Hit it, Elton.
I got a text message from my sister yesterday.
Not unusual. We text each other nearly every day.
But this one. . . well this one brought me some news. That one of my old high school buddies had died. Pancreatic cancer. (Damn disease.)
So, I've had a melancholy kind of day. Clouds in my eyes, y'know?
In the 36 years since high school (can it really be that long?), I've only seen Jon once. At a reunion 7 years ago. But he will always have a special place in my heart.
(Click for a bigger image. It's such a challenge to scan an oversized yearbook. Especially a double-spread photograph.)
The photo above is a portion of my high school marching band . . . in my sophomore year of high school. (I am in the front row, the first person not cut off on the far left in the photo above. Kind of blurry, but really - the best I could manage given my equipment.)
I hated marching band. Hated. Hated the marching. Hated the uniforms. Hated the practice. Hated giving up my Friday night socializing performing at football games. Hated the spats (not pictured above). But, mostly, I hated the hats (also missing from the group photo). Fuzzy, blue things that brought to mind Fred and Barney's Royal Order of the Water Buffaloes lodge hats. (Really. Only thing missing was the horns.)
But marching band was made tolerable when my best pal, Kristi, and I made friends with Jon - a trumpet player - and his friends. (He's in the photo above, too -- last row of guys, 4th from the center fold on the right.) Initially, I had a little crush on him, but it wasn't mutual and it didn't last. Our friendship was purely platonic. We had a band-gang: Jon, Scott, Ron, Gina, Kristi, and me. They were all juniors; Kristi and I were sophomores. Marching band became tolerable for me (the rest of them loved it for reasons I never understood!), but it was more than that. We had fun together . . . just being silly, high school friends.
Today, all those memories have surfaced.
Clouds in my eyes.