Headland High School - late '80s
The funny thing is, those shorts I am holding are not mine. The material I brought to class for the sewing project was actually quite hideous, and I was too embarrassed to hold up the shorts I made. That's one reason we're all laughing.
I kept my pledge! One reason I did was because my grandmother Dot and my dad told the four kids, "If you don't drink, smoke or use smokeless tobacco before the age of 21, I will give you some money." That was incentive enough for me. The $ was nice, but I also really didn't want to disappoint my grandmother and dad. Two of the four collected! I remember going to Dad with a smile on my face and my hand out.
Incidentally, I tried my first beer at the age of 21 in a Moscow apartment on a trip Uncle Jim and I took to Central Asia in the early '90s. And I smoked a cigarette and a half in the Latin Quarter in Paris in 2005, when I joined my brother Mark on his vacation in the "City of Light." Did nothing for me, but maybe I was cool for a moment. I have a couple of other stories I will add to this in the coming days.