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Short Stories by: Anthony Davis
last edited on Friday, July 15, 2005, 12:59 AM, CDST

Another Time

It was Saturday Morning in Dallas Texas, 1975. The world was just a little bit simpler then. So simple that Tony didn't have to attend the graduation ceremony. He graduated in absentia. His diploma arrived several days after graduation day in his parent's mail box.

I'm free at last! Yeppers. No, you are expected to go to college. You qualify for a SER CETA GRANT to attend either Mt. View or El Centro College because these two Jr. Colleges are in your residential district. What about that offer to get into the military? The Intelligence division of the United States Marine Corps and Counter Intelligence division wrote and said that because Tony's aptitude was rated high in earlier tests like the one they make you take in Jr. and High School, SAT is what I think it's called. He didn't even know he had a near genius IQ until he was older and he took an on line test then found out his IQ was 133. That is pretty darned high. 

He had to make a decision about his future. But meanwhile there was music playing in the backyard carport and his friends had cold ones waiting for him. The future looked bright for Tony. He had decisions to make and he had no idea what to do next so in spite of his so called bright future, he wanted to make a 3 point landing into the here and now. He wanted to think clearly. Not be another pawn in another man's game. What's it like to be out of high school Tony? Does it seem as if the journey to knowledge has ended or just begun, hope begins anew? or doom and gloom reign high?

Many of his band member friends in high school were going to North Texas State University and major in music, some went on to major in engineering and architecture. His dad, had always been a hard working man, who worked for an optical manufacturing wholesaler who supplied many of the Downtown Dallas retail eye wear stores. His job was inspector and he had to constantly inspect the quality and accuracy of the lenses that were ground by prescription for future eye glasses for hundreds of customers in the Dallas and surrounding cities.

His father was in this business now and had been for over 30 years. It was his profession. Tony didn't have any profession, just 6 years of playing trumpet in Jr. and High School, and even though he was first chair trumpet player since 7th grade, he didn't get any scholarships to go to college for being first chair trumpet in a high school band. He didn't have funding to take up professional trumpet in college to go on to play in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which was one of his childhood ambitions. Instead there was this Grant program that gave him a choice to either study accounting or architecture or computer science. Since Tony was a student of art and architecture for many years in regular grade school through high school he picked out El Centro Jr. College on Lamar Street at Main in Down Town Dallas Texas. 

Tony was taking something that he felt was appropriate to his aptitude and his skills from earlier years. College Architecture in the division of the Fine and Applied Arts. This was what seemed to be the direction to take for the time being.

The ambition of students at El Centro was a little bit higher than high school which doesn't say a lot really. Of course there were those who were aiming a bit higher, to obtain a degree. El Centro provided an Associate's Degree, a 2 year period, but usually the truly ambitious students would go on to take 4 more years at a more senior college like University of Texas at Arlington. They had a pretty nice curriculum, art and music appreciation, drama and dance, esp. ballet, where a girl named Rosemary went to take lessons who just happened to also take Architecture.  Piano rooms on the top floor provided Tony with several private hours of musical self expression. He never learned sheet music for piano but only for trumpet. Good enough, he had been playing by ear since age 3.

Tony made friends with Rosemary who unfortunately had a drug problem, an ex boyfriend who did drugs and beat up on her until she had enough, and he made friends with Daniel Jones who was into Buddhism and who was afflicted with MS, aka Multiple Sclerosis who had severe hand tremors that made much of his if not most of his free hand work effected in an apparently negative way, but in spite of his affliction, managed to complete his 2 years and obtain his Associates
in the Fine and Applied Arts. It was not much longer than that when Daniel disappeared into thin air, as Tony was unable to reach him at his old number a few years later in 1981. He should have stayed in touch, knowing good and well that Daniel might not live very much longer with his advanced stages of MS.

to be continued...................


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