High School Graduation Thought

I think I may have missed something many, many years ago. I remember my graduation night and everyone saying, "Congratulations." I kindly said "thanks" over and over again but, honestly, I was thinking, "What's the big deal? It's high school? How could I not graduate?"
But listening to the radio this morning, when I learned about the column below, high school commencement may be less about the accomplishment of graduating and more about the passage of what ends up being a monumental milestone.
I guess, as is so often the case with youth, I was seeing the event from my eyes and not from those that I had a few years under their belts.

Ann Melvin Dallas Morning News 1998 Column on Graduation

The tumult dies.

The graduating seniors in their Ford pickups and secondhand Nissans depart.

For jobs, for the pool, for Grandma’s, for college, for a last, long loopy summer.


Or until they need their clothes washed, whichever comes first.

Growing up a child is a series of leave-takings, from the first wobbly step away from the parent’s hand to the first day at school to the first slumber party to the first time he drives out of the driveway with a license.

But high school graduation is a leave-taking of high celebration and of irrefutable recognition that the child will be gone soon.

Too soon, when you remember the night we ran across the dark yard and laughed in pursuit of fireflies. Or the summer evening we drove through St. Louis and rolled down the windows as we crossed the Mississippi, singing “Ole Man River.”

Too soon, when you hear the back door slam and the call, “Mom, I’m home.”

And too soon when you review your own inadequacies as a parent.

As the slow line of caps and gowns files by, the parent sits suffused with pride and fear. “Doesn’t he look handsome?” mingles with a collage of worry:

“When was the last time we talked about God? Nietzsche? The balance of trade? Does he know how to balance a checkbook? Can she check the oil in her car? What about Winston Churchill and ‘The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’ and Aunt Maggie, who worked as a welder during World War II? Did we tell ‘em that?”

Parents universally want to stand up and holler, “Stop, these kids don’t know enough yet. They don’t fasten the twistie on the bread sack or hang up their clothes or put the milk back in the refrigerator, and you want to turn them out on the world?? Stop!! I forgot to make sure that he prays every night and that she understands HMOs, Social Security and the Roman influence on modern jurisprudence, and did I tell him often enough that I love him?”

“Another year, I need another year.”

But the caps are in the air, the gowns are back in the rental barrel, and we all are standing out on the sidewalk, smiling and crying. Then we go home.

An old carnation begins to shrivel on the bedroom mirror. Notes paper the wall around the telephone, and schedules are leafed like shingles on the refrigerator.

Dress shoes lie askew under the chair, the celebration ham gives up leftovers, and old snapshots spill out of a shoebox on the table.

The first baseball uniform, Christmas at Grandma’s, the seventh-grade gang posing in front of the school bus at the Alamo, the first bicycle with training wheels, party photos from the prom . . . a Kodak collection of split seconds in the start of what you pray will be a good life.

The graduate is in the driveway, leaving again.

You go out, moved to speak your mind.

“I hope you were happy,” you want to say. “I hope life will go well for you. I hope you know I tried my best, and while I know it wasn’t always perfect, I tried to do the best I could for you. Whatever you have learned from me, it isn’t enough, not about life or the world or anything.”

“But I hope you can stand on my shoulders, reach higher and go farther with the little boost I gave you.”

Instead you say, “Do you have enough money? Fasten your seat belt. And call me when you get there.”

Wherever that may be.

Over Drummer

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Southlake High School has moved its graduation ceremonies for tonight to Cowboys Stadium because of the heat. They don't rough it much in that town, do they?
  • Call me crazy, but is there any chance the "blown call" in the Perfect Game two days ago was intentional? Could we be dealing with an egomaniac umpire who wants attention regardless of the cost?
  • Isn't there some recognizable psychological phenomenon where a mother will kill her child for attention? Wasn't that a scene in The Sixth Sense?
  • My mid-life-crisis-lose-weight project update: Down 16 pounds. Now I've just got to find some program to tone up. And I hate lifting weights.
  • Someone made a comment yesterday about my Israel random thought which not only attacked me but proved they may be the most ignorant commenter ever.
  • Do I believe the Pac 10/Big 12 rumor? Yes, I do. Am I sick about it? Yes, I am. I remember sitting in the Baylor stands while in law school (when the team was good) and thinking, "I enjoy this so much, and I'll get to do this for the rest of my life."
  • Megan Fox has been in a bikini all week.
  • Even I think it's suspicious to be a suspect in a killing in Aruba and in Peru: Joran van der Sloot.
  • I'm still upset: I guess the also-rans of the old Southwest Conference could get back together. Baylor, TCU, Houston, Rice, SMU. And then look around and see what other spare teams you could pick up. North Texas? UTEP? Kill me.
  • The Decatur Walmart "missing baby" story yesterday was just weird. If it was a prank, it was a strange one.
  • The term "scrapbooking" makes my eyes glaze over.
  • Unemployment rate down to 9.7% this morning but there's also reports of little job growth. So confusing.
  • One of the Golden Girls died yesterday. I don't think I ever watched a single episode of that show.
  • My favorite old school sitcom: The Dick Van Dyke Show.


OK, I'm Drawing The Line

Somebody bring back Hanna Montana. This is going to turn out so wrong.

Ex-Girlfriend Sets Self On Fire While Torching Car

Let that be lesson to my seven ex-wives out there.
Although, come to think about it, I really wouldn't mind the family truckster being torched.
Edit: I think I found the real story.

Update is Busy Today

Baby abandoned at Walmart?

Here We Go Again

But this is from Yahoo Sports and written by a former columnist for the Dallas Morning News. Look out.

Stuff Is Propelling Through Windshields Everywhere!

Yesterday, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk almost got killed when a ladder went through his windshield.
Now this morning, a fence almost got a lady in Paradise. (Photos in link.) Although in that case, she came to the fence instead of the fence coming to her.

Bench Press Not-A-Good

The only real reason I'm posting this is because I've discovered a key to the viral video: Anticipation. When you know something is going to happen, but the video is slow to get there, it'll drive you Crazy Good. (And whenever you see one about some kid or gal getting launched from a swingset, there's always a build up.)
But back to this video: Nice spot there, hoss.

Bridgeport death

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Eight and 2/3 innings into a Perfect Game last night when the first base umpire blows the call and then admits he blew the call: The game should have been complete with the last guy out at first base. But the "purity of the game" prevents MLB from doing anything about it today.
  • I think there was a huge wind gust outside of Rhome last evening. Saw one of those big green TxDot signs down as well as a car upside down in a ditch very close by.
  • I've watched a person use Skype but have never used Skype -- because I don't have a need.
  • I think Texting While Driving might be worse that Driving While Intoxicated.
  • I haven't had a speeding ticket in over 20 years. I'm a fan of cruise control.
  • Had a client recently who didn't mind a short jail sentence as part of a plea bargain just so long as I could "get the start date delayed until after deer season." Done.
  • I'll admit that I've always been a little confused by Israel/Palestine/Gaza/West Bank/Hamas.
  • "LOS ANGELES – Police are looking for a porn actor suspected of killing a colleague and injuring two others with a sword that was used as a movie prop." Sorry, that's just one heck of a lead sentence.
  • Former W Press Secretary Dana Perino is going to get herself kicked off of Fox News if she's not careful: She actually tries to be fair and balanced. (She told Sean Hannity he was being to harsh in his criticism about Obama and the gulf oil crisis two days ago.)
  • Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard said Wednesday that he will launch a new church from his Colorado Springs home, 3 1/2 years after he resigned from his ministry amid an embarrassing and devastating sex scandal involving a gay hooker and meth. I watched a fascinating documentary on the scandal once and, although not shocked to see that his former church fired him, I was shocked to see that he was "banned" from attending the church altogether.
  • There's a new restaurant trying to open on the courthouse square but the P&Z Commission in Decatur didn't have a quorum to vote on it's liquor license request. Come on, people.
  • I think someone told Fox 4's morning gal Lauren Przbyl to lighten up a bit and smile.


Courthouse News -- Not Ours

Got a reliable tip that the Collin County courthouse has been locked down by the Texas Rangers for the execution of a search warrant. I don't think I've ever heard of that before. Edit: Four hours later I'm still waiting for confirmation. Edit hour later: Finally, confirmation. They were searching the district clerk's office.

Holy Cow!

From Dallas Observer blog:
A good Friend of Unfair Park, through a friend of a friend of a friend, just shot us this extraordinary video captured early yesterday morning at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Took place at the north toll plaza, which served as a launching ramp for one drunk driver trying to exit the airport in a hurry. DFW spokesman David Magana confirms: "The driver was, as you might guess, suspected of inebriation and investigated for such and arrested for such." We also have fiery post-crash pics after the jump -- because after the driver went all General Lee, she got out and made a call on her cell, at which point the vehicle went boom. Hard to believe the "driver only suffered minor injuries," as Magana puts it. Oh -- and the toll-booth operator wasn't injured at all.
Edit: Mugshot

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • "I'm not supersticious but I am a little sticious." - Michael Scott from The Office.
  • Finally had to water my lawn last night, and when I went to turn it off, I worried for a second about snakes. And then I went to be and dreamed about snakes. Big ones.
  • The Texas Rangers wore the ugliest caps ever last night.
  • Motorcycle death yesterday.
  • Just last month I was praising how green it was outside. Now it's as brown as I've ever seen it on June 1st.
  • I was remiss in not pointing out that the bagofnothing.com guy and his wife celebrate the birth of their first child over the weekend.
  • I felt weird yesterday. Not sick, just jittery.
  • I woke up in the middle of the night last night and watched part of a cable movie called "Obsessed" (starred Beyonce) which was about a temp stalking her employer. It was exactly like the 1993 movie "The Temp" (starring Lara Flynn Boyle) which was about a temp stalking her employer.
  • They've run out of movie ideas, haven't they?
  • The Supreme Court modified Miranda yesterday saying that police no longer need to ask a suspect if he wishes to give up those rights before questioning begins. It was a 5-4 decision, and I'm sure The Right will just consider this to be "interpreting the law" and not "making law."
  • But Miranda may also be the misunderstood decision by the public because it seems 50% of my new clients are excited to tell me "they didn't read me my rights!" Answer: They don't have to unless (1) you're in custody, and (2) they wish to question you.
  • I've got jury duty next week!
  • Every time Tony Romo is interviewed he says "We just need to keep working hard and improving."


And Yet Another Fort Worth Officer

But assuming he had been driving the abandoned vehicle, he was smart enough to avoid a DWI by getting away from the vehicle and, in the words of Homer Simpson, "keeping his fool mouth shut."
(And for those that think the cops must always see you driving in order to arrest you for DWI, the answer is nope -- as this new case from the state's highest court showed last week.)

Everyone Wants Me To Post This

Story. But how in the world can things go wrong after 40 years?

A Faithful Reader . . .

. . . caught this odd story/ad combo.

Not Sure I Understand This Facebook Page


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • There was a flood due to a pipe break at the Dallas County Records Building with purportedly lots of "computer damage." Why do I suspect they didn't keep a backup?
  • Kids pepper sprayed at Six Flags and a band tries to incite a riot.
  • Saw a little first grade girl point a water gun at someone yesterday and said, "Say 'ello to my little frien'."
  • I saw The Hangover in the theater and now it's on cable. Funny, funny movie.
  • The greatest country on earth can't plug an oil well?
  • That was quite a trifecta: Gary Coleman, Art Linkletter, and Dennis Hopper.
  • Tara Reid is back to a Hey, Now.
  • Ate at the Blue Goose on Greenville on Saturday afternoon. It's right by the four restaurants and bars that were gutted a few months back back by fire, and they remain in the same state they were in right after it happened.
  • I don't know why Indy racing isn't more popular than NASCAR.
  • Probably the most surprising thing about seeing Wicked at Fair Park was how nice the theater was. And what a well run venue.
  • Disturbing yet confusing lead sentence: "Granbury, Texas - A North Texas man allegedly used a sword to kill his niece, but the woman's teenage daughter reportedly escaped through a window."
  • According to the Update, the town of Newark is considering abandoning its police force -- a bit of irony for the historically the most outlaw city in the county.


Random Monday Morning Thoughts - Abbreviated Edition

  • The chances of dying on an area lake seemed to be very high yesterday.
  • If you haven't seen the crash on the last lap of the Indy 500 yesterday, go turn on Sports Center and watch it.
  • First it was "silly bandz" for kids and now "spanx" for men.
  • Robby Knievel and Eddie Gossage were on Fox 4's 30 minute sport show last night. I promise that Knieval was drunk.
  • I was channel scanning yesterday and saw Baylor and Texas A&M playing in the Big 12 Championship game in baseball. Then Baylor failed.
  • Danica Patrick is quickly catching up with Nancy Grace on my Most Despised List.
  • I saw Wicked over the weekend at Fair Park. Review forthcoming.



and Link.