Echoes of Fairborn Highby R. Joseph Lessard
High school. An experience many look back on as a wonderful carefree time when everything seemed to have a magic about it. Life was more fun. Love was more intense. Good times were to be found in many kinds of available experiences. Football games. The proms. The parties. The old teenage hangout. Beach parties. But not everyone experienced it as a joyful time. In those turbulent teen years, problems seemed more perplexing than at any previous time in life. Jealousies and rivalries were also more intense. Competition was fierce. There were mean girls and bully boys and the constant barrage of put-downs. So it was with the students of Fairborn High School in the little Midwestern city of Birchdale in the late 1950's. Was life really simpler back then? Was it really a time of innocence? It seemed that each of these young people had his or her own situation of struggle, and at a time when answers seemed so very elusive. Consider Jeff, who wanted more than anything to play football, but was required by his parents to give it up for his job at a big ancient hotel, where the hours were long, the work rules odious, and the place might even have been haunted. Then there was Ted, a relatively small boy with little playing experience, who also wanted a place on the football team, not only because he loved the game, but saw it as a way to increase his popularity with the girls. For Kurt, the small but elusive sophomore quarterback, making the team was much easier than the challenge laid on his shoulders to somehow deliver on alumni expectations that his Golden Knights would win their first league championship in many years. Standing in their way was their cross-town rival, Goodrow High School, who was the defending state champion and boasting a undefeated streak extending over three seasons. For Wallace, the class geek-dweeb, surviving the constant assault of teasing and threats of physical violence was enough to deal with, but he was also saddled with an obsessively intense infatuation for the prettiest girl in the freshman class. What hope did a "junk male" such as himself have to win the heart of a girl like that? The bewildering array of life challenges experienced by the young people in this story might have a familiar ring to them. Will the echoes that reverberated through the corridors of Fairborn High remind you of the echoes of your own high school?
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