#631: The Locker Door

GETTING MORE TALE #631: The Locker Door

Before the first day of highschool even began, I had selected the posters I was going to hang up inside.  For my first locker ever, at the beginning of grade nine, I chose Gene Simmons.  It was a weird picture of him from the Asylum era, no makeup, and his tongue pinned to the neck of his bass by the strings.  I was truly disappointed that girls found the picture repulsive and didn’t want to talk to me.  I’m still proud that I was flying the Kiss flag right from day one.  For some reason, I also had a picture of Mr. Mini Wheats, from a box of the same-named cereal.

Meanwhile, my best buddy Bob had something cooler.  It was a poster of Bruce Dickinson, circa 1986, standing next to the giant stage Eddie from Somewhere in Time.  Everybody seemed to agree that the new Blade Runner Eddie was the coolest one yet, and that poster was the envy of the hallway.  When he was done with it, Bob passed the locker poster down to me.  I was thrilled — so much that I used it again the next year.

Bob moved on to Samantha Fox.  She took over from where Eddie and Bruce once were.  “Hey, that one’s topless,” remarked the English teacher Mr. Payette as he strolled past.  She was covering her modesty with her arms, but she was indeed missing her top.

In grade 10, Bob and I did something sneaky.  On the first day of school, he advised me to bring an extra lock, and see if I could snag an extra, unoccupied locker.  I did — right next to my own, in fact.  So that year, Bob and I had this spare locker that we shared right next to mine.  He had this little Nerf basketball set.  You could hang a net from the locker door.  We also had gotten into remote control cars.  We stashed them in the spare locker and played with them during the lunch hour.  We got caught by the stern science teacher, Mr. Branday.  “Take this to the gym!” he shouted at us.

Branday was a weird guy.  Every year, he began his science class with the same line.  “Science is a tool of the mind.  With it, one can open more doors than with the bare hands alone!”

Bob and I had such a good time, that year of the two lockers.  A fresh succession of posters went up, although I hung onto Bruce and Eddie until it was literally falling apart.  One I liked a lot was a cardboard cut out of ZZ Top’s Eliminator car, from a Monogram model kit I built.  I always wanted to rig up a Walkman with a speaker in the door of that locker, but we figured if the racing cars got us in shit, music would even more.

Locker posters usually came from magazines such as Hit Parader, but it had to be a vertical poster.  A horizontal one would only be good for home.  A kid down the hall, Michael Wright, had a picture of a computer in his locker one year.  I tended to stick to rock stars.  Def Leppard went in there, and so did a rare picture of Vinnie Vincent in his Kiss makeup.

Some of the posters that survived

I tried to take care of my posters so I could use them again.  They seemed like a big part of my identity.  I brought my posters to school on the first day every year, so my locker would never be bare.  Nobody but Bob seemed to get that.  I always enjoyed carefully packing them up on the last day of school before summer holidays.  Except for the last year of highschool, when I knew it was the very last time.  There would be no more lockers.  The very last locker posters were coming down, for good.  I hated the feeling, the finality of it.  Knowing life was about to change and almost all my old friends would be gone doing their own things.  It was a…lonely feeling.  The lockers were always a communal place.  You’d chat with friends before or between classes.  Life really felt different afterwards.

Somewhere in this house in an old video tape, of my grade 13 year circa 1990.  Bob and I rented a camera one weekend, went into the unlocked school and did a tour.  On that video is a detailed look at my locker posters of 1990-1991.  One day I’m going to have to get a USB VCR and take a look.

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16 comments

  1. Oh locker memories! My daughter has started high school this year and apparently the kids don’t use lockers anymore. They have them in the school, but is so UNCOOL to actually use one!! Times have changed!!

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  2. I never put up posters in my locker at school but had them all over my walls in my room. In high school it was all sports related, except for the one of Cheryl Tiegs in my senior year. Metal posters came about when I got out of the service. Great tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My locker had a pic of a Porsche 911 Turbo (my car, in the 90s), Magic Johnson (fave point guard), and a bunch of Sports Illustrated swimsuit pictures (Elle MacPherson, Kathy Ireland…), and sometimes a funny cartoon from the paper (usually a Calvin And Hobbes). Interestingly, no music or band pics.

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      1. Just curious – what would you have said I’d have? Band pics? Back in high school it would have been old black men from the early days of jazz and the blues… which come to think of it would have been cool too. Missed opportunity, there. Ah well, my teenage brain wanted a black 911 Turbo and Elle MacPherson in the passenger seat haha!

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        1. That’s actually exactly what I pictured. A black and white photo of Miles blowin’, or maybe BB King and Lucille. Although those kinds of locker posters aren’t exactly common are they?

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  4. Nothing to do with this post but I can’t stop listening to The Party from Max Webster. Was always aware of them but never did a deep investigation beyond Battle Scar. Your frequent praise forced my hand and I’m really enjoying the catch up. Its not often I get to enjoy a bands back catalog I missed out on previously. And yeah that Kim Mitchell EP is amazing. Thanks for being the catalyst to finally embrace such an incredible band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for letting me know that you are into it! I first heard that Kim EP in the 90s. It was very rare. I found a copy at Dr. Disc or Sam the Record Man downtown, on cassette. Getting it on CD was a dream come true.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Every square inch of my high school locker was covered with something. What got the most comments was a picture of Madonna on Letterman. I guess it stood out because the rest was rock and metal. I just thought it was funny. I can transfer that VHS to a DVD at work if you’re interested.

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