The Changing of the Guard

I took my son to Lansing Eastern High School yesterday so we could square away some paper work before school starts and have him find his locker. It’s his freshman year so he has to be pretty excited but I think the trip there yesterday was even more fun for me.

It’s been twenty years since the beginning of my freshman year. It was 1984, Prince’s Purple Rain album was just out, as was the Jacksons Victory Album featuring Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger singing State of Shock (anybody else remember that?) The Tigers were just about to win the World Series, the Karate Kid was all the rage, and the US and Soviet Olympic teams were boycotting and counter boycotting. So things have changed just a touch but the building that is Eastern High is still the same. And that’s the important thing.

Remember my story about Kim, the stringbean 4th grade safety who yelled at the kindergarten girl to stop for no reason? By the ninth grade, she had (making big melon hand display. . . nope, bigger than that. Yeah. . . ) TITS!!!!!! Gotta love Kim. And I did.

Other than that, one of my most vivid memories of Eastern was hearing psssst! in the hallway. I looked and it was a group of Mexican dudes. One of them said “Hey man, come stand over here.” I went and stood where he motioned to. He was using me as cover while he took a metal bar and through a dangling lock on a wall locker. He pushed down and the lock popped clean off. He then opened the locker and proceeded to steal some candy, a jacket, and a walkman. I was about to leave but then I heard pssst! Hey man. Now stand over here. I think they busted into like five lockers that day. As an aside, two of those guys are dead now. That is neither here nor there.

So yesterday we were checking Jordon in at the office and I asked where and when he was supposed to picked up his lock. The lady looked uncomprehendingly for a moment, then said “Oh, we don’t use the dangling locks on the lockers anymore. The locks and combinations are now part of the lockers themselves.”

You don’t say.

We walked around the school for a while and I showed Jordon points of interest. The cafeteria, the hallway that connects to Pattengill Junior High Middle School. The stairwell! It has great acoustics which served as the perfect spot for rap exhibitions. I took out my camera and took a picture of the stairwell. We walked around some more and found the band room. I smiled and said “The band room!” Then I looked at my son, wiped the smile off my face and said, “Oh, I mean. Um. The band room.” (I’m not a geek I’m not a geek).

I took more pictures of the places in there that come back to me in my dreams. Recurring, powerful dreams where it’s been discovered that I’m actually a few credits short of my graduation requirements so I have to go back to high school and finish up. “You will have dreams of this place,” I tell Jordon as I snap another picture. “When you’re older.”

I don’t feel old enough to have a high schooler.

5 Responses to “The Changing of the Guard”

  1. THE "D" says:

    He will never forget that you gave him the history of the school. One day he will look back and say my father was right!!! Then he is going to yell:

    “Hey the band room” then his son will wipe the geeky smile from his face.

    It is a beautiful thing!! Passing on the good things in life to your child.

    On another note!!!!

    My son plastered this QB from Jackson Northwest so many times yesterday that the kid stop throwing the ball!! I had a tear in my eye when my son screamed: “GGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEERRRRRRRR” in the QB’s face after one tremendous hit. Wonderful! Wonderful I say!

  2. Nice Rack says:

    Someday I will have kids and be able to share all of my fabulous memories of being teased in school. And of course, while not a band geek, I was a choir geek so it’s about the same.

  3. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    D is your son playing JV or Varsity?

  4. Nice Rack says:

    What’s up today, no one have anything to say? I’m leaving work in 1 hour and 48 minutes, so somebody better get interesting quick.

  5. Phelps says:

    I have those dreams.