Season 1 & 2 Narrations

(Ep 1 - "Pilot")

Nineteen-sixty eight, I was twelve years old. A lot happened that year. Dennis McLain won thirty-one games..."The Mod Squad" hit the air...and I graduated from Hillcrest Elementary, and entered junior high school. But we'll get to that. There's no pretty way to put this...I grew up in the suburbs. I guess most people think of the suburb as a place with all the disadvantages of the city...and none of the advantages of the country. And vice versa. But, in a way...those really were the wonder years for us there in the suburbs. It was kind of a golden age for kids.

That night I decided to go for a walk. The days were still long and back then, kids could still go for walks at dusk without the fear of ending up on a milk carton. I went down to the big climbing tree in Harper's Woods. I didn't admit it to myself until years later...but in my mind was the shadow of a thought that Winnie might be there. She was sort of hugging herself, and rocking slowly back and forth. There was a bit of a chill in the air and she didn't have a sweater. For a minute I was scared to approach her. I didn't know what to say. I had the strangest feeling. It was impossible for me to believe Brian was dead.
(Kevin sits next to Winnie, sighs, then turns to her.)
KEVIN: I'm sorry. About Brian. And I'm sorry...about what I said today. It wasn't true.
WINNIE: I know.
(They look off, then Kevin removes his jacket and places it around Winnie's shoulders. She holds the jacket as he puts his arm around her shoulder. They sit a few seconds looking off, then at each other. They move in slowly and kiss.)
It was the first kiss for both of us. We never really talked about it afterward. But I think about the events of that day again and again...and somehow I know that Winnie does too, whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs or the mindlessness of the TV generation. Because we know that inside each one of those identical boxes...with its Dodge parked out front and its white bread on the table, and its TV set glowing blue in the falling dusk...there were people with stories, there were families bound together in the pain and the struggle of love. There were moments that made us cry with laughter, and there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder.

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(Ep 2 - "Swingers")

Brian Cooper was the first person I ever knew who wasn't old that died. I guess we all had that moment when we realized that even somebody who was basically a kid...can cease to exist...and were never the same after that. But it wasn't just Brian's death that had changed me. It was also Brian's sister. I hadn't seen Winnie since the night we'd kissed in the woods, but I hadn't been able to think about anything else.

When Winnie got back from her uncle's we went for a walk in the park. Neither of us said a word about it of course...but we both knew the park was where you went to make out. As we approached the baseball field...I started to sweat. Nearing first base...second base...third!
KEVIN: Let's cut across the outfield.
I didn't know what to do. Our first kiss had happened so naturally I couldn't even remember how I did it! Did I, did I breathe through my mouth or my nose? Well, I had to make some kind of move.
(Kevin looks at Winnie, then starts to put his arm around her. He holds his arm out behind Winnie, then drops it, holds it behind her again, drops it, then holds it near her shoulder. He slaps Winnie's shoulder. Winnie looks at him, slightly surprised.)
KEVIN: There was a bug on you. (Gestures.)
WINNIE: Oh. (Frowns.) Thanks.
Some move. Well, there was no turning back now. We were here.
KEVIN: So...(shrugs)...what do you wanna do?
WINNIE: I don't know. What do you wanna do?
KEVIN: I don't know. (Frowns.) What do you wanna do?
WINNIE: I don't know...
The moment stretched out so unbearably, I thought we'd both explode! It was clear we were both stalling. We knew what we were here to do. We both wanted it. One of us just had to come out and say it.
WINNIE: Do you wanna go on the swings?
KEVIN: Yeah...(shrugs)...sure. (Smiles.)
And in the end that's as far as Winnie and I went that day. Maybe we both felt we'd come too far too fast. Maybe we both realized that growing up doesn't have to be so much a straight line as a series of advances and retreats. Maybe we just felt like swinging. But what ever it was, Winnie and I made an unspoken pact that stay kids...for a little while longer.

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(Ep 3 - "My Father's Office")

When my father had a bad day at work, he'd just sit in the dark by himself and watch TV. We learned early on that this was a danger signal and we adapted our behavior accordingly. And when he had a really bad day - I'm talking about a very not good day - he had this telescope, and he'd go in the back yard and look through it for hours.

I guess we really didn't understand why he was so hard on us sometimes. Because sometimes, and I remember these times so distinctly, my dad could be great. He could be so much fun. You never wanted that feeling to end. And then, for some always would.

And so I went to work with my father. I didn't know exactly what I expected to learn about him here. I guess I was looking for clues. Something to explain why he was the way he was.

But as we walked back to my father's office, I suddenly realized something that made a lot of things make sense. My dad was too good for this place. Sure, it was a good job, and we were all lucky he had it and all that...but my dad had something finer in him than S-14's and distribution reports. I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man.

That night my father stood there, looking up at the sky the way he always did. But suddenly I realized I wasn't afraid of him in quite the same way anymore. The funny thing is, I felt like I lost something.

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(Ep 4 - "Angel")

When my parents started out together...everybody still listened to the Andrew Sisters. Everybody was having babies, and everybody liked Ike. Everybody knew that if they just worked hard and did all the right things...a sort of paradise of family life lay ahead.

Who was right, and who was wrong? Well, I'm supposed to be an adult now, and I still can't completely figure that one out. But at some point, late at night, near sleep, the ideas and the disagreements sort of dissolve, and you're just left with the people. And people were no different then, as they've always been. And always will be. Young girls get their hearts broken. Men and women suffer alone, over the choices they've made. And young boys, full of confusion...full of fear...full of love and courage...grow up stealthily in their sleep.

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(Ep 5 - "The Phone Call")

There are very few things in life as purely terrifying as calling a twelve-year-old girl on the telephone. Especially a really cute twelve-year-old girl. She was in my home room in third period social studies class. I'll never forget that day. Mrs. Ritvo let us watch the liftoff on TV. Now, at the time, I'd just gotten over this whole thing with Winnie Cooper, so I didn't really know I was ready for love. I just knew that I'd lost all interest in the space program. Blast off, splash down, blast off, splash down...who cared? But gaze settled on...on her...on Lisa Berlini. Lisa Berlini was the kind of girl you dreamed about...but who would probably never even know your name. But then it happened. She looked at me - did you see that? She looked right at me! I don't know how to explain it. Except to say that when you're twelve...and a girl like that looks at you like that, even for an instant...everything else gets blasted out of your mind...and into the upper atmosphere.

NEWSCASTER FRANK: For the first time ever seen by human eyes, the planet Earth, rising over the moon.
WALTER CRONKITE: Sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it Frank? To think that there on that lovely glowing orb, wars are being fought, storms raging, people are being born, people dying, all our human conflict, our passion, our pain, being carried on, beneath that veil of clouded blue.
And suddenly I got this funny feeling. Maybe I was blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I mean, Lisa wasn't going to laugh at me. And anyway, what if she did? Did it really matter? And that's when I knew what I had to do. I just had to pick up the phone...and call her.

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(Ep 6 - "Dance With Me")

October seventeenth, nineteen-sixty eight. I had assumed my standard homeroom position, drooling in the general direction of Lisa Berlini. But today...things were different between Lisa and me. You see, the night before...we'd spent very close to four complete minutes talking to each other on the telephone. Our relationship was entering the fast lane of the seventh-grade social scene and it was up to me to keep the ball rolling.

I felt sort of weird talking to Winnie about Lisa, but I'd forgot all that by social studies. The lights were dimmed for a slide show on pollution, and I was within striking distance of the best-smelling head of hair in the seventh grade.
MR. KATZ: Where have all the flowers gone? How many roads must a man walk down?
The time was right for the most intimate form of communication known to twelve-year-old man - inter-classroom note writing. In a note you could say anything you wanted to. Lines I would have choked on under the glare of fluorescent lights were coming out like poetry with the venetian blinds drawn.
(Kevin's note): "Are you going to the dance on Friday?"
(Lisa's note): "Maybe..."
The signs were there. She wanted me. It was time to throw caution to the wind.
(Kevin's note): "Want to go to the dance with me?"
MR. KATZ: The problem is excess. We keep pushing, pushing, and it always ends up by us going one step too far.
Dear God, he was right. What was I thinking? I mean, one lousy phone call, a couple of notes and suddenly I'm asking her to the dance? It was all happening too quickly. I wanted that note back.
(Lisa's note): "OKAY."
Then again, why stop when you're on a roll?
MR. KATZ: Lights, please.
It was all so perfect. With one flick of the wrist I'd opened up an entirely new and exciting chapter in my life as an adolescent. Lisa Berlini was mine to have and to hold, for better or for worse, till death do us part.

(Kevin is watching Paul and Carla dance.)
It was as sorrowful a spectacle as I had ever seen on the evening news. But then an amazing thing began to happen. Paul actually began to enjoy himself. By my third cup of punch, he was having the time of his life and I began to realize what a miserable time I was having. And it wasn't just Paul. Lisa Berlini was having the time of her life. Mrs. Ritvo was having the time of her life. Even Rodney the custodian was having the time of his life. I was in hell. And that's when Winnie Cooper entered the gym. I had never seen her look prettier than she did standing there in the doorway. Until Kirk McCray walked in behind her, then she looked beautiful. It was all so unfair. I mean, this guy already had everything. And now he had my Winnie. I wasn't gonna just stand idly by. It was time to do what any hot blooded twelve-year-old guy would have done...(he pushes a kid out of the way)...if he were in my shoes.
(Kevin walks up to a girl next to Winnie.)
KEVIN: Do you want to dance?
GIRL: Sure!
(Kevin leads her onto the dance floor and they start dancing.)
Try to make Winnie as furiously jealous as I was. The key would be to appear like I was having the time of my life and dance as I had never danced before.
(Kirk returns, and he and Winnie start to dance.)
Apparently, Winnie was playing the same game.
("Cherish" begins to play. Winnie and Kirk get close and dance.)
KEVIN: Do you want to keep going?
GIRL: Sure, I guess so.
(Kevin and the girl dance closely. Kevin is watching Winnie.)
It all made sense at the time. This would be the moment when Winnie's eyes met mine across the dance floor and we'd both realize we were really meant to be dancing with each other.
(Winnie puts her head on Kirk's shoulder and closes her eyes. Kevin frowns and pulls away from the girl.)
KEVIN: Um, excuse me...(gestures)...I'm just gonna go outside for a minute.
Sitting alone outside the school, I kept wondering what it would be like if I had asked Winnie first. Had I meant anything at all to her? How could she have forgotten me so quickly?

And so Winnie and I had our one slow dance after all. But things wouldn't be the same between us. We were getting older. And whether we wanted it or not...the Lisa Berlini's and the Kirk McCray's...were changing us by the minute. All we could do was close our eyes, and wish...that the slow song would never end.

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(Ep 7 - "Heart of Darkness")

As seventh grade wore on, I began to have nightmares. I'm walking into a sort of a - a cave. A long dark tunnel. I think Paul and Winnie are with me. But then - then - they're not. I'm all alone. I don't even want to go into the cave - I'm, I'm terrified. But I just know that I have to keep going - deeper, and deeper. So deep, it's like I can't even remember what the daylight is like anymore, and suddenly - I'm in second period math class. In pajamas. With feet! I guess I was under a lot of stress. There are a lot of things about junior high life that might seem simple to an outsider...but they're not. Take the fifteen minutes before homeroom every morning. What you do with those fifteen minutes says pretty much everything there is to say about you as a human being.

When I look back on it now, I feel sorry for Gary. When all was said and done, he was just a little kid, and I guess he needed friends. But all Paul and I knew that night was - that we wanted to go home.
NORMA: Kevin! What are you doing here? Did something happen? Are you OK?
KEVIN: Yeah, we're fine. We just felt like coming home.
It was the truth. But not the whole truth. And looking at my mom and my dad - standing there in their bathrobes, worried about me - I felt a little sick about that. I don't know why, but that night - for the first time in a long time - I didn't have a single nightmare.

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(Ep 8 - "Our Miss White")

Nineteen sixty-eight was a strange and passionate time. Things that had seemed impossible were happening all around us. The events of those days brought every emotion to the surface. We felt things strongly then. And we felt them together. I guess we all got caught up in it. Even me. And Miss White. What was it about her that affected me so profoundly? Her sensitivity? Her warmth? Her intelligence? Maybe all of those.
(The camera slowly pans down her white blouse and pauses.)
Maybe more. Maybe much more.

I don't even remember how I got through that speech. I just remember all the hurt, all the anger...all the disappointment, and all the love that fused together...and surged through my twelve-year-old body as I delivered it. It was a strange and passionate time. Some of our dreams dissolved into thin air. They almost seem comical now. But some of our dreams were lasting...and real.

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(Ep 9 - "Christmas")

That Christmas of nineteen-sixty eight, my brother, Wayne, and I fell in love. With color-TV. It was more than love. We were witnessing a modern miracle. And we worshipped it like aborigines from the black-and-white stone-age. It was the first thing we ever agreed on. Even Mom and Karen tended to mist up in the presence of that almost-living color.

I don't even remember what I got for Christmas that year. But Dad gave Mom a bracelet that knocked her socks off. Oh, yeah...and he did get us that color-TV...two years later. For me, that year Christmas stopped being about tinsel and wrapping paper, and started being about memory. At first I was disappointed. Until I learned that memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose. And I learned from Winnie, that in a world that changes too fast, the best we can do is wish each other Merry Christmas. And good luck.

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(Ep 10 - "Steady As She Goes")

Once upon a time...a boy's popularity was based on kickball abilities...pea-shooting range...and how much of the alphabet he could squeeze off with one burp. For the same boy to acquire a comparable level of popularity in junior high school...he's gonna need a girl. The ceremony rarely strays from tradition. Fully unprepared for his certain someone to be surrounded by three giggling friends...boy grows thirsty...and proceeds to drink. He will continue to drink until the gaggle disperses...or his stomach explodes - whichever comes first. Girl...acutely aware of boy's presence...warns her friends that she will, in fact, die ...if they abandon her. To no avail. She is forsaken, left to yell a meaningless...
GIRL: Uh, you guys!
After them...and tend to the business of rearranging her locker. Seeing his opportunity...boy prepares for final approach. He takes one last breath and lunges forward. Girl feigns surprise. And they engage in small talk. Feeling the full weight of the moment...boy realizes that those three gallons of fountain water have just funneled directly to his palms, armpits, and feet. Down to his final wisps of saliva...boy decides that the time has come to quote-unquote..."pop the big one."
BOY: You wanna go steady? (Frowns.)
GIRL: Sure! (Smiles.)
And just like that, the ceremony is complete...leaving the newly-formed couple with...absolutely nothing left to say to each other.

Well, that did it. I'd had it up to here with Winnie Cooper. It was time to lay it on the line, to force her hand. I was just going to walk right up to her and ask her once and for all what was going on with her and Kirk Mc-
(Winnie and Kirk embrace and kiss.)
And so it finally happened. My poor twelve-year-old heart finally crumbled into a little pile of dust, and blew away. It was over. I was never gonna to get her back. It was time for a little self-respect. It was time to let go. Time to move on. After all, who needed women? Who needed friends? I'd just walk alone from now on. Yep, that was me, Kevin Arnold - lone wolf. There was just one loose end I had to tie up.
(Kevin approaches Becky at the busses.)
KEVIN: For your information...I don't like Winnie Cooper!
BECKY: Tell me about it. (Frowns).
KEVIN: Alright...I used to like her. But I don't anymore. (Frowns.)
BECKY: Ya, sure! (Frowns.)
KEVIN: I don't! (Frowns.)
BECKY: Do you like me?
KEVIN: I don't even really know you. (Frowns.)
BECKY: Well, I don't know you, and I like you!
KEVIN: It was just this...whole stupid..."going-steady" thing. (Frowns.) I didn't even want to go steady.
BECKY: Well then, why did you ask me in the first place? (Frowns.)
(Her bus begins to pull away.)
KEVIN: I don't know, it -
BECKY: Wait! Great. (Frowns.) There goes my bus.
Standing there...alone with Becky, I felt a warmth, an attraction, a tenderness - for another girl for the first time since I'd lost Winnie Cooper.
BECKY: You're such a jerk! (Frowns.) Thanks for nothing!

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(Ep 11 - "Just Between You and Me...And Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky")

When you're twelve years old you've got a lot of strange new territory to explore. For Paul and me, that meant the basement with Carla Healy and Becky Slater. Paul and I weren't the world's greatest make-out experts...but I figured all I had to do was wait for the sign from Becky.
(A commercial comes on TV. Becky turns to Kevin and kisses him, pushing him backwards.)
That was the sign.

KEVIN: I just have to know if you like me or not. And don't give any of that..."like me" like me stuff.
Well, that was it. A straightforward, face-to-face, yes-or-no question. And I was going to stand there until I got my answer.
WINNIE: I don't know.
KEVIN: "I don't know"?! What do you mean you don't know? (Frowns.)
WINNIE: I mean I don't know. I really don't know! I wish everyone would just leave me alone! I don't know what I'm doing. (Frowns.)
This was something new. I mean, I always figured girls knew exactly what they wanted. They knew - they had a plan. Or maybe they didn't. Maybe they were just as confused as we were. Isn't that great? It - it's horrible. They don't know either. That means nobody knows. As I stood there that cold night, I realized for the first time in a long time that Winnie and I were feeling the same thing. We were both completely...miserable.

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(Ep 12 - "Pottery Will Get You Nowhere")

In all the years I spent growing up at my parents' house, I don't think I ever heard them use the word "relationship". Not once. "Indigestion"..."taxes"..."damn" - these were words you heard a lot. I guess my mom just expected my dad to be a good man - honest, loyal, a good provider...hopefully possessed of good table manners. And my dad expected my mom to be a good woman - honest, loyal, a good mother. And hopefully a good cook. And that was about it. But if my parents didn't know much about relationships, they knew a lot about marriage. Like how to make a joint-decision. Mom would choose what she liked...Dad would choose what he liked...then they'd settle on something no one of our species could like. They could completely disagree about something, without directly contradicting each other. One thing my parents would never, ever yell at each other in front of the kids.
JACK: Kevin! Wayne! I told you to knock it off!
NORMA: Boys! That's enough!
Course, they had no problem yelling at the kids in front of each other. I guess I never really thought of my parents as being in love. But maybe that's the best thing for a kid - to never have to think about it. It's just always there. Like the ground you walk on.

The silence that filled our house that night - was like ice. My dad didn't come home till after midnight.
(Next morning, Norma burns her hand on the iron and starts to cry. Jack gently puts his hands on her shoulders. She turns around and they hug.)
I know it sounds strange - but that was the first time...I'd ever seen my parents alone together. I guess sometimes the ground can shift beneath your feet. Sometimes your footing slips - you stumble. And sometimes, you grab what's closest to you, and hold tight as you can.

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(Ep 13 - "Coda")

When you're a little're a little bit of everything. Artist, scientist, athlete, scholar. Sometimes it seems like growing up is the process of giving those things up, one by one. I guess we all have one thing we regret giving up. One thing we really miss...that we gave up because we were too lazy...or we couldn't stick it out.

I never did forget that night. I remember the light glowing from Mrs. Carples' window. And I remember the darkness falling as I sat out there on the street looking in. And now...more than twenty years later...I still remember every note of the music that wandered out into the still night air. The only thing is...I can't remember how to play it anymore.

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(Ep 14 - "Hiroshima, Mon Frere")

Sometimes...when you're a lie awake at night and ponder the kinds of questions that grownups have long since stopped asking. Questions like - What did it feel like to be dead? Are time and space really infinite? What was there before the universe began? Why are there people like Wayne?
(Wayne snorts and tosses in his sleep.)
AYNE: Butthead!
I could never figure it out. Even in his sleep, my brother seemed to hate my guts. I guess he'd just never forgiven me for something I did to him very early in life. I'd been born. Then, to make things worse, I stayed. Not that the Wayner didn't try to adjust. In fact, our relationship eventually settled into a fairly stable pattern.
(Clips of Wayne grabbing Kevin and hitting his shoulder.)
I always imagined things would pretty much always be that way. But I guess no matter how much your brother hates your guts, and no matter how much you hate his...there's always something you hold back. There are things you could use against him that you don't use. No matter how much you hate your brother's don't really want to hurt him.
(Wayne opens his eyes and looks at Kevin.)
WAYNE: What are you looking at?
Until, one day...things go too far.

As my brother and I walked home that day, I guess we both knew that things would never be quite the same between us. Everything would be more complicated now. Now, we both knew...that I could hurt him. The funny thing was, I'm not sure I was glad about that.

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(Ep 15 - "Loosiers")

It's hard to imagine being twelve years old...and going without certain things. Like three months off in the summertime. Or a good bicycle to cruise the neighborhood on. More than anything though, it's hard to imagine being twelve years old...and not having a best-friend like Paul Pfeiffer. Paul was the nicest kid I ever knew. He would have done anything for me - I know it. And I would have done anything for him. At least, I always thought I would.

(Playing basketball.)
And then it happened. It was the miracle. It was the impossible. It was the dream come true.
(Paul shoots a wild hook-shot, which hits Mr. Cutlip on the head. He stumbles backward as he makes a face, squeezes his arms across his chest and spits out a red jellybean. He bends over holding his throat as he coughs and walks away. They guys start to laugh.)
In that instant...that brief ping of rubber against fun again. Well, we still got slaughtered. But for the first time in a long time, it just didn't seem to matter. And Paul and I got back to the way things used to be. The way they would stay...for many years to come.

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(Ep 16 - "Walk Out")

In nineteen-sixty-nine, we had the Vietnam war for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I guess it was inevitable that we stopped paying attention. Ya had to stop paying attention.

MRS. RITVO: And we have...twenty-six votes, for our new home room representative...
(Kevin taps the girl in front of him.)
KEVIN: Who's the weenie?
MRS. RITVO: Kevin...Arnold.
Well...some men pursue greatness...and some men have greatness thrust upon them, while they're in the bathroom.

I don't remember when I finally made the decision. I guess I didn't know what I was gonna do...until I found myself doing it. We we're gonna walk right up to Mr. Tyler, and show him what we were made of. I couldn't wait to see the look on his face when he saw what we'd decided. He was gonna look so happy.
(Kevin opens the door to Mr. Tyler's class. A woman is cleaning the chalkboard.)
So...much like a woman.
KEVIN: Where's Mr. Tyler? (Frowns.)
WOMAN: He's out with the flu.
KEVIN: What?
(Fade to Mrs. Ritvo's class.)
I didn't know what to think. Was Mr. Tyler a coward? I mean, to believe in somebody like that, and to have it all turn out to be a lie. I was a feeling in the pit of my stomach that was completely new. I had to make a decision.
(The clock on the wall shows 9AM.)
Everybody was watching me. Buzzing about the walk out. What was I gonna do? Was I gonna lead the walk out? Or was I gonna chicken out, too? And then I decided. I'd just get up...
(Kevin stands up and walks toward the door.)
Walk out that door...into the hallway...and into the bathroom. I was gonna throw up.
(Meanwhile a few students have tentaively gon into the hallway.)
There wasn't gonna be any walk out.
(Kevin hears a faint commotion and exits into the hallway where a stream of noisy students walk past him. Kevin stops Tommy Rygot as he walks by.)
KEVIN: What's happening?
TOMMY: It's the walk out. Don't you know about the walk out?
And that's how I started the great Kennedy junior high peace walk out of nineteen-sixty-nine. As I said...some men pursue greatness...and some men have greatness thrust upon them...while they're in the bathroom. I'm not sure we really changed anything that day. I suppose the war would have gone pretty much the same if we'd stayed in home room. But one thing would be different. We wouldn't have the memory to carry with us today, of eight-hundred children on a football field, singing. wouldn't all be on our permanent record.

"Full Transcript"

(Ep 17 - "Nemesis")

In junior high school there were days when you felt like nothing was worth getting out of bed for. But then, you were going to see her...Your day was gonna have all these moments...moments that were full of...possibility. When you were sure that something - something...was going to happen. And then, there were the moments that made you really, really...nervous. I don't know why, but ever since I'd broken up with Becky Slater, I felt uneasy whenever I saw her and Winnie together. I started to think...a dumpee could really do a lot of damage to a dumpster.

At that moment, I found myself wishing it was possible to like two girls at the same time. Winnie would always be the love of my life, but that Becky was really somethin'. Sure, she had her flaws, but you know what? The girl had heart.
BECKY: Of course...(smiles)...I told Paul and Carla, and Kirk and Eric and Wendy and Cindy, and Kathy, well, Kathy Bedlow and Kathy Sifuentes, and Tony and Bob and Sheila, and Nancy and Tom and Beth and that whole group, and Rodney the janitor, and...
My head started to spin with the implications of what Becky was saying. Suddenly, I felt really...really...sick.

I guess that's when it hit me. Winnie wasn't going to forgive me for the things I'd said. It could only mean one thing...she wanted me bad!

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(Ep 18 - "Fate")

Eddie Pinetti. The scourge of RFK junior high. He gave new meaning to the word "mean". Not that Eddie had any particular reason for being rude, insensitive and sadistic. It was just kinda...who he was - a bully. Eddie was a force of nature. Like tornados...or flash electrical fires. Or fate! That was it. Fate. Maybe I knew even before it happened...that I...had an appointment with destiny.

And then, fate took one final turn.
(Winnie enters, followed by Pinetti who is trying to flip her skirt with her field-hockey stick.)
WINNIE: Cut it out. Stop it! Cut it out, Eddie! Knock it off!
PINETTI: Come on, you like it!
WINNIE: I don't like it!
I didn't like it much either. Even though it was really none of my business anymore.
(Winnie hops around as Eddie tries to flip her skirt. She grabs the stick, and runs out.)
On the other hand...what did I have to lose? Except parts of my body. Eddie didn't know it but I'd formed a plan. Eddie and I were going to have a little talk - about fairness, about right behavior, about...chivalry.
(Eddie pushes Kevin, and his friends laugh.)
KEVIN: Hey! Come on!
(Eddie shoves him twice and smiles. Kevin frowns, and Eddie pushes him twice.)
But then...something inside me...snapped. From deep inside I felt rage! Not just for me, but for every kid who had ever been picked on...humiliated...bullied. For every kid who'd gone home ashamed. I put every shred of dignity and self-respect I had into that punch. aim was bad. Even more unfortunately, Eddie's wasn't. Those next ten minutes were...kinda a blur. Still, as Eddie worked out his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, I began to realize something. Sooner or later this would be over. And I...would survive.
(Eddie rolls off him, then stands up and pants.)
PINETTI: You're pathetic, ya know that?
Maybe, but I was a nice guy.
PINETTI: Let's go. (Exits.)
PAUL: Can you move?
(Winnie enters and kneels next to him.)
WINNIE: Kevin? Are you alright?
KEVIN: Does it matter?
WINNIE: You're all such jerks. (Smiles.)
So I guess Winnie finally forgave me.

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(Ep 19 - "Birthday Boy")

When Paul and I were little kids...we had our birthdays only four days apart. Come to think of it, we still have our birthdays only four days apart. But I guess birthdays aren't as big a part of life as they used to be. Man - we has some classic parties. Year after year we reached for manhood together. When we fell short...we fell short together. God - we couldn't wait to get older.

And so it turned out to be a great birthday after all. I slow danced with Paul's Aunt Selma. I ate more than Mrs. Pfeiffer could have dreamed possible. And in a funny way...when I look back on it...I sorta feel like it was my bar mitzvah, too.

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(Ep 20 - "Brightwing")

In nineteen-sixty nine...a lot of people were doing a lot of things a lot of other people didn't understand. "Love-ins"..."be-ins"..."happenings". It was...different. It was weird. But where we lived, things were still pretty much normal. With one exception. OK - we knew her name was Karen. But other than that...she might as well have been from Mars. Mars, or...Pluto.

I didn't sleep. I laid there...thinking about what had happened to all of us. About how big the world is, and how full of strangers. And how I might never see my sister again. In nineteen-sixty nine, people tried so hard to find themselves. Sometimes they got lost. Sometimes they found their way home again.

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(Ep 21 - "Square Dance")

(Shot of various yearbook pictures.)
Some people pass through your life and you never think about them. And there are some you think about, and wonder "whatever happened to them?"
(Shot of Randy's picture.)
Dentist, maybe.
(Shot of Becky's picture.)
Gossip columnist. No - divorce lawyer.
(Shot of Miss White's picture.)
Some you wonder if they ever wondered what happened to you.
(Shot of the picture of a smiling girl in pigtails and glasses.)
And then there are wish you never had to think about again. But you do.

And so, that last day of square-dancing...I danced alone. Maybe if I'd been a little braver, I could have been her friend, but...the truth seventh-grade, who you are is what other seventh-grader's say you are. The funny thing's hard to remember the names of the kids you spent so much time trying to impress. But you don't forget someone like Margaret Farquhar. Professor of biology. Mother of six. Friend to bats.

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(Ep 22 - "Whose Woods Are These?")

Every kid needs a place to go to be a kid. For Paul and Winnie and me, that place was Harper's Woods. It was ten minutes from home if you walked it. But to us, it was a world all its own. We'd grown up there together. Playing games...catching fireflies on long summer evenings. Sure, they called it Harper's Woods, but we knew better. Those woods...belonged to us.

I guess I wanted Paul and Winnie to face the facts, too. Wasn't gonna be easy. Maybe growing up never is. Maybe every human soul deals with loss and grief in its own way. Some curse the darkness...some play hide-and-seek. That night, Paul and Winnie and I...found something we'd almost lost. We found our spirit. The spirit of children. The bond of memory. And the next day...they tore down Harper's Woods.

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(Ep 23 - "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation")

Ever since I could remember, the Coopers' annual barbecue had been the first event of summer. It was a neighborhood tradition, the herald of good times. Japanese lanterns glowed in the dusk. And warm breezes carried the smell of burgers sizzling on the grill, and the sounds of kids having the time of their lives. But maybe the best thing about it was that it happened the first week of summer vacation, one day after the last day of school. It was kind of a solemn moment. Eight months of relentless education were finally erupting in a blast of summer madness.

And then, for the first time that night, I looked around. The music was playing...couples were dancing. Holding each other tight. But not everybody. And suddenly I began to understand. I wanted to tell Winnie I understood what was happening to her family. I wanted to say something that would give her comfort. Something incredibly wise.
KEVIN: Sorry.
WINNIE: Will you write to me when I'm away?
KEVIN: Sure.
WINNIE: I miss my brother.
KEVIN: Yeah...
That summer, kids everywhere swam, water-skied, and sailed - while Winnie Cooper struggled to keep her head above water, in a family torn apart by anger, and grief. I pretty much stayed close to home. I mowed Mr. Ermin's lawn. I went fishin' with my dad. I watched a man walk on the moon. I considered myself...pretty lucky.

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02/24/01 08:10