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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sr Year in Newport RI 1982

1. Music is linked to the memories.–Rolling Stones- Start Me Up, Joan Jett, I had an 8-track player in my car. Talking Heads. I can hear the songs of Senior year and they take me back right there.

2. I was a busboy at Seaside Restaurant on Ave of Americas/Thames in Newport…on a busy Sat AM I could make $60, which was an incredible amount of disposable money then. Later I scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins on Belview…didn’t make $60 in two weeks.

3. Alcohol began to exert its influence on us – I had drank before but never binged like I did Sr year…Went into my first bar that year, passed out, crashed a car, etc…many bad decisions in my life have been connected to alcohol. To this day, still enjoy having a few cold ones, but the hangovers last longer now. Can still meet someone new and find common ground by getting smashed together.

4. We weren’t allowed to leave School for lunch, but I split almost every day. Jumped in my car and could make it to Thames and back in 30 minutes. Only time I ever really got caught was once when I borrowed someone else’s car and it wouldn’t start on the way home. No serious trouble.

5. Providence was not far away, but I rarely left Aquidneck Island. Cool and dangerous things were happening there. Limitations are usually more mental than physical.

6. I remember hanging around more than I remember homework. Kids sitting on the wall in front of the arcade. Cruising up Thames. Pizza Hut after school. Grilled Cheeses at the Creamery.

7. Football games were great fun.

8. We had some teachers that genuinely cared. A few years beyond graduation I sent a thank you note to two of them telling them how much they had influenced me. It is funny how folks can have a big influence on your life and never even know it. Did I affect anyone and not care for that responsibility?

9. Who was that band that played the prom? “…you make me Hype Hype Hype Hype Hyperactive…”

10. I believe living around the wealth in Newport had a distorting influence on all of us. Early 80’s. Looking through the yearbook, several folks’ ambitions were explicit: “To be a millionaire; To drive a Jaguar..” They might have said it more crassly than the rest of us, but the feelings were shared and I agree school may not have imparted something we all were looking for: “to have significance, & to live a life beyond the ordinary”.

11. There were several times – Sr Skip Day, after Brother Goose, Prom, and Graduation that is seemed as though the whole school went out, and we all ended up hanging out and partying together. I spent time with folks whom I hadn’t all year, and all was cool.

12. I had the luxury of not having spent all 4 years there, but during my Sr year, I think I just relaxed, and hit a quite confidence. I don’t remember cliques having much influence by then…did everyone like or tolerate each other that year? Maybe I was just oblivious to it.

13. I have thought a lot about those times and write fairly frankly these days without glamorizing. Looking back it seemed - especially in the Spring of '82 – that we all knew we were at the end of something we would never go back to and we were trying to squeeze the last bits out of our time.

14. I a psyched that so many of us have been able to reconnect through Facebook.

15. My memories are positive. I wore a light-gray tux to the prom...I saw Rocky Horror for the first time..Met good friends with very different life experiences from me with no judgement for the first time...I can hear The Motels, Human League, Come On Eileen, J Giles Band- Centerfold...How can I not smile?

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