Throwback Thursday-ish

"Tradition" is a rather strange word to use in certain contexts. My classroom, for example, is just around the corner from the lobby of Armfield Hall. In the middle of the lobby's floor is a large depiction of the school's seal, and the story among the students is that if you step on the seal, you will not graduate. The story is couched as a Woodberry tradition, and at this school, the word "tradition" is so powerful that people will use it as though it were an actual argument: "We can't stop doing that! It's tradition!"

The strangeness, of course, is that Armfield Hall was opened in 1997. I was already employed here when that seal was set in the lobby floor. In other words, this "tradition" was created wholesale by some nameless student(s) within the last 17 years, but the boys still consider it as weighty and meaningful as any other way of doing things here.

A similarly newfangled tradition is Facebook's "Throwback Thursday," which encourages people to post old photos on Thursdays. Obviously, it's hard to view something on a ten-year-old social media site as "traditional" in the, well, traditional sense, but it does at least give people an excuse to share old and occasionally amusing photos in a setting where others can appreciate it. Having considered the exercise in that light, it occurs to me that there's not reason to keep such photos on Facebook when I can share them with you nice people. Even if it's not Thursday.

Tinkerbell Tree 001 JPEG.jpgThis is the dogwood tree that stood (and may still stand) in front of our house on Tinkerbell Road in Chapel Hill, NC. It was one of the first trees I figured out how to climb, and Mom dutifully got a shot of me in it here, probably around 1969.

1976ish JPEG.jpgIf you've ever wondered whether Mark Hamill's haircut in "Star Wars" was a 70s style, I think the above pic should settle the issue. I look like I'm about to go into Toshi to pick up some power converters.

Colonels 1976 001 JPEG.jpgBut as I hit puberty in about 1976, a few other things were happening besides just my hair was getting longer (and curlier). For one, my skill as a basketball player was approaching its peak. This is my official photo from the Chapel Hill rec department in the winter of '76-'77, when I played center for the Colonels. Coached by Art Finn, we put together a terrific season, combining my passing out of the low post, David Finn's slashing to the basket, and Arnold Stone's deadly jumper. Arnold and I would go on to play at Culbreth Junior High the following year, but never with as much success.

Beech Mountain Jan 77 JPEG.jpg
This was taken at Beech Mountain in January of 1977. I had grown five inches over the summer and was probably as skinny as I've ever been in my life, so naturally I insisted on wearing my father's shapeless old football warmup jacket from the 1955 Albemarle HS Bulldogs. Also, you can see that things were starting to happen on my upper lip.

Moustache November 1980 JPG.jpgBy November of 1980, the lip thing had reached crisis proportions. Here I am behind the bar of our house on Smith Avenue, sporting about as much Seventies cheese as one teenager could manage: mustache, aviator frames, and alligator shirt. (Actually, the mustache I'd grown for the summer production of The Boy Friend, in which I played Percival Brown, the millionaire.)

Halloween 1983 001 JPEG.jpgLuckily, by Halloween of 1983, the rest of my face had caught up. I would actually shave the beard fairly soon after this, a personal grooming choice which altered by social life in Manchester to a great degree, as I later learned that many of my dormmates had been avoiding me for fear of terrorism.

Hope Mills Lake 1992 JPEG.jpgAnd finally, here I am in early 1992, having recently entered parenthood. That's Ian in the stroller, lounging with me, Kelly, and our friends Peter and Islabeth at Hope Mills Lake.

That's all the Thursday I've got on hand, but keep your eyes peeled; the past isn't even past, after all.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on December 6, 2014 3:06 PM.

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