Thanks to some old  photos circulating on Facebook depicting “old school”, I’ve been thinking a lot today about life as a student .

In honor of my schoolboy days, here are 12 random memories from my 12 years in the public school system.

Kindergarten through 12th grade was spent in Torrington at Vogel Wetmore, while 4th through 12th grade was spent in Litchfield at the Center, Middle and High School

KINDERGARTEN:On the first day of school our teacher, Mrs Minetti, told us we’d be storing stuff in our “cubicles”. I thought she said “bugles” as in trumpets. I remember getting nervous and almost crying because I didn’t have a “trumpet”.

1st GRADE: I used to sit next to a “slow” kid named Andrew. He never talked. When I was bored I used to pinch his side till he said “Ow”, just to hear him speak.

2nd GRADE:Mrs Campbell was my teacher. A fat 30 year old woman, who, for some reason, hated me. She caught me chewing gum once and made me stick it on my nose. She also made me sit out of the Easter Egg hunt because I “misbehaved” at lunch. A fellow student, Clayton Demming, shared his Easter candy with me after the hunt because he felt sorry for me. If I ever hit the lottery I hope to find Clayton and share some of my riches with him.

3rd GRADE:I remember watching a talent show. Some little kid, a first grader, with the nickname “Chicky” performed a magic trick. I remember all the older girls in the school thought “Chicky” was adorable. Some of you reading this may know Chicky today by his real name, Charles Anderson aka Keely Weik’s husband.

4th GRADE:I was the new kid in a new school. On my first day, some raggedy looking dude sat next to me at lunch, attempting to make friends. His name was Jermiah Manning. He asked me if I wanted to know a secret. “Sure,” I said. With a strait face and a serious tone, Jermiah told me his father had died a year earlier when The Challenger space shuttle exploded.

5th GRADE:Aimee Pelletier sat next to me in Mrs Goldsmith’s class and in the process became my first real crush. In the years that followed a lot of boys had crushes on Aimee, but I still think I noticed her first.

6th GRADE: Sitting on the bus on the way home from school I threw up all over some little kid named Joey. The bus driver asked me why I didn’t let her know so she could have let me off the bus. “Because I didn’t know it was coming”, I said.

7th GRADE:I had two “serious” girlfriends by junior high school standards: Mina Gavell and Danielle O’dell. They both dumped me. Mina had her friend Christine do the honors, while Danielle had her friend Becky dispatch of me.

8th GRADE:Ed Federovich was calling me names all day. As we were getting out of school I cornered him and gave him a charlie horse by driving my knee into his thigh. His eyes rolled back into his head and he lost consciousness, I assume from the pain. I called him later that day and apologized. We became friends.

9th GRADE:Mike LaMere called me a “blimp” in the middle of drafting class and cracked the whole class up. I went home and told my father I was going on a diet. He knew I was serious so he bought me an exercise machine. I worked out every day after school for the entire year. When I returned to school in 10th grade I had lost about 30 pounds and stayed that way until college ruined everything.

10th GRADE:I called  Becca Clock one Saturday night while she was eating soup and watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I told her I had a crush on her and asked her if she was interested in me. I was met with awkward, deafening silence. While it was embarrassing at the time, that phone call led to a great friendship and she became one of my best friends through out the rest of my high school life and beyond.

11th GRADE:Myself and Ethan Antanucci fought over Ari Wilson. Turned out she loved Jeff McKeever.

12th GRADE:My mother went away for a weekend over the New Years Eve holiday. I basically invited the whole school to a party at her house. We had all been to parties before but this was the first one any of us had truly hosted. Someone went to the hospital, someone put a hole in the wall, people hooked up, people puked all over both bathrooms and people from WAMOGO crashed the party. KC and the girls saved me an ass whoopin by organizing a cleaning party the next morning while I slept. The bash was dubbed “Walt’s Part 1” as I had a similar party 7 months later over the summer. Though it was 14 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. Thinking about that night always puts a smile on my face and I  think those in attendance will always remember it. Except for Christine. She left early to ring in the new year with Jeremy.


The last class I ever had in school was English with Doc Selli. The bell rang and as we were leaving class for the last time someone shouted “We’re finally free”.

Doc said, “Guys, you’ve never been more free.”

Those that heard him laughed.  I think I rolled my eyes.

My God, how right he was.




3 Responses to “OLD SCHOOL”

  1. I remember that night Walt… Thanks for the nice words!

  2. I didn’t dump you. You dumped me (because I cheated on you with David Oliver). Then you got back together with me just so you could dump me again. Just wanted to set the record straight.

  3. I feel your pain for the 7th grade. two great girls!!!!!!!!!!!!

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