Lots of St. Chris grads in the news lately:
Last week there was composer Mason Bates being appointed to a prestigious post at the Kennedy Center. But the latest thing I've seen is this kinda funny/kinda sad little remembrance of a first kiss by former Richmonder Taylor Antrim, a senior editor at Vogue. Just the kind of thing to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day.
In the story, Antrim describes St. Christopher's back in the 1980s:
"I was four years into life at a private boy’s school in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. A handsome, compact campus of brick buildings and immaculate playing fields. Rigorous dress code. Chapel every morning. Parking lots filled with Saabs and Jeep Cherokees. Thanks to a few good teachers, the institution had a decent academic reputation—nothing spectacular. It felt more like a finishing school for the sons of Richmond stockbrokers than a place that aimed to fill you with ambition."
Also he talks about Camel-smoking St. Catherine's girls who afforded him his first ever kiss during a play appropriately titled "Kissing Scene." And the hazing ritual that followed from his fellow St. Chris piers.
"Then, hours later, when I was passing down a hallway to class, three of them (including, I think, Meghan’s on-again-off-again boyfriend) put me in a headlock, wrapped up my legs, and dragged me into the senior lounge, where more were waiting. What followed was the sort of ritual hazing only select freshmen were subject to: a pile on, my face crushed into the carpet, my arms and legs rabbit-punched until numb, and then as a finale, they pushed me out of the senior lounge window."
Ah, sappy REM songs. Rabbit-punching. Senior lounges. Window tossing. We've all been there.
Keep an eye out for Antrim's new book, literary thriller "Immunity" coming May 5 from Regan Arts, Judith Regan's new publishing venture. Antrim, who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children, also is the author of "The Headmaster's Ritual."
And remember: thespian geeks always get the girl, or boy, in the end.