By Mike Redmond
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Apr 23, 2013, 02:48 PM EDT
Oh, yes, the clothes. This was the era of sky-blue and Pepto-pink tuxedoes with lapels like car doors, Ricky Ricardo ruffled shirts, and bow ties the size of cecropia moths.
Except for me. As befits a shy, conservative type such as myself, I chose a plain black formal suit.
Compared to my pastel-hued classmates, I looked Amish. Wait. It was double-breasted. Make that Mennonite.
The prom itself went along as they all did back then. Couples pulled up in gleaming washed and waxed family cars, walked through the same doors they walked through every school day, and made their way to the aforementioned gymnasium-slash-wonderland, a beauteous riot of crepe paper and balloons with only the faintest whiff of sweatsocks. There we waited in line while some sophomore announced each couple to a room full of people who couldn't care less, all of us just having seen one another out in the hallway.
Oh, the magic of it all.
The evening passed in a blur of stumbling dances, tiny sandwiches, spilled punch, wilting corsages, tight collars, bruised toes, and the occasional bawling girl rushing off to the ladies' room with a bunch of her friends trailing after, all of them incensed over something said by some insensitive clod of a boy.
No, it wasn't me.
My insensitive clod moment came later, after the prom at Mike Pipher's house, where some of us had gathered to drink whiskey sours and feel grown-up. Disaster Under The Stars, indeed. But I'll keep the details to myself for now. After all, that was 40 years ago. It's someone else's turn to make disastrous memories now.
© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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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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Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.
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