A few days ago I came into possession of 15-years of yearbooks from ES/VCI. So, basically, if you attended ‘École Secondaire Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute’ anytime between 1982 and the mid-1990’s, I now have your worst nightmares on my desk.
Originally I was going to put together two posts about the destruction of the VCI I attended (I don’t know, I think I was there for eight or nine years. At least that’s my nightmare), something I still think was mostly unnecessary. But then I started thinking about maybe collecting photos from people who were there when I was… again, I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it was longer than necessary. But no one seems to have kept any. Or aren’t willing to share.
So I found some people who had saved their yearbooks, and I thought scanning would be easier than asking. In my head, somewhere, I thought this would be a quick, easy thing to do. But what I found was incredibly poignant. Moving even. We’re all in there somewhere. From childhood to maturity. I mean, there’s me in Grade 9, with my ghost moustache, trying to figure out life. And there’s me three years later, sitting in the cafeteria, wearing dark sunglasses, probably drunk, with a stupid grin and a hyper-long super mullet, and I know I’m thinking about how quick I can get the fuck out of school.
I found a friend of mine in the early yearbooks, and found out he was part of the debate club in grade nine, he’s holding a certificate for public speaking the next year, then he’s a member of the student council, then he just falls apart over his last two years. And you can see what the years of abuse did to him.
You can see it on the faces of so many of the kids in the books. I can see it on mine.
I’m not sure what to do with these things now. As an art project, it would be — because it is — so powerful to see the changes in all of us over the years. Like a five-year flip book… a series of poorly laid out, black and white, embarrassing, incredibly sad, funny, happy, memories flooding back like a giant tsunami flip book of pain and laughter.
Anyway. These are photos of the demolition of VCI… the ‘ES’ having been taken out of it a long time ago. If you have any photos of VCI, or the people who were there, feel free to send them along to the Facebook page. Or email them to us. If we get enough, we’ll make a post out of them and celebrate the memories.
Or maybe I’ll just invite everyone over with their photos and yearbooks and we can have a giant bonfire and just get it all over with. Either / or.
So… click on the first photo to get the carousel going, and enjoy.