So sometimes, you think about someone and "poof" they pop into your life again. I was thinking about an old friend from my junior year in high school. His name was Jesus Morales. I met him at a huge transitional time in life. I had moved from Mississippi in the middle of my tenth grade year to St Pete. I was dropped into a school called Gibbs High School. I wasn't familiar with a lot of people and made a few friends here and there. I met some really nice people who seemed genuine and nice and offered to include me in their groups. I wasn't a social butterfly like I am now so it was a challenge. When I finished for the summer a few months later, my dad advised we were moving to another district. That meant I would have to start all over again with friends.
We moved into Pinellas Park and the year was 1987. I found out my new school was going to be Northeast High School. We moved into an older complex that was closer to my dads office in Tampa, close to my school and had lots of kids my age. I was vaguely upset but I was also excited for the change. Upon moving into the complex in early June, I was greeted by lots of the kids that lived there, but the one who stood out, was Jesus.
That was the same year I fell in love, got my heartbroken, broke a heart or two and started to grow up. My time was very brief there as I was only there a year, the memories flood back to me after all these years. I remember it as if it was yesterday. The crazy pool parties, the late nights around the lakes, the makeup sessions in the halls and while waiting for the bus. There were about 12 of us and we always managed to be mischievous.
My friend Mike, had a Plymouth Scamp that we put a cassette deck in and put two different speakers in the back. He was the first to have a car and his dad was adamant about not giving rides to the kids in the complex. We all used to pile in as he drove over to the bus stop and then we would all duck in the car as he waved to his dad, or we would take a different exit so his dad didn't see. I will never forget those days of listening to Def Leppard's hysteria and Whitesnake. I remember being so happy, so amped. Singing at the top of our lungs. Mike and I worked at Chi-Chi's mexican restaurant. Mike got me a job there and as much as I hated it, i loved it more. Mike and I used to have so much fun at work laughing and horsing around. I remember our boss "big mike" was his name and he used to see us laughing and cutting up and he would say "homina homina——How about a line sweep" We would laugh for hours over that one. I remember cutting more chicken and steak than I had ever cut in my life. "Hot skillet" we would yell as we turned around with 900 degree skillets. I remember one friday getting burned. I remember getting asked to work late for free food if I would clock out early. I remember the craziness of the line the drugs, the cooks dating the waitresses and the crazy kitchen managers that we had. I remember that summer working two jobs, the Home Shopping Network and Chi-Chis. I was working morning shifts and breakfast and then afternoon shifts and Home Shopping network.
I remember getting my VW and sanding it down and getting it painted. I remember being so thankful that i had a car and driving to school. I also remember the day that my father said "we are moving back to Mississippi" and feeling so mad. I didn't want to go. Didn't he know I had now made friends. I didn't want to say goodbye my crew. I wanted to finish my senior year at Northeast High. The time flew by fast, but now its faster. Im grateful for each day and so thankful that I reconnected with Jesus (the rest of the crew is slowly getting on board).
This is a thank you to Mike, Jesus, Shirley, Carole, Bob and Michelle, just to name a few. You guys made my Junior year the best and I will take the memories to my grave. I am so blessed to have met you guys. I am sure I was a HUGE asshole back then but somehow we always managed to connect, share and be friends and that is worth a million memories for me. Let keep the conversation going and always say "Hi" every now and then.
Until next time...