Graduates, I salute you

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

It’s graduation time again. Did you worry that you might not make it?

I got to thinking about those who are graduating and those who’ve dropped out. Then I remembered a high school friend named Catfish.

Back then I wondered if he was going to join me and my pals when we finished school.

You may not admit it but you probably had a pal like Catfish.

Before I met Catfish I knew only two cusswords, those were the ones my dad said when he was mad. Catfish told me a whole bunch more.

It was from Catfish that I learned “The Facts of Life.”

“That’s not true,” I said. “When you get married they take blood and when you want a baby they mix the blood and you get a baby.”

Catfish laughed.

One Saturday Catfish and I went to a matinee at the local theater. We sat next to two girls. Halfway through the movie I noticed Catfish was “making out” with the girl next to him.

“How’d you do that?” I asked after the movie. “She was a total

stranger.”

“She wanted to,” said Catfish.

Catfish was the first of my friends to get a driver’s license. He drove a VW Bug with giant slick rear tires and flames painted on the doors.

And despite being an anti-authoritarian James Dean-esque teenager, despite hanging out with a guy named Maurice who was known to get in knife fights, even though he specialized in being the consummate ladies man, even though he skipped a lot of classes, even though he had no idea what he’d do after high school…Catfish graduated.

Catfish may have seemed to some people as the ideal candidate to drop out but he didn’t.

So to you who are graduating, I salute you.

Even if you did skip some classes.

Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at: bikedude@plateautel.net.