we have ruled, or perhaps I should say I have ruled, you followed. But we did finally make it across the finish line. I hope to see you face-down in the gutter this summer.

Matt

ps – the Bruins suck

And yes, he’s the one who wrote “sexy boy” up next to his own picture. Dork! Would love to hear what that dude is up to these days….

Like The Corners Of My Mind…

Oh brother, I’m on a high school kick now. Remember yesterday’s post when I said Mr. Schofield looked like Jabba The Hut? I wasn’t kidding! I went back to the old Class of 1989 Nashoba yearbook and found his picture:

OK, so I feel a little like a jerk for saying it and I didn’t mean it from the weight perspective. I mean, he was a little overweight, but it was his face! I mean, look at it! Years removed from high school now, it seems so juvenile for me to be writing it, but damn, it really is true. But again, he was a good teacher – one of those guys who set the tone early and didn’t take shit from any kid. See yesterday’s post.

Now, in leafing through the yearbook in an attempt to find topics to blog about, I came across the Fondest Memories section. Each kid got a little space in the yearbook to put their fondest memories from high school. Here’s what mine looked like:

Alright, so here’s a breakdown of what all this means.

  • “1/1/88 – P.W.E.” was my girlfriend and the date we started seeing each other. I met her when we worked at Shaw’s Supermarket in Clinton. She was from another town, so I pretty much dropped off the high school scene at Nashoba during my junior year. I was around much more my senior year, but still spent a lot of time with her. It ended halfway through our first year of college and for years afterward, I felt really bad about how it ended. But you learn and move on.
  • “Robert Plant 10/30/88” – fairly obvious. My friend Spencer and I saw him at the Worcester Centrum. I think we were heavy into “Tye Dye On The Highway,” but both of us were Zeppelin fanatics, so we just had to see him. Opener: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
  • “Van Halen 8/15/86” – this was the “5150” tour, when we thought that Sammy Hagar just might be as good a replacement for Roth as possible. In retrospect, we were wrong, but the show was super fun for us 5 freshman. And of course, the band were consummate showmen, I’ll give them that. The songs don’t hold well today, but the good memories do. I believe it was me, Steve Tuft, Jim Dickhaut, Don Lanza and Gregg Stewart. Openers: Bachman Turner Overdrive. No kidding.
  • “Beating Gardner” – if I remember this correctly, Gardner hadn’t lost a regular season high school hockey game in nearly two years or something like that. They were a FORCE! I believe someone had written on the bus’s frosted windows “Gardner – we come in peace.” Anyway, it was late in the season of my junior year and we had already been eliminated from postseason. They were 17-0-1 and we were like 7-8-3 or something like that. For whatever reason, we went up to their building on a Saturday night in a packed house and played like a house on fire. Nashoba 4, Gardner 2. Yours truly potted the winner on a pass from Jim Cellucci. Probably the highlight of my high school hockey career.
  • “Freshman Initiation” – ok, this was very early on during our freshman year. We thought it was totally awesome that a few of us had gotten invited to a junior-senior party at someone’s house in the woods of Stow. Oh, we had no idea what was coming. I’ll spare most of the details, but we found ourselves in the middle of the woods in just our underwear and had to walk back, down the road, undressed as such, while cars drove by. Let’s just say the older kids lured us out there with the utmost super-secret weapon – senior girls. We really thought……nevermind. I believe this was me, Jim Dickhaut, Steve Tuft and Neil Lefebvre, but I can’t be 100% positive on that one. I can tell you this: we got a lot of attention and giggles in the hallways from those senior girls the following weeks. I remember walking into the house at the party in my underwear and all those older kids are there laughing at us. The laughter died down a little and then I said sarcastically “WHAT? We’re not getting laid?!?”
  • “Boston Garden – Constantly” – this is a reference to the many Bruins games I was able to attend since my dad and a friend of his split season tickets my junior and senior year. Very good memories as they Bruins fielded excellent teams back then.
  • The next one says “Prom” but that (W) was supposed to be next to it. It just meant the Wachusett Regional prom, which is where my girlfriend went to high school. I had a much better time at that one than I did at my own.
  • “R.E.M.” – just a reference to one of my favorite bands at the time. I still have not seen them live to this day.
  • “Pumpkin Hunt ’87” – typical juvenile delinquincy here. A few of us went around the town of Bolton stealing pumpkins and smashing them places. I feel bad about this one now, having kids and all, but back then, as you probably know, we couldn’t have cared less. Boys being boys. Memories are foggy, but I believe it was me, Scott Hayes, Josh Harmon and one or two others.
  • “U.S. History” – well, there it is! Maybe I did really enjoy history more than I thought I did. Class was taught by Mr. Eilerman, who had a hand in setting me straight a little bit, something for which I will forever be grateful for. A good, decent man with a wacky sense of humor and an excellent teacher who cared. Also pulled his money out of the stock market the Friday before the market crashed in ’86. How I remember that I have no idea.
  • “Zeppelin or U2 at midnight” was a just a reference to what I would listen to the most when I got home from going out. I’d just lay on my bedroom floor, put on the headphones that made me look like Princess Leia, and tune out. It was a total precursor to college, when I would do the same thing (with different music) – lay on the living room floor and not really tune out, but pass out. There were plenty of nights when I woke up the next morning, headphones still on, shoes still on, jacket still on. Ouch.
  • “Busted at R.T.” – I will never, ever give this one away. You’ll just have to wonder.