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Music & Stories: FLHS – Bridgemen Forever

by Allan Arkush Oct 13, 2018

I was in the Class of 1966 at Fort Lee High School. Our team’s nickname was The Bridgemen because of our proximity to the George Washington Bridge (about a quarter mile). The nickname was apt, FLHS was a bridge to adult life.

Yes I am an Unreliable Narrator, but I have always been so. Dennis Benson was kind enough to send me an essay that he wrote about the relationship of stories to truth, here’s a quote that Dennis cited: “If someone were to ask me what disaster this was that had befallen my life, I might ask if they wanted the story or the truth.” I would add “comedy” to the term “disaster,” looking back and finding the emotional space to see the comedy and have a laugh is a profound thing.

This chapter is a dark comedy about events & people that inspired much of my lifework and attitudes. Dennis Benson again: “The problem usually lies in the relationship between the story and the truth. The story has to obey the truth, to represent it, like clothes represent the body.The closer the cut, the more pleasing the effect. Unclothed, truth can be vulnerable, ungainly, shocking. Over-dressed it becomes a lie.”

I want to clarify that the photo of our class at an assembly that I identify as “The Sopranos” is a joke. No one in that shot had trouble with the law, the guys who were the trouble makers are in the auditorium and not necessarily visible in the shot. No one is prouder of the class of 1966 than I am…….AA