High school highlights: 30 years later

’80, ’80, we’re the best
we’re the class above the rest
yeah, rah, 80!

This time thirty years ago, many of us Kennedy babies were glowing with the glow of a newly minted high school graduate. Here’s to the Class of 1980. We’re still the best!

If high schools are like little cities, my North Central was New York.

Located in the northern most regions of the north side of Indianapolis, North Central High was the crown jewel of schools in the “nicest” part of town.

Three grades. Three thousand students. Mostly well-off white kids but naturally integrated, no busing needed. National acclaim for its academics. Statewide acclaim for its athletics. And since the state is overpopulated with overachieving Panthers, most people in Indiana have heard of North Central.

For three years, I was one of those overachieving students. I went in with the breathless excitement of someone arriving in a legendary metropolis, and left there a high school graduate who tried to do and be everything. Almost literally.

Soccer club; Northern Lights newspaper staff; newspaper feature editor; (the first black?) newspaper editor-in-chief; choir; repertory theater; the Sidney Poitier role in Lilies of the Field; National Honor Society; supporting role in the productions of Skin of Our Teeth and Utopic, Incorporated.; the co-creator of “News, Weather, Sports,” part of the big high school musical known as Junior Spectacular, a blockbuster of an annual production involving the entire junior class.

As involved as I was, I was socially retarded and mostly alone. Perhaps had the world been better prepared to deal with boys fucking around with boys … but that wasn’t the case for the North Central High School Class of 1980. Still, I was engaged, I tried, I achieved and I have a full high school resume to remind me of the highlights.

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