As predicted, 1982 opened with my playing Christy Mahon in The Playboy of the Western World. Then there was Lydel Sims: Assignment Memphis as part of Memphis Moving Line. And finally, The Three Sisters. And so my first year at MSU ended. (During which I also experienced heartbreak, and joy, BTW.)
That summer, I actually got to "star" in a Hilldale Kiwanis Summer Theatre production, a clear sign that the Clarksville tradition was on the way out. I played Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees. I was a bit young, but I guess it went okay. Also this summer, E.T. was released. Funny, I think of myself as "almost a man" playing Mr. Applegate, but definitely "a child" sitting in the movie theater watching E.T. That movie made a huge impression on me. More magic. As with the Muppets, I think it's all about bringing some fantastical creature to life. E.T. himself was nothing more than a complicated puppet. And the same impulse carries right on through to animation.
At some point in this year, my paternal grandmother died.
Back to MSU for my sophomore year, when I turned 19. Only two shows: The Robber Bridegroom and When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?. Chorus in the first show, but another titular role for me in the second. Most importantly, I got to act opposite the great Jeff Posson.
I went home for the holidays, again with a big show to look forward to in the coming year.
Looking at the world outside my bubble, Epcot opened at Disney World. I would spend a lot of time there, 13 years later.