The Sheepskin or maybe the Sheepsgrin
Oh, thank goodness. I finally and officially got out of High School (I had already spent a semester at that poop college in the desert.)
I returned to town June 1964 for the important "ceremony" which as my life would have it none in my family other than I attended. I'd returned to Claremont for the express purpose of taking part in the "ceremony" and to walk across the stage for my rolled up faux diploma (I would have to pick up the real one later, or have it mailed to my home I think). My mother was truly disappointed I would not be attending the prom, but I glossed over this and softened the blow, assuring her the only reason I wasn't going to the prom is that at this late date I couldn't find a mudbrown formal as I would likely be going there on the back of a motorcycle.
After the ceremony, which I had attended only because I thought my folks would want me to, I ditched the gown and heels, rode on the back of an artists's motorcycle or in his convertible sportscar to LAX to bid adieu to the fella who was going to become Captain Beefheart's road manager. He was flying off to England a few hours after I got my sheepskin. I was surprised when I was rushing to the gate that there had been a switch in gates, and then I was surprised again when suddenly I heard my name being paged to go to the white telephone, which I did do, and the guy on the phone told me to go to such and such gate instead. So I proceeded there.
So the guy was leaving, maybe breaking my heart a bit in the process or certainly making me feel even more insecure, and I was trying to say goodbye to him and wish him well and I had hopes for me, too.
He came tip-toeing down the aisle, spotted me and was so very surprised to see me and we were saying goodbye as we stood for a moment, and who else shows up to show he was a friend and would help me get through this? Kenny Edwards!
I was surprised to see him and rushed over to give him a big hug, and told the guy who would become Beefheart's manager not to worry about me a bit while he was away, I had a couple of good friends who would look out for me while he was gone. Kenny and the other handsome young man on a motorcycle who was a fine artist. Kenny's appearance was a major surprise to me, but as it all spinned out in the airport aisle, turnabout is fair play sometimes. I had fine friends. The guy who would become Beefheart's manager sported an odd expression, a strange smile played out on his face, almost forced.