What is it that they say about great minds? I’m not sure if I qualify but Athenae surely does. I had already planned to write about my schooldays then A did it and did it well:
I went to a Catholic college-prep high school, after 8 years of Catholic elementary. I did this because my family was Catholic, and religious schooling was important to my not-rich parents and grandparents. And a hell of a lot of my fellow students did the same because their families were wealthy, and the Catholic schools were predominantly white.
I grew up in a different time and place. My mother’s favorite sister was a principal back home in Wisconsin. Mom believed in public education and the schools in San Mateo County, California were outstanding so I always attended public schools.
Looking back, I’m amazed at how DIVERSE my high school was. We lived in middle class Foster City, but our group of students was diverse in and of itself with a slew of Jewish and Asian kids in the mix. Then, there were the white working class kids from Shoreview just across the Bayshore Freeway from San Mateo High. The neighborhood around the school itself was largely working class African-American and Hispanic. Finally, there were the upper middle class kids from San Mateo Park and the big money kids from Hillsborough. That was where people like the Hearsts and the Crosbys lived. I’ve been away for a long time, but I assume the demographics of many of these areas are different in 2018; except the wealthier ones. The rich are always with us.
Our school’s diversity is one reason so many of the schoolmates I’m still in touch with are howling liberals. It may not have always been pretty, but we learned how to deal with different types of people without thinking of them as the OTHER.
One year there was some racial tension but the problem was largely between rival groups of jocks; one group were white rough boys, the other black football players and their hangers-on. It didn’t last long. The two groups resumed picking on the stoners, which was easier and more profitable. Who could complain to the Vice Principal about their weed getting stolen? Not that I know about such things…
I had a protector among the white jocks or hard guys as they called themselves. Kelly lived around the corner from me, our parents were friends, and we played little league baseball together. He played shortstop and I rode the bench but I had access to free Giants tickets, which made me a popular kid. I was mildly roughed up by some high school jocks once. I told Kelly and it never happened again. Thanks, man.
High school was where I met guys like Brett Kavanaugh. There were some wealthy parents who sent their kids to San Mateo High: many were members of the “greatest generation” and were on the frugal side. Besides, the school was academically excellent and our football, basketball, and track teams were competitive. Because of that we got many wealthy jocks who might have gone to private schools in another time and place.
As I watched Kavanaugh testify, I thought to myself “I know the type.” He was the sort of kid who kissed up and kicked down. Prep school jock asshole Brett thought he was better than everyone else, especially students with a vagina, not a penis. He was a boozy Eddie Haskell, the phoniest choir boy who ever sucked up to grown ups while simultaneously bullying kids weaker than himself.
Essentially, Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump with brains. He’s lied and bullied his way through life and sees no reason to change. We saw the real Brett Kavanaugh last Thursday. His mask repeatedly slipped as he ranted and raved about left-wing conspiracies. Ken Starr may be proud of him but his lies and extreme partisanship make him unfit for the Supreme Court. He may have gone to the right schools but he seems to have drawn the wrong lessons from them.
Let’s circle back to my schooldays and give the Kinks, Paul Simon, and Steely Dan the last word with some contemporaneous music. I really need to post Kodachrome since I quoted it in the post summary.
5 thoughts on “Schooldays”
I grew up in Atherton. Took the train to St. Matthew’s Episcopal School in San Mateo in first & second grade.
The family lot in Atherton, w/ its new rich person’s house, is now worth around U.S.$10,000,000. Too damn bad the parental units sold it in 1964 when we moved to Seattle.
A familiar story. We have a few in our extended family as well.
Was that the Denny’s up by the College of San Mateo? Possible we crossed paths there. Late 70s Hillsdale grad here.
You got it. Small world, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I graduated from Fairport High School, which is outside Rochester, NY. Sounds a lot like where you were from, only with snow in the winter. I knew a lot of guys like Brett Kavanaugh. We had frats in our high school. A kid stole a keg from a frat party & they drove him off the road & left him for dead. He died there, in the ditch by Rte. 31. This was a week before graduation. Brian Walrab. He was a jerk but nobody deserves that.
I survived a gang rape at the hands of those dudes but at least I’m alive to tell the tale.
Comments are closed.