I am not making any of this up. I’m a 50 something dude who grew up in an all white suburban (really it was rural) outskirts of Flint, Michigan (think Roger & me). We played “smear the queer” during recess in winter (whoever had the ball/hat/or whatever we could use for an object ran until the rest could tackle him).
My fifth grade teacher threw chalk at us if we failed to pay attention or were talking. Twwwwhap! Suddenly the culprit yelped when the chalk hit it’s mark. This same teacher (you still alive John Myers?) would quarterback during recess as we all played football.
Once we were picking sides for something during class. Don’t recall what. The last person picked on my side was my next door neighbor Renita Frost. “Ooooooh noooooooooooo!” I groaned out loud. Mr. Myers marched me down to the principle’s office without a word and smacked me so hard with a paddle that I can still remember it. Then he left me there the rest of the day. I deserved it. I still remember it. Thank you Mr. Myers for teaching me that I was an idiot.
During high school on the last day, Mark Ballenger decided to go streaking down the hall way with a ski mask on after the last bell. I was nearby, oblivious, when I heard a dull roar turn into a loud bunch of screams. I looked up as some guy with a big wong (Okay, Mark, yeah, you had a long one, but you did not have to show off) and a ski mask came running by me.
Mr. Roy Stacey caught on what was happening about the same time. He grabbed the culprit by the face mask/long hair and would not let go. A few seconds, but what seemed like hours later, Mark pulled free at the cost of giving up his face mask. He ran completely naked down various hall ways towards the parking lot. I know–I followed him. He “escaped” into a vehicle parked in the lot, but by then the whole world knew who it was streaking in school. (Upshot? He was “suspended” for a while the next year, but otherwise got off scott free. I can’t bitch. I went streaking with him or his brother a few times myself.) I found out much later that Mr. Stacey was a WWII vet. I knew there was something about him…
We used to pray in the locker room before high school football games. I was a heathen back then. But I didn’t care. Coach Hughes said “let’s pray” I didn’t balk, I did it!
I used to ride with my brother and my two cousins to high school my sophomore year. We got high every morning. Yeah, seriously high. I’d stroll through the hallways wondering how they did not catch the smell. Unfortunately, I had geometry (or was it algebra) first hour. I swear I would go up to the board–Mr. Hughes made us go up to the board and “show our work”–and stand there and not know what the hell I was doing. I got like a 14% on one exam. I failed class. I don’t care–I STILL HATE MATH.
We didn’t have queers when I was growing up. Everybody thought “Gus” was a queer, but I thought, “no way.” Even though he acted weird and made me feel uncomfortable on that road home on the bus from the hockey game, I thought, “No way.” Then my friend said that Gus gave him a blow job. Bill, I won’t tell, but I remember. Finally, after we graduated, Gus admitted that he was a flaming queer. He knew places in Flint that were gay bars before gay bars were cool. I don’t care, I still love ya Gus–in a manly man sorta way!
We used to have ice skating parties out on the Goodrich mill-pond. Remember “Dirty Old Men”? Remember Fargo? This was a blend of those two old movies. During the dead of winter the town of Goodrich, Michigan would have parties on Saturday nights. They would build fires and clear some of the ice off the ice so that we could skate until our nuts froze off and then stand next to the fire to warm up a little. Don’t ask me why fire does not go right through the ice and sink into the water…
The whole town, and I mean THE WHOLE TOWN, used to shut down for basketball and football games. Think “Friday Night Lights.” Oh, my God, some of my best times were spent watching football games. Okay, Lori, I won’t tell anybody what we did in the nearby cemetary during the football game… I loved those times. Playing at the same field where my father had played years before. Perhaps that’s what made it so special when I made the varsity squad not too many years later.
Anybody ever done drive in movies? In my day we would just say “Party at the ‘Miracle Twin’ drive in” and everybody knew what we were talking about. We’d all get there, by hook or by crook, even if we had to crawl into the trunk of somebody else’s car, in order to get in for the party. I have many fond memories of that place, even though it has since closed. Janelle, Lori again, Laurie, Sharon, Liz, and everybody else, you know who you are, it was great while it lasted…
Did anybody else have “Hay rides”? I am not sure if I am the only guy in the world to have such an experience, but I thoroughly recommend them. One time I lost my wallet. I was laying prone with Laura on top of me most of the night. The object is to have a bunch of inebriated revellers climb on a wagon (with a little hay piled on it just for looks) and party in motion all night. The idea is that you are doing something instead of just sitting still. And the tractor driver is the designated driver. Another time–after my first and last time of shot-gunning beers–I woke up the next morning the ONLY one left on the hay wagon.
God, I loved the Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings. I watched the Tigers win a world series game in 1968. I saw many Lions game at the old, old stadium. I stood up and cheered during fights at Joe Louis Arena. Bobby Clarke, of no front teeth fame, of the Philly Fliers, I loved watching the Wings play him. I love Norm Cash, Al Kaline, and Marl “The Bird” Fiddrich! I remember the best q.b. that the Colts and the Packers ever had–Unitas and Starr.
Okaaaay, now that I have aged myself, I’ll go take a shot of Viagra and crawl in…to… bed…………………………………………………………………………………….