A very special holiday message from Harold, one half of the Q101 Super Computing Dynamic Duo:
When I was a kid, I wanted to be Jeff Spicoli. There, I said it, and then my Dragon software typed it. I had just moved to America in 1983 at the age of 8, and was the odd kid out at my new school. This Asian kid was always the last kid picked in gym (in hindsight I can’t say as I blamed them. I was pretty bad at sports). At recess I was on my own. It was a rough transition initially. My P’s told me things would get better….
They did the day I first saw the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High. It is one of the top 20 greatest movies ever in my opinion, and features one of the best performances ever to boot: Sean Penn’s masterful, quotable, and lovable turn as “Jeff Spicoli”.
I won’t speak for screenplay author Cameron Crowe, but it would seem that Spicoli was meant to be the goofball distraction that audiences could laugh at in-between the more major plot advancements, similar to Bill Murray’s “Carl Spackler” character in Caddy Shack and even the squirrel chasing the ever-elusive acorn in the Ice Age franchise. However, just as those characters tended to take over the films they were in, and the hearts and minds of the audience along the way en route to cult-like followings of their own, Spicoli is the reason Fast Times is a must-see for anyone who lived in the 80s (and if you were born in the 90s, you owe it to yourself to give it a try).
When I first saw Spicoli strutting across the screen in his slip-on checkerboard Vans, I was hooked. I wished with all my 8-year-old might that I could transform from a slightly chubby (at the time) Korean kid named “Harold” to a blond, utterly clueless but heart-of-gold surfer named “Jeff. ”
I convinced my mom to get me a pair of checkerboard Vans that Christmas and, by spring, they were almost worn out (ok, maybe wearing slip-on Vans in the Chicago snow was a mistake). I’m not going to blow smoke and say those Vans changed my life, but they did change my outlook dramatically, and the opinion about me in my school. I loved those things…their checkerboard pattern was pretty gnarly by March and it was everything I could do to keep them going for more than a year thanks to my overuse. Finally I had to retire them at my mom’s insistence.
They had done their job. See, it wasn’t that they gave me some entry into the cool crowd or anything. Rather, they helped me gain my independence in that, all of a sudden, I didn’t care what the in-crowd was into. I began forging my own path.
I wish for you to have independence this Christmas. If some fashion symbol helps, as it helped a young Harold, then so be it.
My friends at Vans called about a month ago and said, “Can you help us spread the word about some deals happening at our two Chicagoland stores at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora and in Schaumburg at Woodfield Mall?” I leaped at the chance. Vans are still in my closet and on my feet daily. If you dig them, you should stop by an check out the new Vans. If you haven’t ever given them a try, do it. When I was coming up they were really mostly for skaters. Now, they’re still for skaters, and for dudes like me too who haven’t skated since the age of 17, and for everyone else. Check them out and tell them Harold at Q101 sent you in! THAT’S IMPORTANT: PLEASE TELL THEM Q101 SENT YOU IN! THEY LIKE HEARING THAT, AND THE TRUTH IS MOST OF THE TIME, PEOPLE DON’T TELL STORES THEY HEARD ABOUT A DEAL OR PRODUCT FROM US. PLEASE HELP US OUT AND TELL THEM, OK?! THANKS!
Harold and TEAM Q101
Vans is offering this Christmas deal to fans of Q101 now through December 24th! : Spend $50 now and get $20 off between January 4th and January 20th.
Great selection of Vans classics, signature skate shoes, and Mens and Women Vans apparel.
Vans- Off the Wall- since 1966!
PS: It is true. I will only be wearing my vans on Christmas morning. My wife and kids will be out of town that day. Ahem. Should be incredible. I can’t wait!