The year was the school term 1978-1979. I was in sixth grade. And finally, the back seat of the bus was mine! No more intimidation from older kids. Me and those my same age ruled the roost. With kindness and fairness. My classes were cool. I especially enjoyed Science with Mr. Witherwax, and English, where I would ace all the vocabulary tests by cramming during recess in the library the period just before. It was my first year where I had multiple teachers, one for each subject, and the variety was stimulating and relieving- if you didn’t like one teacher, you only had to wait 45 minutes before you moved on to another class.
Truly wonderful was the sudden realization one day that I had the coolest group of friends: Susy, Michelle, and Terri. We were hanging out after school one day outside, working on some project, basking in the warm spring sun, joking and swearing amongst ourselves, relaxed and totally comfortable with each other. I believe it was that day this photo was taken. We were young, we were alive, we were feeling our oats, invincible and cool as hell. Life was good! Yup, it was the Year of Supreme Coolness!
When I watched the movie Stand By Me some years hence, the friendship of the four youngsters reminded me of my own bunch. I could imagine a similar adventure together, tramping along, stories around a campfire, laughter and the delights and freedom of being outdoors in nature. But luckily (or not, who’s to say), we never did have a wake up call that year, where we were forced to face our mortality. And perhaps that is the very reason it was such a cool year. It was one of the few times in my life where I felt strong and as if life was on my side. May this writing evoke another such period of time, where peace, joy, strength, and a feeling of comradery reign!