It was a strange experience walking around the former Admiral King High School on Sunday afternoon after being away for thirty-five years.
Some of it seemed very familiar, other parts of the tour were kind of foreign.
While I could overhear other alumni dragging their unfortunate families around and saying things like "Here's where I had Spanish class, here's my old locker, etc.," I could barely locate my old homeroom. But I did (below).
I also found the row of lockers that contained mine, but I couldn't tell you my old locker number if my life depended upon it. On the other hand, I still remember my combination: 12-44-6!
I walked all around the school, surprised that I had forgotten how big it was. There were wings of the school offering views that I barely remember at all.
I know I don't remember pic-a-nic tables – I mean – picnic tables out in this courtyard. Going out there used to be strictly verboten.
And I certainly remembered the auditorium – the scene of so many concerts in which I participated – as well as that memorable musty smell.
I roamed around the building for about an hour, snapping away for no particular reason.
I guess I'd been gone so long that little of the tour had much of an emotional impact on me.
It was only when I made a beeline to the place where I had the most fun in high school – the band room – that a wave of nostalgia washed over me.
Walking down that familiar narrow hall...
Past the practice rooms...
Finally arriving at the band room.
I took my familiar seat in the trombone section and surveyed the view (below).
I also had to check out the view outside the band room. Standing in front of this door probably had more emotional impact on me than anything I saw all afternoon. This was the door I remember going in more than any other, especially if it was Friday night and the band was getting ready to march over to George Daniel Stadium.
I was tempted to bang on the door for entry like in the good old days, but I was afraid I might open some sort of Twilight Zone-like portal and find myself face-to-face with my younger self in 1976.
Anyway, it was a satisfying visit to the old Alma Mater.