The Captain Is Glad He Is Big

Throughout the last half of June I put up daily posts on Facebook and Flickr of a bunch of old pics I scanned.  I grouped them into three broad categories:  High School, College, and Self-Portraits.

As tempting as it is to analyze every picture and tell a relevant and/or poignant story, I will spare you the reader from a bunch of long-winded nostalgia.  But on the other hand, a few might be entertaining.

My last three pics happened to be my favorites, so why not repost them here and tell a quick story.    The first pic is from my early days of Captaining in college.

This is my roommate Easy-B and I sitting on the dock at Tall Tom’s lakehouse.  The picture was supposed to look natural, but it of course was completely staged.1

Even though I planned out this pic, I somehow unwittingly summed up my final year of college.  We’re both sitting in darkness, but staring ahead at the light.  My face is in the sunlight, but I’m wearing shades.  The Busch beer cans symbolize the beauty of nature, and our hungover expression conveys an air of…I’m full of shit.

Really I just love this pic because it reminds me of good times.  Maybe there is some symbolism in this picture, but it escapes me.  Not everything has to be deep and meaningful, ya know?

The second pic is from my senior year of high-school.

This is my lovely wife Meg and I after our high-school production of Lil’ Abner.  I played a member of the Scraggs, the dirty hillbilly clan.  Megs played Mammy, rootin’ tootin’ mother of the title character.  This pic was a quick snap after the show,2 and shows both of us at our hammiest.

I’ve known Meg for almost 15 years now, and yet when I look at pics like this it seems like just yesterday that we met.  Hard to believe that these two crazy kids got married 11 ½ years later…Saving the best for last, here is my famed Mullet Truckers License.

Yes this is a real CDL drivers license, and yes that it a real mullet.

In college, I answered an ad for shuttle bus drivers on the SMS campus.  I was hired and trained to drive the buses on the caveat that I cut my shoulder length hair before I started the job.  I had two weeks to cut my hair while I was training, so I decided it would be hilarious to cut the top of my hair short before cutting it all off.

My sister trimmed it first for a feathered mullet look, which was funny.  Eventually, I decided to go full out and grabbed some clippers and buzzed the top into a spike, thereby creating the ultimate mullet.

I planned to go for the “Ex-Con” look in this license, so I donned a wife-beater and refused to smile for the picture.  The resulting picture is by far the closest I’ve ever come to creating art. Scanning all of these old pics brought up a lot of great memories, and lots of friends have pitched in some memories of their own.  But I try not to linger in the past.  Those were some fantastic times, but I’ve always been happy with where I’m at in my life.  The only difference between now and then is that I’m a little bit older now.

I’m reminded of this when I walk past the Zoltar machine in Union Station on the way to work.  Some days I feel like little Josh Baskins as a kid, wishing to be Big at the carnival.  Other days I feel like the adult Josh, wishing by the shore to be a kid again.  But most days I feel like a little bit of both.  And that’s just fine with me.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Shout out to Brown Jeff for taking the pic.

2  Shout out to my Mother-In-Law for taking the pic.

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