Warped tour 2014 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Getting to the end of the day but still boiling hot out and everyone crowded at the main stage to see The Story So Far perform.  Everyone is super sweaty and sticky from being pushed together in the Florida summer.  The smell of teenage body odor mixed with the fishy smell of the dolphins and sting rays swimming by the merch tents.  The salty spray of the Gulf’s water hitting you, licking your lips to get the spray and sweat away.  Ears ringing from The Story So Far playing there set at full blast with Kelen Capener’s bass surging through your body from your feet to ears and Parker Cannon yelling his lyrics.


The greatest day of senior year, the day you finally get to leave it all behind.  Senior send-off the entire upper, middle, and lower school cramped into our tiny outdated chapel with the creaky pews made for six but on this special day fitting up to nine.  Everybody sitting right on top of each other.  So close you can smell the shampoo the girls used that morning and the cologne the guys used to enjoy this special day.  Mr. Hamilton opening the windows to let in the cool breeze of an April day.  The chatter is loud with screaming five year olds to crying eighteen year olds.   The taste of our final lunch at Wooster still fresh in our mouths.  The headmaster and his crew of heads of schools sitting on the the stand in their suits ready to start the ceremony. Everybody’s ready to get going and leave the campus for our final time until June when we leave this chapel for good.


Cascade Farms Pawling New York, the farm that the Wooster tenth grade class every year becomes one.  2011 was the year of Mr. Curry singing Taylor Swift at the bonfire, man hunt in the woods, Rachel Lynch’s broken arm, Ben Bratter’s popped eye vessel, Jackson Gelinas almost dying on the trailer, and the haunted hayride to bond us all together forever.  Day two, our group was on the wagon connected to the back of the trailer.  We were all sweaty from getting our morning chores done and thinking it’d be cold.  Just stripped from our under armour because we were sweating too much getting our anger out with the sledge hammers destroying the bunk beds and listening to Ben Bratter yell at them about Nazi Germany.  Our mouths were dry in the heat waiting for lunch with our banana bread to come but we still had to pick watermelon and squash before we ate.  But our stomach’s aren’t sure we want the food yet because all we can smell are the four pigs eating our leftovers from the morning.  We feel the hard wood under us holding us up and our arms coming around each other to start unifying us as one mighty class.


It’s game day, the big day finally here.  Preparing all week just to step out on the field in front of our friends and family to play the game we love.  We’re all in the huddle interlocking with each other, being as close as a team should be.  The music on the field stopped.  The crowd is silent watching us.  We hear Juli start the cheer and we all follow along.  The taste of rubber mouth guards in our mouths and the sweat on the back of our necks.  The smell of sweat wafting off our gear we’ve been using the past three months.  We look each other in the eyes and see the hunger and fire building inside.  We nod our heads in agreement, win this game.


The famous Redington Pier, well famous to the teenagers at least, and to the fishermen who is was built for.  Midday in march, it couldn’t be better.  The air is calm and taste of salt from the Gulf.  The sand is nice and soft and cool on the bottom of our feet.  You can hear the seagulls above and the waves crashing into the pillars.  The roll of coolers on the pier above of fishermen going out to get their catch of the day.  We can see into the water for miles and miles, no land to be seen.  Look behind us and it’s a row of small bright hotels and a mile to our right, a smaller pier.  Keep looking further and you see the mansions, a display of Florida wealth.  It’s a perfect getaway from a snowy Connecticut spring.


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