April 14, 1961 – KYA – Jim Stagg Show – Rob Frankel Collection –
Nothing like being the new kid and your first day in school. You didn’t want to leave L.A. – but your dad got this job and so you moved; you had no choice. You miss your friends – you would give anything to be there . . .right now. These kids don’t like you – they don’t even know you and they don’t like you. Your homeroom teacher asked where you moved from and you muttered out Los Angeles and there was an audible groan. You quickly realize everybody in San Francisco hates everybody in L.A. for no particular reason. It also explains why they look at you like you have a communicable disease.
So you go from class to class, you don’t make eye-contact and you hope sooner or later the radioactivity wears off. The lunch bell rings. You have no appetite but you go to the cafeteria anyway. Bad idea.
It’s gratifying to know high school lunch food is the same in San Francisco as it is in L.A. – So you take your tray and wander over to the first empty seat you find. You stare at the mildly recognizable food on your plate but can’t help just about every eye in the cafeteria is fixed on you. Paranoid? Not really. But you’re determined not to look up, finding what looks like minced carrots gathering in this plate of brown goo you were handed by a cafeteria worker very interesting, but not completely edible.
You try not to notice the tap on your shoulder, but your turn your head anyway. You’ve never seen a kid with this much acne before. He’s serious and he informs you you’re sitting in the seat “Darryl sat in the day he died”. Not quite understanding the meaning of this you shake your head and shrug your shoulders as if you were supposed to know something, but not quite sure what.
The kid blurts out “Darryl” hung himself in the boys bathroom and it was right after lunch only a week earlier.
Genuinely creeped out, you get up, take your tray and head for the exit. It’s not until you’re halfway out the door that you hear peals of laughter coming from your vacated table.
There was no Darryl, there was never any Darryl. There was nobody hanging in the boys room and you fell for it.
You’re going to recover – you’re going to survive and you honestly will laugh about it.
At least you have your radio and you have discovered KYA and an hour’s worth of Jim Stagg from April 14, 1961 to lean on.