By Mike Redmond
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Apr 23, 2013, 02:48 PM EDT
It is getting to be Prom Season, so naturally my mind turns to memories of my own prom, back during the Flintstonian Era, when the Lakeland High School gym was transformed into a magical wonderland and the evening lived up to its theme, "Disaster Under The Stars."
No, not really. I think the theme was "Moonlight and Magnolias" or something to do with the Antebellum Southern United States, which of course made absolutely no sense for kids living in Anabaptist Northern Indiana. I guess the prom committee had all seen "Gone With The Wind" before they voted. Good thing it wasn't "Guadalcanal Diary."
Lakeland had been open something like eight years by the time my class prom came along, which means it was already mired in tradition, such as having the VersaTones, a three-piece band from Elkhart (drums, sax, accordion), back to provide the music, and some cheesy stage hypnotist to make certain of us crow like roosters or revert to their kindergarten selves. As you might have guessed, the faculty chose the entertainment because we students could not be trusted to come up with something tasteful.
Of course they were right, but that's beside the point. Whose prom was it, anyway?
Another tradition was that we actually prommed. That is, at a certain point in the evening, a signal went out and we all lined up behind Mrs. Booth, the stern business teacher who chose the band, and clomped a few laps around the gym floor while our parents looked on from the mezzanine.
Most of our parents, I should say. My mother made it abundantly clear that she was not about to drive 12 miles into town to watch a bunch of kids walking in circles wearing rented clothes.
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An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
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