So, get this. A couple weeks ago, my youngest first cousin GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL. Let me repeat - my BABY cuz is officially no longer a baby. He has now graduated high school. Of course, my dad and I had to be there. And everything went well, without a hitch. He is now a high school graduate and will be joining the ranks of the college-bound soon.
There were parties galore that weekend, but the best ones were the ones that were INSIDE. As outrageous as it may seem, it is hotter in Conroe than it is down here, and has been for some time. While we are flirting with 100's, East Texas has been sweltering in 100+ heat for at least a couple weeks. In fact, the day the we headed to Conroe, we saw a Houston Chronicle with a very unsettling headline: "RECORD: Earliest day to reach 100 degrees EVER", or something to that effect. Now, that's something that is not to be ignored. And indeed it was HOT. Saturday's party, during which we were outside the whole day with nary a breeze to help cool us was barely tolerable. The only bright spot for me was the antics of a happy-go-lucky dog named Whiskey, who belonged to the owners of the house where the party was located. His high-pitched yap as he chased another puny dog around was the best spectator sport in town. Watching my cousin play poker, basketball, and washers, though, was just about as fun. He has grown into quite the handsome, athletic young man who still minds his manners and respects his elders.
Dad and I also had a great opportunity to talk, with him regaling me of tales that I had never heard before. I never knew that he spent a summer as a teen making deliveries for a soft drink company along with his cousin Bobby. They would drive kegs of syrup to fast-food joints to be mixed with carbonated water to produce the fountain-quality soft drinks so rare these days. In addition, he was also a member of the Civilian Air Patrol for some time, watching the skies for certain suspicious aircraft, and reporting to the captains of Ellington AFB (now Ellington Field) any alarming sights. Remember, this was during the cold war, when we were sure the Soviets were sending planes to spy on us. And maybe they were. Maybe the reason we never got bombed was due to vigilance on the part of Americans, like my dad.
The sweltering weekend was rewarded by a dip in the pool with my aunt, uncle, and grandmother while listening to great tunes on the radio. A couple of the songs surpised me, as I hadn't heard them in so many years. In fact, I had flat out forgotten about Peter Frampton's "I Can't Stand It No More", as I always liked that song so much, as well as Manfred Mann's cover of the Bruce Springsteen song "I Came For You". These songs were among some of my favorites "back in the day" and it was sheer pleasure hearing them again.
So here for you are some of the great songs played that weekend that will now always remind me of my youngest cousin leaving behind high school for college. I hope they make you as happy (and nostalgic) as they made me.