Forty Five year reunion
Smoking pot behind bleachers
Drinking coffee at Tonys
Dragging State Street
Roxannes water sofa
Gails flashing porch light
Flag at half mast
This year will be my forty-five year reunion, from Granite high
school. I have never been to a reunion, the school has been sold to be torn
down. Our Class President is dead. I have never been to a reunion, should not
start this year.
When I was going to high school, if you were cutting class, or any
reason you went past the bleachers. The group almost always there smoking Pot,
would offer you a hit. If you turned down the hit they would call you Nark,
then you would get beat-up. Best option was to take a long slow drag, then
leave and go about your own business.
Utah winters are sometimes cold, Tonys place across five
hundred east was a great place to get a hot cup to warm your bones. Some
students would hide there most of the day.
Dragging State street, was our Friday-night past time. With
Gasoline only twenty five cents, was cheap entertainment. Who-ever had the best
car at the time, is the one we would take. We would start at Thirteen
Hundred South, where South High was. Head north and turn around at four Hundred
South, over and over. Until we met some girls, or got bored and found something
else to kill the night.
Roxanne was a girl in a few of my classes; kind of a hippy. One
day she invited me over to check-out her new Water-Sofa, I had never heard of
such a thing. So I went over to her house to check it out, one of my friends
Dan came along. I tried it out, I have never heard of such a thing
dated Gail on and off for four years, until she married some guy, I think from
Church. I must have been on her porch hundreds of times dropping her off after
going out. We would stand on her porch and talk, the first time the porch light
was flashing did they had a power problem. She explained to me it was
time for her to going in, they had the same problem for four years.
When I went to high school, senor year, if you had a job you could
get out school half a day and work. At the time it sounded good, now after
working fifty years I should have passed on working so soon. I worked for
Ambassador Releasing, it was a four wall movie company. I and my friend Dan who
was the owners son Took care of shipping and receiving. We would ship the
movies and trailers to the Movie houses, and get the returns and send them out
again. We also did the other odd jobs, like getting the Christmas tree; I wrote
a short story on us getting the Christmas tree.
When I was going to high school, the Vietnam War was going strong.
Granite was in a working class area of Salt Lake, so we had a lot of friends go
and die. They would announce the names of the M.I.A. shot-down and killed
students, our friends last year.
The Lottery is everyones dream to hit, but not when I went
to high school. They had a lottery for the Draft, they drew birth dates. I have
not won much money, but I was in the last Draft lottery, lucky me number
seventeen. At that time without a deferment the first one hundred went to
Vietnam. Then the next one hundred may go and the last one hundred and sixty
five did not go.
received a Telegram calling me up after I graduated high school in June.
I received a Telegram in late May that changed my orders; we were pulling out
of Vietnam. I did not have to go to Vietnam but I was in the stand-by reserves
for ten years. I was required to carry my draft card on me for ten years, the
day the ten years were up I quietly put a match to my draft card.
M.I.A. some of my friends are still missing, people had wrist bans
with their names on until they came home; you still may see the bans
Whenever I see a flag at half Mast, it reminds me when they were
half Mast for my high school friends.
The poem Granite High was first published in Salt
Lake City Weekly, October 25, 2018