Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sharing Memories From My Youth.

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this evening. Ever the sentimentalist, right? I'm just going to share some of my memories with you. Nothing is meant to be cohesive from one moment to the next -- I'm just recording some memories from my teenage years and early twenties while I have them on my mind (and before I forget).

I think back to Spring Weekend at Longwood University, April 16 of 2004. On that night, I saw Yellowcard and Something Corporate play. Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of my early 20's -- I remember how powerful that show was. Something Corporate really left a mark on me that night. They closed Bandfest with Konstantine, which is still one of my most favorite songs. I met Stephanie and Beth that night -- two former friends whom are unfortunately no longer in my life. They were good people and hope they're doing well, wherever they are. It's funny how you lose touch with people over the years.

Unsurprisingly, I was almost late to my high school graduation in 2000. Literally, I arrived with moments to spare and barely got into line to walk out for the ceremony. My mom and dad, ever the ones to run behind schedule, held me up from arriving on time. When I got there, the procession was already formed and about to head out the door. I burst into the high school cafeteria without even my gown on. Everyone looked at me like an idiot. After graduation, the senior class got together that evening to hang out one last time. The funny part was that I'd never hung out with any of my classmates in a social capacity after school. Their final time together was my first time together. My memory is a little fuzzy as to the order of events that evening, but I know a large party took place at the Barnette homestead. I can remember being there for a short while, then at some point heading to someone else's house. I'm not sure which of my classmate's home it was, but it was in Kenbridge (on Broad Street if I remember correctly). I'm pretty certain the only reason I was invited was because I owned a copy of Friday on VHS. We sat in a basement and watched it -- Jeffrey W., Mary Catherine W., Thomas C., Tiffany S. and I. After the movie was over, I went home. It wasn't even that late, to be honest. I'm sure everyone else got into some hijinks after I left; but for me, high school was over.

One of the highlights of my high school years was the annual Library Club trip. Every year, our little group of nerds, brainiacs, outcasts and oddballs went somewhere cool to cap the year off. We'd always pitch in a little cash and rent a tour bus for the day. One year we went to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Another year, we went to Richmond and saw the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. It was always a cheerful time for me, wrought with eagerness and teenage angst. We'd huddle together on the bus, sharing CD's (remember those), drinking soda pop and play games. As I think back, it feels as if the time we spent just being teenagers on the tour bus was more important than wherever it was we were going. For just a little while, we were free to be ourselves and socialize. It was on one of these trips (I think my junior year) that I chickened out of my first kiss with a girl. B. (you know who you are, I won't rat you out) -- you intimated the hell out of me. I was just a shy, insecure guy. Can't believe I missed out on something most teenagers are dying to experience. I was a big wimp.

During my junior and senior years of high school, I had art class at the mid-day lunch break. Often times, Jeffrey W. and I would drive off campus and eat lunch. Mrs. Kunath, our art teacher, was a great woman who cut us both a lot of slack. She trusted us to leave and come back without causing any problems. Not once did we ever get into any trouble, partly because we were responsible. We looked out for her, she looked out for us. I've never forgotten those drives into town. Thinking about it now, Jeffrey probably just had me along because he felt sorry for me. I was a dork in high school and I'm certain he knew it. Yet, he took me along anyway. That was really cool of him and I won't forget it.

I cut my high school football field's grass for one year (my dad and the coach pushed me into it -- it's a whole other story). As payback for making me do it, I'd cut it absolutely terribly. I would change the elevation of the cutting deck up and down, do circles and go as slow as possible. Passive aggressive, much? Anyway, I had this Walkman that I'd listen to while cutting the grass. I was already miserable, so I tried to zone out and forget what I was doing to pass the time. I had a cassette tape that was filled with songs I'd recorded from the radio and off other tapes. It was my Football Field Mix Tape. Some of the songs on that tape were Desperately Wanting by Better Than Ezra, Counting Blue Cars by Dishwalla, Foolish Games by Jewel, Hook by Blues Traveler, Crush by the Dave Matthews Band and Everlong by the Foo Fighters. All of those songs have stuck with me over the years -- I still listen to them on a regular basis. It's amazing the things we cling to in moments of unhappiness.

That's all for now. If you are one of the people mentioned and want to chime in, feel free. Or, if you went to high school with me and have something to add, I'd be eager to hear it.

No comments:

Post a Comment