A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook
a month before school started in 1961, I came down with hepatitis. I’ve never been so sick before or since
and it took me about six weeks to recover. That meant that I didn’t start
school at Midland High until about two weeks after everyone else did. I didn’t take the bus the day that I
started. My mother drove me because
I had to go to the Dr.’s office first to get some sort of OK to go back to
school. I don’t know why I remember that.
2 years at Northeast Junior High I should have been used to a big school but
Midland High seemed even bigger and more impersonal than Northeast. I didn’t
count the number of kids in the ’62 Yearbook but, by rough estimate, there
were more that 500 in the graduating class that year so I assume that there were
at least 3 times that number in the whole school. It was lucky for me that I had
been riding the bus to school with the same kids for several years so there were
at least some familiar faces. It was
also helpful that I got to know at least a few of the kids from Northeast who
also transferred to Midland High. Even then, I don’t remember having many
classes with kids that I already knew.
remember my English class a little bit. I
had done so poorly in my Junior High English classes that someone decided that I
needed Remedial English instead of one of the standard classes. I soon learned
that “Remedial” was just a euphemism for “Dunce”. I don’t remember her name but the
teacher seemed to be there more as a disciplinarian than to impart wisdom or
knowledge. While looking through the yearbook to see if I could recognize her,
Mrs. Maursey on the Foreign Language teacher’s page is the one that looked
most familiar. The only reason I can think that a foreign language teacher would
teach English is that perhaps the school thought that, to some of us
“Dunces”, English was a foreign language.
Regardless of her credentials, if memory serves, I suspect that the
teacher spent at least as much time trying to keep people in line as she did on
the finer points of the English language.
than the general impression that almost every kid in the room could be found on
the back stoop having a cigarette between every class, I remember only two kids
in English. One was a very quiet girl who sat near the back and after most of
the school year had gone by, it became obvious that she was pregnant, and she
dropped out. The other was a guy who
today might remind most people of the John Travolta character in the TV Series
have a couple of vague memories of Art class. There was a pretty girl there
whose face I often tried to draw but I was to shy to ask her to pose. I don’t
remember enough about how she looked to pick her out of the yearbook but she did
have big doe eyes that I would sometimes sketch in my notebook whenever she
wasn’t looking at me (most of the time).
day, the big lug from Remedial English wandered into Art class and began talking
to the pretty doe eyed girl. She was standing at a worktable and as he walked up
to her he said something to make her turn around and look at him. As he stood
close to her, face to face, he slid his hand inside his shirt just over his
heart and, with his hand rising and falling under his shirt, said something
like… “Honey, you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met and every time
I look at you my heart goes ka-thump… ka-thump… ka-thump… ka-thump and I
can hardly breath. Would you please,
puleeeeze take pity this poor, poor lovesick fool and let me take you to the
game on Friday night???”
could almost see her melt like an ice cream bar on a hot summer day and when she
told him “No, I already have a date for the game”, and almost instantly
followed with… But I don’t have anything to do on Saturday night...
damned, dumb jock might have stuttered and stammered while trying to talk his
way through a simple question in English literature but he sure was smooth
talker when it came to the fine arts. Unfortunately, I never got quite that good
in that kind of art that year (or any year, for that matter).
well, so much for me and fine arts.
addition to my scanty memory of art class, I have almost no recollection of
Phys. Ed. either. I must not have
been too interested in high school sports because I don’t even remember going
to any football, basketball or baseball games. I do remember the name of Larry
Jaster who was a very good baseball player at the time. I think he was so good
that he was recruited right out of high school into the major leagues. Out of
curiosity I looked up his statistics and it looks like he played in the National
League for 7 years. As a pitcher, he apparently did pretty well in his first 3
thumbing through the yearbook, I noticed that Mr. Buschman probably was my math
teacher because he signed the book next to his picture but I remember absolutely
nothing about him or his class.
Marshall’s shop class must have been a good place for me at MHS. While there,
I think I may have made a ring out of silver, a leather billfold, a plastic
gearshift knob in the shape of a fist and something like a cutting board or a
picture frame out of wood. In hindsight, these sure seem like silly things to be
wasting any memory cells on.
Marshall was easy going, good with kids and really seemed to like what he did. I
even knew him from outside school because, back in the days when most milk was
delivered by truck, he worked as a milkman in the summer and he was occasionally
on our milk route. Despite my mediocre English class, my English wasn’t
totally neglected in shop class because I did learn at least one new word.
“Halitosis”. As nice as he was,
we all learned not to stand too close to Mr. Marshall in personal conversations
because of his bad breath. I guess no one had either the courage or kindness to
tell him. I don’t know, maybe
Listerine hadn’t been invented yet.
the social side of school life, I was impressed that so many kids had, and could
afford cars. I was also impressed that so many kids could afford to drive off to
McDonalds for lunch almost every day. Even though hamburgers were only 15 cents,
I packed and carried my lunch ‘cause about all I had most of the time was a
nickel for milk. It was a real treat
to buy my lunch in the cafeteria when I had a little money from an occasional
odd job (usually babysitting because a lot of local parents assumed that, with 5
brothers and 1 sister, I might know how to take care of couple of their kids).
sure now that I wasn’t alone, but I remember that not having any money in high
school was kind of embarrassing. For
whatever reason, at that point in my life, the difference between the haves and
the have-nots was real noticeable to me.
year I learned that, to some people, money was no object, even to some of the
(Leon) Schneider had a Volkswagen bus. One day he offered me a ride home after
school along with his brother Dave, Tom Boman, Ruth Bailey and Dick Case. One reason the trip was memorable is
because Butch had used the VW bus the previous weekend to haul smelt (just
oversized sardines, as far as I'm concerned). Rather than put the fish in pails,
Butch just took the seats out and filled up the whole back end with fish.
Although the fish were gone when I got in, the van wreaked with the fresh aroma
of dead fish. The seats were still removed and we had to set on crates or chairs
that slid around on the smooth steel floor with every lurch, start and stop
(long before we ever thought seat belts).
on the way home, Butch stopped off at a small shopping center not too far from
the school. Before Dick Case went into the clothing store there he asked the
guys what size pants they wore and before long, he returned to the car with
several pairs of pants under his coat and gave them to the guys. Someone must have mentioned that he
needed some tools so we all went into the hardware store next to the clothing
store and while Butch was at the cash register buying something Dick went out
the back door with more stuff under his coat.
don’t think I ever rode home with Butch again. I didn’t care to hang around
with Dick Case after that either.
following is a list of the kids from the 1962 Chemic yearbook whose faces or
names I remember. You may remember many who went on to
Andrick, Dave Bacon, Ruth Bailey, Bruce Bean, Barbara Bellew, Tom Boman, Gary
Boots, Gayle Boulton, Kathy Bozer, Ilene Card, Dick Case, Peggy Collins, James
Cooper, Pat Devericks, Duane Dice, Terry Elmore, Judy Fick, Susan Finney, Susan
Fordyce, Ken Gay, John Gower, Jill Gowing, Linda Grant, Dick Hale, Sue Hand,
David Haught, Diana Hect, Ed Hess, Linda Hess, Anna Hildebrandt, Cheryl Hiner,
Becky Horton, Tom Houghtaling, Prudy Howard, Anne Howe, Connie Hulett, Linda
Hunt, Dave Husted, Madeline Irish, Christina Jewett, Gary Kelsey, John Kowalski,
Carlotta Lafaver, Christina Letts, Dale Laplow, Wanda Lower, Sharon Lowley, Ray
Mason, Roy Mason, Dixie McClellan, Mike McCrary, Suzanne McGraw, Mike Metcalf,
Pat Moe, Carol New