High School Memories By Song

Today’s been a nostalgic kind of day. I drove by my high school and listened to some music I used to listen to all the time while I was a student at good ol’ Waynesville High School. I’m an alumnus. I’ve never said those words before. Weird. Several songs came on that brought me to a specific memory. Songs tend to do that pretty often.

When I listen to Beck’s “E-Pro” I can’t help but smile at the sound of the introduction. I think back to cruising the streets of Waynesville in my red,  1988 Toyota Celica convertible with Ms. Brandi Gervais, running extraordinaire, as we bobbed our heads in that “Night at the Roxbury” kind of way. We would laugh as we thought of the cars behind us looking at our heads bouncing to the side. Part of the laugh was also because we knew we looked ridiculous, but we didn’t care. We were just having fun.

When Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” plays, my mind jumps to the times when I would drive either to cross country practice or just around Waynesville by myself with my top down and my brown aviators on (feeling pretty cool, I might add). Gosh, why was I so concerned with how I looked in high school? Sheesh. That was a good convertible song. My hand was an airplane and I was the pilot. So freeing.

Queen’s “We Are The Champions” never fails to bring me back to the night we came back from our conference track meet my senior year. We won the meet for the third year in a row—the three-peat—so my friends and I got in my car (some actually got on my car), drove around the parking lot, and blared that song—well, we blared the chorus over and over; that’s all we knew— and sang at the top of our lungs as if it was written about us. We were the champions that night.

And then there’s Brandon Heath’s “Let’s Make It Last.” The only thing that comes to mind when I hear that (awesome) song is Lizzy. I think back to when we were in our giddy infatuation phase of our relationship. She had me listen to that song one day and I loved it. I played it non-stop, partly because I loved the song, and also so I could impress her with how quickly I memorized the lyrics. Isn’t that ridiculous? The next time she rode in my car, that song played (it was on a mix cd she made me for Christmas), and I knew every word. She actually was impressed. Success. While I’m on memories of Lizzy, might as well bring up “A Whole New World” also. That song brings me to that night we watched the play “Miracle on 34th Street.” When we got out of the play, ice covered the parking lot, so after talking until we were alone in the parking lot, we started gliding as if we were professional ice skaters. While ice skating—and falling on our butts several times— we sang “A Whole New World.” Man, I could listen to that girl sing all day. What can I say; I’m a sucker for singers. Just for a few moments I was Aladdin and she was Jasmine and nothing else in the world mattered. That was a good night.

“Stationary Stationary” by Anberlin was my driving fast song. Every time I hear that song, I remember speeding down the outer access road to the high school going way too fast. I was usually either running late for track practice (the track was about a 5-minute drive from the school) or running late for morning cross country practice. In the mornings specifically, I would drive dangerously fast down that outer road. Let’s just put it this way, if a deer—heck any animal for that matter—walked in front of me, it probably would not have been recognizable after I got through with it…I also felt pretty cool going that fast. Again with the cool thing. Blah!

Finally, there’s Chris Tomlin’s “Arrive” cd. That takes me back to driving to youth group, the one semester my senior year I actually went to youth group. I guess I figured God wouldn’t be happy if I was listening to non-Christian music right before I went to learn about Him. Dang, I was sort of an idiot back then. I didn’t dare listen to Chris Tomlin with my non-Christian friends in the car. Didn’t want them to think I was pious or anything. I can’t believe I was actually like that.

Music has a way of allowing us to remember good times and forgetting the bad. I’m ok with that.

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