Lefty Parent

|

Circle of equals

Posts Tagged ‘coming of age’

Two Inch Heels Part 1 – Angie

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

[This is a rewrite of the second half of part 1 of my original backpacking thru Europe memoir]

It was late afternoon Monday September 17 when her mom drove Angie and me and our big full backpacks the thirty some miles to Metropolitan Airport outside Detroit. I felt an unnatural calm, akin to the reverse stage fright I would get before going out on stage in a theatrical performance. I was once again throwing myself in the deep end of the metaphorical pool of life experience. Like when I had first decided three years earlier to perform on stage, particularly my first big lead part singing and dancing in the musical Oklahoma. It was how shy, reticent me conducted my development, resisting and procrastinating until the fear of being a total chickenshit overwhelmed the fear of the leap into the abyss.

If Angie was having any second thoughts about our trip at this point, I did not notice. I was so deep within myself. She was quiet as well, sitting next to me in the backseat, probably going through her own version of something like a pre stage performance routine. Her mom seemed uncomfortable with our silence and kept trying to make conversation. All she got was short answers from both of us.

(more…)

Two Inch Heels Part 0 – The Endeavor

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Me as “Peabody” in The Flahooley Incident

[This is a rewrite of the first half of part 1 of my original backpacking thru Europe memoir]

It was Monday September 2nd 1973. Labor Day actually, though if I still had my “house boy” job at the Briarwood Hilton, I probably would have worked that day to get the time-and-a-half holiday pay. I was walking down the sidewalk on the north side of Wells across from Burns Park returning home from Angie’s house. Now turned September, it had still been a summery Ann Arbor day, but now a breeze had come up out of the north with that first real fall chill in it.

“Impending doom” is probably too strong a phrase, but a sense of some dread engulfed me. For the past twelve straight years that first chill had meant that I would shortly, always grudgingly, be reporting back to school. That institution my parents and other adults of their cohort imagined would allow me and mine to learn the skills to eventually take our place as successors to the civilization they were now responsible for. A civilization, from my point of view, whose history was a litany of wars, genocides, slavery, colonization, racial oppression and the subjugation of women.

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 11 – Mister Jim

Friday, March 15th, 2019

It was a cold, gray, windy Monday on the planet Ann Arbor. Monday February 11th 1974 to be exact. Though now that I was no longer soldiering through Europe with my pack on my back, I wasn’t keeping a journal and writing down the dates. Overnight, the blowing snow had covered the outside of my one small basement window, the one I could see from my mattress on the floor. I had been out earlier in the cold wind shoveling the snow away from the window, and the rest of the driveway, per the list of chores my mom had left me, that I was determined not to get behind on and risk getting a negative comment from her.

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 10 – Long Drive Home

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

It was Sunday December 23 and dad, David and I sat in a booth at dad’s local favorite Xenia coffee shop that served breakfast fast food style. Instead of having someone wait on your table, you bought your food at the counter like you would at McDonalds and took it back to your table. That way no need to tip, which dad always tried to avoid. That morning’s conversation was mostly about football, including Miami of Ohio’s upset victory over Florida in the Tangerine bowl Friday night, plus yesterday’s pro football playoff games. We distracted and medicated ourselves with vicarious game highlights, instead of acknowledging the sadness that our long weekend together was ending, and we had the long four-hour drive back to Ann Arbor ahead. Dad’s drive that day would actually be eight hours, since he had to turn around and drive the four hours back down to Xenia alone. At least he would have the playoff game between the Dolphins and his local favorite Cincinnati Bengals to listen to on the radio.

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 9 – Dr Z

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

It was Thursday morning December 20, just eleven days left in a very eventful year, and just some 100 days left until my nineteenth birthday. The thought of turning nineteen in April felt strange to me. All my teen years I had felt like an eighteen-year-old in waiting. That milestone was pretty much the age of majority, gaining one the right to vote, to drink, to smoke tobacco (if I cared to which I didn’t), plus the adult possibility of being drafted, and whatever decision I would have to make if that happened. But having achieved that iconic Alice Cooper “I’m Eighteen” thing, I really had no similar desire to get any older than that.

There was that iconic statement from a young activist, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!”, that was often repeated by those above or below that age. I couldn’t tell you who said it, but it was really very provocative for people on either side of that divide. I had no desire to get that old, and somehow lose some real or imagined revolutionary cred. I had lived in that zeitgeist of almost, and then actually eighteen, for years now. Comfortably so apparently, and the thought of turning nineteen somehow felt like the clock would start ticking, and before I knew it I’d be thirty. Weird!

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 8 – Barracuda

Friday, July 13th, 2018

It was Wednesday December 19, and my radio, coaxed me to a waking state, tuned to the rock station WABX. I heard yet again the title song from Bowie’s new album Aladdin Sane, the lyrics of the song’s chorus intrigued the Coopster in me…

Who’ll love Aladdin Sane
Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise
Who’ll love Aladdin Sane

“Aladdin Sane” sounded exactly like “a lad insane”, and I was sure that double meaning was intentional on Bowie’s part. Who would care about a young person with crazy, outside the box ideas? But what if that young person was in fact a wizard with magical powers. Might that provide a method to their madness? I had often been afraid to express some of the innate wildness inside me for fear people would ridicule me, see me as “a lad insane” as it were. Perhaps I needed more faith in my outside the box thinking!

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 7 – Rehearsal

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of the Cinderella story was the current production of YTU, in rehearsal for a January curtain. It was the first time since I met Angie and Lane three years ago that none of the three of us were in one of our theater company’s big musical productions. We were like alumnae now, moved on to other venues to pursue our continuing interests in theater. And with the departure of Robert this past fall, the theater company’s founder, and the recent untimely death of its musical director Tara, our youth theater group had acquired new adult leadership. YTU was now affiliated with the new Community High School, and CHS teachers Steve and Betsy, were playing the Robert and Tara roles. Beyond these two new adult overlords, most of the youth currently in the company were our friends and comrades.

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 6 – Angie & Lane

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

It was Saturday, December 15, and I awoke from my second night in my basement “lair”, as my mom was now jokingly calling it. My clock-radio had been tuned to the Rock radio station WABX last night and the music popped on. As I was wrestling myself into consciousness I heard that great lyric from the “Karn Evil 9” song on the new Emerson, Lake and Palmer album…

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 5 – The Basement

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

It was Thursday morning December 13, as I came to consciousness in my bed in what had been my bedroom and was now my mom’s office slash guest room. I woke up from a dream where I was still traveling except I had lost my plane ticket home and did not have the money to buy another one. I was grateful it was only a dream and that I was in fact home. The light through the casement window was more subdued this morning. Yesterday’s sunshine had given way to a more typical gray winter day. My stuffed full backpack was still there leaning against the side of the Herman Miller chest of drawers, like I was still backpacking and just spending a few nights in my host du jour’s guest room. My head was kind of stuffy and achy too, from smoking all that weed yesterday. But I was still glad I had, and looking forward to firing up the joint Clark had “lent” me, at least at some appropriate point on this day. My clock radio indicated it was 10:25, so getting to bed after 2 AM last night it was still a good night’s sleep. I noted that my clock radio had the same sort of electromechanical mechanism of flipping metal slats displaying the appropriate series of numbers – on mine, one to twelve on the hour slats and double zero to fifty-nine on the minutes – as the big boards in the European train stations that I loved to watch and listen to them clickity clack.

(more…)

Coopster Created Part 4 – Billy & Alice

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

It was still Wednesday December 12, but no one really cared. The four of us were in line outside Crisler Arena, my three comrades listening to my stories as I continued to recount my European journey. Though we were already pretty high, Clark produced one of the “jays” from his pocket and we joined many of the other people in line who were engaged in the same concert preparation.

The oval indoor basketball arena, which seated over 12,000 was situated just east of the “Big House” (UofM’s biggest in the county college football stadium). The arena had been built in the mid 1960s, based on a growing interest in the University’s men’s basketball team after Cazzie Russell led that team to three straight Big Ten championships from 1964 to 1966. Several years later the arena was renamed after Herbert “Fritz” Crisler, the retiring Michigan athletic director, who had played a key role in championing the place being built. As my mom and dad explained it to me, he had been a famous and innovative Michigan football coach during the 1940s, whose greatest legacy to the game of football was to invent the concept of having a different set of players play defense and offense, transforming the game into its modern incarnation.

(more…)