When the upcoming Puntabulous gathering was announced a few months ago, I noted to Adam that I was rather familiar with its super-secret location. Until I was 8 years old, my family lived in a little town on Long Island known as East Islip, NY. This also happens to be where Craig grew up and currently resides. I made a note of this coincidence, as it is not often that I get the opportunity to discuss the Islips at social gatherings.
When I was home visiting my parents, who now reside in a less exotic town known as Washington Township, New Jersey (or as it is more affectionately called, “Township”), my mother decided that I should use my relaxing vacation time to clean out her attic, which she did by convincing my niece would be fun and then saying “see your niece wants to do it. it’ll be fun!!!” The attic was humid, dark and stuffed with crap. One of the piles of crap that we unearthed contained some mementos my mother had hoarded away for me. Mixed in with every standardized test score and report card I had ever received and abutting my completely useless and inconceivably saved retainer were some yearbooks and papers from my days at Timber Point Elementary School. In the fourth grade, I had been named Student of Month for December 1988. Also named student of the month for December 1988 was Craig’s sister. This got me thinking “what if I can find photos of Craig from his elementary school days?!?! I can expose some hard cold truthiness about Craig!”
After some sleuthing, flipping through photographs and laughing at the wonderfully terrible ’80s hair and clothing, I found Craig’s 2nd grade class photo. This was not easy to do since the geniuses who put together this little yearbook didn’t bother to put captions with the class members’ names under the photos. I spent a good part of my research convinced that a 1st grader who looked like a troll was Craig. I blame it on my lack of face-to-face interaction with Craig and the fact that I’m visually stupid.
But after Adam finally just flat-out asked Craig who his 2nd grade teacher was, I found him (I think?)! Standing in the second row, looking a bit befuddled, he jumped right off the page. I scanned the photo below so that you all know that I am telling the truth.
Assuming that we’re right, and this is Craig, please take note of: 1) the oversized, super-cool glasses (years later, this exact pair would be worn by Kanye West), 2) the layering. It must have been so cold on picture day that Craig didn’t even bother to take his coat off, and 3) the smug pose that’s saying: “don’t fuck’n mess with me.” This kid is one of the family — he’s as cocky and rude as the rest of us.
You should also know that his second grade teacher, Miss McNorris, was incredibly tall. To the kids in the school it felt like she was a giant. It didn’t help that she had a reputation for being mean and also drove an impossibly small car for a woman of her stature. The very top of her hairdo didn’t even fit in frame of the photo!
Now I don’t have any personal recollections of having met Craig back then, because I was a cool fourth grader who didn’t hang out with any younger kids. But I did have the opportunity to ask a few people for their earliest and favorite Craig memories.
“Craig was the first real blogger I ever read and certainly that I followed. I didn’t really have a clue what this blogging thing was all about, but I found a link on a site of someone I knew only peripherally and didn’t even care for to be honest, but I thought he was just so funny that I stuck around. Now? Hooked.
The fact that through Puntabulous I’ve been able to get to know and actually meet in person so many fantastic people amazes me. Who would have thought that one little click on a link, because of an intriguing name, would get me to this point? I’ll forever be grateful to Craig for being the catalyst for a lot of amazing people to enter my life, including him of course. :-)” – Tam
“My fist recollection of Craig was that he was hilarious. And cute. I followed some link to one of his Natalie Portman posts. I’ve been hooked ever since.” -Michelle M.
“I LOVE YELLING AT HIM!!” – Enrico
“My first in-person speaking to Craiggers, and he was drunk…er, juss a lil bit TIPsy. He was just so aDORable on the phone. I’m still smiling now.” – Polt
So what are your first memories of Craig? Or tell me us what Craig has meant to you! Or just laugh at his school photo! Leave it in the comments!