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Seniors Personalize Parking with Paint

Later Dudes, turke. Painted parking spotRace cars, flowers, soccer fields, handprints and smiley faces appeared between the white lines of the North Salem High School parking lot as seniors gathered to personalize their parking spaces in an annual tradition. The work was the result of spontaneous painting parties marked by shared paint, music and pizza that took place for two weeks before the start of school.

“I painted the turtle from Finding Nemo saying ‘Later Dudes!’ Senior year is about saying good-bye but also keeping a part of my childhood,” said Dana.

Alexa filled in a four-foot-long A with an American flag, while Rosie found inspiration from her favorite dessert and vacation. “I really love ice cream and I go to Vermont, so I painted the Ben & Jerry’s logo but put my name instead.”

Yellow parking spot with Senior parking and people with canes icons on it too”Everyone looks forward to it. It’s one of the big things of senior year to have a parking spot,” said Sam. She felt the pressure to invent a unique design. “It gets competitive, honestly. Some of them are so nice that if mine comes out bad, it’ll feel embarrassing.”

Not everyone chose to paint their parking space before the year began. Some students were so impressed with their predecessor’s work they decided to keep it. 

“There are already good spots and I’m happy with how mine already looks,” said Josh, who parks on a sun-faded design. “I can still paint it at any time, so maybe if I feel an artistic mood I’ll start painting it."

"Painting the parking lot provides a space for collaboration, camaraderie, and artistic individuality," said Principal Vince DiGrandi. "As Dr. Murphy and I walk through the senior lot we appreciate the detail and effort. Each spot truly matches the student."

While only in its seventh year, it has become a rite of passage for the seniors to leave their mark on the campus - at least for one year.