Dan Berkey

© Copyright 2002 by Dan Berkey


Pyramid image.

Summer ’70 came in with a blast out of the cold of those good ‘ole fashioned ecclesiastical chains, whips and academic shackles that was Mayer Lutheran High School, situated in the middle of a corn field, where I’d been sent, as one counselor put it to me and I kid you not for, "being too weird and lackadaisical at Excelsior Elementary…" where I had a penchant for eating pencils and poisonous berry bushes and making too many loud scenes in class; ok, I admit it, but that was no reason to resort to sending me to jail, which was Mayer High; no less. I understood the lazy part but not the weird part. They never explained it to me either even though I asked. I came to believe it had something to do with my penchant for fantasy and my ability to draw other kids into it, like my failed attempt to beat the Apollo Program to the moon, but that’s a whole new story. Stay tuned. My parents thought my move to Mayer was a good one. They believed mixing God with History books would make me read them, but it only got worse.

I came to loathe history and anything connected to it.

Anyway, that was all behind me now. I’d survived two whole brain-grinding years at Mayer. The summer had come and I was free, free, FREE to play tennis, catch turtles, fantasize my brain out and work, work, WORK. My god! I’d actually gone out into the world and got my first real job, free of home, free of its mysterious deals that left me numb, and that was alright. I had to hand it to myself. My mother thought it was too soon, but I thought, "too soon for what?" She never said. I think she thought it was too soon to leave her. Till then she’d identified herself with me much too closely, I thought. It made me feel weird. Although I didn’t know all the particulars I was beginning to get a gut feeling about it, and I didn’t like it. I wanted to get away. So much to her consternation and vociferous complaints I got a job. "Jesus," I thought, "most of my buddies had been working steadily since ninth grade." Whenever they asked me where I worked I had to shrink away or lie. It was embarrassing. It was time to change the scene.

Now I was pizza man! Hah!

Dino’s Pizza Parlor in Excelsior, Minnesota, my new home.

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