Last Saturday evening, as Langley High School senior Clay Thomas headed down the long driveway leading to the Great Falls home of radio personality and former Redskins player Rick “Doc” Walker and his wife Carol Walker, he dabbed at his forehead with a handkerchief. It was hot, muggy and sticky — not very comfortable when one is sporting a stylish pinstripe suit and matching hat.
When an elated Carol Walker answered the doorbell and swung the front door open, she greeted Walker with an onslaught of compliments.
“Oh my! Don’t you look so nice? Turn around and let me see that suit — that is something!”
Walker said he had wanted to wear a red and black pinstripe suit since he first saw one as a young child.
“I just liked the style of it,” he said.
Thomas was the first of 15 high school students to arrive at the Walker home last Saturday evening. Since the June 2 Langley High School prom would be the last one for Langley senior Austin Walker, his parents hosted a pre-prom gathering for his entire prom group. The party of 16 convened at the Walker residence at 6:30 p.m. and then headed to Tysons Galleria in a stretch limo for an 8:45 p.m. dinner reservation at Maggiano’s.
For Thomas, prom was not exactly a new experience.
“I’ve been working for an entertainment company for the last six years, so this is going to be my ninth prom,” he said.
He was not the only seasoned prom-goer in the room — Saturday night was McLean resident Katie Swebo’s fifth prom. Swebo, a recent graduate of the Oakcrest School, a private, all-girls school in McLean, said she was looking forward to the limo ride.
“I’m also excited for dinner because I’m a big fan of food,” said Swebo, who will study engineering at Virginia Tech next year.
Saturday was the second prom for Austin Walker.
“I’m excited — it took a lot of planning and preparation,” said Walker, who organized the dinner at Maggiano’s. “It was pretty stressful, but the whole experience is fun.”
Walker will play football at the University of Maryland next fall and seems to be following in his father’s footsteps in more ways than one, having also just won “Student Journalist of the Year” for his coverage of women’s sports at Langley. Walker said football is what he will miss most about high school.
“Friday night lights,” he said.