I can’t think why Jamsco didn’t think to entitle his post thusly:
Ah, Junior High. The Golden Years. The Transition Years. Yes, Vox was a geek. Or maybe geek-ish. (Actually those words don’t really fit. How about ‘Not the pinacle of coolness’?) Now, obviously he didn’t rise near the level of awkwardness that Jamsco flew to. Here’s an illustrative story….
Allow me to set the record straight on a few things:
1. I was never a part of the cool crowd at church. We left it while I was still in junior high. And I never thought they were particularly cool anyhow. In retrospect, they struck me as future burnouts. Then again, perhaps Jamsco and I have different people in mind.
2. Inflation was already exceedingly high in 1980. What I actually said was that Reagan would increase the value of money, (not the quantity), by raising interest rates, which is what Paul Volcker subsequently did. Of course, Volcker didn’t actually increase the value, he merely reduced the rate of the decline in value. Do cut me some slack. I was twelve.
3. It wasn’t a comic book, it was Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, which was actually only The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, which completely mystified me at the time. My actual Tolkein paperbacks were far too precious to take on a canoe trip where they would get wet and warpy. All right, on second thought, I suppose it could be considered a comic book.
4. Jamsco is confused as to why he remembers the eight feet. One cliff was about 20 feet high, the other was eight feet higher. I wasn’t afraid of the height, but I was definitely afraid of failing to clear a jutting tree branch below that one had to leap over from the higher cliff. I can remember wondering if you’d end up impaled there or if the branch would snap and you’d end up drowning in the water. The other cliff you could simply drop straight down. I don’t actually remember many of the guys going off the higher one except for a few of the older guys, although Jamsco may well have done so. However, I was badly sunburned that day; I haven’t been down the Apple River since.
5. Jamsco can relax. The “really neat” passage is an actual quote, but it wasn’t him.
6. My sincere apologies about the comic book… if it was me. I tend to doubt it, though, as I didn’t collect comic books – unless one counts the Bakshi – and I can’t recall ever seeing a Superman comic or any other comic around our house at any time. That being said, it does sound like me. I am so notoriously bad about remembering to return books that I simply refuse to borrow them anymore even if they are actively pushed on me.
(Game for Nerds tangent. In college, I went out with a librarian who looked up my record with the county library, which dated back to when I was twelve. Her exact words: “Oh, you are BAAAAD.” So, kids, that’s how to impress that sexy librarian with the glasses and ponytail who sits there smoldering behind the desk with her nose buried in a book. Check out sufficiently interesting books and don’t return them.. I doubt you even have to read them.)
I can’t honestly say anything negative about Jamsco. He was invariably nice to me and to everyone else, and if he was as awkward as he was tall, I never thought that was a big deal. If I had to pick out one person from that time I always thought was a fundamentally decent human being, Jamsco would have been first on the list. Although, it occurs to me that I forgot to address one more thing.
7. Vox is occasionally wrong.