“The Swimming Pool?”

We get defined all the time, whether we like it or not.

Not just skin color and gender, but other things, physically, mentally, etc, they also can define us.

As of Thursday, August 1, 2013, I am now defined. At least for the next 4 years.

I am the father of a kid in high school.

My daughter started her freshman year Thursday.

These next 4 years are going to fly by.

Thank God, she is a lot smarter than I was when I entered high school.

This is a pic of the young (But obviously stunning) Big Joe in his early high school years.


Obviously, my daughter’s first day brought back a lot of memories of my first day in high school.

August, 1982. McGavock high school.

13 years old. I had a late birthday, October, so my mother started me in school early. She said I was ready. I always argued she wanted me out of the house. She had no reply to that.

13 years old, at one of, if not the, biggest high school in the southeast.

3,000 students, from 13 to 30. Yes, 30. There were some guys that had to be 30 back in those early McGavock days that were there because the teachers were too scared to tell them to leave.

I walk in this massive school and luckily, I see my old friend, Bruce Clark, from junior high at a table in the cafe. We sit down and don’t say a word for the next 15 mins.

I was somewhere, just not sure where.

I saw grown women with boobs. Men with beards. It was like I was stuck in a MTV video and I wanted to get out but couldn’t. (By the way, kids, MTV back in the day, used to play videos. Like, all day long. I know, crazy huh.)

I had never seen the likes of these people before. And I was amazed.

And scared to death.

I got my schedule and off I went. If you have never seen McGavock high school, it is like a small college. Most schools you have 5 minutes between periods to get to your next class. At McGavock, we had hours to get to our next class. Yes, the school was that big.

And I made the mistake of asking someone where one of my classes was located. I should have known better.

‘Spanish? Oh yes, third floor, literally right next to the swimming pool.’

Third floor? Odd, but McGavock only has two floors I thought. Well, he is older, he has a beard and kids, he knows better than I do.

I walked around forever looking for the swimming pool.

The damn swimming pool. On the third floor.

I went up every stairway, in every hall, to find this third floor.

It hit me. There was no swimming pool. There was no third floor.

I finally found my class and totally expected this when I walked in….


Ahhh yes, good times.

4 years later, when I graduated, I cried.

I had the best time, thanks to a bevy of friends who were just as scared as I was, although they will never admit it.

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Filled with pride, but knowing the next step, is letting her go.

I said earlier, these next 4 years are going to fly by.

I hope they take forever.



  1. Jenny August 1, 2013 8:30 pm  Reply

    All I see when I look at your picture is Joey Tribiani… “How you doin’?”

  2. Brutus August 2, 2013 2:38 am  Reply

    I remember that first day well Joe. Also, remember yelling at the golfers during lunch!

  3. Anthony August 2, 2013 2:56 pm  Reply

    You were and still are STUNNING Joe!

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2013 3:33 pm  Reply

      Hugs to you!

  4. Heather schwabe August 2, 2013 4:26 pm  Reply

    My son starts this year too, but as a sophomore here in Boise.
    Those were our informative years there at Big Mac, and boy did we learn quickly, some of the best experiences of my life, helping me to be the person I am today. Your daughter is going to shine, just like you did Joe.

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2013 3:33 pm  Reply

      Aww, thank you! Now move back to Tennessee!!

  5. Zach August 3, 2013 12:06 pm  Reply

    I am on the other end as Will starts his Senior year. Every event during school will be his “last” one – last homecoming, last prom, etc. When Senior night rolls around for basketball ball, I will be a basket case.

    • Joe Dubin August 3, 2013 3:30 pm  Reply

      Plus he got to golf with the great Big Joe. That has to be his senior year highlight.

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