My fingers had turned into icy, immobile sticks by the time the Okemos High School bonfire caught its first flame. I was glad to see the orange blaze engulf the seemingly frozen pile of wood, because it meant that I would soon be warm again. Standing behind OHS amongst a riveted group of something-teens was not something I had predicted for my own future, but I wasn’t there for the students. I was there for the fire.
“Bonfires,” the package I completed for HOMTV’s Beyond the Badge, was an interesting story to collect. I interviewed an assistant principal, a fire department lieutenant, and got some sweet footage of the 6′x6′x6′ bonfire.
The fire continued burning, lighting the dark skies and keeping the attention of students and administrators alike while I gathered the last scenes as needed.
As I packed up my equipment and pulled out to leave, my path was obstructed by thirty to forty high schoolers. They cleared a path just big enough for my Oldsmobile Achieva to roll through. It was evident that they were excited about their homecoming festivities; they danced around my car in a sort of hypnosis.
I escaped, literally and figuratively, unscathed. If only I had some Jerry Lee Lewis to listen to on the way home…