What a great year, senior year, a year so good the entire world came to Utah to enjoy it. That could have been because the Olympics were here, but I really just think they knew it was the place to be. I was the king again, I had come a long way the previous year. I had learned to prioritize a little bit more and put in the groundwork for great things to happen. All of my friends could now date and I was ready to have a fun and productive year.
I wanted this year to be one that would be remembered for eternity. So I figured the best way to have that happen would be to get in the yearbook as much as possible. I was already involved in a million things, so my next move was to try and get into as many club pictures as possible. The trick was for a club picture to get into the yearbook a teacher had to sponsor that club and verify that those people were in the club.
Somehow... I made it into a lot of clubs. I missed one though, the one I was "actually" in. Sorry FFA! Here are some of the clubs I was a part of. Drama, Frisbee, Show and Chamber, FBLA, Science Club, Teenage Republicans, Writers Club, PKiA, AGO, Acapella, and Men's Choir.
I actually was in some of these and I did enjoy each of these things. Some were a bit of a stretch like AGO, which stood for Associated Girls of Orem. But I liked associating with the girls of Orem, so it seemed to make sense. The best story was getting in the Teenage Republicans picture.
Being in Utah, there were only 8 people waiting for this picture. I asked them who was the President of the club to see if I had good enough connections to have them say I was in the club. Nobody knew, so I convinced everyone into having me be the president. They all thought that would be a great idea, man who knew politics was so easy. I then let my friend Jarom be in the club as my first official act of office.
We went up to the stage to get our picture taken and the lady asked who the President of the club was. They all pointed to me and she asked me if there was anyone here who shouldn't be in the picture. She warned, that if there were, the picture would not go in the yearbook. As a true politician it was a risk I was going to take, who cares if people actually in it don't make the yearbook. Plus I was the President, so I decided every single person there was in the club. Luckily Mr. Logan, I think he was the teacher over that club, approved the picture and I will go down as the President of the great Orem High Teenage Republicans.
Without soccer to give me my competitive sports fix I played every single intramural sport our school offered. There were only three though, which included bowling, basketball, and ultimate frisbee. The Tab Worriors was my bowling team, it included Ryan, Jarom, Keven and I.
We got the Provo Fire Department to sponsor our basketball team, and by sponsor I mean they gave us each a shirt and we put numbers on the back. Hopefully they never found out how good we were. That would have to have been the worst team ever. We were so against fire that we didn't even get hot. The second to last game of the season put us against another team that had not won. Here was our chance to at least win 1 game during the season. We lost by like 20 points... But don't worry, it's all about having fun, except that was anything but fun.
Ultimate Frisbee was always fun, my group of friends grew up playing this all the time and we were pretty awesome. I don't remember how we did, because this was kind of the thing at our school and there were a lot of great teams and players. I would have to put Ultimate Frisbee right up there with Basketball and Soccer as my favorite sports to play. The yearbook also includes a picture of my bowling team and me playing ultimate.
Dating, I had decided I didn't want to have a girlfriend before my mission, but I went on quite a few dates with a lot of different people. There were so many amazing, beautiful, and talented girls at Orem High. I was lucky to call many of them my good friends, so even if I never went on a second date, I could go on a few dates a month and there would still be many I wish I had asked out.
In one of my journals I have written about each of them, but I haven't found that journal yet. But looking through some of my dance pictures, and by memory, here are a few of the girls I was privileged to take or be taken on dates with this year. Jenni, Jessie, Annie, Denika, Melinda, Malinda, Laura, Monica, and I know there are a couple of others, sorry if you got forgotten, this was about 10 years ago.
I even was on royalty for one of the dances. I got the most votes, but they decided that I cheated and awarded me third place. What happened was they wanted the royalty for this dance not just to be a popularity contest. So they had people design snowflakes and then people would vote for their favorite. Mine was awesome! I told a few people, hey if you like snowflake #27 you should vote for it, then I would give them a little wink. They had their agency, and really it was an awesome snowflake. So someone told me that I had got the most votes before the dance started, but they didn't know if they were going to let me win or not.
When I was at the dance I heard them start to announce who had won and I was listening to see if I had gotten first place or if they had decided to disqualify me. I didn't hear my name, and I didn't care anyway. The 3 boy and girls winners then were supposed to dance. A few minutes later one of the student council girls saw me and started to yell at me. Why didn't you go up when I called your name? Is third place not good enough for you? I said, wait, I won? She said yeah, didn't you hear your name! I told her that I hadn't, they must have said mine first when I hadn't been paying attention yet. I wanted to tell her, hey don't yell at me, you are the one that didn't give me first. So she decided to believe me and she went and found my crown or whatever I got for 3rd place. I decided to accept it to avoid more yelling and enjoyed the rest of the night.
Another funny thing I did this year. My good friend Dan Meservy had a Physics class together. It was the opposite of my Chemistry class sophomore year. Seems like everybody in there were sophomores and we were the only seniors. Not only were they sophomores, but they didn't seem too bright. Dan and I would finish our daily assignment in 5-10 minutes. Then we would devise plans to get our teacher to let us leave, when most of those didn't work we would make top 10 lists.
Our top 10 girls we liked. Then when our boredom continued, we started graphing them. I could tell you what 10 girls I liked over a 3 month period. My top 5 seemed to stay about the same, while the bottom 5 fluctuated greatly. Depended who had said hi to me that day or smiled my way. I am so nerdy sometimes, it's kind of embarrassing, but if you had been in that class you would have been creative in finding things to do too. Somehow several of other kids in that class failed it and could not finish their assignments each day, I'm so glad I'm smart. I think I may still have a copy of one of the graphs, I will have to try and look for it later.
This year for choir we went to San Francisco. We went to Alcatraz, Hard Rock Cafe, The Golden Gate Bridge, and other things I am sure. My favorite part was Alcatraz, which had held prisoner such people as the Birdman and Al Capone. One of the workers there let us go to an area that wasn't normally part of the tour. There we sung one of our songs and it was hauntingly beautiful. The acoustics were amazing, I wonder what everyone else wandering around the jail were thinking when they heard singing coming from an area that nobody knew about.
Since I had taken after school classes and drivers ed during the summer I had enough credits that I could have skipped my 4th term and still graduated. Instead of that, my second semester I made a schedule of AP Calculus, 3 choir classes, MDT, seminary, Social Dance, Physics, and maybe another class.
I should have dropped AP Calculus, because I didn't end up taking the AP test for it. But I don't think there were any more classes I wanted to switch into. Needless to say it was a very fun half a year.
Besides choir, musicals, clubs, and intramural sports I also found something else to occupy any extra time. I loved going to the Orem High Football games. I was friends with all of the cheerleaders and I was basically an unofficial crowd energizer. My friend Dan and I would often get chants or cheers going ourselves. During this time I became good friends with Ryan and Chris. Ryan was the mascot, the Tiger. He was also a yell-leader.
I began helping him mascot. It started off helping get the suit on and getting props and prizes ready for him. Then he let me mascot a part of the game. Then they needed him to do more to help with stunts and yell-leading. So I was able to mascot a few games on my own. It was a ton of fun! I could have done basketball games too, but that thing was so hot, even with ice packs wrapped around your entire body. We even went to a few of the JV games and I went to most of the away football games that year. I even got to ride on the bus with the Cheerleaders and Drill team once to a game, that wasn't bad.
So I guess when I said in the first paragraph of this chapter that I learned to prioritize... What I meant was I did just about everything still, except for soccer, and was good at a lot of things, but still did not really excel. Story of my life, Mr. Best All Around. Which brings me to the musicals for the year.
I was so excited, the first musical of the year was The Music Man. This had been one of my favorite movies when I was a little kid and I had been in it before at the Scera Shell. I had been recognized the year before for my singing voice in being in a quarter. This show also had a quartet, and I thought at the very least I could have that part, which would be way fun. But I was hoping for something even bigger! I had put in the time and I did have some talent to back it up.
So when I went to check the list of who made the cuts and what part they were I found mine on dancer... When we started rehearsing the choreographer said that when she saw me dancing she knew that she had to have me as one of her dancers. Needless to say I was slightly disappointed, but I guess at least I had stood out as one of the best. It was a fun show and I enjoyed it, but I had set me sights a little higher.
The next show was called The Boyfriend. There were on a few leads and it sounded kind of dumb and I was still slightly bitter. So I decided not to try out for it, I know crazy. Several people came and tried to convince me to be in it, even after parts had been cast. But with all the stuff I was doing I didn't want to spend all that time to stand in the background, this was my year to shine!
Later that year our MDT (Music, Dance, Theater) class put on the show Once On This Island. I was one of the main leads Tonton Julian. I was the father of the lead Ti Moune, played by Rachel Woodward. Mama Euralie, my wife, was played by Melinda Lockwood. It was a lot of fun, we put on just a few performances, but it went so well that they added some additional ones. This would be my greatest part, and the end of my acting/singing life. It was a good way to go out, on top. I miss that part of my life terribly sometimes, but my students don't look at me too weirdly when I break out into song or dance down the hallway... I just go out and play basketball or soccer with them and they forget.
It was a great year, I had a lot of fun. I had a lot of friends, I was as involved as much as anyone. Open up a page of the yearbook and you will see me, and not just because I snuck into an extra picture or two. I was a true tiger, I was Orem High. Our school was ghetto, we didn't win the championship in anything, but what made our school great were the people. People like me, and like the best friends anyone could ever have. I truly was the King of the World, even if only in my own world.