DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry Forty-Eight.
Saturday, 2007.06.02, 11:44 PM CST.
Bringing down a building.

Occasionally (every few weeks or so), I take the wife and kid and head out to visit my elderly parents.  They live pretty far out of town, but they always appreciate it when we drop by.

On the way out to see them, I go through my old hometown, and inevitably I drive by my old high school.  I can't help but get a strange feeling whenever I go out that way; I pass by old businesses that I used to frequent, and a number of old sites at which I performed DJ duties several years ago.  Or, in far too many cases, I pass by the former sites of those places, as many have been torn down or overtaken by other companies.

It is more than a little bittersweet.  I see the salon at which I got my hair cut for my senior prom, the former site of the office supply store where I used to make copies of the EKG promotional flyers, and the location of the long-gone greasy spoon diner from which I ate some of the finest cheeseburgers in memory, obviously before I decided to turn vegetarian.  (In a particularly bitter twist of fate, that building was torn down and is now the site of a KFC.)

I realize that progress is necessary... but it is also, often, quite painful.  During one of my visits with my parents a while back, I heard that my old high school building - or at least a good part of it - was scheduled to be demolished.  I heard about an "open house" that was available last month, at which I could have had one more visit to the old school - but I forgot to go when the day came around.  It was just as well; I probably would have started crying while walking through it.

I do not mean to be overly sentimental; after all, this was a place at which I suffered for four years - a place to which I would later refer, rather harshly, as "Little Dachau."  It was a school at which pickups and football were treated like gods - and for an intellectually-gifted but socially-inept youth with no interest in sports such as myself, it did not feel very welcoming.

Certainly, the teachers seemed to like me (for the most part), and I liked them (for the most part), but my fellow students...  Well, they didn't know how to take me.  I dressed in black a lot, I listened to Depeche Mode, and I didn't manage to get anybody pregnant before I graduated, so obviously there had to be something wrong with me.  (I later learned about some really great rumours that had been spread about me while I was there... they were worth a good laugh.)  I was often teased, tormented, and rejected.  Somehow, though, I suffered through and survived, all the while feeling my intellectual capabilities being whittled down (without a real honours program, I guess it was the best way to deal with me) and my self-esteem crushed under the weight of a rural high-school society.

Not everything that happened in that high school was horrible, though.  It was at that school that I first met "DJ Dave," without whom I probably would never have gotten into the DJ industry, an industry which helped me boost my social confidence and evolve from a creepy, introverted semi-gothic nerdboy to a fully-functioning (but still creepy) member of society.

In fact, it was at that school at which I started calling myself "Badger," thanks to a Spanish teacher who started allowing me to sign my papers with the Spanish name "El Tejon" instead of the more benign moniker "Guillermo."

It was also at that school at which I started my own DJ business, EKG, and from that school that I recruited my first EKG team members, Kevin, Janet (she didn't last long due to personal issues), and Billy.  It was at that school at which I attended my junior and senior prom.  There were a few other good memories - not enough to outweigh the bad, in my opinion, but enough to have made somewhat of a difference.

Anyway, according to the information I received through the proverbial grapevine, the old high school building was scheduled to have been torn down on Friday, June 1st.

I am awaiting confirmation that the demolition was completed.

More later,