Twenty five years ago, I was an arrogant high schooler who thought he knew everything about everything. I knew that nobody over 30 could ever be reasoned with, that nothing good ever came out of my school, and that I would never come back to Honolulu to live. And I knew that quality music was never broadcast over the commercial airwaves. Back then, when I drove a 20 year old Ford Mustang with a factory radio, broadcast was all I could get, because I was loathe to cut into the original dash to install an aftermarket cassette player. I was forced to listen to the local "album-oriented rock" station. I scoffed at most music that I heard. Even this song. Especially this song.
I remember this song playing over and over my senior year and I thought I hated it. But it was the right song for that time in life. And I found it hard to ignore.
Don Henley crafted a perfect song when he wrote and recorded The Boys of Summer, and I was too immature to acknowledge it for over a decade, maybe more. It's a song full of ghosts and loss. The snare is unwilling to let go and the music that drapes around the lyrics is translucent, like lace on a closed coffin. It is adolescent and worldly at the same time.
Now I'm 42, loving life in Honolulu, and I am proud that my kindergartener son has started at my alma mater.Top: My son strolling the same walkways I walked on his first day of kindergarten. He's preppy in the RL Polo, pegged cargoes, blue argyles, and skechers loafers. And Speed Racer backpack.
Bottom: His homeroom, with Ms. G, who was there when I was.
He is in for thirteen years there, and I am just over the moon that he got accepted and wanted to go there. Hopefully, by the time he graduates he's more mature than I was as a senior so he doesn't miss some universal truths that I missed.
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