Tonight I got hit with an icy blast of cold hard reality. My 20 year high school reunion is around the corner. High School for me was the balls.It was a great time in my life. Freedom, hot chicks and a 1978 Pontiac Ventura. In The Boss’s words my “Glory Days” It was like Camelot for me. The school was your A-typical 1980s high school. No frills just fun times.
This past year the city finished building and opened their new state of the art High School Compound. The learning center consists of four city block sized buildings, the sporting complex consists of 3 practice baseball fields and a Game field, a football practice field and a state of the art football stadium, a basketball arena that the Celtics would be envious of. A two level weight room. an outdoor ropes course, indoor and outdoor tracks. The place is like a city unto itself.
Tonight was the first bitter cold night of the fall season and of course Enforcer-Youngest child decides she wants to go see a high school football game. I haven’t been back to see the old high school play since I hung up my cleats in 1987.
On our way in I remarked to myself how weird it was to be going to a night game. We did not have lights and so there were no Friday Night Lights games in my day. I walked in the gate and saw an old friend who graduated a year ahead of me back in the day. He must have came to the game straight from his office (more than likely in Boston) because he was still wearing a three piece suit. I never saw the kid in anything other than sweatpants and t-shirts (icy blast number one of how old Ive become). It was a shadow of things to come.
As I walked along the walkway to my seat the announcer (whom you could actually hear clearly) in my day the pa system was so lousy you could hear very little and actually understand even less. The announcer was introducing the home team head coach. The coach of the team was our years star linebacker when I played (icy blast number two of how old Ive become)
Then the band began to play and there was synthesizers, an electric guitar, and all kinds of accoutrements, I felt older when I saw that, but I could deal with it. That is until they started playing “shout, shout, let it all out…… These are the things I can do without, c’mon, I’m talking to you. Yeah when the band plays top ten songs from the year you graduated as an oldies song it really brings it all home.
As I was walking out after the game I saw a guy I used to hang out with a drink with at the old football parties. He was like Bluto from animal house back in the day. He was there with his wife and kids. So was I. And I realized in that instant Dude I’m old now.