oozing down the street.
my mom drove a schoolbus in the mid-80s; this afforded us free tuition at what would have otherwise been an obscenely expensive grade school. the place was run by hippies: i remember oversized wooden jewelry, long skirts, and center parts; sweet, kind men with beards and - it’s clear to me, now - extensive knowlege in the art of homebrewing. they were french teachers and child psychologists and they were young and thoughtful, planting in my mind leanings towards LIBERAL ARTS and LAISSEZ FAIRE and WES ANDERSON and VINYL RECORDS. the campus - and we called it a CAMPUS - boasted crumbling, castle-like administrative buildings with winding staircases and louvred windows; huge expanses of green fields and a hundred year old climbing tree; a wooden, open-air ampitheatre that seated several hundred during the talent shows put on during summer camp sessions. YES, it WAS my rushmore.
i remember sitting in a basement classroom surrounded by about ten other kids. it was small and had built-in bookshelves (they were summertime-empty) and the chalkboard was green. i WANT to say i’d watched the red balloon in the same classroom the previous year (so i WILL). billy, our camp counselor, was writing the lyrics to “pink cadillac” on the board and making amendments for parts he told us “wouldn’t be alright to sing in front of our parents,” and when he started picking the tune out on his guitar it set into motion a weeks-spanning montage of adorably tiny second graders engineering the construction of an enormous two-dimensional cardboard cadillac. they learned to hold it up and walk behind it, slowly guiding it up the stairs and onto the stage of the ampitheatre. wearing blue jeans, white t-shirts, sunglasses and bandanas, they belted out - with INTENSITY - for their families, friends, and teachers, one of the sexiest songs about fucking ever written.
these were formative years.