Otters were cool. We were cool.
That might be a controversial statement for those that new us but hey, who is the protagonist in every teen movie ever made? If you don't know what protagonist means, don't worry, it wasn't you. The hero wasn't the jock or the good looking rich kid. I hate to use the word geek since it really doesn't quiet fit. I mean, I never had problems getting laid in high school. Roman certainly didn't. We all did ok for ourselves. Isn't that a decent measuring stick of success as a hormonally imbalanced teenager?
I ran into an old classmate (Great Mills class of 89) by the name of Roberts on the USS CONSTELLATION. He remembered me and the rest of the Otters. I didn't even know him, at least I don't think so. I certainly didn't recognize him. He knew who we were though. I think, at the very least, we were memorable.
The 80s was a decade of labels but perhaps geeks wasn't the proper label for us. We were the guys in WEIRD SCIENCE, we were Ducky from SIXTEEN CANDLES, we were the new in town brother in BRING IT ON, and we were Marty in BACK TO THE FUTURE. We grooved to Dead Can Dance, Ramones, Pixies, Depeche Mode, U2, Duran Duran, and the Smiths. We thought eyeliner was cool, shoes without socks acceptable, and that Star Trek was a religious statement. Sports were not our thing but we excelled in Drama, music and art. We didn't have the discipline to get a passing grade in English but we enjoyed writing.
We were the protagonist because we were the underdogs, the guys struggling to make it and to buck convention at the same time. While many of us bore a brave face of, "I don't give a nuts what you think," it is hard to fight the human need to be liked.
We have all done well: Mark's adult film career, Algards novel which has revolutionized the fishing industry, Beave's foray into Professional Wrestling, Roman's . . . well, I can't think of anything funny but seriously, if he would of taken the path of Hollywood, he would of been one of the top ten E! True Hollywood Stories.
Of memories, there are many. My watch that could store phone numbers, a device which I felt was the Rosseta stone to getting laid, and it's terrible destruction in the base pool (witnessed by Roman who still probably cannot shake that horrid scream from his consciousness.) I remember, dressing up, giddy with excitement to go to the opening day of Star Trek V, William Shatner's directorial debut. To say that our disappointment was heart felt is a massive understatement. It was Captain Kirk's greatest failure.
Linda is a lizard, creeping up on our door. Linda is a lizard who keeps coming back for more...It's Linda! AHHHHHH!
Leo's bad white Camero accelerator sticking to the floor and the engine catching fire to the tune of Sweet Inspiration. (Leo, you will be glad to know that I purchased a Camero while in college.) Refusing to wear jeans for the first three years of high school. Thinking that a pink sports jacket was cool (It was cool!). Planet of the Monkeys. Watch out for the soldier monkeys! Star Trek Bloopers: "That's not a string. Bones, your thingy is hanging out!" Saturday Night Cat Fights. Pet Cemetery 2. Interview with Bigfoot, with special lighting to protect his identity.
I know that we scarred the choreographer for life in our attempts at dance in the horrid high school production of Grease. Our Greased Lightning was a 78 Volkswagen Beetle.
Such a beautiful day in the world today, such a beautiful day in the USA, and it's mine, yes it is all mine, I am Mr. Reagan.
All the girls I made out with on Mark's bed.
Flock of Sea Gulls hair, Nattie Boa, and swimming in the Patuxent River in our underwear, surrounded by glow in the dark jelly fish.
Mr. Easley's stunning performance in THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and Mr. Fry's torrid tales of Fraternity hijinks. Oh, by the way, Mr. Fry, thank you for introducing me to one of the greatest movies of all time, DR. STRANGELOVE, OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Message? No, simply a great quote from Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan.
damn, looking back at not only high school, but my whole roller coaster of a life, I've had one hell of an adventure. I've lived such a great life and I owe a large part of it to the Otters who taught me to sprinkle my toast with humor and look at life at a slightly tilted angle than everyone else. I would love to hear from any old friends or teachers (Beave, Steve, Anne, Stacy, LG, TJ, Matt, Amy, Ronnie, my old Journalism teacher, Molly, the Town Creek boys, etc), just to see where your lives have taken you.