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Graduation "Of a Different Color"

Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.

A time that's always passing--even while standing- --

A time that's always passing--even while standing- --

Personally-Speaking

high school graduations, for many, are nothing more than an illusion. A farce held together by flimsy vows, pseudo bows, and plenty of chaotic partying from this night throughout the wee hours of the next day. Why? Don't jump on me with your ire, I can only guess that tradition says a lot about "this" special night for those who have fought, bought, cheated, and made it for 12 long years just so they could walk down a narrow aisle and pick-up some rolled-up paper that states in legal terms, this so and so has completed the studies criteria put form by the county or state education department.

At this moment, the pomp and circumstance has ended. The brass has been shut-up in worn cases, awaiting for 12 more years in which to perform that stale old song that the majority of high school seniors hear with a grimace and a tear in one eye while hoping that the teachers standing guard will not get a whif of booze or those awful "Tijuana Smokes," bought in some dark head store that sets way of the city. I was never allowed such sowing of the wild oats. Mine just lay there and died.

It's the same all over. The poor kids are thrown into every school system beginning in something called pre-school. Then kindergarten. I've often wondered what the difference was of the two systems, but I'm a relic. A dinosaur kicking with three good legs. So why should I even bother to forge an outward opinion? Who listens to dinosaurs after all?

"Graduation. I went. I graduated. Went out with some girl named, Sherry Then went home and to bed."

— Kenneth Avery -- ME

To Every Senior, Graduation is Different

in every way. Some grads fall to silence with fear of failing in college while some see graduation as a pardon from 12 years of hard work. In graduation exercises, even the principal hands the grads their sheep-skin and shakes their hands. I went through that. I went through the entire grad night sober as a circuit judge, but still, I think that some voodoo spell had been cast on our class because every move, word, and look was in slow mo. Scary? You bet it was. I even caught myself yawning because even when a teacher would lecture about some mundane subject over and over and over, the typical pupil found it peaceful to fall asleep as any normal animal does.

Our graduation robes (I'm not kidding) weight around 65 pounds. You put that thick layer of cloth fused to a shirt and jeans, then the only result is sweating profusely. God bless our Economics and History teacher, Mr. Ruble Shotts, was a terror when it came to sloppy work and appearances. He couldn't tolerate a smart alec tongue either. He was our senior boys sponsor and since the gym was going without fans of air conditioning (so the speeches could be heard), Shotts said, "I wouldn't care if all of you march naked--under those robes, because men, it is going to be hot on ya!" He was seldom wrong.

Now Allow Me to Tell You About

our "real" graduation night. You have already read (in the top paragraphs) about the sweet, cushy, goody, goody, two shoes type of American graduation, but here is our version, "The Southern Redneck, The Good Ole Rural Graduation I hope that I do not offend that many of you.

Moonshine sipped from a three-dollar flask; Eyes red from moonshine; Some eyes shut thanks to "Mary Jane"; Girls mouthing hatred toward each other; Some girls throwing bubble gum at the guys; a men's girlie book shared by rough necks; heavy plans being drawn-up to take over the town, blow town away with biggest party--EVER; more moonshine in bigger quantities being stored (and drank) by the same roughnecks in the rear; some guys considered clean-cut by their peers, heading out for the Army and California to meet Hell's Angels; a dirty photo or two of the school nurse in a compromising position; school principal's face shown in lower corner of photo; Hendrix, Winter, and Zeppelin: this says it all about a good old Rural Graduation.

Students who skipped; Students who wrote vulgar words down the halls; Rough necks turning loose a few pigs into the rooms of the teachers who the rough necks hated; Shooting M-80s in the principal's office; Making a suggestive video and using real names of teachers when the video is shown over the school video system; More than a dozen diamond back rattlesnakes were let loose in the cafeteria; The dozen diamond back rattlesnakes were found dead; One guy, a pure redneck dare-devil, ran his dirt bike into the main window of this safe cafeteria Police were summoned to take care of the disturbances, but never got near the doors; Castles built with empty beer cans was seen in the main hallway; Some teacher's desk was plundered and then moved into the hallway;

A pair or two of girl's red panties were hanging on one of the school's P.A. speakers; Red house paint was used to vandalize the walls outside of the library; Every book in the library was tossed from their shelves into the floor; Songbooks from 1945 were thrown down one of the school's main hallways; Raw eggs were thrown against the walls of the gym; More eggs were thrown onto the gym floor and someone left a car engine sitting outside the main doors of the school building.

Honestly, this is "us" after we graduate.

Honestly, this is "us" after we graduate.

Can You Really Believe

that there are two different graduations that will take place near the end of May? I do. I have heard scary stories about seniors in one school who were so rowdy that the principal and school board declared each person banned from the grounds of the school. And their names were mailed to the local police to keep an eye on these fine Americans.

Everyone cuts loose. Everyone cannot live with a ton of steam pressure inside their bodies. Something has to give. And many is the time when "that" giving is many times interpreted as criminal mischief.

Which takes me to this last point. Just because a class of clean-cut guys and girls is not got an unwritten guarantee that each of their lives will be successful, wealthy, and popular.By the same token, some of those redneck graduations that (I told you about above) are not guaranteed to spend their lives behind prison bars.

Life can and does play some really strange quirks on the young set. And these things cannot be figured out nor understood.

Might as well enjoy life while you have it.

May 05, 2021_____________________________________________________

Graduation is similar to taking a step at the time.

Graduation is similar to taking a step at the time.

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© 2021 Kenneth Avery

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