The year was 1982. We danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and watched “E.T.” on the silver screen. John Belushi died and Prince William was born. We exercised to Jane Fonda video tapes and never missed watching “Dynasty” on TV. Gas cost 91 cents a gallon and a stamp two dimes. We were spooked by the Tylenol scare and held our breath as the recession began.
It was a year of promise and pain, of sweetness and sorrow.
But it was OUR year.
We were the Class of 1982, and we were ready to take on the world.
Bob (Yearbook post)
Gina, to a nice girl with a great personality. Never forget our wild homeroom. Good luck always, Bob
Bob came to school high every morning. He reeked of weed. I asked him once why he got high before school. He said it made him feel better.
Bob was my friend. We never did anything together and he wasn’t in any of my classes, but he was the type of guy who would be the first to help you if you had a problem. He wasn’t book smart, but he was street smart. And he was good with cars. One look at the grease embedded in his nails and the black stains on his fingers told you he spent most of his time under the hood of a car.
I ran into Bob a few years after school at the grocery store. He didn’t smell like weed and he had a little boy with him.
“This is Tom,” he said. “He’s three.”
So Bob became a dad. He told me he had his own garage. He didn’t care for the business part of things, but his girlfriend took care of that. He seemed happy, and I was happy for him.
I remember some of my friends asking me why I talked to a pothead. To them, Bob was from the other side of the tracks, not good enough to associate with. But I liked Bob. And, to be honest, I think that if I had ever gotten into trouble or needed help, Bob would have helped me quicker than many of them.
It’s true what they say about not judging a book by its cover. Sometimes the cover is tattered or maybe it’s missing altogether. That doesn’t mean what you find inside isn’t worth your time. What a shame that people couldn’t look beyond the cover to discover the Bob I had. I wonder now if they realize how foolish they had been. Maybe it would have made a difference in his life. I know it would have in theirs.
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