I 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.
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