In high school, I took one book home for homework. I never used it and I’m pretty sure I still have it.
I loved high school. I know a lot of people hated it, but I loved it. I had friends from every social group in the school. The jocks, brainiacs, drama, journalists, stoners, Christians, student governors – every group.
In my sophomore year, I was heavily involved in drama. I auditioned for the part of Jimmy in “The Rainmaker”, a classic. I didn’t get the part. The guy who did get it, failed to learn his lines, so they gave the part to me.
It was a great experience. I really liked it and it kept me very busy. That was a good thing because I would later discover that if I had too much time on my hands, I would get into trouble.
I still keep in touch with two of my friends from the drama department, Ron Skelton and Larry Whatcott. Larry makes movies now and I think he and I were the only ones from that group who pursued show business as adults.
We also performed “Harvey” that year, another classic made famous by the late Jimmy Stewart. The main character had an invisible rabbit that he would talk to. Even though the rabbit was real, everyone thought he was one easter egg short of a basket.
I played Dr. Chumley, the guy’s psychiatrist. It was a lot of fun. Later that year, we performed a melodrama called “The Perils of Pauline Purehart”, which I think Larry wrote. I had a small role in that, and then bowed out of drama, following a run in with the drama teacher.
In my junior year, I did things that should have had me in a great deal of hot water. All I can say is that it involved manipulation of the admission system. A friend of mine and I made quite a bit of money with it, cut a lot of classes and never got caught. See what I mean? Too much time on my hands.
In my senior year, I got on a baseball team in the Joe Dimaggio league. I wasn’t very good, by any stretch of the imagination, but I was on the team. The coach hated me, because I played far too many practical jokes for his far too serious, boring personality. I won’t mention his name, only that it was Bob Gress.
I also broke into radio broadcasting that year, something that I did for a few years in my adult life. The most shocking things that happened that year were 1) a friend of mine, Curtis Jones, thought I should run for ASB Vice President. He submitted the forms and I won! I was stunned. I also made a number of life long friends acting in that capacity.
2) The real stunner was being voted Mr. Senior. What were they thinking? There were many more deserving people than I, but I was grateful to have been thought of in that light.
Yes, I loved high school. All of it. Even though life was tough at home, I would relive those days in a heartbeat.
See you tomorrow.
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