|Back in our day . . .||
Before school started, my Mom and siblings and I, drove over to the school to have a look. It was brand new back in 1963.. No one had ever darkened it's doorways, and no one had a clue just how fantastic that year was going to be! I was going to be a member of the first graduating class in the history of CPHS.
Getting ready for school meant shopping for clothes, and we drove down to National City to the huge Montgomery Wards store. I found several outfits I liked, and then we drove over to Kenny's Shoe Store where I bought 2 pair of shoes. One pair was for dresses, and one pair for P.E. and just generally running around. I loved Chula Vista, and our home, and now a brand new school. It looked as though my life was going to turn around and have some good components mixed in with the bad luck I considered my lot in life. The days of living on Kodiak Island were over, and not even a fond memory. I had hated every bit of it, every day, for 3 years. Now I had a brand new beginning and I was so excited. The first couple of days I went to school with a neighbor, Shirley. Her Mother drove us over and I walked home after school the first day.
We signed in and found our names on the roster posted outside the office. We found our homeroom that way and went to our first class. Mr. Mueller was my teacher's name. He was very low keyed and didn't mind us chatting as long as we weren't disturbing anyone else who was trying to study. The first day though, we all just chatted while waiting for him to show up. He came in finally and passed out papers to tell us which classes we would be attending and the room numbers. Some of the students knew each other from previous years, but the majority were new to each other. There were students from 3 different schools that made up the student body. It would be a fun year, getting to know each other and to be Seniors was going to be a trip!
As a senior, we had privileges that the under classmen didn't. We had a Senior Lawn, and only Seniors could sit there. A group of my friends and I sat on the lawn and had lunch almost every day. The punishment for an underclassman for trespassing on our lawn, was to be picked up and stuffed in the nearest trash can! Everyone took it in good spirit though and we all soon began to feel connected and to enjoy every moment of school. I remember when the Beatles came out, and I'd save my lunch money to buy the latest record. One day in Civics class, I had a magazine in my lap and was thumbing through it as the teacher talked about current events. One day, he caught me and walked up behind me while I was looking at pictures of my favorite Beatle, Paul McCartney! He asked me if I ever had nightmares about them, and I put the book away as my face turned crimson. We had a test that day and after he graded the papers, he apologized to me in front of the class because I made the best score on the test! Yes, I was a Beatle Maniac! I watched them on the Ed Sullivan show and was so excited! I bought every record they put out, and magazines and anything else I could get my hands on that was Beatle oriented. I did sketches of the individual Beatles and papered my bedroom walls with them. I ate less, slept less, and had more fun that year than anyone can imagine! I'm sure a lot of it was because I didn't have to traverse mounds of ice and snow to do anything, or go anywhere. The weather was perfect and I just loved California.!
One day, when I was home sick, I was doing something in my room and listening to the radio, and suddenly the station broke for an announcement. President Kennedy had been shot! I yelled to my Mom to turn on the TV and we both found seats on the sofa and watched the unfolding news. President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas Texas and was in route to the hospital. About half an hour later, they announced that the President was dead. I couldn't believe it. I was so shocked. We sat there and stared at each other. How could it be that he was dead? The best President we had ever had, was dead. People all over were crying, even some of the teachers, or so I was told when I went back to school. I couldn't imagine my Civics Teacher, Mr. Persutti,, ever crying about anything, but he did. That night as we watched them bringing his coffin in the Motor Cade to be placed for the public to pay their respects to the fallen leader, I could contain my tears no longer. I went to my room and threw myself on the bed and cried my eyes out. My Dad came in and asked me if I needed anything, and he got me some aspirin and a cup of coffee. My head was splitting. My Dad sat on the bed for a few minutes, talking to me. I didn't focus on anything he said...I was lost in grief. It was heart-breaking and to tell the truth, it was many a year that went by with that grief gripping my memories in a tight fist. He would never be forgotten.
Back to school, and resume living. The year would be full of wonderful memories, saddened by some, but the goodness of life soon brought all of us back to reality and we carried on. Another privilege of the Senior Class, was having a vault in the ground where we put our predictions of our lives in 10 years, and then buried it. On our 10th anniversary, we would all find out what part of our predictions came true! I didn't go to the 10th reunion, but I did hear about it. I had no idea what I had put down for myself, but it wasn't what I had hoped for! I'll leave that for the next session and say good bye for now. There are so many memories that I must refresh myself and try to recall all the fun we had that year. I am getting old and forgetful, so bear with me, and I'll see you around!
This is for the grandkids, the family, close friends, and anyone else who can keep a civil tongue in their heads! It amounts to an interactive book of memoirs, but only if you interact... so get to it!
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California has been my home since 1965. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm home to stay!
What is there to say about a ten-year old turning 65, besides, what the hell happened?!??