When I was a young girl, I was hardcore Italian. I ate things like pizza fritte, zucchini patties, and pasta aglio olio. My name was Christina back then, and I hung out with other kids named Giovanni, Josephina, and Anthony. We all attended parochial school. Every night, before I went to bed, I said, “Buona notte,” to my parents and every December, I said, “Buon Natale,” to just about everybody.
I became completely Americanized the second I entered the halls of North High School. There, I was met with a profusion of cultures, sardine packed hallways, busted up lockers, and everyone screaming like they were tossing tuna at a fishmarket. This zealous display of life woke up the artist in me. I took poetry classes, art classes, literature classes. I sketched drawings, created scrapbooks and wrote journals. North High paved the way of the majority of the LOOSE END scenes. The most outrageous are actual chronicles of my high school experiences. As cliche as it sounds, North High was my muse that gave me the LOOSE END series.
Later, I found myself thrust into the passionate, animated, high-spirited world of middle schoolers. If they believe in a cause, they will champion it like no other generation. When our school proposed raising money for the American Heart Association at an assembly with cheerleaders leaping all over the floor to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, the crowd went nuts! Within days, a multitude of festive posters were created and displayed. Hoops for the Hearts t-shirts sold like hot cakes and were proudly worn. The continuous basketball playing, cheerleading, rock dancing, springing off the wall event raised thousands of dollars. Why? Because middle schoolers were psyched!
Over the last few years, I have witnessed social media take over their world. They text, chat, send pics, and get exuberant with each friend request The girls tend to follow heartthrob’s sites and alter their identities based on those sites. If the boy band leader posts he loves bananas, virtually half the girls will pack a banana for lunch the next day. If he posts that he is sick, they will hug each other in the hall and worry throughout class.
Boys tend to follow cool guys like athletes, rock stars and other cool guys. Why? Well, because it’s cool.
Thinking about all of these observations and formulating a tonnage of what-ifs, I envisioned the world of Deke Storm as a distinct probability. How fun.