What If?

EAHS Class of 1987

This week will be interesting. In just a few short days, I’ll be attending my 25th high school reunion.

The last time I was in the company of many of these people, the world was a much different place. Back then, it was all about sneaking out of restricted study hall at lunch to head over to the nearby Burger King.

It was a time when the only thing that really mattered was getting through the week so we could all go hang out at the mall on Friday night, drink Orange Julius and play Dragon’s Lair.

For me, it also included choir trips, endless hours of practice on my black Gibson Explorer guitar, the longing for unattainable love and of course, a heavy dose of hair metal. I’m actually tearing up right now just thinking about it; the hair metal part that is.

But, I’m looking back now, a quarter century later and am feeling pretty good about how I turned out. Especially when you consider what my original goal was.

Back then, my dream was almost laughable: In a “lather, rinse, repeat” cycle all I wanted to do was write music, record and tour. Pretty much in that order. If I had to sleep on the floor in some stinky tour bus on the way to Small Town, USA or pan handle on the streets for money to buy guitar strings I didn’t care. Music was going to be my life. I wanted to be the opening act for Bon Jovi; at least just long enough until he became the opening act for me.

It wasn’t until the day I woke up in my college dorm room; a twenty year old man with literally nothing but the black guitar and $1.37 to my name that I had an epiphany. And thus began my entry into the work force.

Don’t get me wrong, over the years I was still able to live the dream: I was part of several bands that achieved great things; even playing in front of crowds of 6,000 people. But, there are times that I still think about what might have happened if I had stuck to my original vision.

If things had worked out as planned well, you all would have seen me on the cover of Rolling Stone at least a few times by now. I probably would have also “guest starred” on Adele’s Grammy winning album and who knows; it might have been me in the judges panel on American Idol instead of that guy from Aerosmith…what’s his name again?

Anyway, as I’m typing this entry, over to my right; still hanging on the wall is that very guitar. The same one I put all those endless hours on. The one that contains all my feelings and the one constant that reminds me continually of those days and that dream. It’s still as great as ever 25 years later. I think we all are too!


I believe things happen for a reason. And I’m looking forward to hearing how everyone else’s dreams turned out at the reunion.

9 thoughts on “What If?”

  1. with every dream that dies, another one is born. the new one may not be the one you hoped for, but it may be the best one in the long run. i never got to be grace slick, but years later, my first love of writing is back in high gear.

    enjoy your reunion…everyone will have their own story, with dreams that died along the way too. and boy, a high school reunion is gonna give you enough blog material for at least a month.

    can’t wait ti read it.


  2. Have a great time at your reunion, Jim. Can’t wait to hear about it. Once again, your blog has brought back my own memories of high school and like you, my “today” is nothing like I planned for back then. I’m not working in stage production….traveling the world! ha But I do have a lot to be thankful for, too. As you said, everything happens for a reason. I’m sure everything is as it should be….for both of us!

    1. Glad it brought back some memories for ya. Every time I look at that guitar I think of all the “what if’s” ,but truth be told I wouldn’t change a thing. πŸ™‚

  3. hmmm…yeah, I never did turn into Stevie Nicks, but I’d rather be a teacher now, so it all worked out!

    1. Is that who you wanted to be? You should have told me that back in HS. We could’ve taken over the world! πŸ™‚

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