April 9, 2020

I stumbled upon an innocuous Facebook challenge today. Seeing no harm, I accepted it. Basically, an old friend was asking people to post their senior year high school yearbook photos to support and applaud the graduating class of 2020. So I did.

Now I’m usually not a conspiracy theorist, but I have no other explanation for the hair and outfits I was wearing during my high school years. It had to be a devious plot (50 years in the making) to completely embarass those of us who lived in that time.

yearbook 4.jpg

I mean, seriously? This was a picture day which means I chose that outfit knowing I’d be photographed. This is in my yearbook in one of the group photos in which I posed. I have no idea what I was thinking. Did fashion not exist back then? When were mirrors invented anyway?

Paisley shirts with Peter Pan collars and a “dickey?” Coupled with bell bottom jeans and half boots that zippered up? And could I not have chosen a wider watch band? It’s no wonder I never got any dates in high school.

Now, my hair I can explain. That was straight up rebellion. My father (a straight-laced middle school gym teacher) is the one who took me to get my hair cut as a child. He dragged me to his barber shop – run by a bunch of guys from Jersey who he met at the track. Not only did they practice the bowl cut, I think they invented it. Razor cut on the side, scissor cut up top. And they used a grease stick to make the bangs stick straight up. Hated it.


So when I became a teen, I decided to skip the haircuts. And for some reason, my parents let me have my way. Hence the long locks in the first picture. It was unkempt, uncomfortable, unattractive and deep down I knew it but was too stubborn to admit I was wrong. However, when senior picture day was approaching I decided it was time to do something about it. Instead of visiting Vinnie and the bowl cut gang, I opted to spend the big bucks and go to a high class “salon.” I still remember the name. It was dubbed “Rape of the Lock.” Why that didn’t send up a red flag, I’ll never know.

So, I went with my tangled mop of hair and told them to give me a cut suitable for my high school senior photo.  I paid for it with my own money. Here’s what they gave me:


Only one word for it… shagerific!

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

Any Requests?


I don’t know if anyone noticed, but last Sunday there was a live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on TV. This was a show that debuted in the 1970s when I was in high school. And I, like many of my classmates, owned the soundtrack album and listened to it over and over again.

Now, as embarrassing as it may be, you are about to hear the rest of the story. This is the memory that came to mind as I was watching the show.

WINX was the local radio station that most of us kids listened to in my hometown and they started a request line where teens could call in to ask the DJ to play certain songs. 

I was with a friend in my house after school listening to the afternoon DJ spin his records when the request line came on. I was dared by my friend to call in a request. Stupidly, I didn’t realize that I could have refused to rise to the bait. Instead, I called the radio station and, to my utter amazement, the DJ picked up.

He asked me what I wanted to hear. In retrospect, I probably should have thought about that before I dialed. But now I was on the spot.  Jesus Christ Superstar was the hottest album at that time so I just said “play something from Jesus Christ Superstar.” And I hung up and listened to the broadcast.

After the commercial ended, the DJ came back on air to say, “Here’s a request from Mike in Rockville Maryland who wants to say, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.”

My friend went into convulsions.

I pretended to be sick the next day so I didn’t have to go to school.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audiotapes, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

Friends, Romans, Countrymen… Lend Me Your Ears…


Michael is away at a training seminar for Home Video Studio owners. He will return Monday March 5th. However he is blogging daily from the field. Subscribe to have it delivered straight to your email.

The keynote speaker at last night’s Celebration Dinner was unable to attend and so I was asked to step in at the last minute to address my peers on the subject of my journey to becoming a Home Video Studio franchise owner.

It was an address I was supposed to give two years ago when I was honored with the title of Home Video Studio Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, family circumstances prevented me from attending in 2016 so this opportunity allowed me to say some of the things I had planned to say back then.

Truth be told, it wasn’t my first keynote address. Back in high school, I was tapped to deliver the class history at our senior class banquet (later to be repeated at an all school assembly). I remember being nervous. I had scripted out the speech which was more or less constructed like a Johnny Carson monologue. One joke after another, many of which were innuendoes in order to get them past the red pen of the administration officials assigned to censor any inappropriate comments. They missed more than they found. But I was nervous because I had never tried any of the jokes out on a live audience. I was going in cold.

I had crafted the speech as a twenty minute routine but it stretched out to twice that length due to the overwhelmingly positive audience reaction. At the end, my classmates rose as one and gifted me with the first standing ovation I ever received.

No, history did not repeat itself here. But, then again, I think I was a lot funnier when I was 18.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit




Congratulations Philadelphia Eagles on your Super Bowl win!  Great game. Takes me back.

I only played one year of football, but oh, what a time. It was my first year in high school and I survived the cut to make it on our Junior Varsity team. There was a lot of pressure on us to perform. Our school had a streak going as our previous j.v. squads had gone undefeated the last 2 years. And so the weight of history was certainly resting upon our shoulder pads.

I was, at various times, an offensive tight end, a defensive end, a member of the punt rush squad, or on the kickoff team. But I mainly tested out different sections of the bench. The good news was that for most weekends, my uniform needed no washing… a fact that I’m sure pleased my mother.

That’s not entirely true. I did get my fair share of playing time.  Mostly in blocking or tackling situations. I always had visions of catching a pass for a touchdown as I always believed it to be my strongest athletic ability. But this was j.v. high school football in the 70s. There wasn’t a lot of passing taking place. So I blocked or tackled.

We did make our school proud, becoming the 3rd consecutive squad to have an undefeated season. But I decided not to try out for the varsity team the following year. It seems football practice ate into too much of the summer and summers were when I made my money for the year as my parents did not want me working while school was in session.

So I had to choose –  play football or have cash in my pocket.  I went with the cash. If only my high school coach had inserted some passing plays into our playbook and used them on game days. My decision… heck, my entire life… might have turned out differently.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit