Snow day! And what did I end up doing?? Poring through old high school yearbooks, having reconnected with an old friend from a high school play on Facebook and feeling nostalgic. We never used to close the bookstore, but in this day and age of fiscal responsibility we have to weigh the sales with the payroll and the safety of our staff, so with the text “We are closing. Enjoy the day!”, I was gifted a day off. The entire day was looming in front of me and there was so much I could be doing, behind in my writing and blog posting, reading, guitar practice, and housecleaning. So instead there I was, with three bound volumes of Talons (we were the Fowler Falcons) to flip through.
Before selfies were a thing, high schoolers had to wait for their senior pictures to be taken for the yearbook. Pictures of dances or parties were taken on rolls of film in cameras with flash cubes, that would be sent out to be developed, and then a week later you could pick them up and see fuzzy depictions of the events. Yearbooks were full of blurry pics of homeroom classes and sports teams and club photos and students couldn’t wait to get their hands on them. Then for the next two weeks people chased down friends, teachers, and those they admired but were too scared to approach on a daily basis and asked them to sign the yearbook.
I loved checking out the pictures of the teachers and staff, some with cute notes to me written over their pictures, like my Chemistry teacher writing “To Debbie (my favorite)” or my 10th grade Social Studies teacher writing, “To the brain of 7th – yes you may go to the library tomorrow” or the director of the musical I just wrote about (Who Stole My Thunder) who told me I was a “lively actress”. I hope I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings if I mention I thought my teachers were all so old when I was in high school, but 40 years later I still see at least 4 of them of a regular basis at the bookstore, so I may have been a bit off in my math. I stopped for a second to send up prayers thanking those educators who were no longer with us for what they contributed to my development.
And my classmates! Boy, did we have fun! I was in chorus and in plays and was part of the boys basketball team (as a scorekeeper) and got to ride the bus with them, which made the cheerleaders so jealous! Those girls didn’t realize that I had no game and even if I did, my brother was on the JV team and rode the same bus so it would have been awkward. I had forgotten what great smiles everyone had and how they laughed and teased me! I had forgotten how skinny I was and how big my boobs were and how no one really cared about either.
Inside the cover of the Talon ’79 the inscriptions read that they would remember my smile and how friendly and how sweet I was. I think that if they saw me today that they would think all three would still be true. And oh the drama… how so many things we worried about back then are really not important at all.
Here’s the only pic that I liked from the whole yearbook, which my in friend Howie decided to call attention to my chest (as if it needed it) by telling me how ‘uplifting’ I am. Although I wouldn’t want to be 18 again, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world! I had good friends and a stable family life and a cute boyfriend and was smart and funny. And now here I am in my 50’s and am smart and funny and have great friends and a wonderful family, including some nieces and nephews that I love more than anything and couldn’t even have imagined how amazing they would have been almost 40 years ago! Life is good for me right now, but I did enjoy the trip down memory lane when hair was feathered and high school musicals were mediocre and the library was a cool place to go, for me anyway.