The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

June 8, 2014

Scott Underwood: From pomp to pigs, graduates get to party

Invitations. Balloons. Barbecues. Congratulations cards. Memorabilia. Photographs from across the years. Pig races.

High school commencement time in Madison County and across Indiana ain’t what it used to be. It’s much, much more.

When I stumbled through high school in the mid-1980s, graduation parties came in two varieties: the kind your parents organized, and the kind your parents knew nothing about.

At the former, folks stood around for a couple of hours sipping soft drinks and talking. Meanwhile, the clandestine graduation parties offered an excuse to drink beer and raise hell. Any excuse would do, back in the day.

Now, just as my generation has infiltrated Facebook, parents have moved decisively to quash the underground parties. They’ve done this, essentially, with bribery.

What kid could turn down an all-expenses-paid party with tons of food, live music and hundreds of guests — all bearing gifts? It’s not unusual these days for a grad party to reap a couple G’s for the honoree.

But we shouldn’t be cynical about it.

High school commencement is the culmination of 13 years (sometimes more!) of education. Graduates who have come up through the grades together have an extraordinary connection. Some love each other. Some don’t. Some have been there to embrace in times of triumph and to grieve with in times of loss.

Commencement, really, is a pretty big deal, worthy of extravagant parties.

At my nephew’s graduation hoedown last spring, we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and treated an unending line of people to an array of potato salads, chip dip, and even vegetable and fruit trays.

Many of my nephew’s guests tripled their body weight that day, eating their way through the local circuit of gluttony, from graduation party to graduation party. Even when you’re stuffed, you don’t turn up your nose at miniature meatballs and weenies.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Have you been to Mounds Mall to see the “Imagine Mounds Lake” display?

Yes, and it solidified my support
Yes, but I'm still opposed
No
     View Results