The parking lot behind LHS was a fertile ground for deviant behavior. There were also some legitimate educational opportunities that happened in the parking lot. Thirty years is a long time and I’m sure that it’s okay that I share some of the happenings out back…
1. Batting Practice: We would roll out the dinosaur of a pitching machine and take batting practice until the field was ready for play. It seemed like the sun was always in the wrong spot, the pitches were too far inside (numb hands), and the second hop was a near death experience.
2. Driver’s Ed: The year that I took Driver’s Ed., they got rid of the pair of Cutlasses and replaced them with an Escort (little did I know…). It always seemed like I got stuck with the old state trooper car. It had plenty of power, but all the gitty-up was wasted on the driving range and Coach Trudgeon’s voice on from the tower.
3. Rob Smith’s Colt: Sorry, Rob, I had to use your name in this one. Who knows why this happened, but someone had the great idea to pick Rob’s car up and put it on the island next to the teachers’ parking spaces. I don’t know how many helped, but it was relatively easy to do.
4. The Hearse: I remember someone doing donuts in a black hearse after practice one day.
5. The Outdoor Locker Room: Many of us changed for baseball practice in our cars. The soundtrack for the quick change was always “Centerfield” by John Fogerty.
6. The Auto Shop: I locked my keys in the car many times. I guess I just that excited to go to school. The dudes in the auto shop would come out and jimmy the lock. Truth be told, they were better at it than the police.
Now for the real confessional… I never had a parking pass, at least not in the official sense. A friend’s father kind of gave us permission to use his name for a pass, although he never really followed through on the paperwork. Cracking backs is a full time job… I was given a parking pass on the contingency that I returned the paperwork proving that I had an after school job. I made it through all of my junior year and most of my senior year without getting caught. Then Mr. Saunders did a check, caught me with his crack investigative techniques, and placed a stain on my permanent record. He took my pass and it looked like I was back on the bus since I had no other options and lived on the other side of Grove. Remember, I said the parking lot inspired a bit of deviousness. For a few dollars, a sticky handed student who happened to be a runner for Mr. Saunders’ office, slipped the parking pass out of the office and somehow it made its way back to my car. It seems that Mr. Saunders’ checklist had been amended as well, because the next time he did a morning check at the school’s entrance, my pass was legit. I don’t know what my teammate did, but it “kill-burned” Mr. Saunders.
There you have it, a short history of the LHS parking lot as I saw it. Did I mention that the trees between the school and Season’s Trace were a kind of “Field of Dreams” boundary. Once you went through, you never came back. I never did that, though… “Where do John and Walter live again?…”
Photo Credit: The Marquis, LHS…