Saturday, April 25, 2009

#1 - Message in a Bottle

Trigger: Clicking on high school classmate Sherry D's profile in Facebook.


Junior year, sitting in a classroom, some required course that we had to take, don't remember which, but a coach was teaching the class, so it had to be one of THOSE classes, where chances were strong that you might not learn a whole lot. (The coach was famous for throwing erasers, something you could get away with back in the day, but the name escapes me. Seems like there was a tragic car accident with one of his relatives at some point.)

The coach is entertaining a group of jocks with some sports story, happened a lot, so the non-jocks are having a sidebar discussion. Topic turns to music, and somebody mentions this new thing coming out called "cassettes" that might one day replace 8-tracks and vinyl. There is laughter, how can this happen? Then Sherry states in no uncertain terms that "Cassettes rock!" or something like that. Sound quality is superb.

So me and the rest of the geeks and geek-ettes ponder. 8-tracks and vinyl are all we know about music. How can something so fundamental change? (And I'm sure as hell not going to mention my membership with Columbia House, wherein I'm still commited to purchasing something like 36 more 8-tracks in the next two months or murky legal things could happen to me. Anyone could get a membership with Columbia House in those days. A 4-year-old could get an account as long as somebody sent in the checks.)

Just upstairs and down the hall from us was the "computer lab", where you could take a course in very basic Basic. That was a little exciting, and I did eventually take the class, with all those "nested" commands and things that looped. But it didn't really mean anything yet. We didn't know about the coming day when technological changes would build to a blur, that you would eventually never be able to hold on to anything because you would always concerned about "What's next?"

It was a sleepy time, thinking back. Things were steady, you knew what you knew. A time when you simply LIVED life, instead of trying to keep up with it. The blur was yet to come.

And I don't know that Sherry was some Prophetess of the future. She was certainly smart enough to be. But with her making the comment that day, something rotated and locked in my brain, and the memory is still here.

And Sherry was in the high school band, an eviable thing to me, because most everyone knew that you could be a little different in that group, a little more yourself, there wasn't as much judgement. So she had the cool factor, in my book. And she was always nice, even to those that The Deciders had deemed unworthy. Sherry was right as rain that day, sitting one row over and one desk up.