Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.6 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club – No Wheels

In the image above, our wheels deficit is fairly well summarized….the 1960 student parking lot on the right of the school building held about 200-cars and not a damned one of them belonged to the Class of ’63 boys.  The overall school population at that time was about 1000, suggesting there was in all about 500-boys, 1/3 of whom did not drive a car to school…leaving about 333 boys to have been driving those 200-cars out in the parking lot…I’m assuming that not many girls drove cars to school in those days.

A few years ago, Kendall McCook wrote eloquently of his close circle of EHHS friends that continued their friendships decades beyond their EHHS graduation.  Actually, most of that same group plus a few more formed their initial relationships at Meadowbrook Junior High.  Their common interests were lively senses of humor, intelligence, dashingly handsome, pimples, and competing with one another in just about everything….sports, grades, and the girls’ attention. 

The collage shows the aforementioned group of Meadowbrook boys as they were pictured in the 1961 CLAN at age 15.  Only Mike Cooper had wheels and a driver’s license which he probably got at age 14.  In those days you could get a license at age 14 if you had your parents’ permission and a legitimate reason for needing one.  I never knew how Coop got his license and car so early but it probably had something to do with his Dad’s paint store business somewhere on Lancaster. Pictured are Bobby Dillard, Paul Tate, Mike Cooper, Tom Koebernick, Steve Means, and Sam Scott; lower row: Bob Larmer, Kendall McCook, Danny McCoy, Larry Guthrie, Paul Shields, and Guy Perkins.

Above the lads are several of the Meadowbrook girls they collectively coveted and who, but perhaps for Steve Means, had not dated.  Grouped at upper left are members of the Meadowbrook girls’ clique as I recall them, and just to the right are a few others who had achieved recognition at MJH…mostly, they were really smart kids.  Shown in that grouping are Sharron Ballem, Celia Beall, Gay Burton, Susan Begley, (2nd row) - Carolyn Marcotte, Kay Humphrey, Julie Hudson, Dianne Hardin, and lower row - Carol Stallcup, Tee Matthews, and Judy Hill.

Handley added a number of fine young people…we noticed the Handley girls (Dianah Barton, Suzanne Hoffman, Alice Bretz, Mollie Howell, Linda Dunham, Pat Lambert,and Dyanne Cunningham), of course and generally ignored the boys.  However, there was a truth that existed from those first few weeks at EHHS that we probably didn’t realize at the time; that being, our friendships and preferences were firmly formed by the time the two schools merged into one.  On the order of 30-40% of us had been in school together since the early elementary grades and those were the ones with whom we were most comfortable.  This interesting characteristic could be seen repeated over the decades of reunions where many of us would group together for photos with our best old friends from the separate communities, Handley and Meadowbrook.

There were some others in our particular circle of friends that were not too closely aligned on the social side but, were no less exceptional young people.  A few of them are shown in their Sophomore versions at the right.  Bill Hoffman, Mike Grizzard, and Joe Dickerson were some of the most serious youngsters I recall back then and each of them were very intelligent.  The girls tended to be of the super-quiet type...except perhaps, Crowder, Acuff, and Blackstone.

We kicked off that 1960 Sophomore year with the “traditional” Howdy Dance, which was a somewhat puzzling social activity.  “Tradition” for a 1-year old school challenged one’s sense of reasonable application of the word; nevertheless, I suppose it was a continuation of the “mixer” approach to encouraging social connections. By this time we were getting very close to the magic 16th birthday and the driver's license that would certainly follow.  During the previous year or so, we had tried some "double dating" which served a couple of purposes....wheels by someone else, for one; and some assistance in getting and keeping conversation going.  But, since most of these dates involved a dance of some sort, they also involved our girls wearing those massive "princess" style formal dresses which made it difficult to close the gap between us.  It was clear by this time that effective and enjoyable dating was going to be a one-on-one, freestyle affair that would permit a more spontaneous evening together...but, we still had to wait for that all-important driver's license.

Probably one of the more unanticipated and ultimately fortuitous happenings at the beginning of that 10th grade year was provided by the gravel-voiced Mrs. Charlotte Ballard (Spanish & English) and the very quiet, even tempered Roy Perry (Mechanical Drawing).  Mr. Perry put me across from the year older, amazingly beautiful, Margaret Farrell who had been a standout Meadowbrook cheerleader during my first year at that school, just 2-years earlier.  And the often ill-tempered Mrs. Ballard placed me right across from the incredibly beautiful, Carol Reeder who was easily the most beautiful girl in our school during the two years we shared the EHHS halls.  The neat thing about them both was that they were also smart, interesting, and gracious....color this little Sophomore happy--they were mine for a whole class, for a whole year!  I'm fairly certain that the friendships that developed with both of them paid a significant dividend before our EH days together ended...but, that's another story.

Carol's '62 sidekick in that Spanish class was Linda Schwotzer, another attractive '62...they gossiped incessantly.  And for some reason, Jean Ferguson was another '62 who was quite friendly to this bewildered Sophomore...Gus was a lucky lad.



Anonymous said...

My very first vision of a Meadowbrook girl was when I walked into homeroom the first day of school and saw Carol Reeder in a sundress. Unforgettable!

Handley Boy

Gus said...

She was breath taking at EH and a genuinely delightful person. I don't recall ever seeing her out of sorts or acting tacky. That 9th grade picture shows the remarkable metamorphosis she made as she matured. Handley contributed some beautiful young ladies, too. But, Carol and perhaps Susan Begley the next year, were in a league of their own.