Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This might soil our rep, but...

For me, it's always a blast to be "found" by someone from our shared youth at West Point no matter whether they were inner circle to our gang or not. Technology has lived up to all the hype to become the great reconnector of our age to be sure.

Some of you guys have commented to me at various times, "How do you remember all this shit?" Truth be told, while my recollection of events can be a bit uncanny at times, there are many stories that have been told to me by others from that age that I have no recollection of at all (not just the potentially criminal stuff either).

Having said that, I think you'd be surprised how many times folks who shared the bus, classroom, teen club, etc... with us have recalled to me a story completely contrary to our exalted reputation. Much like Bill's story in an earlier post of me "saving" him from getting pounded by some Garrison thug his sophomore year.

Last week Danny Wattendorf, who lived next door to us after we moved to Wilson Rd., befriended me on Facebook. My sister might have steered him my way. He was a young kid then, much younger than I, but I do remember him and his family being very nice folks, always kind and pleasant to me. Back then, you’d come to notice things like a Colonel in uniform giving you a cheerful “Hey, how’s it going Pat?” after years of adults looking the other way when you pass them on the sidewalk and not returning your “Hello”.

Danny had this for me:

“Subject: Loooong time ago


Funny what my childhood memories are: In 1979 My family moved to Lee Rd from Ca. and one of my first memories is some scary skate dudes with crankin' long hair hangin' out at the bridge on Lee Rd. I couldn't quite figure out how you got to grow your hair that long given my parents tight control over me at the time. My buddy, Doug Asiello, had nothing to do so we used to dumpster dive behind the PX. We actually once found a wooden mannequin (but, that is another story). Anyway, we used to hang out at a vending machine room they had on the corner of the PX on breaks from our dumpster diving. One day the skate board dudes came in and I remember discussing with Doug whether we should leave given our latent fear, but one of you came over and a bought us one those Hostess pink snowballs (the ones you can peel the pink marshmallow layer off)...."

Thought you all might find this interesting…


Jackson said...

While not eating babies, snowballs were a mainsaty of the Skateboard Gang diet.

milkyum said...

what is that picture from? I have the same on on my mac

Tony Alva said...


I took that picture with my mom's Polaroid from the steps of our quarters at 48c Wilson Rd. during xmas break from UM. I kinda snapped it in haste since it was butt cold.

I found it years later, and thought it was a pretty damn good photo if I do say so myself.

When my dad was a kid, he lived in quarters 48b when my grandfather was in the history dept. He loves that photo as well.

It is home...

milkyum said...

Did you post that pic somewhere else at some point? I have had it in my pictures folder for 1 year+, but don't know where I got it from... weird.
Love the pic... feels like happy times in WP

Tony Alva said...

I did indeed use it before sir... I used it in my original post about skate ramps at West Point.

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I found it years later, and thought it was a pretty damn good photo if I do say so myself.