It’s October 1972 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – It’s Your First Day In A New School – You Are Radioactive
October 31, 1972 – KROQ-AM – Jim Wood Show – Rob Frankel Sound Collection –
You’ve been there. You know the drill. Your first day in a new school, smack in the middle of October. Don’t know a soul. Don’t know your way around. Don’t know who to avoid. Don’t know who the cool kids are.
They stare. Some smile – some squint – some look at you with a mixture of curiosity and dread. They don’t know you – you don’t know them. Some look like they’ve seen you on an FBI poster in the Post Office – others look at you like you might explode. Some look at you like you might be the competition. Some look away. Some pretend you don’t exist. Some nod like they understand what you’re going through. But nobody says it’s going to be okay. Nobody says anything to you.
The entire world in a sea of faces and you have to live with them until graduation.
You had to wear a suit. Your mom made you. She had it dry-cleaned. Aside from your Math teacher and the Boy’s Vice-Principal, you’re the only one wearing a tie. It’s lunch and everyone is eating cafeteria food. Not you – you’re brown-bagging it. You don’t have an appetite. You pull out your apple and Tuna sandwich while everyone else picks at their L.A. City Schools Mystery Meatloaf – you have no appetite, you left it back at your old schoool. You’re the only guy at the table and some of the girls look at you like you’ve invaded their turf. So not only do you feel strange, you feel like the enemy. You are convinced your new High School experience isn’t going to be a happy one and October may last forever.
You would like to be invisible. You can’t wait for the day to be over. You miss your old school. You had friends. You maybe had a girlfriend; you were never quite sure, but you’ll never know now.
You slowly peel the Saran Wrap around the Celery Sticks you fished out of the bag and wait for your stomach to stop jumping. After a few minutes everybody goes back to life as normal and high-pitched, animated conversation comes roaring back.
All except one. She’s been looking at you this whole time. Not like a cave dweller or a science experiment. She looks at you like she understand exactly what you’re going through. Kindred soul – fellow refugee. Maybe – just maybe.
She cracks a smile and you wonder.
And to make your day complete – here’s 90 minutes worth of Jim Wood as he sounded on the short-lived KHJ sound-alike, KROQ-AM during it’s first incarnation as a top-40 station.
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