Living Wright: Spring break is great time to be a kid
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
3/19/13 at 5:15 PM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Spring break is great time to be a kid
I'm only ever jealous of kids twice a year: summer and spring break.
Not surprisingly, I didn't appreciate that full week off in March like I do now. But I have some great memories of spring breaks, on which I reflect with no small amount of nostalgia this time of year in particular.
My last official spring break was in 1996, and I spent it working a weeklong internship at what would eventually become my first job, one of the features reporters at the Hattiesburg American in Mississippi. I remember absolutely nothing about it other than the people with whom I worked. Wait, no, I remember thinking the vending machine options were stellar. Otherwise, nada.
All the breaks before that, though, stand out more colorfully in my recollection bank, like 1983. Dad had an automotive chemical distribution business at the time, and a Wynn's convention was being held in Orlando, Fla. While Dad did that, Mom took my brother and I to Epcot Center, which I loved more than Disney World. We drove down in our new(ish) white Chevrolet Caprice Classic with blue velour interior, which I thought was pretty fancy compared to our former brown Toyota Corolla - mostly because the Caprice had four doors and the Corolla a mere two. Plus, the seats in the latter were Naugahyde and would burn the fire out of you in the summer, especially if you wore shorts.
High school memories
Anyway, spring breaks in high school were all memorable, especially in ninth and 10th grades because I loathed school with a white-hot passion. Both years, I was a new kid in a new school in a new town, and I never really made any friends either time. So I was thrilled when Mom and Dad would drive me to Mississippi from either Pensacola, Fla., or Mobile, Ala., to spend a week with Mamaw. After breakfast, we'd walk five laps around Sawmill Square Mall, buy biscuits from Hardee's for our mid-morning snack, and I'd write my weekly soap opera to my cousin Missy while Mamaw did office work at Papaw's radiator shop until 11 a.m., when he'd take us to Shoney's. Then, it was back home for "Days of Our Lives," a bag of Cheetos and some Maple Nut Goodies. Sigh ... Those were fabulous days.
Eventually, I actually came to kinda enjoy school, at least by my senior year when we had moved back to Mississippi. My last spring break brought the third snowfall I ever saw in my life, with 6 inches of the white stuff falling that first weekend. The power went out, a DJ at WNSL was playing "Winter Wonderland," and I went outside with my cat Felix in my arms to watch the green and purple bursts of electricity transformers exploding on the horizon. It was awesome.
Before that final spring break spent at the Hattiesburg American, I started work at the Laurel Leader-Call, working as the features editor's assistant. Again, don't remember much about what I did. But I still remember my desk and the building's odor of paper, ink and coffee, and how wonderful it was to finally be doing what I'd wanted to do career-wise since I was 9 years old.
Granted, it sucks not having a spring break all these years later. But I'm very thankful for all the memories - and sincerely hope all those kids off this week are making great ones of their own.