That was the senior year for movie star Vince Vaughn, writer Dave Eggers and NBA agent/current Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. I know this because my cousin Melissa also was in that graduating class. Cousin Rob graduated a year earlier.
Lake Forest is arguably one of the "nicest" and "richest" suburbs of Chicago. When my extended family lived there in the '80s, Mr. T lived there. My cousins and I once saw him driving a white Mercedes, and we followed him for a few blocks. Looking back, oopsy, that was probably some sort of harassment. Sorry, T.
I never thought much about Lake Forest High School until 1998, when I moved to L.A. My aunt actually had, and gave me, the address and digits of Vince Vaughn, who was taking off then. I never had the courage to call. "Uh, my aunt gave me your phone number. Want to meet up at the Dresden?"
Then, in 2000, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius came out, and it was mega-popular, especially for Gen Xers like me. It was so big that I was thinking that Dave Eggers could be in the rare category of literary icon.
The book is rife with humor and what he went through, and since I haven't read it for close to 20 years, I'd be curious to see how it holds up all these years later. At the time, I loved the book because my age is similar to his, and I dug Eggers' style and aesthetic. He had an indie-rock type of style in a time when some of us Gen Xers were clinging to that.
Actually, maybe it's time revisit this type of stuff. I'm revisiting Smashing Pumpkins, of all bands, tonight. I haven't seen them since 1994 at a Lollapalooza, and at the time, I realized I had enough of the Lollapaloozas, and it was time for at least a 25-year break. Man, that band fell off the side of the earth.
Eggers didn't exactly do that. He went on to found the popular literary magazine McSweeney's and has been a part of various initiatives to promote literacy and teaching. I've read most of his other books. But if we're talking Dave Eggers, I definitely give his "genius" book the most kudos. OK, fine, I'll check it out again soon.
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