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Old Home, Pt. 2

It turns out that the oddest part about conducting your high school band 15 years later is not the fact that your classmate (he of the Guns N’ Roses t-shirts and stone-washed jeans) is now the assistant principal. Nor is it suddenly realizing while sitting in the school cafeteria munching on your (discomfortingly familiar-tasting) lunchroom hot dog that many of these students were born in the same year in which you graduated. And it’s not even that your rehearsal was on the very stage on which you channeled Yul Brynner (brilliantly, my mother says) in the 1990 Wyoming Valley West production of The King and I. Oddly enough, the height of surreal comes when you walk through the halls, passing the library (now of course filled with computer terminals) and noting the students wearing what every high school student often wears: school t-shirts, mascot hats and pins … only this time they are WVW school t-shirts, mascot hats and pins. Maroon and gold scatters in front of your eyes like a shredded L.L. Bean catalog and you think, “WVW? You know about Valley West? Your team is The Spartans too?”…

Blissfully, these kids are unaware of my befuddlement, and politely ignore the old man having a silent panic attack in the hallway.

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