Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.5 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club – The Starting Shuffle

With a nod to the school just starting its 2nd year, in retrospect it’s fair to note the seeming maelstrom of confusing and cross-purposes start of year activities, rates a modicum of forgiveness; but, boy did EHHS come on in a rush that first few days.  It seems that we elected class officers, cheerleaders, and formed football teams within the first week, without much time to campaign or consider what we were doing or who these new people among us were. 

The result was a newly elected slate of class officers, all of them football players, who bore little resemblance to those we had been electing back at MJH and not a HJH grad among them.  Brandon and McCoy were well liked boys back at Meadowbrook but, had never been elected to anything so far as I know; and who the heck was Louis Miller?  Never heard of Louis before…a new arrival from William James JH along with 2 or 3 others, Gene Cartwright among them, I think.  Surprising election results were reflecting changes in our electorate! 

We got 2 brand new cheerleaders that we Meadowbrook kids had never seen before, and the “B” football team was immediately divided into halves…half with numbers on their jerseys, and half without.  And some of us got an introduction to a tall, somewhat scarecrow-looking coach with a mean streak, named Ron McBee.  McBee, an ex-Handley coach largely unknown to us at Meadowbrook, was in the midst of a divorce about this time that had rendered him so disagreeable that an even a temperate spirit such as Danny McCook quit the varsity basketball team in disgust…lucky us…

Handley’s Dianah Barton and Suzanne Hoffman pulled off an unexpected upset of epic proportions when they displaced our seasoned Meadowbrook cheerleader squad of Gay Burton, Celia Beall, and Julie Hudson to serve as the EHHS “B” team cheerleaders..  After drubbing the Handley pups 36-14 and winning the City Championship the season before, we had no reason to think that there would be any significant changes to our fall football world…but there was.  Suzanne and Dianah were very successful Pups who joined Meadowbrook's Charlie Rigby and Danny Tekstar to form our Sophomore cheerleader squad, and later became our Varsity cheerleaders the following years.

So, now I had two new cheerleaders to yearn for in my rapidly approaching social life, had never seen either of them before, and it had taken nearly 2-years to get some attention from Gay’s gang…what a perplexing development that was!  And I think Suzanne came with an existing boy friend, don’t know about Dianah, and it didn’t matter in either case….still no wheels, no money, and no damned driver’s license.  What we needed was something else to soak up the down time…hmm, something like a, “He-Man Woman Hater’s Club.”

Next...No Wheels

Monday, April 20, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.4 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club - Summer

What a day for a daydream; it’s Spring, 74º and time once again for those delicious spring afternoons, and gentle breezes.  It has been ever thus for as long as I can remember.  Finishing off our Meadowbrook Jr. High days having fun with the 1960 Stars Over Meadowbrook program and looking forward to our first year in high school just a few weeks ahead.

Summer 1960.  I don’t remember it.  Well, not much of it.  For me, summer baseball was in the rear view mirror so, whatever happened that 9/10th grade summer was a blur.  There might have been a party or two at Gay’s house which were by now I think, ad hoc affairs, or we might have gotten a swim mob or two together at Lucas or Burgers.  Getting a girl up on your shoulders for a pool joust was much more about touching and enjoyable views than it was about anything competitive. 

The Meadowbrook bowling alley was a favorite hangout…good fries and cokes.  But once again, getting together with some girls to roll a few 50¢ lines was not so much about high scores as it was observing feminine forms.  On the other hand, if the girls weren’t available, it was just about as entertaining competing with a friend…old hanging-out habits faded slowly.

Sophomores.  When, for the very first time, we entered the new Eastern Hills High School as Sophomores we had little idea what was in store for us on the other side of those doors.  As 15-year old youngsters, we had little understanding of what had been developing within our social psyche the past 2-3 years, puberty, and all.  But, we were immediately aware that we were no longer the big kids at school, as we had been the previous year at one of the junior highs.

It’s easy to imagine that our Sophomore girls were getting a lot of attention from the “older men” (juniors & seniors) already at EH, waiting for them.  Their first weeks of encountering those grown-up opportunities must have ranged somewhere between flattering and terrifying.  In actuality, to my mind it was something more akin to a flock of predator Gulls circling over a herd of hatchling Sea Turtles (our girls) flapping like hell to gain cover in the surf….and the girls getting picked off, one-by-one….to go steady.  

For the boys, it was flatly the most miserable year of our lives….or, at least it was for me.  Why?  Well, think of it this way….we’re still those little baby goats looking for someone or something to butt or snuggle up to, we’ve got no wheels, no driver’s license, no money, and our girls are being picked off by those older “EH men” at school every damned day! 

MUSIC.  Before launching into this 10th grade recollection, a couple of old songs from that early sixties period come to mind…they perfectly describe a couple of powerful aspects of those days.


What a day for a daydream
What a day for a daydreamin' boy
And I'm lost in a daydream
Dreamin' 'bout my bundle of joy
And even if time ain't really on my side
It's one of those days for takin' a walk outside
I'm blowin' the day to take a walk in the sun
And fall on my face on somebody's new mowed lawn

Another Saturday Night

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody
I got some money 'cause I just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I'm in an awful way

Next…The Starting Shuffle

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.3 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club, Part 1 - Gay B.

This brief digression is for house-keeping purposes in order to better set up the next few articles…all of them about the “He Man Woman Haters’ Club.” 

Gay Burton.  Gay, my luv, if you ever stumble in here…please forgive me for calling you out like this.  If I were to summon memories of a single person who had a significant influence in coloring my very earliest notions of love and the fairer sex, it was, beautiful, vivacious, and perhaps most importantly at the time….a cheerleader. 

Since my first introduction, in 7th grade at Richland JH to the spectacle of an all-school pep rally presided over by several cute girls, Judy, Betty Kay, Paula, Karmen, Linda, and Patsy, I had set my nascent amorous ambitions on dating a cheerleader.  And Gay, who was at the top of my personal MJH rating stack, fit that bill just fine. 

With no older siblings, there was no one at my house to help interpret how best to become a 13-year old Valentino, or equivalent….and as the new kid at school, Gay didn’t know me from Adam…and she was in serious “like” with that damned Roby (see numerous other references).  Never mind that the sultry 13-year old Celia nor the pixie-like Julie weren't showing me any love either.
Anyway, a couple of years went by and Gay & Co. finally deigned to nod at me in the halls….still no love, though.  Since in my mind, Gay owned MJH for those couple of years I’ve tended to file away obscure snippets of information as I’ve been occasionally writing pieces for this blog, wondering how she originally came to prominence at such a tender age.  A 1964 Highlander sent me a collection of scans, now about 57-years on, that to my mind satisfactorily answers the question…Gay had help and she got it before I got there…read on.

The first EH Class of 1963 MJH cheerleader was not Gay, but Celia Beall, elected to the squad as a 7th grader; after Celia, there would be just one more 7th grade cheerleader on the varsity squad--Sandra Fish; after that, just 8th and 9th graders. 
The 1957 football team picture shows the cheerleaders seated in the front row.  Gay’s not there; no, she was elected the following spring, 1958 and was on stage my first semester at MJH so, she was simply a fact in my experience of those years.

The accompanying article describes the spring election of cheerleaders for our upcoming first Meadowbrook Buffalo City Championship football team.  Future Classes of 1963 & 1964 are represented there and the girls from both classes would continue to comport themselves very well at EHHS.

So, how did Gay propel herself to such prominence, so early?  Well, I’m pretty sure big sister Melany had something to do with it.  The first time I ever saw Melany was at EHHS as a Class of 1961 cheerleader…and in that 1957 MJH football team picture, there she is sitting in that same front row as Celia.   But, that’s not enough to explain it.  No, take a look below at the Meadowlark Staff …there’s big sister Melany, the editor.  O.K., now consider the huge front page picture of 7th grader, little sis Gay, promoting the 1958 Stars Over Meadowbrook variety show; the issue of that edition just 1-month before cheerleader elections.  Seventh graders NEVER got their pictures in the paper for much of anything, much less a quarter-page, above the fold feature on the Front Page! …and suddenly, there’s my friend, another future unrequited love--Gay. 

See, kids…thought you got away with it clean, didn’t you?

 "Book 'em, Danno!"