High School: The Early Years

When high school started, I was still pumped up after seeing Megadeth, The Misfits, Alice Cooper, Dokken, Slaughter, and Warrant in August of '97. It was a great summer. The first day of school, I can remember that Preston Ley saw that I was wearing a Megadeth shirt and he said he had their new cd. So I thought Preston might be pretty cool, and we became friends eventually.

I cannot remember anything much from this year other than when Billy Noggle got arrested for murder. That was a shock because he sat at my lunch table every day. That really hit close to home. I would have never thought that one of our classmates would murder someone, especially someone whom I actually talked to occasionally. I was not friends with him, he was actually quite annoying, but he still sat at my table. That will always be the biggest memory from 9th grade. I wish stupid and horrible memories like that wouldn't overpower the others.


Tenth grade was a very cool year and a lot of stuff happened. David Bauer and I were in the same Spanish class, and we got into all kinds of trouble, without actually getting into trouble (if that makes any sense). We were yelled at constantly. One of the funniest things I remember was when David ripped the top of his desk off. It was loose and squeaky, and he just kept working it back and forth until it was completely severed from the bottom. It sat on the pole and could stay on by itself. At the end of the period he stood up, and picked up his desk's top with him and said "Want some gum, Mrs. Corney?" while he was pointing at some gum stuck underneath the bottom of the desk. She got really mad, but he said it was already like that. There were no extra desks like that in the school, so she was one desk short for two days and the janitor had to weld it back. David had to sit in his desk chair the next day, but he had no desk! That was one of the funniest things I remember. We made fun of everything that Mrs. Corney said and I am surprised that we actually passed that class. We were constantly mimicking everything she said. We tore up desks, wrote stuff on the board, and put the words "Taco, Burrito, Taco Supreme"
all over our homework instead of real answers. We wrote a very vulgar song that made fun of Mrs. Corney and her son Chris. It was really funny. That was a great class in tenth grade, but only because David was in there. Whenever we changed seating charts, she always put David and I together, which I thought was freakin' stupid, because we never shut up, and were a constant distraction. I guess, she figured she couldn't stop us, and we'd be yelling across the room if she separated us anyway.I will always remember "Jibber," and the long notes we passed back and forth that took up more than 70 pages by the end of the year, front and back. A family friend named Phil "Philth" Ondich who lives in Galion, recorded an album with former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde over the summer before tenth grade, and most of the year I was counting down until the album was released, and it was all I talked about. Phil is an amazing drummer, and of course, Zakk is one of the best guitarists to ever live. The band was called Black Label Society and the album was called Sonic Brew. The album came out May 4th, 1999. It may seem pathetic, but BLS became my life. It was all I talked about, and I talked way too much (just ask anybody who was around my back then). David and I went toilet papering all of the time, and always hung out. David became my best friend that year. At lunch, I sat with David, Jed Wagner, and Bridgette Sims. Mrs. Diebler was my English teacher in tenth grade, and she quickly became my favorite teacher. Her class was always a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I was in Mechanical Drawing One this year, and Phil Ream was in my class. Phil would always be behind, so after my drawings were graded, I let him take them home and trace them. A lot of hilarious things happened in mechanical drawing, and every other class, for that matter.

Eleventh grade started out pretty boring. David and Jed were going to Pioneer, so they were gone. I kept in contact with David on the phone, and we planned on going to see BLS and Loudmouth play at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus on September 26th. A few days before the show, David got pulled over for driving under the influence, being underage and for possession of marijuana. He was in a lot of trouble, and was on house arrest. He definitely was not going to the concert with me. He was not allowed to talk on the phone for what seemed like forever, so I lost touch with David, and we really don't talk anymore, sadly. I went to the concert with my uncle Jimmy Severns and I was not old enough to get in, even with my uncle with me. I walked around to the tour bus and Phil was cool enough to let me walk in with the band. I snuck into the show; that was really awesome. Loudmouth was a really great band, and really impressed me. But when BLS hit the stage, a loud air raid siren started the show. As soon as the guitars and drums kicked in, I forgot all about Loudmouth. BLS had the heaviest sound I have ever heard. The whole band was in top form, and every song blew me away. It is a shame that they weren't more famous, because they put on a better show than any other band I had seen. Zakk and Nick Catanese are amazing guitarists and John "JD" DeServio is an excellent bass player. Phil laid down the law through and through as well.

A week after the concert, there was a knock at my door and it was Jim Davis and another private investigator (which is just a fancy name for big-shot-know-it-all pigs). I had no clue why they were there, but it was for me. I had sent some e-mails to Tiffini Pinion during the previous summer, as a complete joke and prank using an anonymous email address, and she was offended and they tracked them down to me. They read me my rights, confiscated my computer and took me in for questioning. I admitted to doing it. I never thought that I would get in trouble for such a thing, because it happened months and months before they arrested me, and it was not that big of a deal anyway. Hell, it wasn't even my idea, and I wasn't the only person who sent the emails, but I took the fall for it and said it was just me. I was grounded for a long time, and for a while, I actually got suicidal. They were pressing charges and I was afraid I was going to be sent away, and I was not going to let that happen. I listened to Zakk Wylde's solo album called Book Of Shadows over and over again for a long time, and it helped me cope. It is now my favorite album of all-time. School sucked because my friends kept calling me "Felon Dan" and would not stop talking about it. I never talked to Tiffini before that, or after that. It was all a big misunderstanding, and I regret it happened. Nothing happened after that really. After about eight months, they gave me my computer back, but I already had got a new one by then. I did not get into any trouble with the law, because no one wanted to prosecute me for something that is totally stupid. Everyone agrees that I should not have done what I did, but it was not worth getting in an uproar about. Even the police officer that drove me home thought that it was stupid that I was in trouble for such a dumb thing. The year drug on, and it got better. Nick Wentz and I had a lot of fun in our classes. We used to go down to Mr. Cauley's room during our eighth period study hall and watch movies (Pantera's Vulgar Video and the South Park movie! I can't believe we got away with watching those in school) and mess with everyone else's equipment. Mr. Cauley left us in there by ourselves, so we did whatever we wanted. Jeff Hadsel's drawing machine was messed up almost every day he came into drawing, because we always reversed it completely, loosened it, or tightented it the day before in Study-hall. Nick and I became friends and had a lot of fun in eleventh grade. I will always remember the "Garrett Horner Butt-crack Incident," giving Jeff Hadsell a hard time, and the re-titling of Lynyrd Skynyrd songs to be about Billy Noggle (What's Your Name (Little Squirrel), Sweet Home Mansfield Correctional Institituon, etc). My Spanish class was very boring this year since David was not in the class with me, so with my time in class when I was not paying attention (99% of the time), I added onto the song that I wrote with David the year before. I typed it all up, and printed out 20 copies and passed them around the school. I got caught for it, and got two days suspension, which I thought was really dumb because even Mr. Mohr laughed at the poem and thought it was funny. Everyone talks about that poem to this day, and a lot of people still have their copies. I regret doing it, and it was a stupid thing to do. I learned an important lesson from that though...not everyone is my friend and will keep a secret. I found out much later, that it was Adam Grau who told on me...even though I hadn't talked to him for like 2 years. I can remember that Josh Malone, a kid who also lived in North Robinson's house burnt down TWICE that year. Something smelled fishy there, but as it turned out, both times were accidents. The year was very cool by the end, and I remember staying until the very last day of school and finishing my Mechanical Drawing Two wooden house that I designed. There were only about 5 other kids in the entire building on the last day, which was cool...but also boring.

The first few years of high school had some memorable events, but these three years were not as enjoyable as I would have hoped. A lot of stupid things happened, and I was not always happy the first three years of high school. These three years would be overshadowed by the next year. I had no clue what my senior year would bring for me . . .

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