I was challenged by my dear friend Lori, the mother of Einstein the cutest-ever-in-the-world puggle, to write about my life when I was that age. I had to actually count up past my birth year and get out the proper annual to even remember the times....and my picture wasn't even in the damn thing! I must have been absent on picture day or something. My mama will tell you that I tended to play sick a lot. School just wasn't my thing. I liked learning, but chafed at all the rules. After all, I was a hippie. Kinda sorta. I was invisible in those days except to the people who took the time to look past the social stuff and become my friend. They ranged from potheads to class presidents. Think Donna on the seventies show except I wasn't a hot redhead. High school sororities and fraternities were still a big deal then, but I stayed away from all that except for the dances because the bands were always hot. No bakes sales on Saturday morning for this old gal.
I attended the old high school on College hill for two years before the new one got built over on the 51 By-pass. My parents went there in the forties, and the building still stands as a Y/school resource building. My daughter attended middle school there too, but by then it was ancient. There was, at one time, a big wading pool at the bottom of the hill on the left where people took their babies to splash under the watchful eye of Miss Zella, the lifeguard. Across the street sat my home church where my faithful mama and daddy dragged my butt up in there every week come hell or high water. I had to sit on a pew with my wiggly little brothers which was definitely not fun.
I kind of went to the dark side when I was about 13 or so, running around with some folks that knew a whole lot more about the streets than I did. I worked summers at the local Moose lodge as a lifeguard and our favorite times were when it rained out all the bratty kids and we raided the bar and kitchen inside. And then...we'd play spades until somebody decided to quit. My friend Lisa and I hooked up about that time through her older sister and decided that we'd better straighten our acts up and get through high school. She was a star student and I was average. She always had a dramatic flair and just the right words to get scholarships to the big university. I got one to the local community college on my high B average. We were drawn to each other at a time when we were trying to grow up and make sense of everything. Years later, we would see our friends die from their unhealthy lifestyles, many of them from HIV or Hep C. Lisa's house burned and they had to live at the Plaza motel for several months while the damage was being repaired. I thought that was just the coolest thing. My friend Kay's house burned at about that time as well. I remember walking over from Susan's house to survey the ashes. We continued to swim in that pool because it was built for us girls by Mr. Tom and Miss Ann. After the fire, they moved over on Glen Oaks. Kay found her daddy dead of a heart attack one day after school and her world changed forever.
I was in the science club and the FTA and thought about band because of Jimbo but didn't get out there with it until we moved to the new place. It had a state of the art band room, amphitheater and nice instruments and uniforms when administration had money left over from the athletic budget. Daddy is such an avid sports fan that I just took that as a given and learned to play the chimes so I could do a solo. I'm not sure in what high school gym it happened, but the melody will never leave me.
More later. XOXO