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Tehran American School

The time I was in Iran, about 100,000 Americans lived there. Needless to say, that's also a lot of kids. When we moved to Iran it was a chance for me to start over. Hopefully, get a new image. A new something, I don't know. I just wanted to forget about Oscoda High School. I was known as a nerd and my "sister's brother." I love my sister but to be known as your "sister's bother" when your a kid is the worst. Especially when my sister was two years younger than me! So, coming to a new school I had a chance to start over. So, I got into sports and worked on becoming a good athlete. But it wasn't like it happened overnight either. I busted my butt and worked at it. Our High School was pretty big. Big enough to suite up 4 football teams. I was on a team called the Vikings and I started at Tight End and Defense End. In my senior year, I made the All-Star team and intercepted a pass that put us in the lead with only seconds left. However, on the ensuing kickoff, the other team ran it back for a touchdown. My being the football hero lasted about, oh…. 2 minutes.

Going to this school was like going to a big intercity school. There was a lot of great people, cute girls and a lot of tough guys. I saw some pretty nasty fights and a lot of drugs. There was this one guy I knew, who I used to play basketball with, who was killed in a knife fight with an Iranian guy. He was a good guy. Coming from small schools on Air Forces bases, all of this was an eye opening experience. I learned a lot in this school and grew up fast.

Here's a story that was pretty scary… I remember one time; these parents came to give us a speech about drugs. What prompted them was that their son, who I knew, got caught with a small amount heroin in a city park. Well, in Iran, that's an immediate death sentence. Right there, on the spot, they shoot you. Fortunately, he pulled out his "Diplomatic Immunity" card. Well, it saved his life but not his freedom. He was placed in an Iranian Prison. His parents told of the horrors that his son went through, while in prison. How, with another inmate, had to fight off other prisoners day and night who were trying to rape and kill them. They told of the how weaker inmates were dragged in the middle of this large cell and shoved into a hole that everybody crapped into and basically drowned them in it. The parents finally told of how they had to "pay off" the Iranian judges to get their son out. And of how, the family was being expelled from the country. It was a pretty sobering story and something I'll never forget.

I remember this story every time I go to another country to film. I see these actors enjoying the "local offerings", not knowing what they're getting themselves into. If they only knew…


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