By Grant McGee: Local columnist
The Lady of the House and I were getting in our car last Saturday morning when a blaring car horn caught our attention. It was getting closer and closer. Soon the vehicle making all the noise rounded a corner and came into view. A young couple grinning from ear to ear were in the noisy car. They were dressed nicely, like they were going someplace where they had to be dressed nicely.
“Off to graduation,” I said, realizing what all the ruckus was about.
Do you remember when you graduated from high school?
Seeing those kids reminded me of mine.
And I remember that night, remember waiting for “the magic” to hit me.
You know “the magic,” don’t you?
It’s what you expect when you reach a milestone. It’s like your train has finally pulled into the station with flags waving, bands playing, people cheering, confetti in the air. You’re swept up in a feeling of euphoria, your life is finally right and nothing will ever go wrong again.
I remember that night, the anticipation, posing for pictures with my grandmother, walking up to the podium in my cap and gown wearing two-tone disco shoes. Then I had my diploma in hand. It was time to party. My friends Dave and Dick and I drove around the old hometown looking for something. What it was we didn’t know, but we were looking for it and we were free! High school was over.
It turned out to be just another night. The same stores were open late. The same gang was cruising up and down the main drag of town. It turned out graduation night wasn’t like the movie “American Graffiti,” no mystery girl in a white Corvette showed up anywhere.
The next morning the sun came up. Life went on.
That fall I went right into college. There I was. Every day I expected “the magic” to be visited upon me. I guess I thought just by being at the university, knowledge and wisdom would flow in to me. Then I’d get a pat on the back, a diploma and then checks would just start coming in the mail.
It didn’t happen.
While in college I continued to look for “the magic,” like the time I met Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame). I expected something magical to happen there. Maybe the meeting would bring a state of bliss, meeting someone so famous and all. Maybe he would impart a bit of wisdom that would make me fabulously wealthy and famous. He turned out to be just like the rest of us.
The Clovis News Journal published a survey last Sunday about “If you could go back in time to high school…”. Fifty-four percent said they would if they knew what they know now. That’s not where I’d go back to. I wish I could go back to when I first started college … and know what I know now.
But knowing what I know now, I know that different choices would affect others too. If I went down a different path there’d be places I wouldn’t go, people I’d never meet, children who wouldn’t arrive on the scene and lessons I probably wouldn’t learn.
And I might have missed out on one of the most valuable lessons of all: We make our own magic.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: