….and other random thoughts.

— by Clint Hughes

As the reunion approaches I get to touch base with people like Peter Robertson, Phil Pool and Steve Maley. It is amazing when you start talking to somebody and the life long connection is still there. Those guys could ALWAYS crack me up! …and they still do.

My dear dear sick sick “walk-home-from-school-everyday-after-school” lifelong friend, Steve Maley, suggested that I should entitle this post, “Is Clint’s Obsession with Coneys Freudian or Gastronomic?” I really did laugh so hard I cried and people in the office were wondering what the hell was going on! Only Maley….my pun protagonist.

For public image purposes I’ll go with Gastronomic. Remember that movie “Fools Rush In” with Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek? She had hot dogs from New York’s Gray’s Papaya flown to the Grand Canyon for Matthew Perry. Well, when I got home from my first day of school going for my MBA from the intense SMU-Cox School of Business Executive program – my wife, Terri, had a half dozen James Coney Islands and a 12 pack of Dublin Dr. Pepper (made with real Imperial cane sugar) waiting for me in the kitchen. She had enlisted my sister and mother to assemble the elements and ship them to Dallas in dry ice. Wow.

I’ve read and heard many discuss how difficult it is to navigate the hormone fueled high school years. Well, let me throw this at you. When your sport requires you to stand on a little stage in a Speedo in front of BEAUTIFUL pep squad members…you have to get over being self conscious real fast or you miss the starting gun. One way to control “the teenage spirit” was to take a look and focus on the pep squad sponsor, the typing teacher, I don’t remember her name. Worked better than “think about baseball.”

I love how the “cliques” have faded away and we are all appreciating those we spent those formative years with. Topic for the weekend – “How did we get here, from there?”

My creative writing teachers ignited my creativity. I don’t remember their names – I killed those brain cells at a Humble Pie concert in 1975. Anyway, those teachers and Woodward and Bernstein lead me down the journalism path. This led to PR, Marketing, Advertising, writing and directing films, driving revenue and making “the man” $$$$$$$ – BUT, the BEST was touring doing stand-up comedy for about a year in the early 90’s. If it hadn’t been for the adolescent training in humor provided by Dean Harms, Steve Maley, Peter Robertson, Phil Pool, Brett Shellhorn, Mark Stout, Pam Lewis, Susie Lipe, Jennifer Little, Valerie Carpenter, Mark Lubin, Bob Hiltz, and all those that laughed at my antics in homeroom I never would have done the Edison Follies. I took a page from “Laugh In” did a comedy bit about “The News 20 Years in the Future” and I was hooked for life.

If it had not been for you, my cherished classmates, I never would have had the courage to stand on a stage in “my emotional Speedo” and poke fun at myself in front of heckling crowds. I found out very early on that it is easier and more humane to make people laugh at yourself – than poking fun at somebody else and possibly hurting their feelings. Now selling stuff in front of millions of people on Live TV is a whole other story.

I remember playing defense during football practice. Mark Williams or Tim Holt would take the snap and hand it off to Jeff Swafford. “I’ll tackle him this time!” I would mumble….but where the hell IS he? I’d turn around and that quick SOB would already be 40 yards down the field. Too bad I couldn’t play wide receiver because I had “hands of cement!”

Mary, I told Terri the Frito story and she wants to thank and congratulate you. Although she did say, “Evidently it didn’t stop the evolution of your “Player” attitude!”

Did anybody ever make it through being a “Titans” pledge? Where are they now?!?!

Every time I smell White Shoulders I think of slow dancing with Carol Clark at the Rajah dance in 8th grade to The Beatles “Come Together” ( I think I remember the band playing that song about 10 times from their 6 song repertoire).

On Friday night – Be sure to hit both the lobby bar at the Renaissance AND The Hospitality suite.

My friends, travel on wings of angels to get to the reunion and bring your fondest memories.

Y – Pun Out

Clint Hughes