I did not like high school and I would not have went to my class of ’93 graduation if I could have gotten my diploma otherwise – They refused to tell me if I would even have one in the folder – said I would have to come to find out…. Anyway, the feeling was mutual between the administration and myself. They gave me a diploma so I could leave town and join the Marines…
I wanted very badly to be in Explosive Ordnance Disposal, but after my timed firework display I ended up as a Tank Mechanic. The laughing in the background is me telling everyone I set up the fireworks – my tendency to tell on myself also precluded a life of crime.
I did not understand why everyone was mad at me at the time. I thought it was funny. I was sorry I scared the dude going into the bathroom…
I had a bigger plan for the class of 93 graduation than just fireworks – I had planned to wire a tape recorder to play “Another Brick in the Wall” through the loud speakers in time with the fireworks, but the kid with access to the sound system backed out.
Now that 25 years have passed I am certain the statute of limitations is up, but the night before I donned a black suit and gloves and climbed the fence to place some fireworks on the roof of the bathroom on the visitor side of my high-school football field. The fireworks were attached to a model rocket igniter lashed to the frayed fuse to be in contact with the internal powder train. The igniter went to a analog alarm clock with the face removed and a metal thumbtack attached at 12 o’clock. a 6v lantern battery was connected to the thumbtack and to the metal clock body so that when the hour hand (I snipped off the minute hand) touched the tack the circuit was complete.
All in all, I timed it pretty well, people talked a lot longer than I had estimated so it did not go off as planned, but since the guy giving the speech gave me lots of sealed recommendation letters that I opened to find out he recommended me not to get accepted into programs, I did not feel too bad.
I wasn’t a very good student, and I got in a lot of trouble in high school, I regret not trying harder to fit in with my classmates, I am sorry they did not find the fireworks to be as funny as I did.
I didn’t really miss the high school experience, and looking back there were a lot of neat kids in my class – I spent most of my time hating the administration, which for various reasons reciprocated.
I am not the same guy I was in High School, none of us are, and I realize my fireworks were juvenile and ill conceived, but I still smile when I tell the story, and I don’t regret being different and forging my own path when the easiest thing to do was to be like everyone else.
All my other high school stories aren’t interesting enough to share, they revolve around being punished for being different and not showing the proper respect to petty authority, but its the Marine Corps stories that get interesting – and many prison stories, but since I still work in the correction field I will have to save those for after retirement.