A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook

Back to School Life...

Sue Hand [64]:  

    muto_hand_02.jpg (161820 bytes)  Tom and Sue (Hand) Muto


I have lots of good memories of Sue Hand . Of the girls I dated, I probably had most 'fun' with her that I ever had without climbing in the back seat of a car. I think most of the time we spent together may have been after we graduated.


One long weekend, it may have started on a Friday, Kevin Nilles's folks were away and Kevin and friends decided to have a party. I don't know how I got involved but by the time I got there, 4 or 5 guys had been playin' cards and drinkin' beer for many hours. Kevin, Bill Mills, Dave Fink, Greg Bigelow and I were among the many who managed to keep the poker game goin' and the beer flowin'.


One goal of the party appeared to be how many vertical columns of beer cans could be stacked in the corner of the dining room from floor to ceiling without the whole stack falling over. I don't remember the count but after a couple of days and nights, it was a lot. 


At some point, we decided to call as many girls as we could get to com e over and party with us. I don't remember who all was willing to show up but Sue Hand was there.  I suspect that I was trying my best to hit on her but since most of us were probably at least 2 sheets to the wind and probably looked and smelled like the party animals we were, Sue kept calling around to see if she could get some guy she knew to com e to the party or maybe pick her up and take her away from the party.


As with most parties I remember, the guys outnumbered the girls but there were enough girls there that I think that along with the dancing and the conversation there was the usual necking in the corners of the room and during slow dances.


Sue wasn't havin' any luck finding her potential boy friend and eventually, with perhaps a little bit to drink, the loud mood music and a little dancing, I was able to wear her down and persuade her to do a little huggin' and kissin' with me, even though I'm pretty sure she would have rather been with someone else.


At some point though, things got a little out of hand when a girl I didn't know decided to chug a whole fifth of Orange Vodka and then challenge all the guys to take her on in the bedroom.  After several guys went in and came out of the bedroom, someone said that she had passed out and thrown up all over so some of the girls took her downstairs to the shower and got her cleaned up and washed her clothes. By the time her clothes were dry she was sober enough to take home. 


I think I may have been the one who, along with Sue and another girl, volunteered to take her home. After we dropped her off, we may have gone back to Kevin's place but eventually, several of us ended up at Sue's house to crash for the rest of the night in chairs, on the couch and on the floor. I was lucky enough to get the couch. Even though her folks were nearby in a bedroom, I was somehow able to persuade Sue to com e and lay with me on the couch to make out. She occasionally got tired of my insistent groping and would get up to leave. After I promised to 'be good' she would com e back but, unfortunately, I couldn't control my octopus like tendencies and I had to repeat my empty promise two or three more times.  Although I don't think she used the word 'mutant', she eventually accused me of having four hands and went

back to her room for the rest of the night.


Morning came too early. Something startled me awake but when I looked around, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary so, I went quickly back to sleep. This happened a couple of more times when I finally caught quarterback Sue rifling pillows at me from the kitchen. It was the start of a great pillow fight. I think Sue may have even ended up vacuuming up feathers. She also fixed breakfast for all of us that morning. Her parents were also kind enough to stay in the bedroom and not interfere with our serious but innocent fun. Good party.


To my benefit, my juvenile behavior that night wasn't quite enough of incentive to avoid me com pletely and Sue and I did get together again at least a couple of more times.


Another party I remember was at Kay Carrigan's house, sometime around Christmas of '65 I think. I had been dating a girl named Joanne Sperow fairly regularly (more than two dates in a row was fairly regularly for me) and although Joanne and I weren't going steady, it may have been just starting to get serious. Anyway, although I might have asked her to go with me, Joanne wasn't feeling good the night of Kay's party so I must have gone by myself.


It seems to me that there were lots of kids at the party but so were Kay's parents. That meant that the lights weren't down very low and there was more of the group activity than the grope activity usually found at a teenage party.


I think Sue came with another girl but somehow we got together and, even though it was hard to find a cozy corner to make out in, we were both small and found a way to over com e the bright lights and social goings-on in a place behind an easy chair and sort of under a card table or end table to sneak in a few hugs and kisses. Unfortunately for me, we had apparently not hidden our affections well enough.


When I went to visit Joanne at her house the next night or so to give her a Christmas gift (The Beatles 'Rubber Soul' album had just com e out so I bought a copy for me and one for her), the grapevine had already grown to her door step and not too long after I presented the gift, the subject of those under-the-table kisses with Sue came up.  I’m sure I was at a loss to explain my wayward behavior and, needless to say the rest of the evening didn't go as well as I had planned. I think that night ended early and I didn’t go out again with Joanne until some time later.


Happily, Sue was there for me again on another night to sooth my deflated ego.  I think we ran across each other at McDonald's when she was driving around in her brother's '64 Chevy. Sue's brother had gone off to the Army and left his car at home. It had a 327 engine and a 4 speed transmission and Sue was very brave to let me drive it (I hope her brother never found out).


Anyway, once I got behind the wheel, I decided to drive around to try and find a good place to park. Not knowing Midland very well in the dark and in a hurry to get the smooching started I tried to find a good spot by turning up every promising looking alley and side-street. We must have been on the good side of town because every alley and side street turned out to be some rich folks driveway. I don't think we ever stopped to park and it was after 4 in the morning before I got home.


I think my last date with Sue was some time after I'd joined the Air Force in January but had a month of delayed enlistment leave. At Sue's suggestion, I think, we went to someone's wedding reception. There was lots of dancing and music and at least one punch bowl that was well spiked. I probably spent much more time at the punch bowl than I should have and, as a com mon topic at the time, someone started to talk about Vietnam. That was when I decided that it might be fun or funny to burn my draft card.

Being in what may have been an American Legion or VFW hall, several other guys didn't think it was so funny and four of them picked me up by the arms and legs and threw me out into the snow. My loud protestations that I had already signed up fell on deaf ears (well, the music was sort of loud) and made no difference.


I was eventually able to convince the doorkeepers of my innocence and was allowed back in but I think we left a short while later. I don't remember what happened with the rest of the evening but my memory loss may have had something to do with my numerous trips to the punch bowl. Fortunately, Sue doesn’t remember either so at least I didn’t do anything more that was so bad that it was memorable to her.


An edited email from Sue Hand Muto to Max Bishop in August of 2000:


…I'm married to a schoolteacher and have three children ages 20 (son), 16 (daughter), & 14 (daughter).  School just started, and the "home" schedule will be com e more normal.  I was the only one having to get up and go to work all summer, boy I wish I had a job with three months off. 


I work for a brake com pany (Delphi) now (2 years). I had worked for a bank for 23 years but got right-sized out. Which gave me a taste of freedom, but no money, so back to work I went. I'll be sending you a copy of the 25th reunion with names and address of classmates, it is pretty old, but it might be a start.  I'll e-mail you after I've talked to Linda, Annalee, and Kevin.


Sue Hand Muto