When I was in High School in San Diego I, like many others, belonged to a clique. Actually I suppose in many ways I belonged to more than one, because I had “crossover appeal” I guess. My High School was a bit odd, several ways: we were a magnet school that had grades 7 to 12, we had no sports at all, white kids and Asians were bussed in to a campus in the heart of the African-American community, and did I mention we were a magnet school? Yes for Math, Science and Computers. My Dad wanted me to go there for what we now call STEM leaning. I wanted to go to the HS of the Arts or a humanities magnet.
I didn’t start a Gompers with the rest of my clique, I transferred in as a 10th grader. I had made friends with a couple guys the Summer before when I was forced by my parents to go to Summer School so that I could have more electives in High School. To this day I’m still friends (at least on Facebook) with Tom and David who I met in the Summer of 1985. Even though I was a new kid, I was welcomed into the slacker group with open arms. Being in a magnet school was hard enough, but Gompers was a special kind of Magnet, supposedly the best school in town for what we did, and we did have some great teachers and staff. There were of course several levels of difficulty, we had regular classes, advanced classes and then AP classes which were still fairly new. Most of the kids who were in the magnet were in Advanced or AP classes, though many weren’t. I gravitated towards the ones in the regular classes, more my type of peeps.
Still, I moved within different group types fluidly. I got involved in the academic “sports” that we were allowed, all three years I was involved in Academic League, which is team trivia. My Senior year I was involved also in Mock Trial and Constitution Competition. I was pretty much the only one in my clique who was into that stuff.
The Clique was well established before I got to Gompers. The nominal leadership was a different David, Phil, Ethan and Chris who all formed a DJ company that would go around to various parties and provide music. I could go on to describe the inner-workings of the clique, the various relationships within and without, but really who wants to dredge all that stuff up. It’s not relevant anymore. Suffice to say, while we’re all not in the same area, we mostly keep in touch on Facebook these days. I haven’t seen most of them since our 10th High School reunion in 1998, though I have had coffee with Chris over the last couple of years, and kept in touch with everyone else. I ran into Phil when I worked at Canyon Pottery Company in 1997/98, he’s now a police-office and married to a good looking guy (which I totally was prescient about). I only recently discovered that Ethan and I share a love of model-making and comics. Something that I didn’t know about him before. He actually sent me a nice poster signed by Marv Wolfman of Amazing Spider-Man #194 (the first appearance of The Black Cat, it’s worth a few dollars) when I mentioned that I had to sell my copy some years back. As for Chris, I follow his archeological adventures avidly, as I think his continuing education and lust for the past is amazing.
Here’s where it gets weird.
Two years ago one of the leaders of the clique was arrested and is now incarcerated for 25 years to life. His crime was against children. He’s a pedophile. I suppose the writing was on the wall since during either our Junior or Senior year (I forget) he was dating one of the girls in 8th or 9th grade. Now I moved away from San Diego shortly after our 10 year reunion, and I really haven’t been back much since, maybe once or twice a year I get down there. San Diego holds a lot of weird memories for me. I haven’t been to the Zoo since my Father died in 1987. I haven’t been to Sea World since about 1992. I enjoy the city, but it’s just not what it was for me. I digress.
Two years ago we all discovered the shameful secret that our once-friend had been carrying around. And honestly it rocked me to my core. See the pedophile was one of those guys we all kind of looked up to. He was POPULAR. He would have been the quarterback of the football team. We ALL knew him. And frankly I think we were all shocked.
In any case, I still think about this. I already mentioned that I’m in touch with most everyone in the clique, and gave first names. I think you can figure out who was the culprit without me going into too much more detail.
Anyway, when the news broke I tried to verify the entire thing, and was able to do so. I found his prisoner number, where he’s incarcerated, and was able to vet the entire thing. It was 100% true. Just today when something triggered me to reach out to my friend of 30 years, the first David, I came across the culprits legal information, including a detailed description of the allegations in the form of a legal brief.
Like most sane people, I find the concept of sexual gratification from children to be abhorrent behavior. Even before I became a father I felt this way. Children need to be protected from deviants. It hurts me every time I find out some celebrity whose work I enjoyed is really a creepo pedophile. Can’t even think about watching a rerun of “Sons of Guns” due to Will Hayden’s fall from grace. Jared Fogle from Subway, that guy should just…well…to paraphrase Sam Kinison on Jim Bakker “If I had enough pride I’d just take my fucking life…”