Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Other Class of '81

My sister's Sparks(NV) High School yearbook.
Having pushed our stepmother to the limits at a time Dad really needed to concentrate on Friendly Fire , Lansing and I were sent to Sparks Nevada to live with our mother and sister Alyssa. There I attended 7th grade at Sparks Middle School with a lot of these students.
For us ( and there is probably no way NOT to sound snobby) it was like the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse. Gone were the horses, the swimming pool, the big green yard. Instead we got bullies, dirt lots and sagebrush.
Had my dad not insisted on sending me away to boarding school two years later I too might have been wearing polyester patterned shirts, puka shells and tinted eyeglasses.
I did the wavy overgrown hair all on my own.
In 7th grade we were all grouped alphabetically so I knew all of the A's and B's. I thought Kaye Baskerville ( at the top in checkered shirt) was beautiful but I don't think I ever said a word to her.

Among those pictured: John Adams who grew a mustache for his sophomore year. John owned Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on 45 and Wings at The Speed of Sound . Not pictured: Merle Badbear. Think about that name: Merle ( as in country music legends Merle Haggard and Merle Travis) Badbear--the greatest indian name any kid could want. Nobody messed with Merle Badbear. A nice guy.

Robert Kennedy --in the t-shirt below--lived down the street. His dad took us squirrel shooting in Orvada. Robert's dad just looked at me blankly when I asked if they were related to THE Kennedys. I think he was letting me figure out the answer on my own. He was good people.
Together Robert and I got in more trouble than I would ever admit in public. We would chew Copenhagen until we were dizzy and make the kind of bad decisions dizzy 11 year old boys make. Girls loved him.

Who are the two girls with tinted sunglasses? No idea but I dig the Joey Ramone vibe with the girl on the right.
the real joey ramone below

After her freshman year at SHS, my sister also went away to boarding school.
We both somehow survived the kind of culture shock only the children of divorced and REALLY separated (as in "You take that side of the country and I'll take this side") parents know. My sister Alyssa didn't get any of the opportunities we did. She is the miracle in our family.


  1. How did you land in the City of Destiny?

  2. Hi "North Tacoma":
    I went to Tulane University down in New Orleans and got my first TV job in Charleston SC. In this business you go where the better paying job is...and I followed a Northwest path stopping in Asheville NC, Denver CO and landed at KING in 1999. Here I met my wife, a fun job and a nice place to call home.