Random Memories Part Two: Star Trek, Slam Dancing, and Roller Skating Rock Shows

June 4, 2010

After last week’s posting, which included several random memories from high school, I heard from my friend Nancy who thanked me for remembering what she hadn’t. I was impressed by Nancy’s willingness to believe these memories when she had no recollection of them herself, but her willingness also made me a little nervous because being the only one who remembers can be dangerous for a writer. Storytellers love to elaborate, to make the facts more funny or tragic or outlandish than they were, which is all well and good unless you’re in the business of nonfiction.

Who knows what I might come up with if I have the license to embellish? But then I think no—that’s not what I do. I’m a writer who finds humor in how little happens, who finds the story in the small bits of novelty that pop up in the order of life. I’m not interested in the earth-shattering revelation, the overwhelmingly original. To prove this I offer up a few more brief memories this week—all random, unconnected and small. . . and all unequivocally true. They are—

—Steve B earning my perpetual respect when he proudly wore his blue Star Trek shirt Halloween of our senior year, a shirt I suspect, due to the snug fit, he’d had since junior high. “It’s the Spock shirt,” Steve said, and I had to admit despite years of watching Star Trek with my uncles on Channel 56 (along with Hogan’s Heroes and Three Stooges and way too many John Wayne movies than I care to recollect) I’d never really noticed who wore what—never really noticed that Kirk was always in mustard, Uhura in red—and it’s only now it occurs to me to wonder—how did he know it was a Spock shirt and not Dammit-Jim-I’m-a-Doctor-McCoy, both of whom wear blue?

—the Lakes Region Roller Rink briefly attempting a concert series during the summer of 1985 right before they went out of business for good. It was there I met the lead singer of Modern English, along with my friends Mark C. and Kathleen. We didn’t know he was the lead singer for Modern English at the time, we just knew him as the guy in shiny pants who asked the three of us—the only people waiting outside the roller rink about twenty minutes before the show—“Do you know if anyone else is coming?” and we shook our heads no before he sadly walked away. Only about thirty other people did come for that concert and I felt pretty sorry for the band though they were pros and put on a good show.

I like to think 1985 was a blip for them—a bad year in-between their first success with “Melt With You” and their retro success with “Melt With You,” a song I have a soft spot for, however overplayed it is. I love it if only because to me it represents the essence of one of the best movies of all time, Valley Girl, especially the scene where Nicolas Cage says, “That chick Julie, she’s truly dazzlin’,” a line I forced Mark C. to say more than a few times that summer of 1985—of course making him substitute “Katie” for “Julie”—because he could do a pretty mean Nicolas Cage impression. The fact Mark C. actually did this when I asked? Why yes, he was a true friend.

Why yes, I do save almost everything. . .

—Principal Ayers enacting a “no slam-dancing” policy in 1985 after Steve N cracked his head open during a particularly raucous punk show put on by the Five Balls of Power . I mention this only because I wondered if this policy is still in effect and if it was connected in any way to the current “no grinding” policy instituted at Gilford High School in 2009, a policy put into place after the homecoming dance was cancelled due to too many incidents of “pelvic thrusting” at an earlier dance last fall. It occurs to me that grinding might actually be a slow form of slam dancing, and, more importantly, a safer form of slam dancing, as I suspect no one’s ever cracked his head open grinding into someone else rather than slamming. Something for the current principal to consider.

—Boys’ soccer coach Dave Pinkham, saying in 1983 (in an interview with Greg Heilshorn in the Gilford Eagle Tribune so this one you know for sure I did not make up) that Gilford would never have—nor need—a girls’ soccer team because girls could play field hockey if they wanted something to do. I think his conviction must have changed at some point, because the Laconia Citizen advertised this week the need for two girls’ soccer coaches at Gilford. You can email Dave Pinkham at Gilford High School if you’re interested in the job; he’s doing the hiring.

Maybe Brandi would want the job. But the principal and Dave would probably have to institute a "no showing your sports bra" policy.

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5 Responses to “Random Memories Part Two: Star Trek, Slam Dancing, and Roller Skating Rock Shows”

  1. Fuse said

    Hmm…I remember that 5 BOP taking place in the GES gym-a-cafe-torium, but I could be wrong. I am sure that it looked like somebody had put a ping pong ball under Steve’s skin!

    I don’t remember Modern English at the roller rink, but I do remember seeing the Del Fuegos there- probably with Drever and Bush. They got a fair-sized crowd, but I think that’s because the Zane brothers were originally from Gilford/Laconia. I seem to remember somebody telling me that their dad was the owner (editor?) of the Citizen or something.

  2. It was in the elementary school–good memory!–but under the auspices of the high school. Do you really think a “no slam-dancing” policy was going to come from the elementary principal? Now that would be a scandal. And yes, I saw the Del Fuegos at the roller rink too–and it was definitely better attended–I only knew they had a NH connection. Wasn’t sure what the specifics were. I also saw O Positive there and don’t remember a whole lot other than a great version of “Walk Away Renee.” I know there were at least 3 or 4 other shows, but that’s where my memory ends. . .

  3. Todd said

    Dang… we never had bands play at Holiday Skate World in Lincoln… let alone new wave bands. Shoot! All my skating memories revolve around groups like Foreigner, Kansas and ELO. I’ll admit I was (and still am) a pretty decent skater. I desperately wanted speed skates back in the day. Still can’t skate backwards, though. Never could. Unfortunately, nobdody wants to go skating with me these days and it’s kinda weird to do alone. Consequently, I don’t get as much rink time in as I’d like these days.

  4. Jon said

    Wow, I was at that 5 BOP show. I remember Principal Ayers having a little dispute with Troy in the parking lot about his brand of cigarette, which didn’t contain any tobacco. Dick was not a big 5BOP fan.

  5. Yeah, I don’t think Dick liked much of anything, but it’s only now I realize what a thankless job he had. . . but how could he argue with tobacco-less cigarettes. Those ones don’t give you lung cancer right? And Todd I definitely sympathize with you on the skating–never could skate backwards either–and I think it would be kind of hard to skate along with Kansas though ELO would rock. Other than the concerts, our rink was definitely of the Hall and Oates (“Private Eyes” years H & O) persuasion. It was cool to get those two hand claps in for “Private Eyes” and sing along while you skated around. . .

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