Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ahhh the good 'ol days...

Days away from October
(this marks the first blog on (coming soon) and the last blog for 24 Solo)

September came and went all too fast. My favorite month of the year started with the SM100 and will finish with my 20 Year high school reunion.
20 years? What the hell happened? This sort of thing always causes one to reflect so I'll briefly share a bit of my past since you might find it humorous. Cast your mind:

1987 (Pittsford, NY) was a time when it was considered funny to mock other ethnicities and Terrorism was a joke. Click on the photo to read the caption. Can't pull that crap these days...

I can't possibly make this stuff up. Oh how the times have changed.

1985, 10th grade. Lower right.
In an environment where everyone is scrambling for an identity, it's really no wonder I was mocked in those impressionable years of high school. The rich kids in my class spent their summers on the "Mustangs Travel Team" picking up soccer tips in Europe and subsequently played Varsity. Even tho I played soccer since I was 5 years old, I couldn't make it off the bench in JV. Pittsford Sutherland was always a contender for State Champions and only the best made the team. There wasn't a volleyball team (our lunchtime pressure release) so my sports career ended here. While the cool guys who did make it to Varsity soccer were smoking dope and popping ecstasy, Dave and I made the misatke of a lifetime thinking our ticket onto the Popular Train would be breakdancing.

This is from my locker - can you say "Identity Crisis"??? The ticket stub was my first concert - the Swatch Watch Fresh Festival in Niagara Falls. I got crushed against the stage so one of the Fat Boys pulled me aside and let me stand next to Run DMC. It was a big moment for me.

We were labeled "Breakers" and not in a nice way. One night Dave was determined to master the head-spin and after hours of practicing, woke up the next day completely immobile. He couldn't get out of bed for the next 48 hours. How can a couple of white kids, in Upstate New York, surrounded by farms, think breakdancing would do anything for their social life? Our reputation was set in concrete the night we took the stage after the cheerleaders in the big high school dance show (which was an evening event - so parents came too, packed auditorium, humiliation factor high). I don't think Sutherland was ready for 4 white kids bringing that much 'culture' into their hallowed halls (refer back to school newspaper above). Granted, this was 10th grade and truth be told we could dance well. We even went downtown to break with the brothers and got props. But for the love - Mom and Dad should have stepped in and told us to take the path of drugs.

From left to right - Steve Donnaly: Now owns an auto-body repair business, Dave Jewett: 2x World Champion Lumberjack with new kidney, Jason Berry: could not look more gay, Chris Wojiechowski: Advertising Executive

1986, 11th grade
In were rugby shirts with big white collars and anything with stripes. I got my left ear pierced. Still didn't work, now I was a "Gay Breaker". While any guy with an ounce of athletic ability and half-baked brain was earning points with the ladies by competing on the Downhill Ski Team, I was hiding away in art class painting lamborghini's... This is what watching too much Miami Vice gets you...

It is NOT surprising that I was a virgin until my 20's. If I had only stuck with this one sport I kinda dabbled in...

But no, instead I viewed the bike as a way to get around town (and in this photo, a way to get to Canandaigua Lake to renegade camp on some unsuspecting person's land and enjoy time away from high school and my job at Service Merchandise).

1987, Senior with bad mullet
I'm about to graduate and am looking forward to art college in Columbus Ohio which clearly showed my limited exposure to anything outside of Rochester. I had heard Columbus was a testing ground for Mall stores. That's about it. There was some big college there with a popular football team but I wasn't into football and that college was NOT Columbus College of Art & Design. Ohhh no. CCAD was a gritty little school in the ghetto struggling to make a name for its self against the industry giants like Rhode Island School of Design (my number one choice - and while I was accepted there was no way this kid could afford the $22,000 per year to attend). Since I had won a scholarship to CCAD the choice was made for me. So no cool name to tell people when they asked "what college are you going to?" and no cool girlfriend to bid adieu. No awards, newspaper clippings or big victories. I guess this was meant for later in life. And I guess this is why I took pleasure in saying 'goodbye Sutherland' in our front-page yearbook photo...

A closer look:

Luckily things finally got on track many years later. Since the last update I returned home to attend a fundraiser for Dave - it was days after the event while fishing with Dave, I realized I had not taken a single photo so I shot the only evidence of the event - a brand on my leg stating "Do It For Jewett".

Seconds later Dave hooked a sweet bass.

Dave is doing well - new kidney seems to be slow but getting up to speed.

So as I head back for my reunion, wish me luck. It's been a long, hard 20 years of living this shit down.


Blogger SquidBuzz said...

And now they will see your shaved legs and work ya hard for that. Sounds to me like you are never really going to get ahead with that group. =)

Have fun and be safe.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Mo&Matt said...

Jason -
You never fail to crack me up! For the record, I loved the breakdancing and your mullet looked sweet. You kicked a** in art and the Halloween contests in college were a classic example of your creative view of life. I'll never forget riding in your new wheels. My mother never got over the sight of being picked up by a hearse. Ahhh the good 'ol days . . . . Life is very good! Be good to yourself and keep up the amazing work! See you in the old digs.

3:28 PM  
Blogger gwadzilla said...


sounds like a pretty standard adolescence

I think that some of those stories could be expanded

is there a feature film in here
a little john hughs meets jason berry
sort of a male heathers

it is october
I hope you had a good reunion
bet it was great to see some old friends
or at least some familiar faces

I lost virginity before my twenties but I did not pierce my ear until I went to college

11:13 PM  
Blogger camps said...

Great pics and words,
it is always worth stopping by this blog

10:27 AM  
Blogger Shana said...

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA I would write more but I'm laughing too hard...

1:46 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

Ha, hilarious!! The photos had me rolling.
I feel your pain; those years sucked for me as well. And no shit, I worked at Service Merchandise, too.

6:52 PM  
Blogger dietrich said...

Awesome! Great pics and story Jason. I can't relate to any of it - I was born a rock star.

3:35 PM  
Blogger David said...

Nice hockey mullet!

6:28 AM  

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