High School Memories!
There's nothing like taking a kid from the country and plopping
him into jr High with a whole bunch of kids that all grew up in
the same town! I went from a one room school to classes so big
we actually switched teachers, mixed with other classes, etc. I
was scared to death and so backwards! Probably the single most
tramatic experience in my life that I can ever remember.
However, it was likely what made my independent streak so strong,
and helped me survive some other stunners that have happened
since then. I mean, I've always been pudgy, always been goofy,
and not particulary clever. Here I was with no friends, no good
social skills, not all that good looking, discovering girls, and
just plain awkward. After that, everything else life has thrown
at me has seemed pretty easy to take!
Here are some random memories from Jr High to early college:
Walking to church. Walking to school. Walking to the library.
Walking to the grocery story. Walking everywhere. Getting a BIKE!
The public swimming pool. How safe could this really be?
Scouts! Yes, I excelled in this. Made it to rank of "Life",
didn't ever do the service project so no Eagle for me. If I
could do it over...! I did make Senior Patrol Leader, Jr Assistant
Scoutmaster, Order of the Arrow, and things like that. And went to
Philmont, of course! 113 miles in 13 days, all backpacking.
Lisa Wargo. And Kim and Pam, can't forget them!
Dungeons and Dragons. I was around when this was invented, and
never did get excited about the "advanced" stuff. I am always up
for a game of basic, though. I even have the dice, books, and a
dungeon made up ready to go! (Yes, painted minitures, too!)
Chorus, of all things. All those competitions we went to, and the
field trips. And the "Young and Alive" concerts. And the solo's I
did for the town christmas festivals, and the gazeebo dedication.
Um, lest you think I was a sissy for being in choir, let me point
out there were 4 guys total in choir. And 50 girls. And they were
some of the prettiest girls in school. And you had to ride on the
bus with them, carpool with them, etc. Not a bad deal at all! I
think every girlfriend I ever had but one was in choir with me,
including a whole bunch who hinted broadly they were interested.
Martha, Martha, Martha. How I adored you!
Musicals! Annie Get your Gun, where my brother Bob was the lead,
The Music Man with cousin Scott that was SO much fun, Bye Bye Birdie
where I spun around with Kristen as my wife, and My Fair Lady with
my funny British accent. Figures I would get to be the lead in a
musical where I don't get to actually SING!
Visits to my mom's 3rd grade classroom, and the "star" reception
they always gave me, especially after a musical.
Julia Kaye Rose, speaking of Marian the Librarian. What ever did
happen to her?
Apple computers in high school - that arrived the week of finals
my senior year! We never had computers in school, we came that
close and that was it. Small wonder my fasination.
Also along the lines of apples, the Johnny Appleseed fair that
took over the twon every year. Ah, the taste of apple ice cream!
Oh my was this delicious, I wish so much I could get the recipe.
It was all home made, too.
When I was 16-18, my parents who were both teachers would take a
vacation to Colorado. They would let me stay behind for a couple
months alone, which was fine because I behaved myself. They would
give me pre-dated checks for food money, which I would of course
immediately change the date on and cash them all in at once. One
year I spent all the money the first 3 weeks and was getting kind
of hungry. I earned SOME money from my grass mowing job (I mowed
grass all over town for folks) so I wasn't starving, but then I
remembered Dad had bought a half a cow and put it in the freezer.
I made hamburgers out of all the ground chuck and roasts and stuff,
but then they were all gone. So, I ground up the tbone and porter
house and other cuts of meat. When dad came home, he about flipped!
But to be honest, those expensive hamburgers didn't taste very
Bottle rockets and M80's. I mean quarter-sticks of dynamite! How
did I ever live through childhood?
Grandma used to bake home-made bread every so often and I would
drop by on baking day and carry home 5 or so loaves of bread for
our family. Except, I would get home with only 3 or 4. That
sure was good bread! Great big fluffy fresh yummy spongy bread.
Until the day dad wondered why everyone else was getting more of
it than we were. Ah well, grandma did make me a special Randy-loaf
from then on at least!
BB guns and birds. Lots of birds. Shamefully, LOTS of birds.
Model airplanes, ships, cars, space ships, trains, you name it.
Kristy Ellen Weber. 3 years of her. I am soooo much better off!
Football, you bet! There was one time my uncle Dick came to see me
play, the only time I can think of he ever came, and we were playing
at home against Beaver Local, I think. The offensive guy was too
small to block me (I was playing right tackle) so he would lay down
and grab my legs and hold me. I complained to the ref, and he said
"This isn't the NFL, kid!" I complained to the coach and he said to
just step on him. But one time the guy had ahold of me from behind.
Laying on the ground holding my feet. The whole play had moved down
the field 10 yards and there were the two of us, all by ourselves.
The whistle blew the play dead and he let go of me. So I sat down.
Straight down, by kicking my legs out. I sat right on his stomach
and he didn't get up. They had to help him off the field. When I
landed on the guy, my uncle yelled "All right Randy!" and after the
game he would not stop talking about it, he was so proud of my
crushing the other guy!
Dropping eggs on cop cars from the roof of the dentist building.
That was a close one!
Flashlight tag. Run around at night in the dark chasing girls? I'm
My balsa wood bridge and paper airplane expertise that got us a
third place showing in the first science fair our school had ever
Speaking of science, teaching Chemistry as a sophomore to a bunch
of juniors and seniors. I really "got it"
Mixing powdered sugar and salt peter. You could buy salt peter at
the drug store, they would sell it even to kids! Don't know what
this is for? Maybe we should forget I ever mentioned this one...
The fact that my rinky dink one room school was doing precalc and
when I got to Lisbon they were doing 5+x=10. Sheeze. I could sleep
in those math classes and get straight A's. In fact, I did get
straight A's my last three years of school. There was a girl I wanted
to go out with and she said, knowing my freshman grades were B's
and C's that she would go out with me if I got straight A's. So I
did. But she didn't! You just can't trust girls!
CB radios. KAHK5251 seems to ring a bell as a license. Yes, I
had one, good buddy. I used to play chess with a guy across town.
My son thinks his generation was the one that "invented" instant
The camp near East Liverpool, Ohio that had all the 100 year old
porcelain doorknobs in the river that we fished out.
Playing in the town cemetary, on the bridge and on the civil war
cannon mounted on the rock. Seeing the family name in several
places, and not being afraid.
Going up to visit the Gallo brothers and their mother making me
always sing some new piece of music she was learning to play on
the piano as soon as I walked in the door. Usually opera!
The hillside clubhouse in its many, many incarnations. We even
had a concrete slab under it at one point, that we kids poured
and smoothed! All those nails we straightened out, and wood
we scavenged from all over town. Three "floors" tall, with a
Playing pool in the huge room dad built on the house just for
putting a pool table in the middle of!
Pushing too hard with a long screwdriver and sticking it *almost*
throught both sides of my hand. As it was, I felt those twingy
healing muscles for years!
Mountains and mountains of firewood. Cutting down trees, splitting,
and stacking the stuff. Between dad and grandpa, there must have
been a forest of it!
Reading the announcements over the PA for the high school every
day my senior year. That was definately worth doing. The girls
really dug it!
Ralph and Alice, the honeymooner rabbits.
Playing "video tv" then pong then finally Atari. Nintenwho?