June 10, 2005

The Good Ol' Days

Did I ever tell you I was on yearbook in high school?

Well, I was.

While I didn't really get along with my fellow staffers all that well, it was an interesting experience, laying out my own designs, writing the content and, of course, taking the photographs. Because you take a lot of photographs when you're on yearbook. Roll after roll of film. Which you then have to lovingly develop and create prints for. (This was the eighties kids, no digital pics here!) And all so you can capture the essence of a year in the life of the student body. Now yearbooks are great when you're in school. You run around and have everyone and sundry sign them. Soon thereafter, however, they wind up packed away in a box, gathering dust and will only be dragged out when the owner gets wistful for their youth and has cracked open a bottle of Jose Cuervo, to help them remember only the good stuff associated with high school, and to help the bad stuff slide away into the ether.

The funny thing about being on yearbook is that you have extra junk to remember your days in high school: plastic sheet after plastic sheet of negatives. Photos that you took that have wound up in your possession because the yearbook advisor threatened you with death if you left them sitting in the lab. Because she sure as hell didn't want to have anything to do with them. And when you run across these, you hold them up to the light, you laugh and note the ones that made the cut, and then you notice all the photos that didn't make the cut.

Since Steve and Robbo have decided to take us for a trip down memory lane in recent days, I decided I'd share a few not-so-choice photos that have heretofore never seen the light of day. Because, you know, they were my pals in high school. Hence they made it into a lot of photos because they were easy that way.


I remember this one well. Like all good high school kids, they were rock star wannabes. Well, let me clarify: Steve-o was; Robbo had different ideas. Steve dragged him into it with the promise of updating some of Bach's greatest hits. Of course, Steve-o was lying but Robbo was more than a wee bit gullible at that stage so he went along with it. They never really did get around to modernizing The Goldberg Variations, hence Robbo was a wee bit miffed about the whole thing and was always and forever threatening to quit the band. Particularly after Steve-o decided it would be good for their rock and roll props to wear their bridles around school. Robbo was just mortified, but Steve? Well, Steve, of course, thought he was hot shit. Even though they were the most pathetic excuse for a band I've ever seen. I have no idea who the other two kids are---they were younger than us---but I remember that the kid directly to the left of Robbo, well, he was in a lot of other pics---he seemed to always jump into shots, like he was auditioning for a Calvin Klein gig---so my editor told me to can the photo.


Oh, God, poor Robbo. Sigh. I remember this all too clearly. Our senior year the drama department produced Fiddler on the Roof and Robbo, God Love Him, was cast as Tevye. I have two words to describe this HUGE blunder on the part of the drama department: pity casting.

Now, Robbo thought this was a pretty cool deal. He'd been involved in every musical and every play since he was a freshman, but he'd never played a lead, because, well, not to put too fine a point on it, he sucked. And I mean he blew. There's just no getting around how awful he was in actuality. Couldn't sing on key to save his life. But he was a good little trooper, always volunteering to paint sets, help with crewing duties even if he was already in the chorus...there was no job that was too small for Robbo to apply his meticulous attention to it. He loved all of it. So, when senior year rolled around, the musical was chosen, auditions were scheduled and Robbo was as jittery as a junebug---and of course had to make sure all of his friends were up to date on all of his conundrums. Which piece should he choose to audition with? Would it be too much, do you think, to have actual dance moves choreographed beforehand? Should I go down to the costume shop and get a fake beard? I mean, he went on and on and freakin' on until we all began to wonder if he was really lining himself up for membership in the Blogistan High Chapter of Future Homosexuals of America, instead of just auditioning for the school musical.

Well, Robbo, blew the audition. Of course. What's surprising is that he knew it, too. His hopes were completely dashed and he moped around until the cast list was posted outside the door to the school theater. Then what to his wondering eyes should appear? His name on the cast list. He'd bagged Tevye, along with two other guys. He fainted. Right there. Dropped like a stone. You really should have seen it: it was like every bone had been plucked out of his body and he simply fell down for lack of a skeletal system. You see, there had been so many other guys who were also seniors, who had been involved in the theater department (yeah, I know, that's unusual, but Blogistan High? Well, it was an unusual place.) and there simply weren't enough male parts to go around: so they had three Tevye's---one for each night the musical ran. Robbo got the Saturday night performance. Only because the drama teachers thought they could sneak him in.

That, of course, was the night my yearbook advisor scheduled me to go and take pictures of the production. This particular photo was taken before everything went horribly, horribly wrong. I mean, Christopher Guest wouldn't have even had to mock anything if he'd seen this play. He would have actually felt sorry for the cast and crew. Waiting for Guffman had nothing on Blogistan High's Saturday night performance of Fiddler on the Roof. Suffice it to say, this photo, three minutes into Tevye's opening bit of Tradition represents the high point of Robbo's theatrical career. This was before he set himself---and the whole backdrop---on fire with the candle he was carrying for the wedding scene. (Yep. Set himself on fire. I know. Pathetic, eh? He actually had to stop, drop and roll to put himself out.) This was before he almost ripped his hamstring in half during the Russian dancing scene after Tevye's arranged for Tzeitel's betrothal to Lazar Wolf. This was before...well, I think you get the gist. The whole thing was like a performance of Macbeth is always supposed to go: it was cursed from the get go.

Hence this photo never made it into the yearbook. My yearbook advisor had also helped out with the musical and wouldn't allow any photographs of Robbo to be included on the pages we'd allotted. Everyone else got their due, but he was strictly VERBOTEN. I remember him asking me when the yearbook came out why he wasn't included. I lied and told him it was because of space issues. He seemed to accept that answer, but I suppose we're all grown up now and he can take the truth.


Now, while Steve-o might have flirted with Rock-n-Roll Greatness, and Robbo had his love of the theater to keep him warm at night, it should be noted that if you ever really needed to find these dorks, you went to the computer lab. Where invariably you would find them hanging out with Bill.

Since computers were new-fangled doohickeys way back when, and the school was keen to promote that they actually had computers, my editor was all over me to go and take some pictures of the few people who actually hung out in the lab. This meant, one more time, being forced to resort to getting my pals to pose for pictures. I remember the conversation going something like this:

Steve-o: Make sure you're getting my good side. Are you getting my good side?
Kath: You have a good side? Hmmph. Who knew? What the heck do you guys do on these things anyway?
Robbo: Search for interesting things to do, of course!
Bill: Which, knowing you two, includes trying to find pictures of South American farm animals
Steve: You know what I want? I want software that will allow me to chop the heads off pictures and replace them with funnier stuff.
Robbo:: Can you really do that?
Bill: {Slaps Robbo Dismissively} No, you dork, you can't. It hasn't been invented yet.
Kath: Bill stop smacking Robbo. There's no violence allowed in the yearbook. Work with me here.
Steve {Wistful} One day they will invent it. I'm sure. And they'll invent a vast thing called the world wide web, and we'll all have these things called blogs, because we named them after the high school, and we'll be able to post anything we want, about any topic...
Bill: Shut up, bridle boy.
Kathy: Oh, for Chrissakes. Knock it off! Just shut up and let me take the damn picture. I need to get out of here; I can feel the geek rubbing off on me. I'm going to have to take a shower when I'm done as it is...
Phin: {Chimes in from other side of the lab} Want me to wash your back for you?
Bill, Robbo, Steve and Kathy: NO!
Sadie: Maybe I'll let you wash my back, Phin. If you're a really good fishie... {insert much batting of eyelashes here}
Phin: Ohboyohboyohboy!
Sadie:...IF Gordo will let me.
Gordo: Nope. Mine. ALL mine. Not sharing.
Phin: Awwwwwww...
Bill: Oh, God. Get me out of here and to Dee Cee!
Sadie: Oh, well. {Shrugs and goes back to what she was doing}
{Insert clicking of the shutter here}
Kathy: I'm outta here!

Sadly, this photo never made it into the yearbook. The editor decided they didn't have space for it at the last minute.

Ah, so there's a couple of choice photos and stories of our high school days. I've got more, sitting right here, waiting for me to go through them, so maybe I'll post some more, or maybe they'll just go back into the box for future use. Who knows?

I believe Madame Sadie and Gordo have taken their own trips down memory lane. Make sure you go and check them out.

Posted by Kathy at June 10, 2005 10:44 AM

"Steve dragged him into it with the promise of updating some of Bach's greatest hits."

Simply brilliant!!

Posted by: Gordon at June 10, 2005 11:00 AM

Bridle boy???

Heh. You seriously received some inspiration on this one, Kathy. Hilarious;-)

....hey wait.... didn't you go to an all-girl school? Would that make the LLamas...... Nooooooooooooooooooo....

Posted by: sadie at June 10, 2005 11:08 AM

That was probably a whole lot of fun to write. It was certainly fun to read!

Posted by: RP at June 10, 2005 12:48 PM

You guys crack me up!

Posted by: Ith at June 10, 2005 12:56 PM

As long as you don't release the pictures of me in my Joan Jett Phase, we'll be cool.


Posted by: Margi at June 10, 2005 03:43 PM

Nice p-shops, but the idea that I would have had anything to do with those two in high school is simply ridiculous.

Not to mention the age difference; those guys are like 60 or something.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at June 11, 2005 10:05 PM

Rob as Teyve?

That would defy

wait for it....


Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at June 12, 2005 11:34 PM

*sniff* Ya didn't have to mention the back washing episode, some scars don't heal. *sniff*

I always miss the good stuff.

Posted by: phin at June 13, 2005 10:54 AM
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