Throughout the past three days, Ive done nothing but tackle the issue of change. My
exposure to the real world has somehow altered my outlook on life. I guess
its all apart of growing up, but with two more weeks to go, I can only wonder -
MONDAY started out pretty darn slow. I found myself in the Dimond Mall,
the once glorified mack spot of the original hype-boyz from Mr. Rags (Kaloni
Franco, Kosmos Harrison, Chass Jones, Roy Garcia, Jason Canfield, Larry Ernest, Bobby
Macdonald, Duane Stallworth, Shane-dog, Derrick, and yours truly, Geo! The
hype-man). Those days are long gone and so are the original glory days of that mall.
Hey stranger! Echoes a female voice.
Its Sarah from Soldotna. I met her while cruising the strip in March of
94. I gave her my phone number and she called me 45 minutes later. Now, I ask you,
was that a desperate move on her part? Or, was that certified coolness letting me
know that she is most definitely interested? Oh well, we now laugh about that story. Sarah
& I were exchanging hugs when Brad Trevithick arrives on the scene (he was with me the
night I met Sarah). Brad looks like a new man. All that facial acne was gone. I walk Brad
to his car as he shares with me a near death experience, during a winter hike in the
Chugach Mountains. He expresses a lot of emotion to detail, as he takes me on a violent
avalanche ride down the mountain.
Dude! I kid you not! I fought as hard as I could,
but that snow was just too fuckin tough! I finally gave up and thought - oh well. I
guess this is the way Big Bs gonna go!
Next, I had a run-in with Shelly. I pretended like everything was all
right and yes, this jilted lover took the bait. Truthfully, I was trying to
protect my reputation from false advertisement. Shelly wanted to make things up with me.
She treated me to dinner, which I found to be totally cool! Afterwards, she drove me to
her house, simply to get me a wash rag and blanket cool again! Then, she re-offers
me the luxury of her home. Man, I kid you not, I was falling head over heels for this
reformed Shelly Coolridge. Although the fearsome thought of confronting Clyde laid not far
behind, Shelly assures me that nothing unexpected will frighten me. She even uses
Clydes name to distract my attention.
Oh, Geo! Clyde is okay with you.
She says. Were even meeting at the gym
Okay, call me a scary cat, but luxury isnt all that. Remember, true believer,
were on a mission.
7pm - I gave ol Allison Westervelt a ring. She was excited to hear from me.
7:45pm - Allison and I embrace in some kind of welcome back hug. She drops a
Oh my gosh, Geo! I didnt think Id ever
see you again!
The feeling was mutual, although I got the better end of the deal. Allison
Westervelts all grown up. We converse for a few more minutes, before heading out to
Bartlett High for her indoor soccer game. There, I ran into Megan OLeary from
Hey Mr. MTV!
Are ya coming to our Singled Out assembly on
Talk about being over-rated, that was my first sign of how popular that game show was to
my hometown. I joked with Megan about my appearance on the show ya know, the inside
scoop on how cool Chris Hardwick was and the truth about that damn Jenny McCarthy
character. I figured my Hollywood exposure would most definitely flatter Megans
heart. It was working, but ol Allison killed that plan pretty darn quick.
Geo! Youre not scammin on my teammates
now, are ya?
Wouldnt cha know it, Megan and Allison are best friends. Well, their team lost
miserably to an unranked opponent. Allison blames her poor performance upon my presence -
I can understand that. Afterwards, Allison and I munched down some appetizers at Red Robin
- while having a cool run-in with Donnys friend Will and his gal-pal, Sharra.
TUESDAY was a cold, brisk, flannel type of morning -
H. Finfrak. I journeyed to the FOX television station to say my
hellos to my former co-workers. Next, I went to see my old ROTC instructor,
SGM Magwood. He usually has a lot of advise to give me. Hm... Maybe his silent
treatment was his message. His only true comment;
Didnt you come here after your Price is
Right show? (responding to my appearance on Singled Out). I
understood his point. That 10 year reunion is right around the corner.
8:30pm Anthony Appel, hype-boy #3 and my DJ partner for the
groundbreaking Service Cougar dance (Tales
of The Hype! year 5) arrived on the scene. Anthony was suppose to rendezvous with Roy
Garcia & I last summer in New York City, but the darn fool fell in love, so he never
left Alaska. Whoa, Anthony gained a lot of weight. Obviously, this was a direct result of
his new laid back lifestyle with a girlfriend. I updated Anthony on the direction of
The Hype Roy, Donny, newcomer Pete and the mid July rendezvous in
Seattle, Washington. This time around, Anthony assures me that hell be there.
After several failed attempts to find something to do on a lonely Tuesday night, we ended
up at Anthonys house critiquing my appearance on Singled
Out. Everyone expected me to sell The Hype or at least try my best
to outshine my competition. But, in front of those Hollywood camcorders, The
Hype translated into being the coolest guy on earth and I
totally understand why. My show was one of their highest rated shows for that
WEDNESDAYS are always dry.
THURSDAY, I was in the valley, hangin tough at Powersounds Music
Outlet. A cutie comes in to flirt with us. She must be from Eureka Springs, AR -
cause her real name is Candance. She puts up a shy front, but
who is she fooling - I know all about these valley girls (Tales of the Hype! year 2).
Candance joined Donny and I in some kind of small bon-fire (kind
of hot, if you touch the flames).
10pm - Donny and I were running late to Allisons house (tomorrow
was their Singled Out assembly and I wanted to give Allison a Singled Out
T-shirt to wear - got it?). Donny was doing between 55 and 80, until Trooper Jones
pulls us over. The moment gets kind of intense, cause Donny has no more points left
on his license. I did nothing, but envision Mrs. Deans frustration, anger and
yelling! Everybody loves to toss the blame onto me, like the UAA incident (Tales of
The Hype! year 3). Donny gives Trooper Jones the ol late for the airport
story. I dont think he bought it. However, I do believe his kindness was
based highly upon Donnys off-beat originality.
10:45pm - Allisons house. Her father greets us at the door.
Thats when I realized how idiotic our late night rendezvous had become.
Lets analyze this situation more clearly... Its late, a school
night and two older men are at the door to visit his 18yr. Old daughter! You best
believe he invited us in for some man to man conversation. So, there we were,
stranded for the next 35+ minutes, locked into a deep conversation with Mr. Dan
Westervelt. But wait, the conversation goes good. So good that I have to
wonder, why is Donny still nervous? Matter of fact, why is Donny dishing out all the
dirt upon me?
Hes the one seeing your daughter!
Donny said. But dont worry, cause he
doesnt smoke, drink, or even have sex! - the darn fool
Allisons dad grabs a seat before removing his cap. He comments me upon my
white teeth. Then, he hands me this total sob story on Allisons smoking
I found her in the yard one night, smoking by
herself! Thats how I know shes hooked!
It was an indirect approach towards a solution. You could actually feel her
fathers final cries out for help. Somehow, I already knew that even I was too
late, smoking was just the bait. This is the part of my life that really sucks.
Ive lost a lot of great women in the past. The endless stories that
looked so promising at the beginning. All their hopes, dreams & fantasies...
Dionne Carter, my first pen pal from the Kenai Peninsula. She had
the desire of becoming a dancer: Like those black guys in the music
videos! she wrote. She planned on leaving Alaska after graduation.
Simply traveling from state to state, until she found her edge. But, three
months before her high school graduation, all that endless amount of energy managed to
disappear. Her pregnancy test came back. Positive all the way. Today,
shes on her second marriage. Two kids and another one on the way.
Shes a housewife for life. Born and raised in the small township of Nikiski,
Often, I sit back and wonder what I would be like, without my crusades for
The Hype. My father always told me to go to college, get an education.
Therefore, Id have something to fall back on. He disagrees with my
decisions and closes our arguments with the same mind-boggling question;
Where do you plan on going with your life?
Well, the way I look at it, you only live once. Ive seen the power behind the
life I live! The smiles, the joys & all the great things Ive produced
along the way. Ive seen what I am capable of doing. So, where ever this
dark, endless journey takes me, thats where Ill be.
FRIDAY morning, I rented a car for the weekend. Then, I cruised to
Dimond High to photograph the Singled Out assembly. Naturally, I was mistaken for
some kind of MTV bigshot. Cool, I can deal with that. Anyway, I was sitting on
this bleacher, alongside some class officials and Roys cousin, Robinson-mack. The girls were cheering and jumping around
when a naked white boy in a red ski mask, runs across the gymnasium floor. He stops
for one brief moment - wiggling and shaking his stuff, as I focus my lens upon the Emmy
award winning photograph. The event is kind of intense, so I think twice before
certifying the moment. In some way, I wouldve been forced to hand over the picture.
That would surely draw a heavy line between me, the students and the school
My life as a photographer is all about crediting my name towards that one in a million
shot. Sometimes, people find out the hard way that the picture itself, wasnt
worth the paper it was printed on. Hopefully, you wont forget the vicious
battering Vicki Taylor went through after photographing the death shot of that one athlete
(Tales of The Hype! year 3).
After the assembly, a small crowd of guys formed around Robinson-mack and I.
Theyre laughing and exchanging hand slaps about the streakers performance, when an
angry teacher steps to us.
I know you guys know who it was...
She says. You can just tell Vince, hes
A deep silence engulfs the crew. Im looking from the inside-out, as if I had
something to do with it. Cody-mack, the Sr. class president, steps to the plate.
Ya, know Mrs. Tilly... He said. The only person who would know, besides the streaker
himself, is the guy who drove the get-away truck!
Mrs. Tilly spreads a sinful grin across her face. I catch on to her reaction. The
committee, dumb founded, remained pinned against the wall.
So, She replies. howd ya know there was a get-a-way truck?
I laughed alongside her remark. The committee was stunned The Great Vince
ONeil, was done.
Afterwards, I chatted with Robinson-mack and his friends about the weekend. We
discussed Sadie Hawkins and throwing some off-beat dance party, tomorrow night. I
guess we were meeting at Romanos for a few appetizers and some pre-party
3:30pm - Robinson-mack and I arrive at the Little Red Schoolhouse. I
wanted to see the kids I used to visit during my run with the late Power 102 fm.
When we got there, all the old staff members were gone. I only recognized Jo-Jo and
two other kids. Naturally, Jo-Jo calls me a dummy and wonders where have I
been. Immediately, I am questioned by the two ladies at the front desk, who are
eyeing Robinson-mack and I like two crazy lunatics. I searched all around for some
kind of certification as one of the ladies kindly asks us to leave. Thats when
it happened, true believer. My eyes took notice of an object on the wall.
There, on a small platform, next to an unused candle, a couple glass ornaments, and one
crazy looking necklace I lost awhile back - was this 8x10 framed
picture of your favorite Alaskan story teller and the kids. It looked like I was
dead or something, but that photograph alone, proved to be more than enough for the
hype-styles to come through.
Oh my gosh! Says one of the
ladies. Youre Geo! The hype-man,
famed crusader of the Ol Mighty Hype! (okay, so she didnt go
that far - but I did get the red carpet treatment after that).
8:15pm - Anne Ramos arrives at the house of Robinson-mack.
Shes looking absolutely spectacular - all done up in her evening dress. We
snap a few headshots before jetting to dinner with Cody-mack and his girlfriend,
Lorena. On our way out, Robinson-mack secures an alcoholic beverage underneath his
jacket. I halt his progress and lecture him on the issue of underage drinking.
He ignores my warning and blows my comment right out the window.
Gosh Geo! Theyre only wine coolers!
8:30pm - Romanos Italian Cuisine. I sat opposite of the two
couples, capturing every hilarious minute on film. Cody-mack breaks into a past story
about their previous school dance. They laugh and joke about the incident as if they
were experiencing some kind of deja vu. Thats when I started to see that happy
bunch of diversity, that lived in my stories while dealing with hell in LA.
a Spanish Jr. class vice-president, escorting his best friend - Anne Ramos, a beautiful
Phillipino senior. Cody-mack, a Caucasian Sr. class president, goo-goo eyeing his
girlfriend - Lorena, an exotic looking Chinese cheerleader. I sat in total awe with
this young Alaskan group wondering, if I would ever find them during my journey in
the so-called real world.
Hey guys! Echoes a familiar
Its Allison and her goofy looking date. She doesnt introduce him, so
Im pretty sure hes something less than just a friend. She
smiles big and poses alone for the photograph. Its the first time Ive
seen her in a formal dress. She looks absolutely beautiful - except for that tiny
spider tattoo on her upper left breast. Then, her fathers spirit appeared. He
had that same help me Geo! look on his face. Its not
looking good. Not good at all.
10:00pm - Dimond High School. Lorena, fed up with parallel parking,
decides to leave her car in the open roadway. We tell her that she cant do that, but
she simply explains to us;
Im Lorena. I can park where ever I
Robinson-mack grabs the cell phone.
Hey pops... He opens. No dad, where not drinking...
Cody-mack empties out Lorenas car of several finished beer cans. He tosses them into
the snow banks while Robinson-mack concludes his conversation.
No dad, were not gonna get into any
I figured he was referring to last time, when Cody-mack got busted for drinking.
Inside the dance, we all separate. Im at Sadie Hawkins all by myself.
Im not the DJ and Im not a student, so Im feeling kind of strange as I
walk around. Truthfully, Im experiencing life outside of The
Hype. A few cool songs come up, but I try to look uninterested, simply to blow
away some underclass cuties. I wanted to dance with Allison, but she was nowhere to
be found. Her favorite song came up - Lady in Red still, no sign of
At the close of the dance, I found myself chatting with a few of the students about life
in Los Angeles. I was trying to explain to them about Alaskas rich source of
ethnic diversity. How people and clubs are one and not categorized into financial or
racial groups. But, I dont think they heard a word I said. They
constantly brought up MTV, Singled Out and my conversation with Chris Hardwick. I
found this kind of ironic. All they did was remind me of Year 3, when I was 18 and
running The Hype.
Geo! Blurts out Jennifer Prange. Robinson and Cody got busted for drinking!
It took awhile for her sentence to sink in, because ten minutes ago, I saw Cody-mack and
Lorena on the dance floor, dancing. Jennifer grabs me by the arm. She drags me
into the main office, where Robinson-mack sat, patiently awaiting his fate.
Yea, Geo. I guess you were right,
He explains. A security guard saw Cody toss his
cans into the snow banks. Man, my father isnt gonna like this at all.
Robinson-mack drops his head as I began my solo journey to my car. I was
kicking up snow, analyzing the situation at hand, when it finally hit me that my life
wouldve been done, if I wouldve rode with them. I am 22yrs. Old. In the
eyes of the law, that classifies me as a responsible adult. Robinson-mack, Anne
Ramos and others are simply minors. Nothing but children to me.
When I entered the parking lot, wind gusts tossed snowflakes into the air. Suddenly,
a distant voice breaks the bitter sweet silence. It was Allison, a beautiful smile
and one awesome way to conclude the night. It was dark and the over head lights cast
a unique shadow into her eyes. Tiny snow flakes flew around us, as if some kind of
Hollywood magic would finally push me to kiss her. But I didnt. I kept
my cool. She gave me a warm hug and laid in my arms for one long and unforgettable
Ill call you first thing in the
morning! She says.
Naturally, I couldnt get any sleep. I did nothing but think about Allison
Westervelt, the good & the bad, all wrapped into one. I feel GOD put me on this
planet to accomplish a certain number of things. Finding a true love is one of the
last things on my list. Its a sad thought, cause it only tells me that
Allisons not the one. Right now, I feel that Im so far behind on things,
that I might never meet her, my one true love. In the past, Ive seen my heart
crushed and thrown aside for the vultures to devour. Its just a matter of
time, before it happens again. Believe me when I say, Ill drown myself in a
pool of tears and wake up the next morning, ready for the next adventure. Hype-boy
#2, John Spence, once said unto me;
Geo... Where do you find the strength to go
One of these days, Ill find the time to answer that question. But until then,
I will continue to crusade for the glory of The Hype. I cant
recommend my life to others, because selling The Hype is one big gamble.
Theres a chance that I might fail and end my career with The
PHOTOhype, stranded in a room full of photographs. Aging with sorrow.
Single, lonely & bored off my ass. Dying in an empty house, with not one true
love to claim as my
own. [to be continued...]