Teen talk

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It’s the annual teen issue. I’ve got to tell you, since I reached the age when I have teens living in my house, I’ve come to realize that my view of teens is … what? Dated, maybe. Myopic, maybe.

Teens these days are so much more than I was, and my friends were, as teens. Nothing was expected of me, and society pretty much got what it asked for. I started working full time when I was young. That was just kind of the way it was in Nebraska. I put in my first 100-hour work week when I was 15, at Sur-Gro, a fertilizer plant in Falls City. It was Easter week (spring break in today’s lingo), and in Nebraska, when it’s planting time, it’s freaking planting time. There are no excuses. But you know what, not one person who knew me would have characterized me as hardworking. More likely they would have called me violent, disruptive, undirected. In those days, I thought I was bored. These days, I look back, and I think I was just filled with rage. I don’t know where it came from; I had to pull the silver spoon from my mouth to spit at authority.

Boy, that keyboard’ll take you where it goes, won’t it?

At any rate, I look at the teens who participated in this issue—from John Vega, who wrote the guest commentary, to Dave Calvert and Jenn Sande, who shot the cover story photos, all the way back to the subject of our 15 Minutes interview, Erin Brosy, and I’m envious—and I wish I’d had half their direction when I was young.

Teens can be anything these days—volunteers, business people, rebels, artists, workers, intellectuals, slackers, geeks or heroes—but it’s their choice.

While these young folks, may not know what they truly want to do with the rest of their lives—as though anyone does—at least they aren’t spending their weekends in bars in Hiawatha, Kan.

As always, if you have comments on this issue or anything else, don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail.