One of the typical connections on Facebook, one would think, is to schools you used to attend. For me, I’ve been tracked down by a classmate or two, but I have to admit that this is not the source of most of my contacts. I did not enjoy going to my High School, and didn’t ‘fit in’ with any crowd there to speak of. With the sole exception of my Choral Teacher, Richard Disharoon, I can’t remember very many teachers there who made much of an impression on me. At the first chance I could get to take courses at the local college where my mother taught (Towson State University), I leapt at the opportunity, and was thrilled to drive out of the parking lot at mid-day to attend classes, most of them in Music, which would be my major in College.
Now, I’m beginning to see even more why I didn’t fit in. Yesterday, at the invitation of a former classmate, I joined the group online that represents the graduating year from my High School (Pikesville High School, 1978). Connected to that group page was some information about the school, etc. including a Wikipedia Entry with the history of the place, and a few notable students who had attended the school. I saw a list of a few names, including :
- David Felinton — Mayor of Huntington, West Virginia (2001 to present).
- Jeffrey Kluger — author of Lost Moon: the Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, the basis of the movie Apollo 13.
- Mark Platt — producer of Legally Blonde
- Mike Sager, — best-selling author.
- Bert Vogelstein, M.D. — oncologist who has been nominated for Nobel Prize in medicine.
- Ellis Weiner — author and humorist for National Lampoon and Spy Magazine
So far, so good. No serial killers or child molesters. Then, one jumped out at me, like a bolt of lightning:
I didn’t attend Pikesville High School at the same time as Mehlman, but I remember seeing him on TV as one of the poster boys of the GOP, and he was particularly memorable as someone who was clearly a closeted gay man with a significant degree of self-loathing (how could one not be to be the head of the extremely homophobic Republican National Committee?) He managed the Bush presidential re-election campaign in 2004, which was a pivotal event, at least in my lifetime, because the outcome was the ‘straw the broke the camel’s back’ for us, leading to our departure from the US. If Ken Melhman was a product of Pikesville High School, then it’s pretty clear to me why I didn’t take to the place. I hope nobody holds my having attended there against me.