I think the four of us were sophomores in high school, but one of us was a year older because he had taken a year off for sports-related reasons. In fcat, he might have been the world's first red shirt athlete. But his value to us on this spring night was the fact he had a driver's license --and wheels.
The destination: Troy, of all places. I doubt that any us had ever been to the Collar City prior -- the thought of going down there had even freaked our parents out a bit. But there was a rock and roll show to be had, a triple bill at that. When you are were a teenager back in our day, nothing could stop you from paying homage the Boogie Monster.
That's when I got my first glimpse of the aforementioned Armory--at the time it was actually called the Troy Armory. I still recall pulling up to the building; somehow getting a parking spot right in front of the joint. I then proceeded to collapse on the front lawn, sick to my stomach and moaning in agony.
No, it wasn't a medical problem, nor was it an overindulgence in the cheap beer we were often accused of indulging in. Instead, I was suffering from my introduction to the high class world of cigar smoking. Being it was just that -- my introduction -- I was unaware of the fact that you were not supposed to actually suck the stogie into your lungs as you would a cigarette. Which I did, all the way down the Northway. So there I lay: Welcome to Troy, you dumb ass.
My buddies had been smoking a different substance, and everything was a hilarious big joke to them. Especially me. I guess you had to be there.