Westridge ‘89

’86 rolled through first, my sister
a part of that, and they were special
and in my heart—don’t get me wrong.

But ’89 knocked on our dance floor in
the Fall of 1984, my favorite year, just
around the time “Tenderness” and General
Public saved us the loss of English Beat.

We were cheered by that, cheered by Eddie
Murphy bringing comedy back after we
lost John Belushi. Even seeing John’s
brother, Jim, hanging out of a train
in Trading Places to bring in the New
Year gave hope.

Things were changing for good, it was our
year, it must be!! “Did you see that Westridge
class?” They were hot! Can I say that? Not me,
no, but others could, I’ll just sit back and observe
and wait for my chance.

It would come on the last dance. We matched up
and I chose Melanie, or did she choose me?

I was so short, she so normally heighted, but I guess
I was “cute,” I’ll grant that, but them?

I was blown away.

The rub is there, my roots were not firm enough,
I’d have found a compartment to put them
under my Higher Power had I had one, but as
it was, I didn’t have the words and the moment

To Westridge ’89 I say now, words my game
and honesty my best friend:

You are my best friends, my greatest memory,
please don’t forget me…

Your joy now as then important to me,
live long but passionately, tap into
English Beat, “Tenderness” must be
the fearless anthem of moral victory we
pass down to the next generation of
“Who are you, I, me?” Be yourself, and let
us fill our kids with so much cool creativity

that alcohol, which stole me so easily, will
only to them be a substance to take or leave.

Green dreams and peace, the spirit of Westridge
’89 will not die as long as I write,

I hope this and these words find you dancing,
ska or something silly, slow-dancing something
giddy, some boy making cracks and love finding
its way anyway—

Westridge ’89, what a sight I say!!!!

Headshot -- Bill Watkins

—Love, William:)