Friday, March 23, 2007

On to Tennyson

Junior High! Argh! So much anxiety over a 2-story school...and where would my classes be...and where would my locker be...and could I get from one class to the next on time? The Tennyson Texans...colors blue and gold....that is what I was for 7th, 8th & 9th grades. Speech & Drama class was an elective all three years. I remember 'dressing out' for blue one-piece 'suits' that snapped up the front...and we had to embroider our name on the back.

We still wore dresses and skirts with our knee socks...but then...we were told in a school assembly that girls could wear jeans! Yipee! Mom said we could wear them ONCE a week, though, and that was it. Bell-bottom jeans and t-shirts! Whoo-hoo! Some teachers included: Mrs. Haveman for reading (remember SRA?) Mr. Brown for English (ain't ain't a word) Coach McLean for history (why do coaches always teach history?) Ms. Vogt for Biology (dissecting frogs!) and Ms. Stokes for speech/drama (plays, poetry, improvisations) Can't remember who I had for Math, but in that class is where I met Kathy Morris(now Bell) who became my best friend. I asked for her help on math - which she enjoyed, I did not - and we were inseparable.

LeeAnn McCurrin was another good friend who I often walked to/from school with, and we still drop each other a card now and again. CaSandra Cossey and I were in speech/drama and after college, she went on to be a 'star'...and has appeared in many plays, TV shows and movies. We always exchange birthday cards cause hers is the day after mine. We tend to remind each other how 'old' we are getting.

Junior high was when I tried out for cheerleader...S P I R I T...we've got SPIRIT! Beth, Mom and I shopped for my 'tryout' shorts and a white peasant top w/red trim, my long frizzy-curly hair (past my shoulders) in pig-tails!! My dark-rimmed glasses completed the outfit...and well, I lost! I think just about every girl had long straight hair....except for me. Mom tried putting a straightening cream in my hair, but back combing was so painful, I just rinsed it out and went back to curly/frizzy.

Oh the days of school lunch...where Mom continued to pack brown bag lunches...but they didn't always get eaten, I am afraid. Tuna w/mustard on white bread! Dad was on Weight Watchers and that was our lunch. Wonder how many lunch sacks were squished in the bottom of my locker while I had Barb-b-que chips and a coke out of the vending machines? I think I found out on the last day of school.....p-u!

Boy-crazy junior high girls...let's see if I can remember the 'crushes'.....Lance, Greg, Stephen, and Peter to name a few. I was so sad when Peter moved to Colorado. I think that's when I started listening to John Denver...."Rocky Mountain High, Colorado". I don't really recall listening to the radio much before 7th grade when we did a radio show in speech/drama class. I remember "the Tears of a Clown" being one of the first songs I heard. Then KRZI was THE station to listen too and they did all kinds of well...crazy stuff to make sure they had a following. Remember the KRZI blue buttons?

I think I started babysitting for 50 cents an hour for the neighborhood kids when I was 11 or 12. Gee, wonder where I got the experience and know-how for that? Big money, huh? I remember the neighbors across the street were big BU fans...and so I sat for almost all the home games for Julie. Little brother Forrest came along later..and I think my rates went up.

I spent the summer with Grandma & Grandpa in Illinois one year. They would come to Texas for a visit from time to time, and so I went back with them one summer. I don't recall exactly how old I was, but it was before I was a teenager I think. Grandma and I would walk up the street to her friend's house and work on ceramics almost every day. I learned how to clean and paint the green ware and was so proud to give Mom a stamp box and my brother a pot bellied icon of some sort when they came to pick me up.

Of course I was spoiled when I spent the summer up there. Grandpa's greenhouse was a favorite place to spend time...even attempted to spend the night out there once, but a storm spoiled that. Lightening and glass ceilings and wall don't do well for a fun night. Grandpa had huge gardens...vegetable and flowers. He raised enormous sun flowers and tomatoes, then entered them in the fair and usually won ribbons. Grandma and Grandpa introduced me to "hot tea and toast" (thats tea w/sugar and milk) at breakfast, and making "high hat" pop-over rolls. Wilted lettuce salads and BLTs were favorites, too, not to mention potatoe salad. Uncle June (Grandma's brother) lived with Grandma and Grandpa, and he would work in the yard and in the gardens. He always joked around about his hair being in his eyes - and he wore a flat top. Then when we would go 'to town' and he drove his Ford sedan, he would dodge the 'potatoe people' in the road. Pepper was the family cat and Uncle June really loved him.

I remember going to the fair in town and getting an autographed picture of Bart Starr - who I didn't have a clue about - plus playing those games where you won a bunch of junk. I was so proud and remember saving a tall green dog for Beth. It was nice to be the 'only child' for a while, but I missed my family a bunch. I remember we celebrated Beth's birthday there in Mt. Vernon, and Grandpa got her a charm bracelet with a state of Illinois charm on it.

1 comment:

Uncle Skeet said...

I love it. You are a much better writer than but who isn't. I hope you enjoy writing the story and reliving the memories.