End of Summer
Summer ends and the college school year begins.
These last few days of August are always tough on me. I am insanely jealous of all the kids heading off to school. There has been a steady stream of them heading off from my neighborhood and I would give anything excepting my family to join them. Not as the 41-year old freshman that I would be if I started all over again, (well, maybe, no!) but as an 18 year old who could not wait to get to school and start going crazy. And crazy I did go.
I am a proud alumni of the State University of NY at Plattsburgh. A non-descript college way north in NY, up near Canada and Vermont. A cool school whose students knew how to have a good time. One of the clearest memories I have of my life is driving down my street in my white 1973 Chevelle, three-speed on the column, heading off to school. I was in a state of euphoria unmatched by any sober person ever. Not to make light of slavery, but I believe I felt the same way the slaves did after hearing the Emancipation Proclimation.
And my parents were pretty nice. Imagine if they were ogres?
During the seven hour drive my level of alcohol and drug free intoxication grew to monsterous proportions to the point where I pushed my piece of crap car to its upper speed capability just to get to school. I paid for this about five minutes after I pulled up to my dorm when my radiator exploded in a massive cloud of white steam. Talk about an entrance. A small crowd gathered to see if the engine would catch fire. No such luck for the rubber neckers. After an hour of cooling it happily started soon became a fixture for many weeks inthe student parking lot.
Can anyone forget meeting their roommates for the first time. It's amazing how one guy, nameless, that ended up being a total asshole in a few weeks seemed so cool at first. Like a long lost brother. My other roommate, Larry, was odd, but very nice.
Anyway, as I watch these kids traipse off to school I hope they all realize that their four - or fice years if they are lucky - will speed by. With 20 years of hindsight its amazing how short a period college appears, yet it was responsible for a large portion of my best memories.