What people call middle school these days was called junior high school when I was a kid. I attended Nimitz Junior High in Odessa,TX. Go Admirals! An acquaintance, let’s call him Mike, had everything going for him. Smart, Athletic, good-looking, honor roll, and he was actually humble which was quite uncommon for 13 to 15 year-old adolescents. He even won over Mrs. Barlow the English teacher who could be moody.
Mike did equally well at Odessa Permian (MOJO) where he starred on the football team as a sophomore. He went off to either law school or medical school and did not do as well. He dropped out and became a ski bum in Vail, Colorado for a year or so. This motivated him to go back to school and he chose Boston University.
I don’t know what he majored in there, but he and his Texas accent did not fit in too well. He begin drinking which is a habit he only picked up in college. One week-end, Mike was out driving with a woman he picked up at some club. Word has it that you could only see Mike’s head as they were driving very near or on Silber Way. Mike could charm the clothing off any girl/woman he met so he was quite used to this sort of treatment.
Making a turn under the influence of too much alcohol, Mike hit a cement fence. His companion, being in the position she was in, suffered disabling injuries. Mike was not scratched or injured in the slightest.
Turns out his pick-up was married to a prominent Boston citizen who was not going to let Mike off easy. Mike’s folks back in Odessa hired an attorney who specialized in DWI/DUI cases. The husband of the disabled passenger hired a lawyer that was so slick that it did not even come out that sex was occurring in the car at the time of the life-changing accident.
Mike and his parents got hit with damages that they have never recovered from. Needless to say, he never got into law school and has never had a decent job since the car accident and DUI conviction. He could not even get a job as a truck driver and his life has been miserable, the exact opposite of his glory years in Odessa.
Mike’s decision to drink and drive was a true moment of impact in a very literal and figurative sense. You could partially blame it on his parents for not retaining a Boston lawyer which might have influenced the outcome of the litigation more in Mike’s favor. Some are inclined to blame alcohol for all their problems, but these are the same people who blame guns for the multiple mass murders in recent years. Blaming inanimate objects is gutless and irresponsible.
In the final analysis, Mike is completely to blame for his irresponsible decision, but I can not help but feel sorry for the talented and humble guy from Odessa Permian of Friday Night Lights lore.