Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, FL

Father Lopez Catholic High SchoolI graduated from Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1991. I was, if I remember correctly, the Vice President of my Senior class. I was on the Model United Nations and in the drama club. I spent a few months on the swim team and on the track team. I was in and out of the French club. I was in and out of detention much, much more frequently. I loved my teachers. I loved my classmates. I had a great time in high school.

When I graduated they put a plaque with my photo on it on the wall of the cafeteria, the first “Crest of the Wave” award … er … awarded. I took all the honors classes offered. I had a stellar GPA and I produced, wrote, and starred in our Homecoming pep rally. I got suspended once for lighting the door to the teacher’s lounge on fire. I had — literally — the keys to the campus and would go on weekends to help teachers with projects. Over the course of one semester I managed to methodically and surreptitiously steal each and every one of the bathroom hall passes. I was voted “Most Intelligent” in my Senior yearbook. I was the DJ for our school dances. I was the star of the theater department.

We were the Fighting Green Waves and we had a ridiculous cheer about “rolling, rolling, rolling” over the competition:

Deep down in the ocean (Deep down in the ocean!)
I heard a great roar (I heard a great roar!)
Was a mighty mighty wave (Was a mighty mighty wave!)
And it went like this (And it went like this!)
Rolly-rolly-rolly roll! (Rolly-rolly-rolly roll!)

I didn’t just love my high school. I ruled my high school.

So it was with some sadness today that I read that they’re tearing down my old school. It will soon be replaced by a Super Wal-Mart. They’re building a new school way out on LPGA Blvd. It’s an odd feeling. I no longer keep in touch with any of my classmates and I haven’t visited the campus since about a year after I graduated. But it was my high school, dammit.

My parents were divorced when I was very young so I don’t really have a “home” from my childhood. Both my maternal grandparents have died and their home is not in our family any more. My mom seems to move to a new house every four or five years. My paternal grandmother sold her house in Massachusetts a few years ago and moved to a new place in Rhode Island. My dad got divorced (from his second wife) so the house where I spent my summers is now owned by some randoms. I am very much a man without a past. Now that my high school will soon be gone, there is not a single physical location from my youth remaining. That’s kind of a bummer.

There are 6 comments on this post

  1. They are tearing it down? That is so sad…… forgot the part in your write up about how when you were in High School, EVERY girl had a crush on you, including the female teachers 🙂

  2. Yeah, David, I know how you feel. When Nana sold her house, it was like the very last place that I felt I called home for some point in my life was gone. I never felt that so much about Lopez, but I was disappointed to hear that it was going to become another vacuum for consumerism. I have come to realize that with the bouncing around from FL to RI the one constant throughout my childhood in actuality was YOU. You are the root to my childhood. I suppose that is why I enjoy sending you silly 80’s toys and thingamajigs so much. Thank you, David, for being my big brother. Love you!

  3. I’m a sophomore at Lopez right now (I found this blog and got curious when I was looking for the long-lost Lopez drama website). I’m fortunate to have been able to go to the old campus last year, though this year we are in the new building and I have to say I hate it. It just doesn’t have the same feel as the old campus. My mom is a Lopez alumnus, so it sorta felt special that I was going to the same school she and my uncles attended when they were my age.
    Anyway… I enjoyed reading that blog entree, probably because you were at that school before I was born but you had such a great high school experience there.
    It’d be cool to hear which teachers that are there now were teaching when you went to school there (Mr. Hunter, Mrs. Snyder, and Mr. Miller are still here, I’m pretty sure they’ve been around a while).
    By the way, We still sing the rolly rolly song at football games and pep rallies!

  4. This is weird to think about the old school. I am a senior this year. I spent my first three years at the small old rusty but homey school. I miss it so much since this new school doesn’t have that same feeling too it. I am glad that I get to be the first graduating class from the new school but at the same time I miss every part of that old school and all the memories it holds. I remember everything about that school and most of my memories from high school have been there. I am a cheerleader right now and by some random coincidence the fellow lopez student who commented above is one of my best friends and fellow cheerleader. I knew it was her when I read it.

    All in all the memories you have from the school made my day today thanks for that and good news Wal-mart is taking there dear sweet time, that old school is still standing in all its decrepit glory and Lopez’s traditions are still continuing on, so hopefully that feeling from the old school will start to form this new campus with all the wonderful teachers and students. And I am getting all sappy now so I will finish with:


  5. I am really happy i read this. I just searched Father Lopez and found this site. I am currently a freshman at the new Father Lopez High School. I am very sorry about the old school but they have improved so much over the years. The new school is in the best condition. I will be the first class to go through the new school all four years. uh im an the dance team with Ms. Kathy Blais, as im sure you remember her. I would like to know how your high school years were. I wanna know some history behind my new schoo

  6. Hey David!! I just found this blog. I was looking up the song because my son will be attending Lopez for his junior and senior year. It was a horrible feeling when they tore the building down. The days we got out early due to rain and flooding in the parking lot…cars floating away. Hanging with the Fathers at the Rectory. Wearing slippers in Windjack’s office. So many good times; along with tons of mischief!! Class of 1991 RULES!!!!

Add to the discussion:

I'll never share your email address and it won't be published.

What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.