September 8, 2008

20 Years Ago - Part 1 of 2

Written by guest blogger, Andy Mayberry

For many of us, today will bring another day at the job, paying the bills, putting food on the table, caring for children, cleaning the house, doing laundry, or some combination thereof.

Unless, of course, you’re like Jed Clampett: You struck it rich in oil and now live the easy life. If that’s the case, more power to you. And don’t forget what good friends we were in high school! And don’t tell Mrs. Cook that I’m using sentence fragments. And have started sentences with conjunctions. And that I’m chewing gum. But I digress.

Basically, we now do the stuff our parents used to do. May God bless them. It turns out that most of our parents were much wiser people than probably any of us thought 20 years ago.

Ah, 20 years ago … that was when life was simpler. Wasn’t it? Maybe?
We went to class, wrangled our way as best we could through social networks, and maybe participated in an extracurricular activity or two. We were responsible for ourselves and no one else; certainly not the other pencil-neck geeks sitting in Mr. Ausbrooks’ class. They were on their own.

Football season was something special, and if you were a member of the ’88 class of Sheridan High School, you were almost certainly a participant, either directly or indirectly. You had virtually no choice. High school football was an in-your-face way of life.

Maybe you were on the football team, or perhaps a member of the band, dance team or cheerleader squad that performed at games. Maybe you were one of the few thousand who regularly packed Yellowjacket Stadium on Friday nights, equipped with your noise-making shaker can and ready to yell. Perhaps you didn’t care much for any of it, but you couldn’t avoid the throngs who did.

Maybe you were a skinny little guy who didn’t play football, but enjoyed writing about it for the local and high school newspapers. No wait – that was me. (NOTE: I still enjoy writing, but “skinny” left me long ago.)

My old newspaper clippings from that era have yellowed. Some of my memories have grown a little fuzzy. That’s OK. It gives me an opportunity to fill in the blanks with “created” details, which are probably better than what really happened.

To be continued tomorrow...
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