Friday, March 28, 2008

33 years of... me! Part 3: The 1990s!

Moving ahead, on Jan. 1, 1990, I was 15 going on 16.

The 1990s:

Fall: This was the start of my junior year, and the year I blossomed into a leading man in my high school's Drama Department: John Procter in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible". Yeah, most of the other auditioners were as surprised as me. Even if it was a Theatre Arts class with a limited tryout pool.
October: My first girlfriend, Kristine! Lasted about a month. We were in the play together, and I always suspect she fell for my character, not me.

Jan. 16: The Gulf War began that night, and I'll never forget it. I was at Drama practice (different show) and me and one other guy, Jeff, were at a singing rehearsal with a whole bunch of girls when our buddy Fran ran into the auditorium and yelled, "Hey, turn on the TV, we're at war!" Jeff and I spent the rest of the rehearsal watching one of the TVs that Channel One had put into our school. Then, when I got home, it was CNN and Bernie, John and Peter under the desk in their hotel.

Spring: After three straight major roles, I suffered the disappointment of failing to land a spot in the final show of my senior year, "A Chorus Line."
June: Graduation. While trying not to brag too much, I will say my valedictory speech got many compliments... and followed what I call "Nick's Rule of Speechgiving": Keep it short. Two minutes flat. And best of all, my grandmother was there to see it.
September: Off to college, pledging Pi Lambda Phi, getting my first beat covering soccer for The Tartan and dating Michelle. 'Twas a big fall semester for me... and a 4.0, too! A word of advice: Never get a 4.0 your very first semester of college. Your parents will expect it every semester. And, despite the honors medal they hung on me in 1996, I never did it again.

Spring: This was a tough one. My grandmother died, and was buried the day after my pledge test at my fraternity. That was how I (to rehash an old story) almost decked a Lyndon Larouche supporter in Atlanta's airport.
Fall: My sophomore year didn't get much better, though it was highlighted by my one and only role - and line - in a college play, "Lysistrata" for Scotch 'n' Soda at CMU. (OK, so I was in a play at Bloomsburg U. when I was a kid; only goes to show how my career backslid.) ...

January: ...But, on the other hand, I managed to get myself an elected promotion, from Assistant Sports Editor to Sports Editor of The Tartan.
September: Engagement! Maybe it was a poor decision by a couple of teenage kids, but we were in love at the time and I know when I asked Michelle to marry me and she said yes, she meant it at the time, and so did I. Marisa says things always happen for a reason and work out for the best... So I guess I could say I had this experience, with all its highs and lows, so I could better understand and appreciate the even greater love I'd someday find. Still, until the past couple of years, I daresay the night of that proposal was the highlight of my life, so it deserves mention.
December: One of my fraternity brothers died, in an alcohol-related accident. A tough lesson for a teen, but one I'll always carry with me. He was the first person to shake my hand after my engagement, and a few months later, he was dead. Kind of puts getting stomped in the election for Tartan editor-in-chief in perspective.

January: After a one-sided rout at the hands of a (soon to be former) friend, I wound up the copy chief of The Tartan, which unbeknownst to me would set the stage for the career in journalism I have now. At the time, I mostly loved the fact that it paid well, relatively speaking.

May: Graduation, with honors. Outside. In 95-degree heat. In a woolen robe. And a suit. And less than a week later, on to my first job, with The Express-Times of Easton, Pa.
Summer: We adopted a runty, puppy-mill/pet store, purebreed dachshund, and named him Morgan. Adventures ensued, for nine years.
May and October: A couple of sports highlights: A colleague at the E-T, Steve, saying he'd never watch hockey again if Uwe Krupp scored the winning goal in the Stanley Cup finals, shortly before he did just that. And my Yankees winning their first World Series since 1978.

Spring: Michelle broke off our engagement. Let's move along, shall we?
September: On the weekend I was supposed to be married, I transitioned to my second job, moving to the bigger paper in the Lehigh Valley, The Morning Call in Allentown.

October: I can't think of much for this year, but the Yankees did win their first of three straight World Series titles.

• Erm... yeah. Still working in A-town. Cruising along. Got a pseudo-promotion from rim editing to edition layout. On the upside, I wrote an article for the Call's Y2K series. Sorry, it's a dull, professional, lonely and slightly monastic life I was leading those couple of years. I did go to Key West with my buddy Rolando somewhere in there. That rocked.

Speaking of Y2K... On to Part 4!

1 Comment:

Tom Gilbert said...

Hi Ace, you mentioned that you did go to Key West with your buddy Rolando somewhere in there. Have you tried
key west accommodations?