Friday, January 21, 2005


Old School

While digging around for that Garfield book a few days ago, I came upon a bunch of old photos, one of which was of me and my high school chums (a word I learned from the Hardy Boys) back in 1982. Of the old gang, I still talk to John, Doug, and Brian regularly; the others have gone their own ways in time and space. The four of us who've stayed close, we're even hoping to see one another this summer. The last time I saw any of them was July of 2003; as Bruce Springsteen says, "Time slips away, leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of glory days."

I would not call high school "glory days," by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, in a conversation in 2002 about our twenty-year reunion, Doug and I both chimed in that high school had been sufficiently lousy for us that we weren't interested in going to catch up with anyone other than the guys we *already* talked to regularly. I think John and Brian were surprised; their high school experiences were apparently a lot better than Doug's or mine.

Nevertheless, I do have a few fond memories of that time, and this photo is of the people who, for want of a better term, helped me survive those four years. My D&D gang, my Friday night Rocky Horror Picture Show movie pals, my first drinking buddies, my fellow Beatles fans, my best friends.

I never made any friends in college, which I've since heard is when a lot of folks find their lifetime friends. I think I made mine mostly in high school. (I made a few more when I moved to Seattle, I should note.) Look around at who's in your life now. How far back do they go? When did you meet them? What became of your college, your high school, or even your grade school, friends?

And now the tough question: can you guess which one of these guys from 22 years ago is me, now that I'm old enough to be the father of any of those boys in the picture?

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