The teenage kind of senior moments
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I’m not one for missing the celebration of a milestone. Especially if laughing is involved.
A 20-year high school reunion, for example, only happens once in a lifetime. As does a first kiss. Or a last hurrah.
The last two can even happen in the same night.
As a senior in high school, my classmates and I had our last hurrah together before officially becoming adults. We traveled down to Daytona Beach in Florida for Spring Break. I remember that compared to the other girls on the trip, I couldn’t tan to save my life. Sprinkling baby powder in my hair to make it look more blonde also didn’t work out so well for me.
Let’s just say I was a late bloomer in the fun-in-the-sun department.
I also remember my Grandpa McAnany gearing up my ’87 Mustang with a sweet CB system. That’s so my friends and I could communicate – i.e., screw around with a CB – between cars while making the 19-hour drive. This was obviously pre-cell phone days. I think if I had a choice for a roadtrip, I’d pick CB any day. Strictly for the handles. Because calling myself April Showers never gets old.
Especially with the truckers.
Of course it didn’t take long for the truckers to become fueled with anger at us over CB abuse. The last thing a truck driver lacking sleep and human companionship wants is a bunch of high school kids playing around on the airwaves. My Mustang surely wasn’t hard to miss with a CB antenna made for an RV. I haven’t seen an antenna that big on top of a car since my parents’ vacation pictures from Branson.
Time can really stand still if you let it.
A few weeks after Spring Break, my classmates and I had yet another last hurrah – which technically makes the Daytona trip our last harrumph. On April 20 – my 18th birthday – several of us walked out of class and around the high school parking lot to support a teacher named Mr. Hayes. At the time, Mr. Hayes was a young teacher, in his 20s. He was losing his job and we all felt he should’ve had his contract renewed to keep on teaching government and econ. The school administration thought otherwise. So, in the words of Public Enemy in 1990, we decided to fight the power.
It was hardly a revolution.
But we were young and dumb and loved that teacher nicknamed Gov. Hayes and Purple Hayes. On that chilly rainy day, we held signs and umbrellas and wore purple armbands. We took our cause down through the streets of tiny New Palestine, Ind. – even down to town hall. That didn’t take long. And I’m pretty sure no one cared. But us.
And the school principal.
Suffice to say, he wasn’t amused. For the first time, many of us were suspended from school for a day. My tennis coach didn’t find the humor in it, either. I missed a match for my deviance. But the movement to fight the power for Purple Hayes brought our senior class together and we all graduated later in May.
At least most of us, if I recall.
The Purple Hayes story is just one of the memories my graduating class and I recalled a week ago as we reunited in Indianapolis for our reunion. We discovered we weren’t a bunch of delinquents after all. We just had a lot of passion.
And really understanding parents.
We were definitely a bunch of smart alecks, disrupting class by stomping any time a teacher’s back was turned so the lights on the first floor would blink. We developed it into an art, so much so Best Stomper (boy and girl) was a category in our senior class survey, in which I took home the female honors.
That’ll make a mother proud.
A few of my male classmates hid a carton of milk from the cafeteria behind the radiator in Ms. Kruse’s classroom. For the life of her, she could not figure out the mystery smell’s origin. I think the odor was so rank, someone finally gave in and told her about the spoiled milk, which by that time had turned into cheese curds. This goes to show sarcasm grows well in the sticks. Must be something in the soil.
Why wouldn’t I want to celebrate it?
April E. Clark will use sarcasm to her advantage this Friday night at 9 p.m. as emcee of the Last Friday Laughs Comedy Showcase at The Bayou. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon will continue to be closed due to “extreme damage” from the latest round of heavy rain and flooding Saturday night, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Sunday afternoon.