As baby day rapidly approaches, I have been charged with the task of getting rid of a seemingly endless supply of crap to make room for diapers, tiny hats and bronzed shoes. And last weekend, I tackled my biggest challenge of all: my childhood desk. The repository for everything I thought was cool and worth hanging onto from ages 7 to 18.
To say that the contents had lost a little cachet over time would be an understatement, but what I found served as a window into the mind of a young Scott. The Dead Sea Scrolls of a chubby nerd in the 1980’s.
Aside from the roughly 30 % Star Wars-related content, the desk held drawings, letters, books, magazines and plenty of pictures. Pictures documenting the evolution of my still in process awkward phase and pictures of girls from my grade school class with notes on the back letting me know that I was “hilarious” and that they “loved me like a brother.” There is nothing a 13-year old boy loves more than being thought of by girls as their “funny brother.”
Continuing through my grade school years, I next found a copy of my 6th grade report card. While I have no recollection of this, my report card would seem to indicate that sometime during the Summer of 1985, I was kicked in the head by a horse or perhaps zebra.
Since I speak English, the D in the 4th Quarter of English class is perplexing. But where I really seemed to shine was Religion. I have a vague recollection of getting a 12% on a Religion test on which I wrote in Moses for every answer, so that would probably explain the F that I got in the 3rd Quarter. For that, I offer my parents an extremely belated apology, since they probably could have purchased a Datsun hatchback for what they paid to send me to Catholic school.
The reason for my poor grades came into a little more focus when I found the “books” that I had not only read, but decided to hold onto in case I wanted to re-read any dog-eared pages which held passages that were particularly meaningful to me. Literary classics like the novelization of the pilot episode of “Miami Vice,” The Complete Book of Star Wars Trivia, and a CB Radio Handbook. Nerdiest of all was a Han Solo novel, which I covered in a book report in the 8th grade. Mrs. Saunders’ only note: “Really?”
The magazines that I had decided to keep weren’t much better. Only slightly cooler than the issues of nerdy kid favorite Starlog, was a copy of the hard-hitting news quarterly Dynamite. Tackling such important questions as “Who is your favorite member of Duran Duran?” and “Who would win between Transformers and Go-Bots?” Both questions which I am not sure we have ever truly answered definitively.
The self-produced items in the desk didn’t cast me in any better of a light. Several drawings of G.I. Joe characters, recreations of Bloom County comic strips, and the outline for an unfortunately never completed script for “Die Hard 2.” (Bruce Willis, if you’re reading this, call me.)
As I moved into the high school stuff, I found evidence of a rebellious phase: A button which let everyone know that I had attended the K-SHE 95 Right to Rock Rally. A wild, come-as-you-are event from 1-2 pm in the parking lot of Union Station, featuring live performances from Don Henley and Alannah Myles and the in-your-face political protests of a man in a Davy Crocket-esque buckskin outfit holding a picket sign that read “Free the Weed.” I risked mob violence, sunburn and an acoustic version of “Black Velvet” to fight for your Right to Rock. You’re welcome.
While a lot of what I found made its way to the trash, I will admit that I saved some things. Things that will one day provide my children with hours of laughter at my expense. But if I am ever going to have to tell them to crack the books, I suppose that I should probably burn that report card.