I am celebrating the 60th anniversary of my high school graduation with the Class of 1962 on Zoom this Thursday.
I remember a surprising amount from my four years at the Lab School, part of the University of Chicago. A lot of the kids had family affiliated with U of C, but more than half the class came in to avoid lousy public schools in the surrounding neighborhoods. I didn’t talk much as a kid, but I loved sports and found a niche as an athlete. It was a dramatic change from my grammar school that had 48 in a class and kids seated by IQ scores.
My salient memory from eighth-grade graduation was the stage rehearsal. The twin Trush Brothers, a few years before the movie Grease, showed off their switchblade knives in the row behind me as we were practicing America the Beautiful. The song still gives me chills.
Lab School was an intellectual haven, but I found most of the classes were a bore. Probably the highlight of the four years was at a high school varsity basketball game. My mom was in the stands, and I was having a good shooting night. All of a sudden I hear my mother yelling, “Give the ball to Lloyd, give the ball to Lloyd.” A great memory but embarrassing at the time.
Today is also my 52nd wedding anniversary with the former Risa Levine of Charlotte, North Carolina.
I met Risa when she was 17 and I was 24, just back from basic training and specialty training at Fort Jackson during the Vietnam War. We were at the University of Michigan. I had gone to the student Union to play ping-pong while she was at a “get-to-know-you” dance down the hall. I wandered in with my paddle in my corduroy jacket pocket, spied an attractive girl in a short skirt and introduced myself. We tried to talk over the band, but that was futile, so I invited her out into the hall to talk.
One thing led to another, and I invited Risa to my apartment to watch TV. It was a brutally cold night, and my Chevy Biscayne wouldn’t start to take her home at 1 o’clock in the morning. I called a cab and escorted her back to her dorm.
Six weeks later, her parents came up to check me out. She says they gave her away after meeting me, but at a young 18 years old she was very confused. I pursued her for another year, and she finally saw the light.
Was it luck, destiny, or chemistry? After 52 years I just call it a blessing.
Question: What are your best and worst memories from high school?