January 5, 2013

Scotch Plains, NJ. March, 1974

Oh, no. What’s wrong with this picture? The mustache? The tinted aviator glasses? The red and green checked flannel shirt (mercifully rendered here in black and white)? The staged enthusiasm for the benefit of the camera? I was teaching at Union Catholic Boys High School, not far from my Garden State home, my first job out of graduate school. Can you see the poster for the disastrous film adaptation of The Great Gatsby (Robert Redford, Mia Farrow) taped on the front of the desk? The scribbled “alliteration” (my least favorite poetic device) on the board. I was a mess. Can I blame the ’70s? “We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.” Or something.

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