That was also the year I met Charles Arthur Casey. I didn’t know him by that name, though, I knew him as Floyd. Floyd’s parents had named him first after his grandfather and second after Arthur Fonzarelli, the resulting combination just happened to be the same name as one of the most notorious outlaws in American history.
His sister, Rebecca, was the first to call him Floyd. Pretty Boy Floyd. To this day Bex says she came up with the name to be ironic in the Alanis Morissette sense of the term. Any real sense of irony ended when he passed the first awkward stages of puberty. After that, the name was more appropriate than anything.
Floyd was a top-row locker kind of guy if I ever met one—tall, good looking and he ran the 400 meters with a grace and power that betrayed his size. He was lanky with dirty blonde hair and a strong chin that suggested he had some Native American blood in him somewhere.
The Mayde High track team had made the cut for regionals that year, thanks in large part to Floyd’s heroics in the last leg of the 400 relay. They say that humans can’t maintain top speed for any longer than 30 seconds due to lactic acid buildup. Floyd was the exception that proved the rule. That day he set the state high school record for a 100 meter leg, coming from a good 25 meters back against the anchor from Cinco’s track team.
I met Floyd one day while I was out on assignment for the Gator Gazette, the high school’s weekly newspaper. High school journalism is laughable, really, especially since Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, though Mary Beth Tinker should have some say in that. At any rate the Gazette, out of fear of the wrath of Principal McCardle, ran only fluff pieces. Not that Floyd’s story was fluff, it just wasn’t the kind of story I would have chosen.