Friday, June 27, 2008

Graduation Day - Part Two

Yesterday's post was about my high school graduation, so today we move back three years to graduating from junior high.

Unlike high school, I felt sadness when leaving junior high. There were friends that I figured I would never see again, and I was right.

Our commencement exercises took place in more mundane surroundings, the school auditorium. In the late morning, rather than the evening - which was good since the school was not in an area you'd want to be in at night.

All I remember is having lunch with my mom and sister at the International House of Pancakes (pre "IHOP" days) on Stocker. I don't remember anything about the ceremony itself.

I do remember the friends I was sad to leave, though. Three of them, my best friends, although of no relation to each other, all had the same last name. Alan Jones, Michael Jones and John Jones. Then there was the girl I had a secret crush on: Lena Wong. And the girl who had a crush on me, although I pretended I didn't care: Jane Kuwata. And Lena's friend Eva Quon, as nice a person as anyone could be.

There were other friends but I don't mention their names here because we went to the same high school later on. But the ones whose names I did mention, I never saw them after junior high. Well, I actually did run into Lena a few years ago, at of all places a funeral. She recognized me but not vice versa. And we caught up on the years that had gone by at the luncheon honoring the deceased, after the funeral. Yes, I did tell her I had a secret crush on her, which we could both laugh about since so many years had passed.

Since I made that confession, I'll make this one here, too for whatever it is worth. Jane, I did care. You were really sweet. I was flattered but I was a knucklehead!

Junior high was different than high school. Everyone seemed more innocent, more sincere. Things got too politicial in high school. Or maybe it was because I just didn't see, or that our junior high was different.

Anyway, I have fond memories of junior high and you'll read about them in posts to come. Here's a YouTube video that takes me back to the 9th grade. One, way back then, that I secretly dedicated to my secret crush.

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