Monday, July 30, 2018

5. The Formidable Years

This chapter is a collection of small vignettes since I really can't elaborate on any of this due to lapse in memory (give me a break, it was nearly 40 years ago) or the story doesn't go that deep.

As I mentioned in an earlier post (Kissin' Time, there might be a link here), the parents in my neighborhood growing  up never bought into that whole "Kiss is evil" bullshit. None of our families were particularly religious but my parents went to church every week and sent my brother and me to Catholic schools. Just because we weren't religious, though, didn't mean our parents didn't want to cart us off for two weeks of peaceful evenings.

Our neighbors belonged to a Lutheran church and, for about two weeks, they had a vacation bible school. I think they got a tuition credit for their daughter's schooling based on how many kids she could rope into going. It was only for a few hours in the evening, but those few hours each evening had to be paradise for our parents.

Each evening, we would pile into the neighbor's red Chevy station wagon and head off to bible school (I swear I could hear cheers and champagne corks popping as we drove away that first night).  I'll be honest, I don't remember much from those days. I remember Jesus-based songs and the fact that bible verses were talked about, but other than that, I probably has Kiss songs in my head and just wanted to be at home playing. I think we did this for  and then it was over, especially since I would starting school.

The year was 1979 and Dynasty by Kiss came out. Now, I'm going to make a confession here and I don't want you to hurt yourself, so please sit and hold onto something. I liked Dynasty. As a matter of fact, I still do. Apparently, some fans disliked the album because Kiss went "disco" or they "sold out". News flash, Kiss sold out with their debut album in 1974. The entire object of their existence was to merchandise themselves and make as much money as possible. </rant>

I entered kindergarten and after the usual, cliché crying and crap that kids do when left in school for the first time, I eventually settled in to the routine of what would become the next thirteen years. Mary Beth (the neighbor from down the street) was in my class, and so was who would become my first ever best friend, Travis.

Travis lived further down the street from me, but within walking distance or bicycle distance. We were inseparable once we became friends. It seems that I would actually introduce him to Kiss and then other music down the line. We would be friends (for the most part) until grade school ended, and then we would lose touch. That is until 2009 when we would reconnect on Facebook. He's married with three kids and lives down in Columbus now. He will be heard from again in this saga.

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