Still "Doin' It" after all these years (breathing)
In the spring of 1958 I, along with 109 other little bright eyed sixth grade Whittier children, looked forward to summer days knowing that in the fall we were to join kids from five other elementary schools at Alice Robertson Junior High. To say our world would expand was an understatement. The amount of maturity that occurs between the 7th and the 9th grade is easy to see looking at the old yearbooks.
|Alice Robertson Junior High School|
A little interesting history on Alice Robertson Junior High (now called the 7th and 8th grade center). Alice Robertson, from Muskogee, was an educator who was only the second woman elected to Congress in 1921. She was also the first woman to be appointed as a Class A Postmaster. The school itself opened in 1940 and is adjacent to the largest football field built in Oklahoma by the WPA in 1936. Known as Indian Bowl, the stadium is still used today as the high school stadium for the Muskogee High School Roughers. Being a historic preservation person I am proud to see both the school and the stadium still in use.
|Camp Fred Darby 1959|
After a summer of all the usual swimming, girl scout camp, fighting with brothers and a family attempt at a vacation (the vacation is a novel in itself) the scary day arrived when I had to enter the doors of that huge building. There were a total of 422 students in the 7th grade alone. Instead of sitting at the same desk in the same room all day long as in elementary school we had to change classrooms and teachers. It was our first introduction to band, orchestra, chorus, home economics, gym and lockers. It was also a twenty block walk home instead of the ten to and from grade school. Scary as it was, it did not take long to make more friends and get used to the daily routine.
After all these years it is hard to remember a lot of the events that made the characteristics of the baby boomer generation develop compared to the classes before us especially in the 7th and 8th grade. The sheer size of class itself created more chaos. There did not seem to be a day that went by that someone wasn't sent to The Blue Room. The Blue Room was next door to the principle's office where Mr. Abbott got out his paddle. It does seem like a trip there was a badge of honor for most of the boys.
My mother was pretty good at keeping me busy with piano and dancing lessons and girl scouts. If there was a talent show at school I was always the first one to sign up much to the chagrin of my brother Paul. Unlucky for me, Paul was in the ninth grade when I did some dance in a talent show and gave some silly speech to the entire school running for a student council office. His friends, who I looked at in the same way I would have looked at Troy Donohue or James Darren, would pass me in the hall and yell "Hey, Paul. Isn't that your sister?" Paul would answer
"No, I don't have a sister". He was good at crushing all my fantasies.
|Talent Show 1959|
Yes, it was the time when I fell in love at least once a day. Movies didn't help. I had outgrown Superman and Wagon Train on TV and dashed off to see Gidget or A Summer Place with all the other teenage girls. I rushed home from school everyday to watch American Bandstand and knew the name of everyone on the show. I learned to dance using the door jam for a partner and poured over every issue of Teen Magazine. If I did not have the latest copy Read More: I Should Have Known