Monday, May 14, 2012

Admiral King High School Open House

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.

The cafeteria was as I remembered it, though, although a little more colorful now perhaps.

Being in the cafeteria reminded me that I probably brought peanut butter sandwiches every day for four years. And strangely enough, I still eat peanut butter for lunch at work almost every day.

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. 


Anonymous said...


Thanks for those pictures. When I saw the pictures on the way to the band room...I began to get nostalgic also. I bet you could just about hear Spruill's voice.

And thanks for the picture of the door we marched through some many times....those WERE the times of our lives...thanks for bringing them back to me...even for just a minute

Jeff Rash...wondering where my old sousaphone is now!

Jerry A. McCoy said...

Yes, Dan, thank you for taking these photos. Wish I could have attended.

Anonymous said...


I was not even in the band in high school, but moved by your emotion. Funny thing however, is the patch of grass outside the external door, which was mud one year when we celebrated a freshman football championship or big win. Well, I threw mud at Coach Lou Ribel's face during the celebration. He retaliated by tackling me in that mud.

Thanks for the flashback that may have never happened without your pictures!

Can't wait to see you and our classmates again - Go Admirals!

Best Wishes Always,
Brian B.
x-Junior HS band member who had trouble deciding on band versus football.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sending Dan. I could almost hear those of us who were nuns in the Sound of Music singing as we came down the aisles of the auditorium. Connie Cook Mele