Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The EHHS Social Order – 10.8 – The He-Man Women Haters’ Club – The Club House

Of course we weren’t women haters but, if we were to be excluded from the Sophomore dating scene for a few months, it seemed only reasonable to find something else to do with our spare time.  Going anywhere with parents was by this time, a veritable scuttling of any independence we had managed to carve out for ourselves…bikes were out of the question…motor scooters were too juvenile…  Walking wasn’t cool and the bus…well, give me a break, not even Tony, the bus driver could make the bus cool anymore!  So, that left Cooper’s old Chevy, and a sturdy old steed, it was.

Still, fries and cokes at the drive-in on Lancaster or sign-boarding on Hwy. 80 by Rose Hill, or digging divots in Kirby Halm’s yard and installing some “Replace Divots” signs borrowed from the golf course could only amuse a group like ours for so long.  Holidays like Halloween, where we could raid the little kids’ loot bags or blockade Weiler with old tires and inverted metal trash cans..the bottoms filled with gasoline and lit off, provided a few special occasions to break the monotony of our loveless conditions.

A new kid named Shields lived in one of the big new houses up on the hill, north of the school; a quiet kid, pretty smart, a crappy football player, too skinny, but grown tall in the past couple of years.  By some means or another, we set up shop at his house many of the weekend nights…the game was poker.  Also, seven-card stud deuces and one-eyed jacks wild…maybe one-eyed kings, too and more.  But, the most memorable game was the one introduced by Paul TateInjun Joe No-Peekie.

 Everyone at the table knew your card but you and the bet was who had the highest.  Just the kind of mind game Tate liked as it involved people reading more than anything else.  The table was round, adjacent to the kitchen, and the fridge was well stocked…almost a perfect venue for 15-year olds waiting for their driver’s licenses and the games actually served as a good basic training for the more serious games later in the service. 

This group probably had a variable attendance due to Cooper’s car only holding 6 or maybe 7 and the round table seating about that same number.  Several of the guys lived within easy walking distance of the Shields house.  Don’t recall all the attendees but, it was most likely Tate, Dillard, Means, Koebernick, Cooper, Perkins, Ruscoe, McCoy, McCook, Guthrie, and maybe some others.  Talk and humor at those tables was lively but, I don’t recall too much attention going to the girls.  By then we had learned to effectively bluff and part of that bluffing was to hide your hand regarding which girls you were favoring when the time came to try some dating.  If you didn’t keep those kind of things to yourself, there was a risk of some early intramural poaching…or, so the thought went.   

I have no clue what the girls were doing during this school year…although Kay and Bruce’s picture support a story supplied by another Highlander that he was driven crazy by the same sort of close proximity of another lovely Highlander in another lab class…so crazy that he flunked the course.

One of the activities recorded in that year’s CLAN was the image of some of our ’63 girls getting instruction in lady-like poise from the statuesque cheerleader coach, Mrs. Betty Taylor.  Mrs. Taylor had been a Tri-Delt sorority girl in college.

A lot of long evenings were spent at some dingy pool hall somewhere on Lancaster…Tate, Means, or Dillard found that one.   We got caught by Mr. Johnson as we tried to duck out of an Easter program in the auditorium to go play pool…had no idea he was in the habit of looking for escape attempts along that long line of windows at the back of the building, although we did know that Mr. Vaughn was stationed at the parking lot end of the building to nab escapees there.  It was a first escape attempt that resulted in Mr. Johnson’s instruction to Coach Graves to “give these boys some reminders after the program was completed.”  But Graves was a no-show after the program and we were left with the long weekend to anticipate the pain the following Monday.  Nothing came of it so, perhaps they knew the threat and anticipation were enough…who knows?

Sometime late in the Spring, our favorite brat, Gay Burton showed up driving a neat little Corvair and started doing some of the driving as we began to reassemble our little gang occasionally. I think one of our projects was a Cha-Cha dance class taught by Sam Scott's mom somewhere on the other side of town.  Anyway, it was a neat little car and any chance to knock around with Gay was a treat...and, fun.

Next:  Dating may be a contact sport


Danny & Linda McCoy said...

Why We Reminiscence?

Last month Linda & I caught Johnny Mathis in Dallas at the start of his 2015 tour. At age 79 there really is a "Twelve of Never". He still can hit all the notes and is still an inspiration for all of us. Those who grew up dating with Mathis Music in the background, fogged up a lot of car windows and some couples may have even had inspiration for their first offspring.

When Johnny sang: "A Certain Smile, A Certain Face", Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who wrote"Anatomy of Love", certainly concurs with the crooner.

Helen Fisher believes something so thrilling as a first love becomes encoded through networks of neurons into long-term memory. So as humans we have a genetic predisposition to imprint on a particular kind of person, be it based on their looks, mannerisms, or otherwise. Similarly, our past life experience plays a role that may have caused you to gravitate towards a certain person, sometimes unbeknownst to you. You may some reason to look for blondes, brunettes with dimples or a certain body type.

That very first love in your past life experience and genetic predispositions trigger a person's romantic reactions. The eyes, the voice, the gestures, the smell of his aftershave or her perfume linger in our memories. Fisher said, "Why wouldn't the brain be quite impressed by certain things the lover does and then cause you to feel comfort and joy when those things are reproduced?"

So when a man or woman is infatuated with someone for any reason, they focus their attention on that person in a manner like a baby bird to a mother goose. This behavior appears as imprinting to the other person being ogled. In love, this kind of behavior is mediated partly by a chemical, a hormone, called norepinephrine. Imprinting leads us to rekindled romances and our time at EHHS in the 1960s, will always be a part of us.

A certain smile, a certain face
Can lead an unsuspecting heart
On a merry chase
Afleeting glance can say
So many lovely things
Suddenly you know why my heart sings

But in the hush of night
Exactly like a bitter sweet refrain
Comes that certain smile
To haunt your heart again

Danny & Linda McCoy said...

Paul Tate always excelled at his new card game, Injun Joe No-Peekie. We all knew that Paul was well studied and an academic high achiever. So it was reasonable to understand that he would also be good at cards. And at some point we figured that he could beat the odds in Vegas or be a great card counter.
Paul always insisted that he sit at the same spot at the table - for good luck. Once on one memorable night, Paul arrived late and I had already claimed his lucky chair. When Injun Joe No-Peekie was played, I noticed from my new vista that I could now clearly see the reflection of my one card on my forehead on the sliding glass door. On that one night, I was the Summa Cum Laude.

The Pool Hall was near the end of East Rosedale. It is all rundown now, so back then it was already ahead of its time. There was no AC, but a good cross breeze. The tables were not coined operated. But Mr. Fox would come by and rack the balls for .25. There was only one rack in the facility and always in Fox's possession. Sometimes we would try to gather and attempt to align the balls wth our bent forearms and skinny biceps to save .25. Those were good times.

Gus said...

Paul Tate was always the guy who was angling for an edge and he liked to play mind games in his efforts. Great sense of humor, lots of energy, pretty smart too…although I must have been pushing him on the grades since he was always interested to see what I had gotten on a test.

That pool hall and the pre-girlfriend months/weeks we spent there led to my last set to with my father on the matter of when to come home at night. Cooper got his Chevy stuck in the mud and we must have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to push it out. My get back home time was probably something like 1 AM and this event pushed it out to 3…and we were caked in mud!

Running with this gang generally blew the “curfew” time by modest amounts and Dad was in the habit of staying up in order to accost me upon arrival so he could deliver his admonitions. That 3 O’clocker stuffed his plan that night so, he just locked the front screen door leaving me with nothing else to do but knock and wake him up…and here we go! A fairly quick learner myself, the next time out I simply unlatched a window into my bedroom, establishing an alternate port of entry.....problem solved! That one must have amused him the next morning as we never had those discussions again…and he never again locked that screen door!

GB (C) said...

I wished we had one like that! No convertible, no red interior. It was of course stick shift and fun to drive. It was my brother’s. He was crazy enough to let Melany and I drive it sometimes. I enjoy your site and all is well here.

Bob H said...

Really enjoyed the recent posts.That was a difficult, but oh how exciting time. On the cusp of that rite of manhood, getting a drivers license. Kind of like going out and killing a lion with a spear.

My Dad was pretty strict and wouldn't let me get a license until I got my first job at the old Buddies Supermarket on Mdwbrk and Handley Drive. My first car was a butt ugly '53 Oldsmobile that cost $75. It was so beat up and ugly that my younger sister wouldn't be seen in it. When I took her to Handley Jr on my way to school she insisted I had to let her out a block away so no one would see her getting out of the abomination. It had a broken windshield and passenger window. The back seat had a hole the size of a bushel basket in the middle, and the "puke green" paint had large spots of red primer. It was so outrageously horrible it had a certain "J'ne sais quois " in the low circles I frequented. it was known among this group of my peers as "Dracula's Dream". It had numerous accessories of my on design that were probably illegal then and certainly are now. Needless to say when I went on dates I drove the family car.

Your pic and description of Cooper's Chevy jogged a forgotten memory in my mind. Cooper and I once had what would now be called a "road rage' incident, I believe in our senior year. We ended up on the side of the road at the corner of Weiler and Meadowbrook Drive, out of our cars, trading a series of unflattering observations about each others driving and personal habits, culminating in threats of physical violence. Lucky for me the moment passed. I seem to remember others in his car, you might have been there for all I know. He drove rather aggressively as I recall.

Anonymous said...

Left by "Fast Eddie"

Paul Tate was pretty good with a cue stick, too. Once he ran more than 15 balls on me in a game of straight pool at Spot-Rec. I think I went to the rest room twice during that episode.

Rack'em up, George!

Anonymous said...

"Fast Eddie"

I always tried to get Table #6 in the back at Spot-Rec. It was the best one in the place because it had leather pockets and you could drive the ball down the rail hard without it popping back out of the pocket. Across in the opposite corner at the front was Snooker Table #1 with Dickie Anderton usually in charge. I think a lot of money changed hands at those snooker tables.

Over and out!

Gus said...

Paul was good at most things he tried and pool was another game where he could play some mind games with an opponent which he really enjoyed. He was a highly credible competitor.