The (even more) awkward years

When AEJ and I were in Florida last week, I found boxes of old photographs, ranging from pictures my grandfather took when he was in the army, to pictures of my mom and her siblings growing up, to pictures of me as a baby, all the way through to my high school senior pictures. I’ll share more as I scan them, but here are a few to get us started.

This is the only sincerely great picture in the bunch. These are my parents, probably in 1968 or so. Where are they? Why, they’re at band rehearsal! That’s right, they’re at their community concert band rehearsal. See – I try to hide it, but band is in my blood.

Then, a few years later, I came along. At first, I was cute enough. And happy. I’d get over that happy part real fast.

What’s happening in this class picture? AEJ says I look like I’m on The Shmaily Shmow. I think it looks like a promo still for an imagined and insufferable film, “The Lil’ Senator.”

Things got much more awkward from there, but I’m going to save the worst for last. Let’s jump ahead to my senior pictures. Look how earnest I can be! Don’t my eyes just cry, “it’s okay. I’m listening.” Good lord, I can’t believe the photographer actually put me in the most cliched pose ever used on film — and he even used it with soft focus. And why does it look like I’m wearing lip gloss? (That’s not a trick question. I’m not wearing lip gloss.)

The backgrounds in the next two pictures totally crack AEJ up. She pointed out that I graduated from high school in 1991, but these backdrops seem to be left over from the 80s.

This background — and sweater — is probably the best. Yes, I’m sitting in an aluminum foil box. Oh, and my sweater has tiny shiny green threads in it. And again with the shiny lips!

Okay, one more with that sweater. This background is edgy. I look a little like I have yellow antennae, which is pretty awesome.

I leave you today with this picture, which I think is from middle school — so I would have been, like, 13. I don’t know what’s best about this picture — my smirk, my pseudo mullet, my bad complexion, my fake velvet shirt, or my gold chain. I can’t figure out why I didn’t get more dates then.


Sarah says

This is quite possibly your best blog EVER.

Nikk says

You're a braver man than I. I don't think I could ever unleash my middle and high school pictures on the populace.

John says

Eh, no big deal. Only, like, three people read this thing.

Rebecca says

make thar four...

Ike says

haha lmao....'Look how earnest I can be!'

Scott says

I don't remember you looking like that in middle school. wow. That is gold. I just tried to find a picture of you that's close in shock value, but I've got nothing on that-- and I had prom pictures!

Kevin Howlett says

You could be my long-lost fair-haired brother. I have been considering putting up my old pics on my site just to show people how fat I didn't used to be.

I loved the Schmaily Schmow.

Jake Wallace says

i was going to go with the mullet being the best on the last one, but i think the come hither stare is even better. that said, though, that mullet could stand to make a comeback.

Montoya says

Everyone in the airport started staring at me as I laughed obscenely loud at this blog. Pirate-Christmas blog... you have been replaced!!

Cathy says

Don't you just love the '80s and early '90s and its pop culture? *sigh*

Steve says

Easily the best and most revealing blog every written. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures.

Chris says

This. Is. Awesome.
I'm a high schooler and I got the soprano sax solo in "Asphalt Cocktail", and these pics make me love the piece all the more

Oskar says

Hi John, Nice pics!
I just wanted to tell you, your concerto for soprano sax is just amazing! I especially like the "Wood" and finale. Theres this theme that keeps popping up, i think its in every movement, theres massive tenuto chords in heavy brass and the saxplayer just goes bananas? I like those parts. Alot. It seems like the sudden harmonia and order in this somwhat chaotic piece is precisly what i want - when i want it! I just needed to say that. and, all the best from me and my friends here in Sweden! Ive sent a link to a recording on spotify to my freinds, and they feel the same as i do about the piece.
good luck in the future!
// Oskar Förberg, percussionist

I hope the local wind band (swedish navy wind band)
plays this piece soon, because i also sent the link to the boss at that band, hes a friend of mine.

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