Commencement collection


Lately I’ve been thrown into a reflective mood when the anniversary of my entry into the “real world” rolls around. Here are two better essays I’ve written around this date the past couple of years:

4 things I didn’t know on graduation day

A pretty good life, all told, so far

And here are some half-finished thoughts I scratched out this year:


It was a sunny, hot day and we were in black. I remember a lot of droning and maybe one of us fainted, and somehow I got a parchment with Latin writing to take home. And life went on.

Or did life begin that day? Did someone say, “OK, up until now it’s all been practice, now go ahead and do life?” I guess “Life went on” is more like it, but nobody told us this wasn’t practice while we were practicing. It was like training but the scars were real.

And when the hot sun set, I was in a new town with an adventure to have, starting the next morning – except the adventure had begun that afternoon when I drove north to the new town and checked myself into an old hotel that isn’t even there anymore. Life went on.

Forty-two years, and my row of Ray Bradbury paperbacks is still prominently displayed along my wall. They are, near as I can tell, the only artifacts of that time that I see every day.

Those, and the guitars hung on the wall. I bought the 12-string guitar that summer for $79, the first major purchase I saved for out of the proceeds of my first full-time job. Where has my music gone?


One thought on “Commencement collection

  1. I’m glad you stuck around. Back-in-the-day, the two columns I read every week were Charley Reese and Warren Bluhm.


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