I’m not quite sure what happened to the last 10 years, but it took someone else telling me that 10 years have passed since I graduated from college for me to realize it was so. That means that next year, this fall actually, marks my (gulp) fifteenth year of being a high school graduate.
I know, I know…to most people I run with, I’m “the baby”, but still. 32 years and 10 years out of college is a landmark. I’m wondering now if my college even had a 10 year reunion for us, not that I would’ve gone. Heck, when I was a student there, I hurried it up and graduated a semester early just because I could. My college experience was great, as far as the quality of education goes. And I did make some friends I’ll have for life. But when it comes to the fun-factor, I’d give the actual college itself a 2, from 1-10 with 10 being highest. Thank goodness for prank calls, camping out in the Quad, gullible pizza delivery guys, 18 + clubs in Jackson, Better Than Ezra, Ole Miss & MSU, and silly friends, otherwise I would’ve totally hated those 3.5 years.
Anyhow, I’ve decided to craft my own personal tribute to the last 10 years by doing my best to recall some of my top moments. This is going to be tough and time consuming, so I’ll spread it out over a few days, and I’ll do my best to keep it concise.
2001 – I graduated in December 2000 (though it should’ve been May 2001), so I’m starting here.
I’ll say one of my Top Moments of 2001 for me was being introduced to hockey. I know it’s just a sport, but we’re talking about hockey in Mississippi here. As in ICE hockey. It’s played on ice. In Mississippi. I have so many good, good memories that came about because I became a hockey fan.
You see, in 2001, the Jackson Bandits minor league hockey team was playing in the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Miss. Bandits games were always a great time. The speed, the competition, the players, the violence, the excitement, did I mention the players…
Bandits games were the sight of dates, organized group outings, girls nights, and eye flirts with hot semi-snaggle-toothed brutes as they skated past my over dressed friends and me. Bandits games were places where we coined phrases like “puck bunny” and we made fun of “teal pleather pants girl” because really – TEAL PLEATHER PANTS? Who wears those??? But most of all, Bandits games were the precursor to the outlandish shenanigans that took place post-games at The Dock or Time Out where we’d be schooled in geography because who knows where Saskatoon is anyway? Bandits games lead to late night runs for Krystal chiks and then would typically wind up at the Lexington Apartments (or the “sexy lexy” as we called it) where both I and the Bandits happened to be residents – total coincidence, and I was there first, btw.
And, sweetly and most importantly, I credit Bandits games for forming several solid friendships that I still enjoy today. R and L, you know who you are, and this is my puck drop to you gals. Thanks for showing me what I was missing. R, do you still have those lucky socks?
Social media alert: I am surprised how much Bandits info is still on the interwebs!
Exhibit A: There is a fan page on Facebook dedicated to them. I am proudly the 34th person who “likes” their page. Check it out: Jackson Bandits Facebook Fan Page
Exhibit B: Several YouTube videos of squirmaches with rivals. Here’s a good one with the hated Mississippi SeaWolves. The video isn’t the best (it is quite old), but it’s a good fight.
Exhibit C: Mike Tamburro’s hockey card: (my very talented cousin painted his helmet, btw) Cary would also fill-in as the mascot (a raccoon whose name I can’t remember), but he’d probably rather forget that part.
It’s good to see Mike’s still in hockey, coaching for the Brampton Battalion in the OHL.