High school, rah rah rah, sis boom bah

“…a popular 1857 ballad by H. S. Thompson about a heroine dying of tuberculosis”

My buddy Chuck Miller posted this on Facebook: “Your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!!! Let’s have FUN!” Well, OK, if you say so. Binghamton (NY) Central High School.

1. The year? 1970-1971
2. Did you go to prom? Yes – there are pictures out there. And six months earlier, I went to my then-girlfriend’s prom. The theme of hers was Colour My World. The theme to ours: All Things Must Pass.
3. What kind of car did you drive? I didn’t – I walked to school. It was only 0.8 mile. In fact, I walked almost everywhere.

4. It’s Friday Night Football were you there? Oddly enough, yes – a couple of my friends were the school mascots, and I did grow up with a couple players.
5. What kind of job did you have? I was a page for Binghamton Public Library, helping people put on microfilm, filing old magazines, and shelf reading.
6. Were you a party animal? I’d say no; sometimes parties and lots of people would overwhelm me. Others may view me differently because I had an agreeable facade.

7. Were you considered a jock? Goodness no. I did try out for football but quit before the third or fourth practice. I hated gym, and the sadistic teachers, until we got a decent guy in my senior year.
8. Were you in the Band? No, but I was in the main choir AND the male glee club.
9. Were you a nerd? Political nerd, I suppose. I was in a group called the Contemporary Issues Forum, where we dealt with racism and the war. I was president of student government and the Red Cross club at different points, and I was on stage crew for drama club, with occasional small acting roles.

10. Do you still live in the same school district? No, but in the same state
11. Can you sing the school song? Much of it – “Loyal sons and steadfast daughters… Victory be to BCHS, guard our color blue.” The tune was stolen from “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters“, Cornell University’s alma mater. Ithaca is only 49 miles (79 km) away. THOSE lyrics were “set to the tune of ‘Annie Lisle‘, a popular 1857 ballad by H. S. Thompson about a heroine dying of tuberculosis.”
12. What was your school mascot? Bulldog

13. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Heavens, no, even though I had a reasonably good time there.
14. Are you still in contact with people from high school? I’m still in touch with a few people from KINDERGARTEN, so yes. And Facebook has enhanced that. So has this blog.
15. Do you know where your high school sweetheart is now? Indeed yes. She’s married and living in our hometown. Saw her a few years ago, and my family stayed at her place.

16. What was your favorite subject? Trig, history, choir.
17. Do you still have your High School ring? I never had one. Did they do that sort of thing in my school? I had to check with folks on a Binghamton-based FB page to confirm that we were offered the chance to buy one, gold with a blue stone, naturally.
18. Do you still have your yearbook? Yes, I do. And for the two years previous. I know exactly where they are.

My parents, and my career choices

Did we HAVE scheduled meetings with guidance counselors?

les-trudyMy good friend Carol, who I’ve only known since kindergarten, has some follow-up questions about the Lydster’s career choices, which were really about My career choices.

Two questions based on this… why did you not go into law?

Because I did very poorly in a pre-law course at New Paltz. I loved the subject, but Bill Dunn didn’t love my answers. Or maybe it was because it was an 8 a.m. course and I was late sometimes. This failure threw me into a tizzy, because that was my intended life path, and then I had NO idea what I wanted to pursue.

Do you wish your parents had made more suggestions, not along the lines of pushing as much as of possibilities.
Continue reading “My parents, and my career choices”

Me and the Pledge of Allegiance

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

pledge of allegianceSometimes, you need to tell a story so you can tell another story. This is one of those times.

Back in the fall of 1968 (I believe) , I was a sophomore at Binghamton (NY) Central High School. This was, of course, a period of a good deal of strife across the country. The war in Vietnam and civil rights movement were prominently on my mind in the months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April. I read a lot of King after his death, most notably his speeches in April 1967 opposing the Vietnam war. Also in 1967, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for his refusal to be drafted into the armed service.

Both Ali and King evoked race in stating their positions. Continue reading “Me and the Pledge of Allegiance”

Pictoral blast from my past

Photo booths use a direct positive process, imprinting the image directly to the paper — creating a one-of-a-kind artifact.

I used to have this red photo album, where I stored pictures of my childhood. It was lost many years ago, and virtually all the photos I now have prior to turning 18 I scrounged from my parents’ house, duplicates of some, but hardly all of my childhood memories.

Then my high school friend Steve – it was at his Unitarian church’s basement where I first heard the Beatles white album – started digging through boxes that have been in storage for 40 years, and found these.

prom
Here’s a high school prom picture. Continue reading “Pictoral blast from my past”

Music Throwback Saturday: High School

The kids know what the deal is
They’re getting farther out everyday

mc5facesWhen my friends and I were at Binghamton (NY) Central High School, probably in the spring of 1970, we made an antiwar video. I no longer recall the plot, as it were, though I remember bringing my Johnny Seven OMA (One-Man Army) toy gun to the proceedings.

We used as the soundtrack a song from a song from the Detroit-based, left-wing political group the The MC5. Continue reading “Music Throwback Saturday: High School”