This year’s proms featured pat-downs and Breathalyzers, so as our kids were getting ready for their respective evenings, I gave them some personal prom history.
Surprisingly, I did not get a rolling of the eyes or an “Oh, Dad.” I actually got questions when I was finished, a sure sign that someone is listening.
Unless, of course, the question is, “Did you say something?”
When I graduated from high school in 1973, proms were just coming back in vogue, after being avoided for many years because they were not cool. That uncool attitude, which held that proms were old-fashioned and sexist, was a leftover from the ’60s.
Going to the prom was not an easy decision. Because my girlfriend attended a different high school, I was obligated to attend two if I went at all. That meant twice as many expenses.
Fortunately, in 1973 no one thought of taking a limousine to proms, and I did not incur that expense twice. Oh, I suppose there were one or two who wanted the deluxe ride, but for most of us, the freedom of driving ourselves to and from the event was more important than showing up in a land yacht.
Today, limos are routine.
My high school prom was at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, which is where my daughter’s high school held hers.
Kaitlyn has been attending the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in Santa Ana since the eighth grade.
Among the school’s many unique characteristics is the fact that the overwhelming majority of the students are girls. I don’t have any statistics, but based on my visits, I’d say the majority is about 75%.
As you can imagine, it makes it hard for girls to get dates with the boys in school, so many girls end up going to the prom with female friends.
At the OCHSA prom, the boys were patted down, presumably to check for drugs, alcohol and weapons.
My son attended the Estancia High School prom as a sophomore last Saturday night. The event was held at Crevier Classics in Santa Ana, and many kids there were given Breathalyzer tests as they arrived.
The location of this prom was interesting. According to Klaus Kindor, Crevier sales manager, the facility started out 16 months ago as a membership-only garage for fine cars but evolved into a venue for parties.
“My understanding is that one of our members wanted to have a birthday party here and that persuaded us to hold more events, and it has become a very successful venue here in Orange County,” said Kindor.
During the prom, kids were allowed to stroll among the cars, with a few exceptions.
“Most of the cars that are here do not belong to us, they belong to our members, so some of the cars were behind ropes,” said Kindor.
It should be noted the ropes were not set up only for the high school guests. Kindor assured me they are there for adult events as well.
There is nothing wrong with roping off cars only for high schoolers, but I have to smile when I realize that an adult who has been drinking and did not have the benefit of a Breathalyzer was more likely to have an accident around the cars than one of the teens last weekend.
Kindor told me he believes this prom may have been the first one they have hosted.
So I asked if, based on the experience, Crevier would host another prom.
“We think so. The event went off very well, and the kids were really well-behaved.”
Except for pat-downs, Breathalyzer and the proliferation of limousines, proms have not changed much over the years. But it’s all happening so quickly now.