The US Postal Service has been pushing its product lately with a tune sung by country music legend Johnny Cash.
When the Man in Black growls “I’ve Been Everywhere,” I can relate.
When I was growing up everybody in the family knew how to fill out a Postal Service “Change of Address” form.
Until I was ten we lived in New Orleans. In three different places. My four years in Alexandria, Louisiana, were spent in three different homes, all in the same subdivision.
Pop’s next promotion included a transfer to Montgomery, Alabama, and enough money to buy our second home.
We moved to town on my fourteenth birthday. The next day I enrolled at Goodwyn Junior High. Since Goodwyn was my third junior high in three years, I was ready for a breather.
Montgomery became the home I’d been hoping for.
After a year and a half at Goodwyn, I enrolled at Robert E. Lee High School. My dates may be off, but I think the school was just short of ten years old. It felt new compared to some places I had attended.
During my stay at Lee High, I first drove a car, first kissed a girl, finally overruled my mother on buzz haircuts, and found a bunch of kids with a passion for music that didn't seem to mind spending time with me.
Getting started at a new school, no matter when or where, is never easy. But my classmates at Lee took me in like one of their own. It felt good. It felt like I was part of something.
Our football teams were always ranked at or near the top of the state heap. I was a member of a Lee High band that gathered fans and trophies as far away as Cleveland and New York City.
In Montgomery, I first cruised past the high school hot spots on Friday nights. I was usually part of the geek squad, but a time or two, rode shotgun in a friend’s hot rod.
I also learned the pain of being ignored by a girl I liked. And the joy of being kissed back for the first time.
My classmates and I went through high school during what historians might call an “interesting time.” I’ll never forget the Friday afternoon when classes were interrupted by our principal announcing over the PA system that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.
I was a senior when the historic Selma March took place. I think we all learned something from that experience, even though it took a while for some of those hard lessons to really sink in.
High school wasn’t perfect, but I’ve never had anything but fond memories of Lee High. It was a great place to spend three very important years of my life.
The majority of kids I went to high school with grew up in Montgomery and had known each other since kindergarten. They were all nice to visitors like me.
Many continued to call Montgomery home after high school. Some, like me, took off and never moved back. But I’ve kept in touch with many of those classmates. Some a little, some a lot.
My high school class is having a reunion this weekend. A previous commitment keeps me from attending in person. But I’ll sure be there in spirit.
I’ll always look back on high school as a fun ride. And I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of traveling companions.
Happy Anniversary, Class of ‘65.
And Go Generals.
Alex McRae is an author and ghostwriter. His debut novel, “Rough Draft,” is now available. He can be reached at: email@example.com