Saturday, December 4, 2010
The first decision that needs to be made is what kind of icebreaker Social we want to have on Friday, August 5th at the 49ers Lodge at West Point from 7-11 PM. One option is a "bare bones" good ol' fashioned kegger. Just the music and the beer flowing while the days are yore are revisited. The cost? At this stage, the cost is a little tricky to calculate without knowing how many people are going and without 2011 prices set. The more that attend, though, the cheaper it will be. Looking at the estimates, though, it could cost as little as $10 and as much as $18. My guess is that it'll be around $15, not bad for a 4 hour keg party.
The second option is what's called a "2 Hour Cocktail Party". Relax, there'll be beer on tap the whole 4 hours, but from 8-10 PM, there will be assorted wines and sodas, hot wings, French bread pizza, Swedish meatballs, cold cuts and cheese platters. The price tag? Again, with more people, the price goes down, but I figure it'll be around $25, a bargain. Afterward, of course, you are free to continue the festivities at either South Gate Tavern or Benny Havens or at the swanky club on top of the Thayer Hotel, ZuluTime which is open until midnight, or wherever you wish to take your party.
Next up, you need to let the Reunion Committee know if you plan on going to the Round Pond BBQ Saturday afternoon. The usual staples, hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, potato salad, soda, and chips are planned (for now) with a best guess price tag of $15 per person which includes a swim pass. If you want to bring kids, they'll be $10 each. This will be a BYOB event however.
Finally, for the Saturday Night Formal-As-You-Want-To-Be (it is going to be August you know - it could be 100 degrees) dinner buffet back at the 49ers Lodge, there are many options for the menu. Here are our choices. There is a Mexican Buffet featuring Southwest grilled chicken, Fajitas, and Burritos. There is an Italian Buffet featuring Lemon Chicken, Pasta Pomodoro, Eggplant Parmigiana, and meatballs in a marinara sauce. Then there's the Autumn Buffet - think Thanksgiving, then the Fair Food Buffet with sausage and peppers, fried chicken, and Waffle Fries, then the German Buffet with Sauerbraten, German Potato Salad, and Brats and sauerkraut, and last, but not least, the All-American Buffet with fried chicken, BBQ beef, BBQ pork, and garlic roasted mashed potatoes. Each buffet has additional appropriately themed side dishes way too numerous to list, but you get the idea. The price difference for each is nominal. My best guess for the evening is $25, again, a bargain.
Sunday Brunch hasn't formally been set up yet, but I figure that is the easiest of the events to plan for. The consensus among those looking to attend up to this point has been to keep this affordable. Even if we go all out here (not including the Sunday Brunch) these 3 events most likely come in under $75. Mission accomplished in my book.
At the end of the survey, there is a spot for you to give us your contact information. By giving us your email address, you will help us keep you in the loop as developments occur, and it'll keep us from having to track you down in the months to come. There is also a spot for you to voice any concerns or recommendations or anything else you want to pass on to us. Oh, and if there is a Bill Gates among us who would like to make a sizable contribution to defer the costs, by all means, I think the rest of us will let you. Just say so in the comments at the end of the survey.
Take take the survey, click here.
Now can somebody please tell me why people from Garrison had goats in their trees, and what the $#%&! "Nothing for the puppy" meant. Wait, never mind, save it for the reunion.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The details need to be finalized, but here's what's in store. Friday we'll be having a "Social" at the 49ers Lodge at West Point. By "Social" I mean "Open Bar" with music and dancing. Saturday we're looking to have a barbeque at Round Pond and dinner at the 49ers Lodge, and Sunday we're looking to have a brunch.
If you are on Facebook, look for the Group called JIOHS Class of '81 30th Reunion. If you are not on Facebook, what are the you, the Unibomber? I mean, come on, this 2010! Seriously, you're not on Facebook. Well then, keep stopping by here for further information that comes down the pipeline. Not on Facebook....
Here's some rules to live by for the 30th reunion.
30th Reunion Rules
#1 The first reunion rule is "Don't Be A Debbie Downer.
Seriously, who cares who was a jerk at the prom or did this thing or that 30 years ago. Besides, I'm pretty sure I apologized for all that stuff years ago.
#2 - The second reunion rule is "Don't Be A Debbie Downer".*
#3 - The third reunion rule is "Whatever Happens At The Reunion Will Be On YouTube The Next Day". Fair warning to you uncoordinated types who have had a little too much to drink out there on the dance floor. Just sayin'.
#4 - The last reunion rule is "Pace Yourself On Your Drinking Skippy". Maybe things have changed a little since I lived there, but West Point, if my memory serves correctly, has MPs like every 100 feet. Make arrangements for transportation, and if you have 15 beers at the BBQ Saturday, the only one praying at the porcelin altar in their hotel room during Saturday night's dinner will be you.
Stay tuned for further details.
*OK already, so what if stole that from Fight Club?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The 30th Reunion is approaching. It may seem early to get worked up over this, but it's going to take awhile to locate classmates and set up a reunion worth going to.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Maybe something like this?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ah, you knew a math teacher had to be on this list somewhere, right? Our school had some pretty damn good ones, and somehow I had the luck of having them all as teachers.
I only had Mrs. Rasmussen for the second half of my freshman year when she filled in for Mrs. Cahill who went out on maternity leave, or whatever they called it back then. What a half a year it was, though.
Geometry-wise, her most memorable lesson was "Tom's Old Aunt Sat On His Coffin And Howled." This unforgetable phrase was her version of SOHCAHTOA. As goofy as it was, I used it all the way to a Master's degree in math, and when I teach trig functions, guess how I teach it?
I did fairly well on the Regents that year *cough-100-cough* and Mrs. R was a big reason for my success. I think her biggest legacy, though, was that I've never heard anyone utter a negative word about her. My brother had her the year after I had her, followed by my sister Cindy, followed by my sister Lisa. All thought she was great. Yes, even my brother enjoyed having her as a math teacher! Now that's saying something!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I had Mrs. Wilhelm for Social Studies my sophomore year. When she asked me to answer the question "Why were the Middle Ages called the 'Dark Ages'?", time froze. In a half a second I had many thoughts. This was it! All those years of studying Bazooka Joe were going to pay off!
I fantasized like Ralphie in A Christmas Story that when I said this punchline, the other students were going to fall out of their chairs with laughter. I debated whether I should actually say this punchline and cause such chaos, but Mrs. Wilhelm had chuckled earlier in the year when Bob Maher asked her why the Social Studies teacher went to India for lunch.** I imagined my name going down in school history as my O'Neill's biggest smart ass! This was gonna be huge!
So I unleashed it: "Because there were so many knights in it!" Remarkably, there is actually audio footage from that class! Click here. "What did you say?" Mrs. Wilhelm asked. "Because there were so many knights in it!" I repeated. Again. "What?" she asked again completely puzzled. I let it go.
The funniest thing ever said in my presence, though, goes to Norm. Norm was in our class for a few years, but he moved away before graduating. Frank Fey came up to him in the hallway along with several of his henchmen. Frank was a world class smart alack, but a bully, mmm, not so much. I honestly don't think he had it in him. But on this day, he came up to Norm with his posse and said,"Hey Norm. Say your mother sucks." Without missing a beat, Norm says,"OK, Frank. Your mother sucks!" Now that did generate side splitting laughter from Frank's cronies. If you're out there reading this, Norm, well played!
*I mean, high school was just chock filled with hilarity. You know, diagramming sentences and all that stuff. Absolutely hilarious.
**Because she heard there was a New Delhi there!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Pretty sad looking, huh? But there's a good explanation. While Xerox/copy machines existed back in 1981, they were not commonplace. The ol' mimeograph machine is what most copies, including this invite, were made on. You would write out on carbon paper what you wanted copied, place the carbon copy on the roller, and then crank by hand the number of copies you wanted. Remember getting freshly printed hand-outs that smelled like rubbing alcohol? In defense of the mimeograph machine (I used one when I student-taught), you can crank out 50 copies in about 10 seconds if you turn the crank fast enough (seriously, I'm not exaggerating).
So don't let your kids know you went to high school before copiers became real popular. They'll think you're older than dirt**. Oh, and maybe you should avoid telling them about rotary phones too.
*OH MY GOD - Do you remember Broadway? Could they have gotten a worse band?!?
**They probably already do.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
My brother over at Intravenus De Milo asked me to post this over here.
In the days that followed, I learned all of AY’s rules and through the years many of his idiosyncrasies. The rules were simple: Listen to his ten minute lesson, have your homework ready to hold up when your name was called (MANY of us scrawled nursery rhymes out in numbered paragraphs on his colored paper to hold up. I’d say this worked 50% of the time), take his tests, and do your projects. At the end of each class he “rendered” you a grade on a chart posted on the wall. He’d go around the room after clean up, mention what you had done, and pencil in a grade which he shouted out; “Stumbo, nice work on your lathe project today, let’s get it sanded and into finishing by the end of this week, 90”. Yannitelli, smoking out back, I ought to render you a 50, but you got a coat of lacquer on that table of yours so you slide with a 65”, and so on. Being rendered a “50” was what us shop guys did our marginal best to avoid. Later I would learn that AY rendered 50’s to any student he felt didn’t meet the grade whether he or she was in his class or not.
Shop classes back then were pretty much the embodiment of the old school stereotype. The rough around the edges kids, trouble makers, and academically challenged made up most of the roll call, no offense to those who were actually otherwise. It took a special kind of guy (NEVER women) to take on these classrooms and AY was perfectly suited to the task. He was a strong man with big authoritive hands and no neck. He wore a 1950’s style square and tight barber haircut with a set of reading glasses perched on the end of his nose. He rarely smiled. No, that would show us degenerates that he might have a weak side or a soft spot. That’s not to say he lacked a sense of humor.
I guess I followed a typical path upon joining his class which was essentially to blow off everything and make pot smoking devices for the first couple of weeks, “50! Paterick Phillips, pot pipes”, was what he’d call out loudly so the whole class could hear as he’d walk over to the chart on the wall and note the grade. Like many others before and after, I finally got in line and began doing the work and projects as assigned. While AY never smiled, you knew when your worked pleased him and it didn’t have to be great work to accomplish this. It just had to be work that you yourself gave a shit about. I guess that was his first step in dealing with punks like me. I imagine that once he got a kid to care, the rest would come easy. As far as I’m concerned, the man couldn’t have been more right.
AY gave you a break when you deserved a break, and rendered 50’s when they were warranted. Sometimes he’d render a 50 with great stoicism and dry wit to amazing comic effect. As some may recall, I wore my hair pretty long in those days. Sometime during my senior year I happened to have been working on a project that required me to drill a pilot hole in a piece of wood by hoisting the drill up around ear level. I lined up the hole, press the drill’s trigger, and quickly began to pick up the odor of burning hair. Others around the shop table took notice too just as I heard the drill suddenly grind to a halt and at the same time felt a tug on the side of my head. Yes, my hair had gotten caught in the electric motor of the drill. As my classmates began to chuckle, I heard AY pushing through the loud shop bellowing, “What’s burning in my shop?!!!” It took him about two seconds after arriving at our work bench to suss it all out. He unplugged the cord, inspected the power tool which was now stuck to my head, and in his typical manner barked, “Paterick Phillips, 50, improper safety, hair caught in drill!” As he walked over to note my grade on the chart, he informed me that 50’s for the week would follow if I didn’t get my hair out of his drill by the end of the day. I took the power tool to study hall and pulled every last piece of hair out until it worked good as new.
I stayed in the West Point/Highland Falls area for a few years after graduating high school and would often hear other guys much older than I render one another a 50. You might be picking something up at the IGA and overhear a conversation and out of the blue one party would say, “Yeah, I’d have to give’em his 50 for that…”, or hear some dad quip to a kid inside the house, “50, leaving toys in yard…” as you walked by.
Sadly, today a good friend informed me that AY passed away yesterday after a short illness. Naturally, my first thought was to render providence a 50 for taking a guy who had such a remarkable positive impact on so many young men at an age when we needed it the most. There will certainly be no shortage of eulogies delivered in memory of Mr. Yagel, and from my home here in Atlanta Georgia I can picture in my head all the cars lined up on 9W by Hogan’s Funeral Home belonging to the hundreds who will turn up to pay their respects. There will surely be sadness and many tears, but I guarantee there will also be men, some completely gray and others with just a speck showing, holding back chuckles as they retell their own favorite AY vignette to each other. The memories will eventually breach restraint and give way to outright laughter. Nobody will mind this small decorum violation as everyone who knew him will understand. I can’t think of a better way to be remembered than that really.
Rest in peace AY…
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
If you're not on Facebook yet, I recommend it. It takes your email contacts and connects you with them. In no time, you'll have connections with scads of friends. If you haven't blogged yet, and you have more than a couple of sentences you'd like to express, I recommend blogging as well. Of course both options presuppose you have a boat load of time to spend doing so.
Over the Weekend - I don't know about you, but I was rooting for Papa Clem in the Kentucky Derby. Not that Clem was a father figure or anything. I was reading a friend's thread on Facebook about Westervelt though (who I think succeeded Hughes after we graduated), and man, was he not liked. I always felt Clem was the long arm of the law, but he always seemed fair to me.
Monday, April 20, 2009
An Aside: I'm perfectly content posting here, and I get a lot of positive feedback about our little blog, but many of you out there - you know who you are, yeah you - have expressed a desire to post. I know it can be intimidating to get started, but it's much easier than you think, and I can give you pointers if you want or need them. After all, in our sophomore year, Mrs. Pulliam gave me straight F's - I'm not exaggerating - straight F's on all of my creative writing assignments! And I only worked my way up to a C- in a creative writing class in college! So if a no-talent like me can put something half-way respectable out, think of what you could post! Again, if you are interested in posting, send an email to email@example.com so that an invitation can be sent to your email address. Again, I'm perfectly happy to continue posting, but I think my juvenile ramblings are only going to hold your interest for so long.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Ah, yes, the Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose.
Here's Rafferty's, on the Highland Falls-West Point border. Get your passport ready.
Nice postcard affect in this photo. Last time I was at the Park Restaurant, my stepson threw up 30+ times on the way home on the Thruway. Seriously, 30 times at least! I think he had a stomach bug, though. Nobody else got sick and all he had were pancakes.
Monday, April 6, 2009
...Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Come back and stay for good this time...
When I told my wife how much I dug the song, she looked very confused. "This song. Really? Do you have this album?" No. "Did you ever have the album?" No. "Do you even have this song in your music collection?" I did when we got home. The funny thing is, it's not by Zeppelin, or Sabbath, or even Van Halen, or any of the usual suspects, but Paul Young. I know, Paul Young. The only Paul Young fan I can ever remember was my sister Lisa. This song wasn't an "Our Song" with one of my girlfriends either (but there are a couple of those can take me back in time as well).
...Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Come back and stay for good this time...
In high school I often lamented being too young to really experience the music of the 60s as it was happening, missing out on the Beach Boys, Motown, the British Invasion, and the pschadelic rock. Our high school years were pretty eventful, music-wise, with the birth of New Wave and Punk, but I think I liked what followed even better. Today, I'm a huge sucker for music from the 80s, even the cheesy stuff. Especially the cheesy stuff. 17 was a pretty good year for me, but my early 20s were even better, and the music from that time, good or bad, just takes me back. I get why adults from our youth were so into music from the 50s.
...Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Why dontcha come back, please hurry
Why dontcha come back please hurry
Just come back and stay for good this time...
If you find yourself suddenly wanting to hear Come Back and Stay, just click here for a free download. You're welcome.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I remembered it pretty clearly. I/we were in our mid-20s. I remembered Ollie North, Fawn Hall, the first Bush's involvement,...etc. So I explained it all to the students as best I could and asked why they were interested in it. They showed me their US history textbook that had a chapter on it. I thought, "Wow, this textbook must be pretty current!", but then it dawned on me: these students weren't even born when all that went on!
Yeah, we're getting up there!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
By the way--the most useful class in high school? Typing, bar none. I'm no whiz, but I have no doubt I've shaved years off of work time because I don't have to hunt and peck. Who taught that class? Mr Weissman?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
"Clem Sux" - Actually Clem posted a comment over at the West Point Skateboard Gang blog - how awesome is that? He seems to have a pretty good sense of humor over the graffiti regarding him etched everywhere. Better than I probably would have had anyways.
"Scapper" - I never had Mr. Craig for Social Studies. I can't say, though, I've heard many good things about him. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments. When I had school detention a couple times*, he was the teacher running it, and he was . . . um . . . kind of a dick. Course, I don't think I would have been too keen on supervising school detention either.
"Rubbernuts" - I had Mr. Ryerson for Social Studies in my junior year. He was actually a pretty good teacher when all the classroom management nonsense wasn't going on. I always pictured his wife and him at a cocktail party or some other gathering and his wife saying,"Yes, Fred is still teaching at the high school and the kids just have the silliest nickname for him - Rubbernuts." Once I turned in my notebook or an assignment or some such during my lunch period while he was teaching a freshman class of Social Studies (I think it was the class that threw his desk out the window ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL). As I was turning in whatever I was giving him, Jimmer Bailey stood up, threw up a balled up piece of paper, hit it like he was hitting a baseball, then "rounded the bases" by running around the room, all the while giving the play by play. And all Ryerson could do was say, "Uh Jimmer, sit down, uh, sit down Jimmer..." It was pretty shocking. I hope Mr. Ryerson is having a great time in retirement and never looks back on those days. That's what I'd do.
Am I missing any others? Mrs. Barry being called "Fishface"? Oops, was I the only that called her that? Anything else?
* I don't remember what for, but I must have been framed.
Monday, March 9, 2009
#1 - Nothing Will Get You Farther In Life Than Knowing How To Diagram A Sentence. This skill that we practiced ad infinitum in English has proved invaluable time and again. Once, I was trapped in an avalanche, and if it hadn’t been for my sentence diagramming abilities, I don’t know that I would have made it out. Next most useful: knowing how to solve a quadratic equation. I used that one to ward off a bear once.
#2 - Forging Notes Supposedly Written By Your Parents On Lined Paper Torn Out Of A Spiral Notebook Still Works. And you thought it only worked to allow you to use the Smoking Patio or to get away with skipping out to Flat Rock on Senior Skip Day. Went drinking during lunch and didn’t return to work? No prob – forge a note. Or maybe you skipped out of dinner at your in-laws to play poker with your buddies - forge a note.
#3 - Smoking Is A Wise, Widely Accepted Habit Everyone Will Look Up To You For Doing. Don’t listen to those spoil sports who say otherwise. Besides, you can quit anytime you want.
#4 - The Ability To Flip Your Eyelids Inside Out Will Move You To The Top Of The Social Ladder. Almost as cool: wiggling your ears or making that popping noise with your fingers on your cheek.
#5 - Nothing For The Puppy. OK, if I'm being honest, I have no idea what this means, but I saw it in several places in the yearbook. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of code or password to a secret society that controls the world, or something else equally important.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Between the other sets we talked about the good ol' days. He vividly remembered me writing fake Chinese characters on something I was supposed to turn in to Mrs. Kelly (English, junior year). I didn't remember doing that at all, but it is exactly the kind of stupid shit I would have done*, and since then I remember facing the prospect of leaving something blank about a book I was supposed to have read, but didn't, and figuring "what have I got to lose?". 4 hours, 3 sets, and a lot of "Remember Whens" later, we called it a night and promised not to wait 28 years to get together again.
And all this happened because of this blog. Mentioning someone leads to a comment that gives a website that leads to ordering an album that leads to making arrangements to watch an old classmate in a band. The internet is an amazing thing! Can you think of anyone you're curious about?
**Like last year's local 11 o'clock news story about the "bizarre prankster" screwing around with Wikipedia...but hey, we'll save that for another day.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Seriously folks. This was a scam to skip classes on a quasi-legitimate basis as often as possible, wasn't it? Of course, I'm just jealous I didn't participate or think up something like this myself! So I say, "Well done Fire Squad!" Excellent "work".
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
You may remember him as the "Quietest" of our class. He was a pretty good friend of mine back in high school with him and me competing for the "Best Math Student" status of our class. I lost touch with him, though, right after graduation. Now I've come to find out he's a big time blues and rockability guitarist in the band The Breeze Kings. I picked up their last CD, You Got To Bring Some To Get Some! recently, and I was pretty blown away by it.
If you're into Stevie Ray Vaughn, you'll like this album. Click here to download one of the tracks I really like, Sorry That You Put Me Down to check it out. The rest of the CD is just as good and can be ordered on Amazon.com. I'm going to try to catch The Breeze Kings down in Atlanta this weekend. I give a report next week.
Rob has been located as a result of this blog. He continues to pursue his acting career in Hollywood and overall is doing really well. I let him tell his story if and when he checks in here.
Ward/Ed Haskell is doing well in Pennsylvania. Who else is out there? In the 2 weeks since starting this blog, I can't believe how many people I've communicated with from our class, but I'm kinda curious as to what happened to our better known classmates. I mean what happened to Pete Volkmann, Sheri Hatten, Frank King, Dan Rafferty, Curt Heintz, Lisa Galu, Marybeth Feldman, Gil Crews, Bob Muschek, and Elaine Mamalis (to name only a few)? These people were infinitely more popular than me in high school. Anyone want to check in or give an update? How about it people?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Lots of other great adventures along the way, mostly in NYC, but we're now camped out in Albany while I work for the Spitzer . . . oops, Paterson, administration. I'm on the executive staff of the state parks department, reveling that I get to work with what I love. Do you suppose it's because of growing up in the woods of Garris(t)on(e)?
One question: How do you spell "shagr"?
Sunday, February 15, 2009
But until someone else posts around here, you have to suffer through my inane ramblings! Last November, my sister Lisa got married, making the present the only time all 5 kids in my family have been married. Above is a picture of all my siblings (O'Neill grads all) and me and our spouses and my parents and my siblings' kids. Everyone except, inexplicably, my sister's new husband. I hope everyone else's family is as happy as ours is.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I think part of that is that any kid getting off the bus has his/her mood darkened upon reaching school. However, at O'Neill, I think the physical appearance has just as much to do with it. You remember the interior decor, right, Industrial Cinder Blocks? I mean, who was the architect of this school, Hannibal Lechter? And someone had a karmic sense of humor building it on a dump!
Another Yearbook Picture
From our senior yearbook, the "81" Senior picture, the bottom part of the "8". 5 of us were going to spell out "L-A-T-E-R", but 2 bailed at the last second, Doctor Palmer (yes he has a Phd) and Rob Simpson. I don't remember the rebel flag back then being as much a symbol of Southern racism as it is today. That may be a result of my own worldly naivety, but it doesn't look like such a smart move, bailing now, huh, Doctor?
I tracked down DP about 2 years ago. He's doing well, and it's refreshing to know we can still have the some of the same juvenile arguments we had 30 years ago. When he works his own way over here, he can tell his tale. Rob Simpson, the last I heard, was trying to make it as an actor, even landing a couple bit parts on shows like My 2 Dads, but he and his brother Scott (pictured with the "T" and yes, he was wearing NOTHING under that overcoat) have fallen off the radar. Jim Ransone, I think, is a musician who travels quite a bit on the road, including extended tours overseas [Update: Jim Ransone (pictured below) plays guitar for the Breeze Kings, a blues band out of Atlanta. Click here to go to their website].
There, that's just about everything I know about the members of our class. Feel free to enlighten us all with your own story in the comments. C'mon, don't be bashful. Nobody's* judging you!
Friday, February 6, 2009
The words of wisdom that some added to their “Senior Informals” were pretty silly. We weren’t nearly as wise at 17 or 18 as we thought we were, huh? None of them were as dumb, though, as what I was going to say but at the last second wisely opted not to put down. Not that all of them were “dumb” or “silly”, I mean, yours was probably one of the really awesome ones. I think I liked Sue Confer's "Not all who wander are lost" best. I have no idea who Sue Confer was.
Scott Wallace and I worked at one of the camps out by Round Pond one summer during college. I was a dishwasher/laborer, and he was the supervisor. We had a great time working together (at least I did). We swapped stories, cracked jokes, etc... The others who worked there probably thought we were BFFs. We were in some classes together in high school, but I’d say we were only casual friends then. When the summer ended, I went my way, and Scott went his, and that’s a real shame.
When I got the announcement for the 10-year reunion, I realized that one of the several reunion organizers, Sue Gagliardo, lived only a couple blocks away from me in Albany. I met up with her, and you know what? She was totally cool! She was funny, easy to talk to, and very interesting. How did I miss this about her in high school? I must have been pretty clueless!
At the reunion, I got to spend some time hanging out with Pete Small - what a great guy! He's the kind of guy you wish you had for a next door neighbor. I knew Pete a little back in high school, and he was a great guy back then too.
Have you seen Carla Jenning’s picture on Facebook, her body-builder one? Talk about a “Big Gun Show”! I’d love to hear your story, Carla!
The vast majority of people in the yearbook are a mystery to me, including the Class of ’81. How is this possible? James I. O’Neill is the only high school I went to. It’s certainly not because of a fading memory. Mine is famously good at remembering names, faces, and events (I’m the unofficial historian at the WPSG blog). While looking through the yearbook, I asked myself, ”Why didn’t any of these people sit next to me at lunch or something and strike up a conversation?” A better question, though, is “Why didn’t I sit next to more people at lunch or something and strike up a conversation?” The answer, of course, is very simple. We came from 4 distinct communities: Garrison, Fort Montgomery, Highland Falls, and West Point, and each of these had diverse groups within them. I wasn’t BFFs with Scott or Pete or Sue or Carla because I got on a different bus at the end of the day and hung out with other people after school, on weekends, and during the summer. In answer to the blog title "Why?", this blog is my way of sitting next to you today and striking up a conversation.
My life since high school has been a pretty adventurous one, but I’ll bet yours is just as interesting. I invite you to give an update in the comments if you like, or at the very least check out what others have written. Thanks for stopping by!