Images > Reunion: Getting There in Style

Can you believe it's been 10 years since I graduated from high school?? Yeah, it seems like yesterday, and parting from it was bittersweet. On one hand, my life really didn't begin until I was far away from Albuquerque, the South Valley, and the lot of people I grew up around. I never really did feel a part of my school and that world back then. But on the other hand, I did have some great friends back in high school that helped me start to become the person I am today.

And so, it was with mixed feelings that I went to my reunion. I am a much more confident person than I was back then, and I felt that my newfound confidence would perhaps help me better get to know the people whom I otherwise didn't talk to in high school. For that reason, and to see my old friends, I was excited about the whole thing. However, I never really got along with most of my high school classmates before (memories of being tormented by bullies still jades my memories of growing up), what made me think that things would be different now?

As a sort of safety net, I brought an old high school friend of mine, Jerry Rivera, who was a Rio Grande High School alum himself, class of 1988. We went to the first event, which was a meet n greet at a local club. To my horror, I was shocked to discover that a lot of the people were still really into their cliques, and that they weren't as open as I thought. I still managed to make some good conversation with people, however, and my friend Michael Hannemann was there, so it wasn't all bad.

For the next event, a dinner and dance at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Jerry and I went all out. Jerry rented a huge limo! We were planning on having fun, regardless of whether anyone else was interested or not. Our fun actually turned out to be disasterous, as I found later.

But fun we did have! We drove through the South Valley and downtown Albuquerque hanging out the sunroof, waving and calling to the tourists and passing motorists. The wind in our hair, we were just out for a good time. But Albuquerque will be Albuquerque, as a carload of cholos decided to start shit with us. First they asked Jerry where the girls were, as if first off, he was a pimp-daddy, and second of all, he'd want to share with a carload of losers. Some words were exchanged, which ended up with Jerry mentioning something about them getting a job or something. They drove off and we headed toward our destination, and I thought that was the end of it.

As it turns out, it wasn't the end. By the time we arrived at the Convention Center, the cholos had caught up with us, and were ready to throw down. Chest puffed with the meanest look he could muster in his young eyes, the one pugnacious vato confronted Jerry. Why on earth would this guy want to fight? He thougth Jerry was "disrespecting" him by telling him to get a job -- eeek! I am no longer exposed to this silly macho mentality, so I was quite amazed at his silly reason. Respect? You have to earn respect! I don't care what kind of badass cholo you think you are. Blegh. Fortunately, with some intervention of the limo driver and Jerry's insistance, the cholos went away.

The limo was very roomy! Here I am before the dinner as the limo cruised around. Yes, I am wearing make-up here -- one of those rare occasions I let my sister hold me down and swab gook on my face. Doesn't happen often...

And here's Jerry in the limo with the limo driver.

And Onto the Dinner and Dance...

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