Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Hate to Admit This

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.

Go here for the original video, which can't be embedded out of YouTube.


M.Lane said...

Great photos! And, I agree about TBOS. Wonderful song. I was watching the Hell Freezes Over DVD that I received last Christmas and realized that the Eagles wrote most of the audio backdrop of my formative years. I love their music, especially now.

I think our sons as H.S. Seniors will probably be the same as we were. They'll think they know everything there is to know. I think it's the natural way. And they'll learn they are wrong. Hopefully in a manner not too full of road bumps.


Anonymous said...

Hey, same age, same story -- except the Honolulu bit. Prefer the Low Country. But, what a nostalgic tune -- takes me back to those simpler days! Ha!

Ben said...

Death, apropos of your blog, my son's school is a school "associated with the Episcopal Church", which means that it's an Episcopal school, but it's headmaster is not a priest but a lay person.

Thanks for the visit, Gents. Counselor, as always.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben,

I suspect that, were I in Hawaii and had I a son, I'd be sending him to the same school!

Keep up the good blogging!