Tag Archives: Martin Desjardins

An AWESOME Prom

2017 Spartan Theatre production of The Awesome 80s Prom

In high school I totally skip the dating scene. I blame this on an incident that occurs during freshman year algebra. Our entire class is cutting up and an extremely popular jock I think is cute asks me for my phone number. At that very moment our teacher shuts down the ruckus and being an obedient child I don’t take the chance to even pass a note.

Later in study hall I try to explain but he’s having none of it. I have snubbed him and for the rest of my entire high school days I am considered not cool to all the jocks. And who else matters, this is 1960’s high school. In reality that missed note pass couldn’t have had one thing to do with my popularity, or lack thereof, with hot guys but whatever the reason in hindsight it is a good thing. I am not ready for the world.

All is good until prom season. Junior year involves selecting colors and themes and vendors. I am on various committees. We decorate the gym within an inch of its life. And that is that. No date. My best friend Sandy didn’t have a date either. We move on.

Senior year prom I think about asking a shy guy in our art class since I know that we will all die waiting for him to ask anyone but I never get up the nerve. He goes with a friend that pins him down, being braver than me. Our school photographer telephones to ask me to go with him. I feel that this is going to happen and dread the call. He is nice but dull, overweight and not cool. (After high school he drops the weight, gets a intriguing job and finds himself). I turn him down. Mom is aghast. I have turned down a date to the prom.

He asks Sandy. She accepts and gets to do the dress shopping thing and fancy hair and flowers. As mad as I am at her, the day of the prom I suggest that we go downtown to Lazarus shopping. As we head home a mean girls idea pops into my head and I decide that we will walk home. It’s a nice day. The walk takes us along the edge of a beautiful park and through the high dollar neighborhood of Bexley with its huge homes and manicured lawns. I have no idea what the distance is (seven miles) since we always take the endless bus ride to our stop, the last on the route, but she has let me down by scooping up my rejected date and in the back of my mind I want retribution. It takes us a couple of hours, she is tired and sunburned. I am miserably smug.

Later Mom insists on taking me over to see the decorated gym and then we go home and I probably watch TV or read a book.

So when grandson Martin snags the part of Louis Fensterspock, introverted computer nerd, in interactive The Awesome 80’s Prom I am set to party. After all it’s interactive, awesome audience participation is expected. West Springfield’s theater is undergoing a renovation and this 2017 fall production lands at nearby Burke Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department meeting room. The set is a simple one but it needs to be struck and reconstructed after and before each production, an added layer of stress. The weekend shows are not so bad but Thursday involves working around classes. The awesome crew gets it done in record time never missing a beat.

The last night of the three day run, Martin’s entourage; both set of grandparents, an uncle & teen cousin, his parents and teen sister do our part to make it a smashing success. We’re dressed for the part participants, Donny wears his tux and I’m in a smashing pink number. We’re having a blast. I’ve never seen this show so it’s all new to me. Outside before the show starts a cast member waltzes up to me waving a Ken doll and asks if I’ve seen Blake. I tell her I that can find Louis for her. I know that he’s about to arrive on his bicycle. She’s whispers, “He’s my boyfriend,” and whirls away.

An instant mini of me & DJ Johnny

As the show progresses things periodically happen on stage led by the school DJ. One such is the Best Dressed Boy. Gals from the cast weave through the audience quickly selecting five guys to join the DJ on the stage for this vote by applause event. After some dance breaks and other interactive moments it’s time for The Best Dressed Girl competition. Guys are told to do the selecting this time. I look around at who’s being picked. Suddenly a gal grabs my hand and says, “I’m not a guy but you need to be up there.” She pushes me toward the steps.

I’m game. I join the other girls on stage. The DJ counts us. There’s more than five. He shrugs whatever and proceeds to commence the vote. I look around. The gal next to me is pretty cool looking, she might win. The others are all beauties in their prom dresses. The first girl gets a good round of applause. I’m next. I step forward, hoping not to embarrass myself by receiving only a smatter of claps. I’m already a rogue entry.

The applause is decent. I’m happy, this is good. I prepare to step back, but the clapping doesn’t stop. It begins to swell. I’m baffled. Me? My outfit is rocking I’ll give you that. I worked hard on it. So I begin to milk the crowd. I wave. The applause gets louder. I urge them on. It gets louder. I’m elated albeit embarrassed on the flip side of the coin. All the other girls don’t have a chance. To be fair the DJ quickly goes down the line. And then back to me, his winner. I know the question is coming from watching the guy competition, “Where did you get your outfit?” No one really cares about that answer I decide, I deflect, “PARTY ON!” I shout into the mic. The crowd roars, they are with me.

My loot

Later I tell Martin that I could have quipped, “My closet.” He says someone already used that answer in another performance. Spared by my own wit. As I exit the stage I spy Lydia. “You set this up,” I challenge her. She grins, “I may have helped.” Martin/Louis closes the show with his eloquent delivery of how we may act and look different but we’re all really the same inside with the same needs and desires.  Then he declares his love for Kerrie (Ken doll girl) who pines after Blake but after Louis’ heartfelt speech realizes that he is the real deal. They kiss. It’s a sweet ending.

It really was an epic Awesome Prom.

 

Epilogue

April 2018 calls for entries in what will be the last Self Portrait Show Glenn Eure hosts. Pat will hopefully carry on the tradition but without Glenn and his pretty pill winks and his sincere, we need to get together soon to sketch nudes, it will be different. I don’t know this of course when I plan my entry but I do know that my Awesome 80’s Prom outfit needs clearance. I check with Pat & Glenn about such a big entry (the show room is small). “If it will fit through the door, you’re good,” Glenn promises.

I want to make a life size doll and dress her in the Awesome 80’s Prom finery complete with her prize goody bag. I stuff. I sew. I glue. She looks wrong. I tear things apart and start over. It is truly a labor of love. Finally I’m over it. I pose her in a chair. She is art show worthy but looks more like a wasted night on the town gal than a popularity contest winner. She doesn’t pick up any nods at the show. No matter I have already won well enough for the both of us.

When she comes home I nix trying to make her look real and position her in a Chagall exaggerated body pose which is perfect. To paraphrase a very young Martin who, when asked to do something, declares that he can’t move because he has no bones, my prom look alike doesn’t either. But she doesn’t need any. Her one job is to remind us of a fun night with awesome people and she’s a winner at that.

 

 

 

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Filed under Prom, School, West Springfield Spartan Theatre, Whitehall Yearling High School

Camp OBX 2015

posing

Mimicking the pose of three first flight witnesses. Jake (16 year old Johnny Moore), Martin (lumber merchant Cephus Brinkley) and me (surfman Will Dough) Senior Camp 2015. Photo credit Lydia.

In 2006 Emily & Marty need summer help with then six year old Martin & three year old Lydia. Being more fun to call it camp than anything else it quickly it became officially Camp OBX envied by many but attended by a very select few.

Not far from the beginning, Donny’s nephew Jake and his family, plus even more of Donny’s family, were visiting and after Jake got back home to Richmond he decided that camp time was needed. Taking the bull by the horns he told, not asked, his parents that he wanted to attend, applied and was accepted. He’s now in his sixth year and the only non-grand to be a full rights camper. He always tries to schedule his camp time with Martin and Lydia but occasionally he’s been the only camper in residence.

ghosty

Beach time with the teens brought this no zoom needed friend to my towel side.

Three years ago the younger crop of grands began getting their own special camp time. As much as all of our campers love and cherish their parents, and while family camp time is unique and awesome, as seven year old Edward, now a three year camp veteran, states, “It’s not camp when you’re here, Mom.”

Campers have learned to read, swim, surf, and ride a horse all at camp. Campers have seen turtles hatch, the inside of the Wright Brothers Monument, and almost seen the moon rise at the top of Bodie Island lighthouse (got halfway up to be thwarted by lightning in the area). Campers have made their first mini-golf hole-in-one and one lucky camper even got just the right one to win a free game (Professor Hackers ftw), gotten their first hourly paying job (thanks Val and My Little Sunshine) and mastered the art of wearing flip flops while at camp. Campers have camped out under the stars, seen shooting stars, and watched babies become Virginia Dare stars at the Lost Colony. Those are only some highlights. The list is pretty much endless. And FUN is always the operative word.

We got our first official t-shirt this season, thanks to the Desjardins family, Marty specifically who came up with the idea. It reads “Grandma Sandy What Can We Do That’s FUN?” This now much repeated phrase was started by grand Sebastian trying to get me to play Portal without actually coming out and saying it, since he has limited screen time. His clever reasoning being that if the idea comes from Grandma Sandy allowances are made. It took me longer than the rest of the family to figure out his coded message.

2015 marks our first pretty much non-stop camping the entire traditional school break summer and it really was, as Jake told his parents, the best year yet!

martin camperlydia camperjake campersea bass camper

 

edward camper benji camper zach camper marie camperpj rising camper

The Nifty Nine. Martin 14, Lydia 12, Jake 17, Sebastian 6, Edward 7, Benji 7, Zach 5, Marie 3, PJ 2. Martin & Lydia belong to daughter Emily & Marty. Sebastian belongs to son Donald & Terri. Edward & Marie belong to son Stephen & Sarah. Benji, Zach & PJ belong to son Andrew & Jenn. Jakes belongs to Donny’s brother Robert & Diane.

 

 

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Filed under Beach Life, Camp OBX, family