Saturday, May 31, 2014

Margaret Farrell - 1962

A ’64 Highlander sent in several terrific pieces which will be incorporated in this blog over the next few entries.  This one about Margaret Ferrell, a ’62 Highlander, is the first of them, mostly because I also knew Margaret and always thought very highly of her. 

Margaret was a strikingly beautiful girl with luxuriant black hair that really rivaled that of TV’s early Mouseketeer heart throb, Annette Funicello.  Margaret’s desk was next to mine in a 1960-61 class where we became class friends and I got to know well her kind heart and gentle nature.  But alas, I was just a lad of 15 and Margaret was an older woman of 16, so I never held out any hope of dating her.  I had forgotten that she was a Meadowbrook cheerleader until the following reminisces were sent in by a 1964 Highlander…..At EHHS, Margaret was a member of NHS and achieved the Leonard's Star Award all 3-years....

CJ64--In the fall of 1958 Meadowbrook Junior High was no more than 4 years old.  Until its completion, the Meadowbrook Elementary building housed grades 1 through 8 or 9 (I’ve forgotten which).  The junior high building was located across Meadowbrook Drive from the elementary and was typical 1950s architecture, long and flat and rectangular, with nondescript pink-orange brick.  It looked nothing like the classic architecture of the elementary, which is a beautiful building to this day.
The junior high housed grades 7, 8, and 9.  Grades 7 and 8 were taught the end courses of the traditional grammar school, while the 9th grade received the high school curriculum (hence “junior” high).

My first memory of my first day as a 7th grader was our pep rally in the auditorium.  We walked into the auditorium with the band blaring “The National Emblem March”.  (Seems like every pep rally from then on through high school featured this march at entry).  Like all good marches this one boasted several memorable melodies.  The second melody was the one where we all used to sing “Oh, the monkey wrapped his tail around the flag pole, round the flag pole, round and round…).  We were all handed a mimeographed sheet with the school fight song and alma mater on it.  Once seated, the band played our alma mater, to the tune (and many of the words) of the Ohio State alma mater:

Oh, come let’s sing to Meadowbrook’s praise,
And songs to alma mater raise.
While our hearts rebounding thrill,
With joy which death alone can still.
Summer’s heat or winter’s cold,
The seasons pass, the years will roll.
Time and change will surely show,
How firm thy friendship,

Next came the fight song, to the very familiar tune from Sousa’s “Field Artillery March”:

Through the rain, through the hail,
We will hit the beaten trail
As those buffaloes go galloping along.
Watch us march, to the top,
We will never, never stop
As those buffaloes go galloping along.
For it’s one, two, three
We’ve won the victory!
Buffaloes are always, always strong!
And where’er we go, you will always know
That those buffaloes are leading the throng,
Keep ‘em leading!
That those buffaloes are leading the throng!

Anyway, maybe they were corny, but like most kids, most of us thought they were very stirring.

Next came the first cheer, and my introduction to Margaret Ferrell.  Margaret was the first cheerleader on the left as you faced the stage.  She wore a white sweater with a green megaphone superimposed with a gold M, a knee-length white pleated skirt, bobby sox, and black suede loafers.  She had dark, short curly hair combed into a ducktail, large dark eyes, a turned up Irish nose, curvy lips, and a cute figure.  She was gorgeous, and I was hopelessly in love for the first time in my life.  I have no memory at all of any of the other cheerleaders.

  The first cheer (always the first cheer, as we later found out), was Twirl My Turban:

Well, twirl my turban, man alive!
Here comes Meadowbrook’s super tribe!
Do we love ‘em, well I guess,
Meadowbrook, Meadowbrook, yes, yes, yes!

Hey, Hadden, Hadden, he’s our man,
If he can’t do it,

Reynolds can!  Reynolds, Reynolds, he’s our man,
If he can’t do it,

Brown can!

(and so forth, through each cheerleader).  The names above referred to the football stars, of course – Dave Hadden (halfback), Don Reynolds (quarterback), and Doug Brown (end).  After the “yes, yes, yes!” Margaret turned sideways to her left, raised her right arm straight up, yanked it down to form a right angle, and yelled “Hadden, Hadden” at the bottom of the yank while turning back to face the audience, then turned it over to the next cheerleader to pay our respects to Mr. Reynolds, and on down the line.  Margaret was always first and always started off with Hadden.  I don’t know why or how she chose Hadden, as they were never a couple, but she always did.

I worshiped Margaret Ferrell throughout the entire 7th grade.  She graduated and moved on to Eastern Hills High and was there as a senior when I was a sophomore, but the crush did not survive the transition.  That was mainly Suzanne Hoffman’s doing, who was a junior cheerleader in high school when I first met her.  She walked right up to me on the first day of high school and pinned one of those spirit ribbons on me (Beat Haltom!), and flirted with me, a mere sophomore, and I was hooked again.  Suzanne was tall, dark, and gorgeous with long pretty legs and an effervescent personality who I later got to know better when we both worked at Six Flags Over Texas (I was still hooked).

Anyway, I’ve always wondered what happened to the lovely Margaret Ferrell.  I hope wherever they both are that they have led very happy lives.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The EHHS Social Order – 9.3 – Cliques.1

Part 2 of 4

Since its inception, figuring out how our cliques came together and what bound them so tightly for so long has been one of the objectives of this blog.  Over the years, a number of films on the topic suggest that the juvenile clique phenomena isn’t an isolated occurrence.  I observed it in action once again as my own offspring went through the pubescent school gauntlet of grades 7-12. 

Approaching this topic in a reasonable manner has been a challenge since it involves a number of my old friends from those long-ago days.  They were good kids, some of them could be occasional twits, and for the most part they did well in their post EH lives.  Nevertheless, as a group, there was something about them that had long puzzled me….and, apparently my thoughts were shared by others.  Several current day fellow travelers recounted their own recollections of them and as usual, differing points of view yielded different perceptions.

Interestingly, in digging a little deeper into the psychology of teen-age cliques, I found a wealth of information suggesting that what we experienced is very common.  That makes things easier because as former Texas Governor Ann liked to say, "we couldn’t 'hep' it". 

By the time we understood whether we were a MJH in-crowder or not, it was already a fait accompli and one, that to my knowledge, changed very little throughout our trek toward EH graduation.   Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, wrote a scholarly piece on the “Click or Clique” phenomena that has made considering this topic much easier.  She provides reasonable cover for me to thump some of my old friends for their adolescent behavior while acknowledging that mostly everyone outgrew it...but, not without some scars.

Still, when I’ve brought the topic up with a selected few former classmates over the past several years (nearly 50-years on), none of them were without comment.  Well, none except most of the former teen clique perps, who have almost universally eschewed sharing their own comments on the subject.  H-m-m.

Broaching the topic has been a delicate matter even at this late date.  However, to their credit, those who have shared some of their recollections with me have done so with adult moderation and have made good use of the language to clearly convey their thoughts so, I’m more at ease dealing with the topic now.

O.K., at MJH, our future EH Class of 1963 lead clique were the cheerleaders, Gay Burton, Celia Beall, and Julie Hudson.  Closely affiliated with those three were Kay Humphrey, Carole Stallcup, Carolyn Marcotte, Candy Woodward, Sharon Ballem, and maybe a couple others.  To a newly arriving 13-year old boy entering the MJH school already hooked on the notion of having a cheerleader girlfriend sometime down the line, our MJH girls were real goddesses in flowing flannel dresses and flying pom-poms.  Any of the 3 of them would do, since they were all attractive, smart, and full of it.  But Julie was too short for my tall frame; Celia too quiet and a little too well, awesome; so, that left Gay who was neither too quiet nor too short, although pretty awesome in her own right.  Unfortunately, Gay seemed seriously in "like" with that skinny little kid, Roby Morris for reasons I couldn’t understand at that tender age; or, it seemed that Steve Means was always nearby.  Well, ….another unrequited love, and so it goes and so it went.

Audacious lad that I was, it never occurred to me that I might not be in the right “league” for any of those gals.  That’s probably because of my parents’ constant encouragement to aim high and providing wise advice such as, “everyone else puts their pants on one leg at a time, too,” whatever that meant.  At age 13 I had never found anything too challenging to give up on without having a go at it, or her.  By the way, at that young age, you can put your pants on both legs at once, but it can’t be done on every try….

Anyway, as one of my confidants described her, Gay was the “Queen Bee” of that lead clique and she was clearly the livewire of the gang.  There was a second clique that was somewhat more subdued but, no less attractive.  However, they lacked two things Gay’s group had; one, none were cheerleaders and two, they were very, very quiet so, it was difficult for them to gain and hold the attention of very shallow, mostly unfocused 13-14 year old boys…and, that was name of the game at that point in time. 

The second clique seemed to be mostly the girls shown in the 1959 picture below from the Stars Over Meadowbrook show that year.  They were Carol Eldridge, Vicki Held, Jane Welborn, Gail DeVore, Paula Acuff, Judy Hill, and Harriet Hamilton.  More on them in the next installment., some "clicks"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The EHHS Social Order – 9.2 – Womanclature

Part 1 of 4

Let’s face it…at 14, essentially none of us knew what the heck to do with that boy girl stuff at MJH but, as Harold Ramos’s famous line goes, “we were willing to learn.”  However, owing to the 18-month differential start we got during that puberty business a couple of years earlier, the struggling boys were just loping along behind all those racy girls.  That’s not to say there weren’t some precocious lads however, opportunities were fleeting and often befuddling.

That’s also not to say all our young ladies were racy or racing…they weren’t.  A recurring theme a few of our distaff former classmates shared with me has been that they were very “churchy, prudish, and perhaps more troublingly….good girls.”  There was that traumatic experience of being locked in a closet alone with Charlie Bruce following an adverse “spin the bottle” decision.  Mom rode to the rescue!  On the other hand, if you recall Charlie at that stage, her response wasn’t altogether unreasonable.  A few years later, while living in one of the LA beach communities, I encountered a popular updated version of the game, called, spin the b****  …well, I digress.

Now in general, the 1950s was a confusing decade in which to come of age.  As youngsters, we were in a kind of time-warp consisting of June Cleaver, Harriett Nelson, and Annette juxtaposed with Marilyn, Jayne, and Bridget…and some of those really strange looking girls in the raunchy little magazines hidden behind the “True Detectives” on the 3-L package store magazine rack.  Ward and June slept in twin beds; so did Ozzie and Harriett…or, at least on TV they did.  O.K. so, we’re supposed to try and get close but, not too damned close…hmm.

Our fifties “media” was 3-channels of black & white TV, Life magazine, and whatever fuzzy cheesecake pictures might have occasionally found their way into the Star-Telegram pages.  Then there were those ads for the Jacksonville Highway honky-tonks.

One of the more puzzling aspects of young womanhood during our maturing years may have been those protuberances up front.  By the time 9th grade rolled in, we had only been aware of them for a couple of years, at most.  Learning what in the heck they were about was still an experience in process.  Of course, we had seen how Mom and maybe a sister or two prepped theirs for public outings but, everywhere else we looked, we saw a variety of shapes and styles. 

Movies broadcast on TV then often featured Myrna Loy so, we got a 1930s image; then the 1940s brought us a lot of  Donna Reed films to help with our visual calibration; however, since the 1950s films were still new, we didn’t see many 1950s movies on TV.  But, there were plenty of contemporary TV shows like Grouchos’ You Bet Your Life, and Bob Cummings’ Love That Bob where we could try to fine-tune our visual calibrations....but, it wasn't easy!

Notwithstanding Bette Perot's dubious efforts at enlightenment, I suppose most of us got a similar Victorian-style introduction to sexuality…which is to say, not much.  Many, perhaps most of our parents married quite young and likely got a pretty truncated introduction to the subject themselves as they were quickly caught up in WWII.  Except for those airmen who rushed into a wartime marriage, the aircrews were essentially all virgins when they served…why else would you think they so enthusiastically embraced the “nose art” phenomena? 

And what else would explain Detroit’s manic focus on tail fins?  If you bought their explanation of it being a tribute to rocket fins and nose cones, think again.

This was confusing stuff and it fell to our generation to figure it out....

Now, I know I promised cliques and tits in the last article’s tease but, this one got to be kind of fun….so, cliques next.  Meanwhile, if tits offends, then consider the effort of a current day college lad who has been pondering the same old question….he came up with 262 alternatives.  Perhaps more amusing…I recognize most of them.

O.K. and your mob are up next....

Monday, May 12, 2014

The EHHS Social Order – 9.1 – Sex Ed.

The 9th grade preliminaries ran a little long in the last article so, here’s a few more thoughts to finish off the intro.

Sports – School and Intramural.  Sports opportunities were plentiful and included all the sports except baseball.  The pictures are interesting in that the school teams were assembled on the basis of ability, while the intramurals were a collection of friends.  The football team was covered in another article.



Harassment.  If there was any significant amount of it going on, I don’t recall it.  Of course, since I was nearing 6’ tall and my friends were football players, it’s possible that whatever potential problems may have existed were avoided before they began.  Big Sam Scott's 2004 memoir mentions a MJH "Vigilante" squad to deal with bullies about this time but, since his son, Sampson III, was a good friend, I don't recall hearing a thing about it. 


Meadowlark Newspaper.  It’s too bad that MJH didn’t put a yearbook together like they did at Handley.  We might have then had a better photo record of those years.  I’m not too sure what criteria was established for choosing a newspaper staff at either Meadowbrook or Eastern Hills, but do recall it being an elective that required an application for the limited spots available.  It seemed to attract some of our more ambitious students and their work in producing the publications served as perhaps the most complete record of daily life around the schools that may now exist.  A cursory review of a graciously shared 1960 HJH yearbook shows no reference to a HJH newspaper at that school. 



There was some spillover of the Meadowlark staff to the Tartan at EH, but not as much as I would have thought.  At Meadowbrook, it appears to have been something of a popular class for the more aspiring youngsters, while at Eastern Hills, it appears to have been those who might have been more serious writers.  On the other hand, with Dillard aboard, anything was possible, and Bob Dillard went on to be a West Texas newspaperman. 



Perot & sex ed.  Meadowbrook Junior High in the 1950s was a sort of nursery for future stars.  Springing from its innards and roaring out the doors each afternoon was a stream of future hi-potential youngsters.  Poly received its product until 1959, when the new Eastern Hills High School opened and took over the finishing job.


Just within the scope of this blog’s focus, I’ve identified future doctors, dentists, engineers, lawyers, judges, members of Congress, investment bankers, commercial developers, Navy and airline pilots, screen writers, Pulitzer Prize winners, mayors, professors, principals, teachers, flight attendants, nurses, artists, writers, businessmen and  owners, contractors, D.C. lobbyists, and accountants; many of them scattered throughout the USA and the world.


As producers of thousands of children and now, grandchildren, many of them got their start right within the walls of the East Side’s Meadowbrook Junior High School.  While, to my knowledge, none…or very few of them got their start reproductive starts during those years…some of them soon would.


And to help ready those future stars and others, MJH had just the ticket…an 8th grade course euphemistically called, Health & Safety.  And just the teacher…a banty hen sized lady by the name of Bette Perot.  Yep, Ross’s older sister.  She ruled her classes with an iron hand and the demeanor that Ross later made famous during his flirtation with the Presidency…they were like two peas in a pod.  I recall very little of the class, other than it was substantially clinical in nature…lots of drawings and name the parts, etc.  Somewhere around here, I still have a notebook from that class; the only thing of real interest was a record Miss Perot had everyone jot down…their height and weight at the start of the (8th grade) year and another record at year's end.  I had only gained about 2-lbs but, by the end of the year I was something like 6” taller.


Anyway, Ross is 5’5”.  Bette is shorter than that and we encountered her several years before Ross left his IBM sales job to start EDS.




Cliques & tits next...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Mustang Motor Cycle

I mentioned that Sam Scott and Bill Gilmore had neat Mustangs while we were incarcerated* at Meadowbrook and invited any reader to look Mustangs up. After learning recently that Sam had passed away years ago, it occurred to me that others besides my old classmates may be reading these scattered thoughts, it might be a reasonable idea to slant this blog a little differently.

Clearly, after losing good guys like Sam, Steve, and Leo at such young ages, I’m wrong to assume that we are all going to live long lives into some kind of utopian geezerhood. So, I will cover some of my thoughts more directly. Peers are welcome to comment and so are their children and grandchildren.

The $500 Mustang I spoke of was a beefy little motor scooter that was substantially faster and more powerful than the other motor scooters of the day—like $350 Cushmans and Lambrettas, etc. The Mustang had a throaty roar to it, while the Cushman sounded like muffled lawn mower, and the Lambretta was heavily muffled leaving it with a kind of burbling sound. As 13-15 year olds, motor scooters provided better mobility than a bicycle for those few years before reaching age 16 when we could get a real driver's license, if not a car to go with it. For those kids whose Dads would buy them a scooter, or for those who had jobs that enabled them to buy their own, a dramatically wider world opened for them. Think of it, for those with the added mobility travel to far away places like Arlington or even the West Side was possible. For the rest, there was still the bus or mom or dad to drive us around, but that was getting pretty old…so that’s why those motor scooters drew a lot of attention.

You can Google Mustang, Lambretta, and Cushman to learn a lot more about them than you ever knew back then. I think these scooters were mostly gone by high school when we could get our hands on cars. For those “bike” riders who wanted to graduate to something larger as they got older, the prevalent motorcycles then were made by Triumph, BSA, and one or two others. Within a few years they were all essentially replaced by a lightweight import from Japan…the Honda 350. Cheap, light, fast, reliable, who could compete with that?

*incarcerated? Ms. Sheets, Ms. Perot, Creel Phillips, and Mrs. Greenwood, that library lady who hated me...if you were there, what would you call it?

Rev it Up… Adios

Monday, May 05, 2014

The EHHS Social Order – 9.0 – Preliminaries

Ninth grade at Meadowbrook was both an interesting and confusing year.  We were at the top of the Junior High School food chain and considerably larger than all the other kids in the halls.  Our 7th and 8th grade years took us from kid games to boy/girl stuff to increasing competition for recognition in an expanding student population.

Before looking into our 9th grade social world to any extent, it’s probably a good idea to make this a kind of “round-up” article to clear the deck for the real 9th grade social piece…the next one.  I’m convinced that much of our collective experience and subsequent EH social sorting started about this time.  If you were a late comer to EH or from Handley, you probably missed this setup.

Lunch.  There was a little time in the mornings before classes for socializing with friends but, the real socializing during school days was done at the school lunch tables.  The tables seated about 8 comfortably and could accommodate a few more if the conversation was interesting.  While there was no formal admission requirements for a spot at any of the tables, there was a habitual herding of the same friends each day that tended to either include or exclude occasional interlopers depending on whether or not the interloper had achieved some degree of acceptance.  Acceptance was a complicated formula consisting of, in no particular order, humor, intelligence, athleticism, and personality...and maybe a few other traits that escape me now. 

While I have no particular memory of who my table mates were, they were most likely the same group I've mentioned several times earlier....McCoy, Guthrie, Tate, Means, Dillard, Koebernick, Shields, Scott, Hoffman, Brandon, McCook, Rigby, Grizzard, Dickerson, Cox, and maybe a few others.  Girls were the most frequent topic of conversation at those tables and I have a fairly clear recollection of hearing the very first description of a girl I would later fall for at EH.  Most of those guys had known her since the elementary grades at Meadowbrook but, she apparently had only recently grown up and attracted their attention in a big way.  They were in awe of her, and I must admit she was a lovely girl.  But, as a jaded kid from Richland, I had seen other lovely girls by then and was intently focused on our cheerleaders...and, she wasn't a cheerleader thus, not the coolest available at the time.

Parents.  As I’ve mentioned before, our parents were about an equal combination of wartime marriages and those formed a few years before the war.  Whether they went off to war or stayed home and were employed in home-front support industries such as the “bomber plant – Convair” or railroads, they all shared two significant experiences…their Depression-era childhoods and WWII.  

We substantially benefited from their shared experience.  But we were also influenced by their post-war ambitions, their successes, and failures.  When we were in the 9th grade their ages ranged from about 35-45 just as they were starting to hit their adult stride.  And those who were doing well provided their offspring with some advantages.

Neighborhoods.  Although the different neighborhoods didn’t play much of a role in our childhood world during these 8th and 9th grade years (1958-60), there were some discriminatory opinions held by some of our parents.  Those notions were generally held on the basis of house size and location.  For instance, west of Oakland was considered smaller and older, thus not the area held in high regard by our ambitious parents nor of much interest to those newly arriving to the area in the 1950s.  To my knowledge, most of the houses west of Oakland were pre-WWII.

Several of our former classmates told of there being a somewhat subtle discrimination between the Meadowbrook neighborhoods.  From what I can determine preferences were not any more than a fairly standard assumption of pecking orders of new vs. old and large vs. small houses and neighborhoods.

There was an area of larger homes (2000'+) built around Oakland Park in the early 1950s, near the W.B.A.P. TV station.  The station went in about 1948 and probably drew some of our parents there to work.  For the purposes of this discussion, "larger" means 3-2-2 or 3-1-1, homes and those around Oakland Park were probably the first of their size built in the area to any significant extent.  Smaller, larger homes (~1600') were built just to the east of Meadowbrook Junior High School about this same time.  So, the social center of the early fifties was in those areas.  By the time we got into 9th grade and started to take notice of such things, the social center of the Meadowbrook area had shifted east along Meadowbrook Drive as those areas toward the new EHHS developed during the mid to late 1950s.

Motor Scooters.  I don’t recall seeing these scooters at Richland in 7th grade but, they were thick at Meadowbrook Junior High by the time I got there in the 8th.  They may have been a Poly staple…I don’t know.  To my young eyes these were wondrous little machines that offered a huge improvement to our 13-15 year old mobility and instantly relegated our trusty bicycles to the back of the garage…totally “uncool”.  In spite of vigorous lobbying on my part, Dad wouldn’t buy me one of those scooters, thus leaving me to take the bus daily up Meadowbrook Drive to the school…another largely “uncool” conveyance. 

Stars Over Meadowbrook.  The importance of this spring show at Meadowbrook can’t be overemphasized with respect to its influence on our budding social life.  The show was great fun for the participants and covered quite a wide range of performance talents and efforts.  The show itself was quite a production but, the most fun was the preparations that went into it.  A lot of youngsters were involved in a variety of roles so, there were opportunities galore to socialize, have fun, and goof off.  It’s my opinion that these shows alone were very substantial contributors to the many friendships that continued throughout our time together in those East Side schools.  Additional information.

Teen Canteen.  1964 Highlander, Carl Johnson, wrote a superior piece recalling the Teen Canteens that were a social mixing opportunity for all the junior high grades, 7-9.  Given the close proximity of these years to WWII, just 12-15 years in the rear-view mirror, there’s little doubt that the idea was patterned by what a number of our parents saw or heard of during WWII…The Hollywood Canteen.  A brief mention in a 1960 Meadowlark (the MJH newspaper) tells of a recent success with the Teen Canteen, drawing about 342 youngsters.  That’s almost half the school population at the time!

I may have gone to one or two of those dances but, for a number of reasons found them inconvenient.  As a new kid, I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t comfortable standing around waiting for someone to notice, nor in asking strangers to dance…too bashful, I suppose.  The Meadowlark mention also notes with satisfaction that the kids were all well-dressed…no jeans!  Mercy, that means those things were coat and tie and dresses….is there any wonder some of us vowed to move our default dress to cutoffs and sandals after we got free enough to make our own wardrobe decisions?   

Another reason I didn’t care much for those things….I didn’t know how to dance!  So, at this tender age, the social advantage went to the gregarious dancers.

Private Parties.  These were the parties thrown by people having a large enough house to host them, or by those whose parents would go together to rent the Meadowbrook Golf Club facility.  If you lived in a small house, you might have been substantially excluded from these shindigs.  You couldn’t throw a party at your place or, if you had a larger house, but few friends on account of being new….well, that didn’t work out either. 

Of course, private parties could be a real irritation if you weren’t part of the in-crowd throwing them.  Or, even if you were, you had the problem of how to deal with your conveyance to the shindig.  If it were say, a white panel truck driven by Dad or Mom, you might want to arrange a pickup around the corner, out of sight of the front door.  Otherwise, you might be embarrassed to follow Miss Hottie’s ride being announced at that front door as a GOLD CADILLAC, while yours would be the WHITE PANEL TRUCK!  Nope, Pop….meet me around the corner at 12, please.

Older Siblings If you had an older sibling, you may have been one of the luckier ones of us.  No matter what kind of childhood relationship you might have had with them, they represented an in-house source of somewhat wise advice.  The advice may or may not have been very accurate but, it was given by someone close to you who you could probably trust more than outsiders. For those of us without older siblings or, who were onlies....we were on our own.  Good advice was kind of hard to come by for a lot of us...both of my folks worked and even then, like most other parents of that time, were seen by their adolescent offspring as being largely clueless with regard to matters of the heart and of dance.

Sports, Clubs, Scouts.  Sports continued to be a large influence on our young lives; so were the scouts that had brought us together in smaller groups in elementary school and continued keeping some of us together on into junior high.  Special interest clubs were introduced by the school about this time and these provided yet more association opportunities.  Since most of these activities were school centric, I think participation in any extra-curricular gatherings tended to favor those living nearby the school.  Those of us living further to the east were somewhat isolated by the 3-4 mile distance.