Friday, March 24, 2006

We were all divided by age and class

Juniors at SWCS
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. - The junior class of SWCS (Class of '67, now) merited their own page in our yearbook.

Ok, it wasn't our yearbook, it belonged to the school. But how many of you bought a yearbook every year? I don't see many hands out there? I think I did get one when I was in 7th grade. ("Cherish those memories," my mother probably said when she handed me the cash to buy one. I don't cherish a single memory from 7th grade. Sorry, Mom.)

The photo with today's blog reminded me that when we were seniors, juniors well, seemed sooooo junior to our exalted status.

For me, that exalted status was largely political as I remember being thumped on the wrestling mat rather thoroughly by a few juniors. And out on the track, there were a couple of juniors who gave me good races in the 220. And in French? Jaysus! Or should I say, "Mon Dieu?"

But age segregation was the rule of law, unless you slipped up and were held back for a year. I notice that in one junior home room photo, Art Johnson is standing in the back row, but I'm sure he was in our classes for most of our high school years.

In California, in many schools there's much more mix-and-match going in all classes, all dependent on the student's ability.

That would have had me graduate in 1964 in some subjects. In math, I might still be sitting in class on the Hunt Road campus. I believe I have a nightmare about that from time to time.

But remember how quickly all that senior-junior stuff changed a few years after graduation? Suddenly, the juniors weren't part of another caste.

In 2006, we can look forward to all those juniors picking up their Social Security checks just a year behind us. And they probably are getting hip replacements, face lifts and buying Rogaine at a clip very close to that of exalted seniors.

But those sophomores... Well ... Will they ever catch up?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yearbook photos that just keep on giving

JAMESTOWN, NY - I'm guessing that no one in this photo ever ran for public office. Had they, well, do I need to go there?

I believe this was some part of some basketball, inter-class game but whenever I thumb through the yearbook and see it, I always pause and wonder what these guys told their kids when they got ahold of the SWCS yearbook - or now grandkids, I suppose.

Although now that I think about it, anyone see that photo featuring Barry Bonds?
  • Barry Bonds as Paula Abdul

  • Anyway, can anyone out there name all six of these beauties from our yearbook? I'm pretty sure I see Lou Acquisto and Bill Taylor on the right and I think Bill's younger brother Pete on the other end of this chorus line. And maybe Gary Zebrowski? But I can't be certain.

    In other news, the countdown clock for the Class of '66 40th reunion is getting louder, and yesterday Randy Carlson received an email from Dotti Holdsworth who says she will be there with her husband. Here is her yearbook shot from 1966, one she's probably happy to show the kids and grandkids.

    Dotti Holdsworth
    Dotti (Holdsworth) Carlson

    I don't know what number Dotti and her husband's attendance brings us up to, but I hope to sometime soon to publish a full list of who has committed to coming to all - or part - of the bash July 14-16.

    Is it really only four months away?

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    The challenge of riding a bicycle around loose dogs

    Not a friendly face
    Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
    LAKEWOOD, New York - Along West Summit Avenue, when riding my bicycle home from 'downtown' Lakewood, from right at a corner we called 'Dead Man's Curve' and until your cleared Craig Fransen's house (the beautiful stone place past Stoneman Avenue), there were at least four half-crazed dogs that just loved to run out and grab your pantleg as you rode by.

    If you were lucky it was just your pantleg and not your leg itself.

    The Beebe family (Alan?) had a black Labrador that was especially ornery and thought I deserved to be knocked off my Schwinn and onto my rear on the pavement. I would pedal like a maniac as I approached his house, lifting my feet up at the last instant and praying that I would coast beyond his range of running.

    Usually, a string of profanity that cost a dozen Hail Mary's at confession would come pouring out of my mouth - as if the damned dog could understand what I was saying about its lineage.

    It made me feel better, though.

    One rainy afternoon, there was a beautiful - and very large - tan boxer waiting for me, sitting on the steps a few doors east of my Uncle Gordy Puls' house.

    And I was just tired enough that I was not going to try to sprint past the dog, who came out routinely after me and was a serious biter.

    Instead, as I came pumping by - and he came out running - I swung my foot right into his head with a resounding thump that send him yelping in one direction and me crashing in the other.

    Lying on the pavement, I expected to become a bruised chew toy for the pooch, but I wasn't - for the pooch.

    The fellow who owned the beast came running out of his house and gave me hell for kicking his prized, if slightly insane and totally vicious - pet.

    He, I'm sure, understood what I suggested about his lineage and what he could do with his goddamned boxer. I'm not sure what I suggested is anatomically even possible but it made him even madder to hear it.

    It wasn't too long after that the Lakewood began enforcing a leash law for dogs and daytime was suddenly almost safe for bike riders whizzing past dogs. But at night, many of the same dogs were let loose once the sun went down and even walking could be very interesting.

    I never had trouble with that boxer again, though.