“Flying High”(collage art) and “Who is this DaveO Guy Anyhow?” (interview) in Rain Zine (Radical Art in Nature) Summer, 2010
A lot of nostalgia still attached to this place which I believe finally closed down after almost closing down many many times.
This is one such pass, probably from the late 1970s. Oh and maybe “Hula Whoop” was the “theme” for that year… (note to self: research this more, or not…) Note: this was also a way to get parents to pony up for tickets to haul their kid along
Note: after moving from Lansing, Michigan to Surrey, BC in 1974/5, we lived on 154th St. in Guilford area on a dirt road with a rented house which backed into a whole bunch of forest. I attended Harold Bishop elementary school before moving to Whalley (95 ave.) in middle for Grade 4.
In the nearby woods, my friend Chris Goodman and I found a huge stash of lumber (also note in there was a few burnt out old houses in a field across from us) we salvage things and made large dangerous tree houses. I recall we played wide-games in the forest as well as epic street hockey games at the dead end by a new doctor’s office.
This area was quickly developed with a big new library and a massive mall. The building still exist though the house is long gone, the roads paved etc. etc.
This was around the time I did the Pig Express newsletter and wrangled up various gangs of “good kids” for activities and what not. Realizing now this was *important* because there was a lot of dangerous characters around the neighbourhood including the one who shall not be named.
A high school i attended for 1-1/2 year-ish in Utah held a 20 anniversary for my graduating class in summer 2018 – while i wasn’t technically a graduate (nor did i attend the event), i added my dispatch for the record. Shared here for the posterity etc.
A few flashbacks… (PS i was Dave Elliott in those years)
I was a sorta “walk-on character” in the Orem High sitcom – arriving from Canada for the last couple months of 10th grade and then dropping out 2 weeks into 12th grade but dang,… made 11th grade count.
* Running Paul Moody’s “campaign” for Student body president including the “fascist takeover” at the assembly and screening of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in lounge for a campaign promotion – and the acknowledgement speech at assembly in which someone temporarily declined to announce the winner because of the number of “refused” ballots
* The (notorious) Martin Luther King day protest including long banners on newspaper roll ends covering the lockers with rather controversial slogans
* Thought i wasn’t enrolled in Unified Studies, my attendance was almost perfect
* KOHS, possibly the best invention in the history of highschool (until my FCC license was revoked)
* Ace-ing AP US History with a 98% on the test but failing because of the tardy/absence policy (drop a grade each time or something) – it *was* the first class in the morning
* Being amazed at seminary – meaning you could sign up and have basically a period off (before moving to Utah, i had attended early morning seminary (imagine the horror of riding to church house on cold Canadian mornings at 5AM!)
* Swim team – i wasn’t cut out for football, basketball etc so signed up for swim team which basically meant roadtrips to other schools, hanging out in a Speedo waiting to lose to “whichever school we were competing against” – our girl’s team won all the time though
* Having no idea was the heck a Sadie Hawkins dance was until getting invited by a card written in Alpha-bits cereal – was completely baffled (later Napoleon Dynamite made this clear)
* Umm… after growing up in a very multi-cultural part of Vancouver (little Punjab), arriving to a ummm… sorta non-diverse school
* Feeling like a total outsider but quickly making friends by virtue of driving a limo to school – which was later replaced by an even more fun VW bus (Spicoli had nothing on me)
* Wearing shorts every single day of the school year – usually with wool socks and duck boots and flannel shirts – i didn’t exactly invent “grunge style” but do deserve an honourable mention
* Frequently teased for using Canadian spellings / we like to put in extra an “u” and switch around “re” instead of “er” and saying “zed” instead of “zee” #sigh
* Requiring a note to read Catcher in The Rye in 11th grade AP English > also realizing the teacher had absolutely no idea why the book was “banned” in some alien circles
* Amazed that so many girls looked like straight out of a magazine or movie #outofmyleague – i was more accustomed to punk rock girls
* Never attending a single football game (now if there was a hockey team…)
* Coming “back” for 12th grade homecoming dance and bringing non-Orem high pals and taking photo with the reggae band (Irie Heights)
By the way, when i bailed on Grade 12 (12th Grade), i went to Utah Technical College (later Utah Valley Community College, Utah Valley College, Utah Valley University, Harvard of the West…) and “earned” an Alpine School District Adult High School diploma after rigorous schedule of ceramics, mountaineering, photography and “independent study” – also creative writing (which turned out handy). I did attend class of 88 grad as a spectator.
Later? after a run of a few more higher-ed institutions (University of Utah, University of Guam) i graduated from Evergreen State College, just took me a few decades. Since, travelled 40+ countries, 100 weird jobs (most recently VP at Hootsuite (social media company), gave TEDx talk (not near as popular as Jani Radebaugh‘s) and now live on various remote small islands making poetry, podcasts and paintings (also deal with a weird complex illness #boring).
I have been able to meet up with a few excellent folks from those years (Cory DeMille, Mark Swenson, Jayson Lee, Kyle Blackham, Jennifer Powers-Johnson, Jeniffer Johnson Goodman, Jennifer Hawkins Pixton, Nichole Ortega… in the last few years – albeit some only virtually).
Thanks for letting me share – i won’t be at the reunion (i am far away elsewhere) but carry fond memories.
Would very much like to know what you are up to?
I also love to write letters/postcards so message your address (or fill out form on my website) and one day you’ll receive postal mail from this “walk on character”.
Fondly, dvo, elsewhere
Jennifer Hawkins Pixton You were ahead of your time! Love that your VW bus is now a sauna.
Michelle Scofield You and your brother were exactly what the school needed!! Thanks for spicing things up.
Marianne Paul Jensen You were definitely ahead of your time. And you definitely increased the character of the non-diverse school.
Thanks for sharing these awesome memories!
Dave Olson Funny how in those impressionable days of high school, we get defined, &/or define ourselves… I guess I was a little naïve about the different cliques and hierarchies of high school in the US… I had gone to four different schools in 10th grade and just desperately wanted to find a tribe to hang out with so tried to be friendly to everyone. Of course most people had known each other for years through junior high or the same church groups or whatever but I came in with none of those preconceive notions.
I’m sure I overcompensated for my nervousness with too much chatter and goofballery –
As it goes, no matter how “popular” one was in high school, we all had to go out in the world and find someway to make a living and make ourselves happy. It turns out there’s a little benefit to “peaking early” And being “cool” in high school doesn’t predict a future of life success/happiness.
Rick Herlevi I was telling my kids the other day about the one and only time in my life that I hiked the Y. I skipped class and went with Kraig Kiggins, I think Cory was there and the two Canadian brothers that drove a limo and hiked they Y. Why would I ever want to do it again after that pinnacle experience.
Kelli Robison Herlevi This convo definitely did take place very recently. It was probably our FHE lesson. I thought Rick was making up the story so he didn’t have to commit to a “Y” hike. But it looks like there’s truth to his story. I won’t make him hike the “Y” again. I can’t compete.
Dave Olson Next time, we will just drive the limo up to the Y with a catered picnic – It’s all true, even the parts that aren’t 🙂
Cory DeMille Many great memories in this bus! Remember our Good the Bad and the Ugly video Party and camping in the bus in full cowboy regalia on OHS campus? Now that would be considered a terrorist incident!
Dave Olson Also remember driving around and shooting Roman candle bottle rockets out the back of the bus, and later water balloons (filled from the bus’s sink) and big gulp cups through the “accidental” sunroof – would soak BYU students and act all nonchalant like “it wasn’t us”… Sometimes when chased, the only reasonable strategy was to drive really slow rather than trying to out run them. Those activities did produce some actual police incidents however￼
Cory DeMille We were dicks at times!
Simon was all of us in Surrey
“Simon” he exclaimed
in the Mac’s Convenience Store
I stopped at after
my paper route
to buy a 7-up.
“No” i said.
He meant the stolen boy
from Senator Reid school
The posters were unneeded
We all knew the fear.
Blonde mop, skinny boy
rosy freckled cheeks
They’ve gone away
Faded, scarred to haunt us.
He shared my family name
and was evidently charming to most all involved
It’s not my shame, but the scars are
i walked the same road, yet it wasn’t me.
Negotiating, capitalizing, scheming
Selling secrets to wrench the wound
the discovery reveals more pain
Until sometime on a page 3 day this year.
He left. Cancer, like my Dad i think.
72 as well, i think. I didn’t read close.
I didn’t need the fear again –
he brought to 92nd and Scott.
Cedar Hills, Whalley Exchange,
Guildford Mews and King George Boulevard
These were ours, closest to a neighbourhood
Now faded into condo shopping schemes
Only we notice the changes
since we were all 12 years old.
The paper told us he was dead
the neighbours never knew
His wife flabbergasted
And i never cried so hard
as i did for Simon in 82.
After a workshop about storytelling by podcast, each of the Young Gunz youth group draws a card from Dave’s “Dossier of Importancy” and react with an impressionist story about what they see. Recorded Nov. 13, 2009, at Purple Thistle Institute in Vancouver, Canada.
Reach into the envelope for: “Dossier of Importancy” – Impressionalist Pod Stories at Purple Thistle (5:37, 2.6MB, 64k mp3, mono)
Delving into the production of podcasts, Dave reviews various methods and equipment options for capturing sounds, then getting audio into a machine to edit, editing software choices, finding music and ambient noise, and finally outputting a quality creative dispatch out into the world via a blog and podcast aggregator.
As shared with the Young Gunz youth group at Purple Thistle Institute in Vancouver, Canada, Nov. 13, 2009.
Connect the wires for: Creating your Podcast at Purple Thistle, part 3 (30MB, 192K mp3, 21:45)
In order to generate ideas for podcasts, Dave converses with Young Gunz youth group about their topics of interests and passions, and riffs about turning these curiosities into compelling shows in part 2 of the workshop.
As told to the Young Gunz youth group at Purple Thistle community centre in Vancouver, Canada, Nov. 13, 2009.
Get a pencil for: Ideation for Podcasts at Purple Thistle, part 2 (45MB, 192K mp3, 32:32)
Storytelling is core to compelling podcasts. Moreso than technical details, focus on planning ideas, digging out unique stories, seeking desired vision, and crafting community. As shared by Dave Olson with the Young Gunz youth group at Purple Thistle Institute in Vancouver, Canada, Nov. 13, 2009. Thanks to Carla Bergman and the Young Gunz.
Grab a seat for: Storytelling by Podcast at Purple Thistle, part 1 (84MB, 192K mp3, 1:01:09)