Vanilla with the nine …


Son was bored last night. I suggested we dig through some old boxes. He wasn’t feeling it.

Then we came upon the above photograph.

I actually remember when and where it was taken, as well as the who.

When: Nashville, 1996. I was covering a high school soccer game for The Tennessean.

Where: Some field in suburbia.

Who: George Walker, Tennessean photographer.

My son reacted well. Eh, actually, “well” might be the wrong word. Were he 22, and not 10, he’d have said, “Holy shit, Vanilla Ice, where are the Ninja Turtles?” But instead he simply laughed and laughed and laughed. Which made me laugh and laugh and laugh. The glasses were enormous, the hat dreadful, the shirt almost certainly a $7 Marshall’s purchase. But the worst part is that I 100-percent thought I looked awesome.

That’s the oddity of youth, isn’t it? I probably saw George aiming his camera my way, and gazed downward to give off that contemplative, thoughtful vibe that Donald Trump will spend the next four years trying to perfect.

Alas, I was merely a punk kid with discount clothes and no clue.

One day, my son will be there.

He’ll understand.