8/23/16- Senior Year in the Sonland Part 1- Funtastic Fall Fashions

Good evening to any and all who may be reading this. Only took a couple of months but I finally made it to where I could write about one of the-if not THE-main reasons I set up the blog to go with the Instagram account: celebrate the 25th anniversary of high school graduation (from Noblesville H.S. or as those who have read the Instagram post and blog know I call it Sonland High) and the starting at college number one by discussing a few memories be it good, bad or mediocre like the  Indiana Pacers‘ usual 41-41 regular season records of the time. Best way to do it is to break it down in parts via categories like fall, winter, dating life (or lack thereof because this is me we’re talking about), spring soap operas that were straight out of the 90210 reworked script department, the decision to not do what 99 percent of Sonlanders usually did by staying in state for school (and not going to a tropical location in the process), the immortal 1977 Buick, graduation night and of course prom with The Prom Date (TM).  So I’ll start out with my main memories from fall classes and then work by way through the year. Way I look at it writing this couldn’t be worse than my date for Homecoming. And since I got stood up for homecoming (yeah, I’m shocked too) then the bar is set pretty low. As in Indiana University football defense low.

Plan for now with homework assignments due Thursday night and Saturday afternoon is to get this wrote tonight and add a few more posts (or realistically one more at least) during the weekend. (For those wondering, my final paper got turned in….NINETEEN pages. Me and the Canadian education system. Bad enough for me to actually scream at 8 pm one night WHY IN THE $!$%@% AM I DOING THIS ##!$%@ before realizing I could have my work done for the night at 10 pm. That kind of helped. Downing a fifth of Goldschlager probably would have helped more, but as the 16.9 ounce Diet Pepsi bought as part of a $1.99 sale at Kroger shows I’m pretty cheap these days.)

So, here goes……

STARTING OUT AS A SONLAND SENIOR:  I had worked at Shoe Carnival in Castleton for the summer so there was no job until the next summer….and that would work to my advantage because I would actually do stuff after school and didn’t really need to be at the local supermarket for $3.50 an hour in a modified version of community service. And thanks to my non-existent love life, I didn’t have to worry too much about cash because it was 1990 Noblesville and that meant your usual weekend of driving around (or in my case sailing around in a 1977 Buick) or going to Castleton for movies. Did plenty of both. But back in August it was ‘well, we’ll see if these people notice if I’ve lost weight.’

A few in fact did.

I was now down to 140 pounds and I was able to wear size 30 jeans. So I was happy. Or at least as happy as I could be going to a school that looked too much like the suburban Chicago high school setting for the 1984 film The Breakfast Club that made Molly Ringwald an early junior Sonland favorite for yours truly (pictured below with her pals Nelson, Sheedy, Estevez and Hall):

Classic John Hughes film from my junior high days The Breakfast Club. Photo courtesy of the Interwebs. 

To think that Nelson would later be Ice-T’s sidekick that very year in New Jack City, well, let’s just say I assume dude didn’t get seven figures for the role. Then again James Belushi and Billy Crystal were cast as iconic cops in 80’s movies, so there’s that. Then again Ringwald was recently on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”…and I have no comeback on that. I just lost a little bit of my youth there. So I’ll move on.

(Before that…guess what movie I found on AMC last weekend? Gotta get one’s money’s worth when dealing with Comcast or Xfinity or whatever they call it. And yes,  I don’t like reading the YOU NO GET FOOTBALL IF YOU HAVE DISH FOR THIS MANY DAYS gimmick so I say $&&%@ it and keep said Comcast. Guarantees NFL Redzone watching for me on autumn Sundays and that’s usually enough to keep me happy since I don’t expect to see Kate Upton on my doorstep anytime soon. Although she certainly won’t be turned away.)

Back to the point….I actually had people write in my yearbook that summer WILL YOU PLEASE EAT and YOU NEED BE NUTRISYSTEM SPOKESPERSON. Better than my sophomore yearbook because-surprise-no one signed it. I just went and picked it up and never brought it because back then I was just happy to not be thinking about driving off a cliff. Simply put it shows what a big difference a couple years make when dealing with positive people instead of dealing with people straight out of a Mort Drucker cartoon. Again that was nice. So when I sailed the Buick into the back parking lot rocking a Chicago Bulls t-shirt, cargo jeans (hey, I admit my fashion mistakes) and Nike Air Bounds I felt a little more confident than I had in years past. At the very least the GTFO Countdown was now winding down. At the very most I wasn’t working a s—-y part time job and could take care of after school stuff and even on rare occasions study to get s–t done if need be. Plus I could think of the ultimate goal: getting out of the Sonland once and for all while leaving Noblesville to go to college.

I’ll throw this in here before moving on: the main thing I remember about school mornings was that I had a set routine where I said to myself ‘Self, don’t spend any more time in that m—–f—-g building then you have to because it’s the Sonland and you need to GTFO.’ Because unlike most Sonlanders I actually lived in the Old Town area of said Sonland City (read: I didn’t drive in from the Harbours or Wellington subdivisions) that meant I could sleep in till 7 am and not really worry about running late…and if I was late, who the f— cared since I didn’t drink with the likes of ‘Bouncing’ Andy Ballenger or demand a seat on the golden yellow senior benches in the lobby? So generally I would, yes, sleep till 7 or 7:15 am….get up…shower to get ready….and I would have my routine down pat: leave the house at 7:35….get there at 7:38...walk in at 7:41 to the locker that was behind the old Sonland gym….and be at class at 7:44 for the 7:45 am start. Worked for me. Like I said the less time in the building the better. And I usually was only in the lower lobby or cafeteria level for lunch. Also worked because I would then leave the building around 2:47 to 2:48 when school ended at 2:45 as I would hit the locker on the way back from yearbook class, then go out the door, and then be at home no later than 3 pm. Sometimes I would be home at 2:52 or 2:53 pm without little issue. Again worked for me. After all there were Cheers and Night Court re-runs on Fox 59 along with my main man Howard Cunningham weekdays at 5 pm on WTTV 4. (As I said, not like I was hitting Indianapolis area brothels on a regular basis. Hence yours truly usually hung out with The Fonz. If anything watching dude on TV was economic..plus the early episodes had the comedy of the late Pat Morita as the original diner owner Arnold. And don’t be surprised that I even watched the late years when said Fonz went back to Jefferson High as a shop teacher. Yeah, I knew you weren’t either.)

Also want I remember the most…because said 1977 Buick was big enough to take up multiple spaces, I usually parked in the back parking lot that was between the Sonland back parking lot and the United Methodist Church. One favorite family tended to do the same thing as they almost always seemed to get to school the same time I did…none other than the future Mrs. Jason Chadio and her bodacious big sis @sheathera. (See previous post for why that was the ‘….and you’ve got seven hours of this to go so start counting the f— down son’ attitude I tended to take as I associated the future Chadio bride with a building that I tolerated about as well as a kick to the groin.) Sometimes the diminutive duo may even acknowledge me although in fairness @sheathera tended to struggle with the staying awake part (more on that later). This would lead to one time when I walked in to school with the two of them (although it was more of a ‘walk in at the same time’ kind of deal) while the younger Melchoir sibling did the typical ‘stare at man driving Buick with open mouth’ gimmick while looking at me as the said man driving Buick. IIRC yours truly then simply said “You may be surprised to hear this, but I hate coming to this $!$^$! building as much you do. The sooner I GTFO, the better.” This turned the open mouth into a somewhat smile from Melchoir the younger.  And considering that said individual at the time would probably not have complained if I ended up being a paraplegic after getting hit by one of the Sonland City’s fine school buses, we’ll just say that was as positive an action as one was going to get.

In any event, I didn’t worry about the car because who in the blue hell was going to do anything with a 1977 Buick? After all most Sonlanders already had their own boats of some sort on Morse Reservoir. So in any event instead of a 70 or 80 year old rocking behind the wheel of said Buick, one saw a 17 or 18 year old me. At the very least I’ll give the car this: no one ever complained about lack of room to sit in the damn thing. Now everything else….again, I shall move on.

Next category….

FITZ FASHION. Summer money from Shoe Carnival went to a few clothing items. That included the following (some even with photos):

*Two pairs of Guess jeans on sale for $50 to $55 at Lazarus. One was blue…the other was bleached. What I remember is that I actually had my legs tapered on said jeans to show how thin I was getting once I got to that 140 pound mark. Yes, I was kind of obsessed on the ME NO BE FAT NO MORE GUNSNROSESWUZHEREBAWHSON tip because I still had JUST a bit of bad feelings to those who were c–ks to me the previous couple of years. No Lee jeans or Rustler (the brand of preference at the local Wal-Mart…when you’re overweight growing up, you know these things) for yours truly…..others were Levi’s and Bugle Boy, plus the usual assortment of cargo pants. I would get a couple more pair of Guess jeans for Christmas because of course I had to do the ME GOTTA BE THE SON NO WEAR JCPENNEY CLOTHES HUMPTY HUMP gimmick of TO BE THE SON YOU HAVE TO DRESS LIKE THE SON because just as you read some rambling, I tended to ramble about having to show that I could go Son for Son in fashion just as well as I could go pound for pound in weight loss. Coincidentally, that led to me enjoying clothes shopping more than most come college time. Coincidentally, later on I ended up being one of the better dressed dudes in my fraternity because-shock-I actually wore more than the same blazer and two or three striped ties to events. For that fact, thank the Sonland. And Shoe Carnival. And most importantly my folks for putting money into clothes as opposed to a new ride or a jet ski or maid or butler or personal recording session with Joey McIntyre or Grateful Dead box set or minor league soccer franchise whatever else the Sonland icons got for Christmas. In any event I was a long way from the days of wearing the same long sleeved green shirt from Kohl’s once a week that was my usual wardrobe choice in sophomore year times. And yes I referenced the New Kids and the Dead in the same sentence. Not planning on that happening again anytime soon.

-for $65 to the best of my knowledge I had the only Nike Air Jordan Flight sweatshirt that was similar to what is shown here on this jacket:

If one goes back to the early Instagram posts and sees the 1991 Shadow (yearbook) staff photo…..that’s what yours truly is wearing in the back. It’s still around here in storage somewhere. After all, it was $65. Plus we’ve established I’m pretty cheap so it wasn’t going anywhere.

-of course I also had to have some Nike T-shirts as well. I had a few that included the Bo Jackson “HIT RUN” t-shirt (Bo in a baseball uniform in the front and his Raiders gear in the back), a red FORCE t-shirt with black trim, a black FORCE t-shirt with yellow trim, and lastly the blue JUST DO IT shirt (slogan on the back with a Nike logo in front) that I wore the day of prom when I went to the now defunct Repp’s Flowers right by the Sonland to pick up said prom corsage. Not like I went out and picked up prom corsages every day, so that’s my excuse on why I remembered what I wore that day (besides a tux) and I’ll stick to it….though that probably goes out the window since I already recapped watching a Celtics-Pistons NBA playoff game beforehand. On the plus side, at least I wasn’t spending the day panhandling at the local liquor store. (No comment once college came.)

Speaking of that Bo shirt….here’s what it looked like:

-and of course I had to have a Nike windbreaker, too. Such as this one which is similar to the one I wore when I got to hang out with none other than @trina.byers13 at previously mentioned concert earlier that summer (facial hair not included):

(yeah, the photo’s big. Should have seen the other one I found.)

-of course I had to have two Polo shirts. Since it was the early 90’s, I had one purple one and one peach one. (I snickered too. It was the 90’s. I acknowledge it as such.) The peach one was of course an overpriced one from Lazarus because of course it was . Will need to post the one I have of me wearing the peach one when I went on the DC Club trip to, yes, Washington D.C. Hey, I got out of the Sonland for a week, so you damn well I wasn’t too upset about that.

-Last but not least I would take the lead of the previous mentioned Number 10 and Young Adams in improving my shoe selection. I alternated three pairs of shoes during the fall: the before mentioned Nike Air Bounds, a pair of suede Eastlands, and lastly the shoes all Sons seemed to have back then, the new Air Jordan V models that retailed for $125 (and I paid that when buying it from Finish Line at Castleton).

Photo of said Air Bounds (mine were of course the neon green)….

..and lastly, the Jordans:

I’ll give said Number 10 and Young Adams this- those two were big influences in me saying ME WANT NEW SNEAKERS or ME NEED NEW KICKS to the point where in college if I decided it was time to break out spending money for shoes, then #!%$%! it was going to happen. As in later on dudes in fraternity would actually borrow my shoes if they went out on dates or clubbing or so forth. Like I said before, safe to say I wasn’t in the library all the time at college number one. Just when I needed to make copies for the NCAA March Madness pool me and my roommate would run. Which makes me miss college number one…..save for the cafeteria food. Eating cereal for dinner for three years got old. Thankfully, I discovered bourbon to make up for it. (That’s a few future posts in itself).

In any event that’s a start for talking about senior year. Next up need to talk classes…particularly the legendary fourth hour government class, aka Dick’s Class. One of the eight classes I had that year that also included the previously mentioned @sheathera. I’m sure she was thrilled to see me on a regular basis. If not, so be it.

I know this: I liked what I saw in the mirror. Couldn’t have said that a year to year and a half earlier. And that was pretty important. Always good to want to live.

Thanks to those who put up with me recapping 1990-THE YEAR IN SONLAND FASHION. I got nearly 3,000 words out of it, so safe to say I’ve just scratched the surface on remembering said year. Or at the very least I get easily amused.

Thanks again to all for reading, have a good rest of the week and God Bless.

Jeff Fitzpatrick



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