Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Yearbook Season.

Since it’s that time of year, let’s talk a little today about milestones.

Last night was my fourteen-year-old daughter’s eighth grade “promotion” ceremony. The word “graduation” seems to get tossed around so much these days. Between preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, yesterday marked our ninth such ceremony. 

Holy sweet father of T-ball trophies, what's next? At this rate it won't be long before maternity wards start broadcasting “Pomp and Circumcise” through the corridors.

So yeah, the past couple of weeks have been heaped with one everyone-gets-a-badge-uation after another.

(At this point, please insert the inquisitive tones of “Dateline’s" Keith Morrison): But there’s another historic way station lurking in the milky dusk of a bygone decade

Twenty years ago this week, on June 17, 1994, O.J. Simpson performed his hour-long Ford Bronco infomercial. With his friend Al, a wad of cash and a gun to his head, Simpson took 95 million of us on a slow ride to the intersection of Holy Shit I Never Knew O.J. Was a Psycho Boulevard, and like, Sepulveda.

Along with most of the world, I initially believed the whole situation was a misunderstanding. How could this All-American football-star-turned-actor possess the capacity for such savagery? 

As a kid, I worshipped the guy like subsequent generations idolized Micheal Jordan and Tom Brady. I’m not proud of this now, but check it out—I even wore his shoes:

Originally intending to write exclusively on the Broncoversary and my childhood worship of O.J., once I pulled out that old yearbook, I was instantly distracted. To hell with O.J. Simpson, I thought, let’s talk about something more relevant. 

Think back to those warm, waning June days, when the work was done, and our sole responsibility was attaining as many heartfelt dedications as could be crammed into a 64-page hardbound time capsule.

Every adolescent message you are about to read was written by classmates now in their fifties. Since so much time has passed and most legal statutes of limitation have expired, I decided to include names. You may see something you wrote thirty-six years ago. Let’s just hope you were nice to me.

The following are excerpts from the pages of the 1977-78 Olympic Junior High annual.

I still haven't tried Caryn's recipe because the only place that sells giggles is Whole Foods, and they're organic and really expensive.

Happy yearbook season.

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