I graduated high school in 1975 and I’m BARELY embarrassed enough to admit it. Looking back it truly WAS a time filled with music, parties, friends, alcohol and drugs (not necessarily or quite possibly in that order and “education” was thrown in for good measure).
One of the highlights of my junior year that truly sticks out was the infamous “drug bust of 1974.” I remember sitting in Mr. Friday’s homeroom with the rest of the end of the alphabet, and hearing shouting and commotion in the hallways. There was the unmistakable echo of metal lockers being busted open and slammed shut as my fellow students and I looked at each other with a sense of confusion and anxiety.
I’m somewhat unclear on exactly HOW we found out, but we had eventually heard that a drug bust was in full swing within the walls of Henderson Sr. HIGH. Apparently, there was a “narc” (Dwight Magee, if memory serves me correctly) among the students, who had learned the ins and outs of high school partying as well as the “alleged” ring-leaders (listed as pushers in the local paper) that created this supposed major problem within our school system.
Local police (and I’m not sure if the State was involved) were bringing in drug sniffing dogs throughout our hallowed halls as a sense of panic, frustration and anger at the “establishment” by the students permeated the air. Several friends of mine were carted away in handcuffs to face and eventually be dismissed of any major charges. It was undeniably one day in a decade of drugs, drama and discrimination.
Admittedly, I too, had experimented with my share of drugs during this time as well. I was fortunate enough to not be a direct link within the true IN crowd at school and avoided being “busted,” but I knew who to hang out with and how to get high and I’d throw just about anything I could, down my throat to get a “buzz.” I knew where the parties were and how to find them. My list of narcotics was as varied as my closet of flannels shirts and flaired jeans. It was experimentation, trying to fit in and just having a sense of belonging in a world where insecurity was a way of life. I got through it unscathed for the most part (I think).
I eventually got bored with drugs as I grew older, settled down and became (gulp) responsible. Although, Daryl and I once “tried” to smoke a joint together awhile ago for the first time that I secured from a close friend of mine. Daryl had never tried it before, and he wanted to see what the hype was about. It was a skinny little thing that, when lit, brought back memories for me of good times, fun friends and lots of laughs, until we started hacking. As Daryl and I inhaled this cute little cannabis doobie, we began choking as if we were sucking in a ball of barbed wire. We got through about half of it, looked at each other, decided we didn’t really enjoy it and proceeded to make a couple of colorfully creative vodka drenched drinks. I kept the joint in a baggie and it’s currently archived in my top underwear drawer in case we ever decide to try the second half.
As I’ve grown older, there are many changes that have transpired since those wild days back in the seventies. Among them, herb, hash, ludes and crank have been replaced by multi, omega, Nexium, Metoprolol, Atenolol and Fexofenadine. Pipes, bongs and roachclips are now “child-proof,'” SavOn and auto-fill. What was once recreational, has now become a way of sustaining life. It’s truly amazing at how things have changed.
There are days that I miss 1975.