Weekend Question Thread

There were most definitely parts of my high school years that sucked donkey sack, but I think some of the best times were spent with my friend Carrie at a little coffeehouse (back when such things were unusual in small midwestern towns), talking about our futures. They made this thick dark coffee with whipped cream on top, and the place was full of proto-hipsters playing chess and reading books.

What’s your happiest adolescent memory?


12 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Every Halloween I did an elaborate effects makeup for one of the other kids on my block.
    I mean full-latex-appliances-and-wardrobe stuff – a mummy one year, Frankenstein’s monster the next, vampires, a zombie, etc.
    Took hours (sometimes starting as early as noon) and a lot of prep work.
    I loved it, the whole neighborhood came by to watch, and the results were almost uniformly spectacular.
    And no – I did not become the next Jack Pierce – Tom Savini got that gig.

  2. TommyT…do you watch that show ‘Face Off’?
    Every year, in my small town, they would block off a section of Main Street in February. Then all different groups would spend like 4 days making snow sculptures. I loved sculpting and I actually thought back then that it would be cool to do that for a living (not in snow). Otherwise, my childhood memories aren’t really happy ones.

  3. Maybe just one. I went to high school in a small town that was, for three years running in the early `60s, in the top ten in the nation for juvenile delinquency per capita. During the summer I turned sixteen, I grew three inches and about forty more pounds, and when I returned to school, by height and weight, was the fourth-biggest kid in school.
    No more fights. All of sudden, no one wanted to chance it. Ever since I was thirteen, I’d been terrorized almost daily during the school year, and having that stop was a great relief.

  4. Most of them involved a boy who turned out to be my second cousin (dammit — he was *cute*!) … a band member in the brass section, a motorcycle rider, the boy behind me in Spanish class, a fellow fan of the TV show from which I’ve stolen my handle, and the younger brother of the senior I had a serious crush on… and airplanes. Specifically, the then-Confederate Air Force squadron based 30 miles from our small town, where the wing site included things like the fuselage of a B-58 Hustler …

  5. Naked swimming with friends each summer in quarries in the woods. Sure did teach me about casual nudity.

  6. I don’t have one. I fucking hated high school and could not wait to get out. In fact, I left a week before graduation and went to France, so I don’t even have memories of lame speeches. My best friend offered to take my yearbook around and get signatures for me, which I thought was really sweet but I was like, nah. Don’t even bother. I’m outta here.
    College was much, much better.

  7. Hanging out with good friends, including my then-teacher/instructor Tony Kushner (the playwright), during the summer.

  8. I lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    In my senior high school year we used to go to a Bar call Castellinhos (little castle) on the boarder of Epanima and Approdore beaches.
    We had out fake ID’s and we would do our AP Calculus home work there with pitchers of good old Brahama Chope beer.
    Of course our parents were never aware of that.
    For me the bullying stopped when they realised they needed my math brain.

  9. I was fortunate enough to spend four years in one of the nation’s best high-school symphonic band and orchestra programs. Six full hours of rehearsal every week, plus two hours of sectional lessons. We played Shostakovich, Brahms, Stravinsky, Bach, Holst, Grainger, Weber, Shumann, Dvorak, Telemann, Beethooven, Strauss, Albeniz, Copeland … wonderful music. I remain convinced that performing Holst’s First Suite in E flat in a good band is one of the finest experiences a person can have.
    And between my junior and senior year, six of us put together the first of our ambitious canoe and fishing trips in the Minnesota Boundary Waters and adjoining Quetico.

  10. I lived in Queens but went to high school in Manhattan, so I spent a lot of my after school time with friends exploring the big city. We visited the big museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, IBM’s gallery on Madison and a host of smaller ones. We’d walk all over. One time we walked from Spuyten Duyvil at the far northern tip, following the railroad tracks to the little bridge to the Bronx, then down to the Battery, all in one day. One time we went out to Welfare Island, now Roosevelt Island, and explored the ruins of the smallpox hospital, a row of trashed churches and the Octagon madhouse. We shopped for surplus parts in what later became Tribeca and Soho, and bought books and posters in the Village.
    It wasn’t all urban. A friend of mine from Queens made a movie, and we filmed the action sequences on Rabbit Island which was a chunk of wooded land in the middle of the Sunnyside [Train] Yards, a surprisingly wild place with a view of the Manhattan skyline. We took a long train ride out to the wildlife sanctuary in Jamaica Bay and watched birds while JFK’s jets roared low overhead. We took a bus up to Bear Mountain and got horribly lost, and we walked over the George Washington Bridge to the hiking trail along the Palisades north to the New York border.
    I still know where a lot of things are, including bathrooms, in New York City from all that wandering. Those were real fun years.

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