Beach High

The name sounds like a Beach Boys song or a mythical concept—-and in a sense that’s what it is: a mythical place within a mythical place.

Palm trees.  Balmy tropical weather.    Adjacent to a golf course.  Just a few blocks from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.    Glitzy glamourous resorts like the Fontainebleau on one side.  The art deco kitsch of south Beach on the other.

It’s hard to imagine a public high school located in such a place.

And its location is just the start of what makes Beach High special.

As a high school student I had no idea it was unusual.  That 98% of the graduates from every public school didn’t go to college.  That every high school didn’t have consistently high performing students and a consistently low performing football team.  That among its alumni were people like Barbara Walters, Robert Rubin, Andy Garcia, Brett Ratner—and many many other leaders in the arts, sciences, and government.

There’s an immediate understanding of what it means to say “Beach is dynamite” — there’s an instant bond that spans generations.

i didn’t realize until i grew up and left,  that I had grown up in a special place at a special time.  That the Beach and Beach High provided a sense of community that occupy a permanent place in the soul.

Something about that sandy soil on a man-made island nurtured the deepest of roots.

I feel beyond lucky and blessed that this is how I grew up– when in the midst of glamor was innocence; mixed in with materialism was meaning and solid values.

When I first started blogging, I wrote a piece about how for me,  Beach High represents safety and security;  and a solid foundation for friendship.  So it’s not surprising that  I look forward to any excuse opportunity to go back.

That’s where I expected to be right now —at a reunion of my class and the class above mine—who didn’t want to wait till the next offical reunion year to get together.

Life intervened at the last minute;  and I wasn’t able to attend this weekend.  Though I miss being there,  those who are there are in my heart—-and part of my heart will always, always be there, too.

Comments

  1. D/

    I noticed the Beach High sticker in your piece. Home of the ‘Hi Tides’ ? Please don’t tell me that burden was put on your old high school’s sports teams. It is bad enough, as a high school athlete from a school like Beach High, to know that all your opponents would already see you as the rich, jewish, nerd and, thus, want to beat the crap out of you; But , to hear the cheerleaders yelling from the the sidelines – ” rollum Hi Tide ! Rah ! Rah ! Rah ! ‘, would, seemingly, only add to the humiliation. But, I may be asking the wrong Beach High grad about this. I’m betting you didn’t take in many games.

    Love,

    V

    • Sorry it took me so long to let you know there are things you don’t know about me–such as—I went to ALL the games–even with a losing football team every year. And we went to the state championship in basketball one year. So much for the burden on our teams. And -I never thought twice about the name—I’d rather be the Hi Tides than some of the other names teams come up with–including, though I hesitate to say this to you—the Forty-niners??? haha

  2. Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky says:

    Although I had hoped to see you this weekend, an earlier blog post makes your absence understandable. The current one provides us a cyberspatial connection to you for this “homecoming” celebration. Although you are not able to be among us physically at this moment, we appreciate your presence in spirit.
    Wishing H and his family and friends the best possible outcome,
    MAG-Y

  3. marla wentner says:

    It is amazing how very much our high school location and experiences there define our later years. I read V’s post and wanted to mention that my high school was located in Wallace, Idaho. Wallace had the dubious distinction of having five houses of ill repute which freely operated on the main street. Since the cheerleaders and drill team had a very large “W” on our sweaters, at our games we got a lot of, “What’s the W stand for?” from opposing fans. You learn to live with what you’ve been dealt, bad or good! I would have taken the “Hi Tides” any day! Sorry you couldn’t go to your reunion, Darryle. I try to make all of mine because we were such a small, close knit class — only 99 graduates, that number dwindling at each five-year reunion. The next one is 50 years, so that’ll be grand.

    • Wallace, Idaho? So what was your mascot? As I told V, I never minded Hi Tides–I think it fits Beach High perfectly. I too think our growing up years define us for good or bad–and feel lucky like you that I have such a close-knit class. I try never to miss a reunion–I think they’re the best!

      • Marla Wentner says:

        Our mascot was a miner, complete with pick and shovel, because Wallace was at one time the “silver capital of the world”. Good stuff!

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