Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
I did two things when I finally got back to Waco after my little adventure at Allen Military Academy.
Threw my uniforms away, and told my parents that if they ever tried to send me back, I would just disappear. (Bear in mind that I was only 16 at the time)
I didn’t get any pushback – perhaps they were a little ashamed of throwing me into that pit of vipers.
I went to my bedroom and settled down with one of my “World’s Greatest Literature” books from the set (My parents didn’t know until their dying days that the collection they bought for me included Balzac and the original unexpurgated Grimms Fairy Tales)
I really wasn’t in the mood for heavy reading, though – so I went out to the shed behind the house to grab a comic book. The boxes were gone.
I asked my Mom where they were, and she replied that with my going off to Allen Academy to become a man, they had thrown them away.
All of them.
Fantastic Four #1 – 180
Spider Man #1 – 120
X-Men #1 – 125
Mint condition and unmarked/uncreased, since I treated ALL books with respect, whether written by Herman Melville or Jack Kirby.
Also gone was my Merry Marvel Marching Society membership card signed by Stan Lee (He signed them himself for a short time – I was member #205), and also a signed letter from Stan awarding me an official no-prize and rank of TB (True Believer) for a quip I had sent to him to use in the “Bullpen Bulletins” letters section.
In excess of $300,000 (these days) worth of comics.
Enough to buy my parents’ house 10 times.
Enough to buy a fleet of cars.
There is, however, a punch line to this sordid tale.
From the “History” section of the current Allen Academy website :
“Between 1922 and 1983, Allen Academy and its Corps of Cadets earned the United States Army’s highest rating as an Honor Military School with Distinction.
In the late 1980’s, Allen purchased 40 acres of land on the corner of Highway 1179 and Boonville Road in Bryan. Given the social change of the previous two decades, 1986 saw the end of the Academy’s military training and by 1988, the school had returned to its founders’ original concept of a college preparatory school for both boys and girls.”
So – it moved, and turned into a prep school for rich parents’ kids.
And the old campus?
Here comes the funny part :
“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose “
(yours truly at the bottom of the above pic carrying a leather book satchel – told ya I was a nerd)