About Me

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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

High School, Rah Rah Rah

Today, I am attending my 40-year high school reunion. Yeah, I'm surprised, too. Given the sheer volume of crybaby whinin' I've done over the years about how much I hated high school, one wouldn't expect me to embrace the idea of going back.

But it may be fun. I've been re-evaluating my attitudes of decades passed, and I've begun to realize some of the extent to which I contributed to my own malaise. I would have been weird, no matter what--oh no, they can't take that away from me--but the vast majority of my classmates were decent people. There were bullies, sure, but they were a minority. A lot of these folks could have been my friends if I'd been less suspicious and thin-skinned at the time, and I recall many of them as friendly acquaintances, at least. A few of them got past my defenses; a few of them were friends.

I'm happy to say I don't have an agenda today. I don't need closure, or redemption, or a rewrite of history. I'm not even seeking inspiration for a future blog post, because I probably won't write about this. I'm anticipating a pleasant day with peers, and a toast to those we've lost, from Tom to Linda.

This isn't my first reunion. I attended my five-year reunion in 1982, along with my friend Jay Hammond (Class of '76). I tripped on my way into the bar, and I felt the eye roll and heard the scorn of someone saying Carl Cafarelli. But I had a great time, reconnected with my pals Faith Berkheimer and Jim Creveling, and drank entirely too much. I also attended my ten-year reunion in 1987, with lovely wife Brenda by my side, and that was nice, too. Still, I avoided reunions after that, as I grew more critical of myself and disdainful of my high school memories.

I was wrong to do that. I was wrong when I did it in high school, and I was wrong when I continued with it later in life. Life is too short to be ruled by inner demons, to miss opportunities just for the silly fear of seeming inadequate. Turn up The MC5, man: I'm goin' to high school, rah rah rah, high school, sis boom bah.

The zit on my nose? That's just for authenticity.

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