my old school

On the way back from my FCU I was passing the old neighborhood and decided to stop by. The first stop was a little outside the old stomping grounds but a very necessary one. I needed to drop in and visit a friend I hadn't seen in a while again.

A childhood friend we lost almost 20 years ago. He was on his way to Lake Havasu and lost his life in an accident. There were three other people in the truck with him who escaped alive with only minor bumps and bruises. I'm really not sure how to write about this since it's so very personal to me. Adrian was a great human being. He was probably one of the most caring people outside of his brothers that I've known in my life. I miss the guy and wonder how all our lives would've turned out were he still with us today. Needless to say we were all deeply affected by his passing, but none more than his mother. His father and brothers, well lets leave it at they all have done the best they can given the circumstances. The family as a whole seems to have healed but none of us are the same.

This is the house I grew up in. Technically it was the sixth place I had lived in because we started moving and didn't stop from the time I was six years old until we landed here when I was eight (about to turn nine). We moved five times in the span of four years. By the time we got here I finished out the last few months of third grade. My parents tried moving two more times a few years later but I fought them on it tooth and nail. I just wanted a place to call home without having to start all over again. I got to live here into my early 20's with a few move-outs along with move back-ins before finally leaving the nest. My parents owned this house for almost 30 years before relocating to where they currently live. After how things started out for me it was a welcome relief to have somewhat of a normal upbringing in one place.

My alma mater motto.

The next few stops were to my elementary, junior high, and then high school. The first two were still in session so I couldn't stop in and take pics. I got to the old high school right as the final bell had rung and took a walk around campus. I spotted a few new buildings and remodels on my stroll but no familiar faces. I guess I was hoping for too much given that it had been more than 30 years and most of the teachers were my age or older. It wasn't until I stopped by the main office to make sure it was ok for me to be there that I spotted a former classmate who was now working there. Yes, one familiar face! And it was like time hadn't passed. We caught up briefly before he had to leave since it was the end of the day there. I could never do it, but do admire him for staying there and giving back.

This was the site of where, for some inexplicable reason, my locker was located for three of my four years there. It's the batch of lockers on the right. Most of the time it was dead middle, but I had one year where it was on the bottom. I even attended class in both rooms (health class each time) in said building. I didn't remember which one specifically it was much the less the combo. That's the fun of old age as it creeps in. You don't lose it all at once, just bits at a time. The school cafeteria is still at the opposite end of this courtyard. I learned to eat some of the most vile dishes ever concocted there. I have a running theory that there's a job prerequisite that all cafeteria personal must not have taste buds.

So I wandered around reliving all kinds of memories. It was fun for what it was but I'm so glad to be on this side of things now. High school can be a great and brutal place depending on your social stature. Mine was alright. Sometimes life is creepy. I had the strangest thing happen when I got back to the truck and started it. "Don't you forget about me" by Simple Minds was playing on the radio.  Was it life's way of giving me a welcome back message from the same era?

I know I've been MIA but it's been with good reason. I'll explain in future posts but for now I'm due to hit the road very soon. I've been busy preparing while tying up loose ends before I leave. My blogging will resume now that the worst of things are behind me. Stay safe!

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