High School Memories!

There's nothing like taking a kid from the country and plopping him into jr High with a whole bunch of kids that all grew up in the same town! I went from a one room school to classes so big we actually switched teachers, mixed with other classes, etc. I was scared to death and so backwards! Probably the single most tramatic experience in my life that I can ever remember.

However, it was likely what made my independent streak so strong, and helped me survive some other stunners that have happened since then. I mean, I've always been pudgy, always been goofy, and not particulary clever. Here I was with no friends, no good social skills, not all that good looking, discovering girls, and just plain awkward. After that, everything else life has thrown at me has seemed pretty easy to take!

Here are some random memories from Jr High to early college:

Walking to church. Walking to school. Walking to the library. Walking to the grocery story. Walking everywhere. Getting a BIKE!

The public swimming pool. How safe could this really be?

Scouts! Yes, I excelled in this. Made it to rank of "Life", didn't ever do the service project so no Eagle for me. If I could do it over...! I did make Senior Patrol Leader, Jr Assistant Scoutmaster, Order of the Arrow, and things like that. And went to Philmont, of course! 113 miles in 13 days, all backpacking.

Lisa Wargo. And Kim and Pam, can't forget them!

Dungeons and Dragons. I was around when this was invented, and never did get excited about the "advanced" stuff. I am always up for a game of basic, though. I even have the dice, books, and a dungeon made up ready to go! (Yes, painted minitures, too!)

Chorus, of all things. All those competitions we went to, and the field trips. And the "Young and Alive" concerts. And the solo's I did for the town christmas festivals, and the gazeebo dedication. Um, lest you think I was a sissy for being in choir, let me point out there were 4 guys total in choir. And 50 girls. And they were some of the prettiest girls in school. And you had to ride on the bus with them, carpool with them, etc. Not a bad deal at all! I think every girlfriend I ever had but one was in choir with me, including a whole bunch who hinted broadly they were interested.

Martha, Martha, Martha. How I adored you!

Musicals! Annie Get your Gun, where my brother Bob was the lead, The Music Man with cousin Scott that was SO much fun, Bye Bye Birdie where I spun around with Kristen as my wife, and My Fair Lady with my funny British accent. Figures I would get to be the lead in a musical where I don't get to actually SING!

Visits to my mom's 3rd grade classroom, and the "star" reception they always gave me, especially after a musical.

Julia Kaye Rose, speaking of Marian the Librarian. What ever did happen to her?

Apple computers in high school - that arrived the week of finals my senior year! We never had computers in school, we came that close and that was it. Small wonder my fasination.

Also along the lines of apples, the Johnny Appleseed fair that took over the twon every year. Ah, the taste of apple ice cream! Oh my was this delicious, I wish so much I could get the recipe. It was all home made, too.

When I was 16-18, my parents who were both teachers would take a vacation to Colorado. They would let me stay behind for a couple months alone, which was fine because I behaved myself. They would give me pre-dated checks for food money, which I would of course immediately change the date on and cash them all in at once. One year I spent all the money the first 3 weeks and was getting kind of hungry. I earned SOME money from my grass mowing job (I mowed grass all over town for folks) so I wasn't starving, but then I remembered Dad had bought a half a cow and put it in the freezer. I made hamburgers out of all the ground chuck and roasts and stuff, but then they were all gone. So, I ground up the tbone and porter house and other cuts of meat. When dad came home, he about flipped! But to be honest, those expensive hamburgers didn't taste very good, anyway!

Bottle rockets and M80's. I mean quarter-sticks of dynamite! How did I ever live through childhood?

Grandma used to bake home-made bread every so often and I would drop by on baking day and carry home 5 or so loaves of bread for our family. Except, I would get home with only 3 or 4. That sure was good bread! Great big fluffy fresh yummy spongy bread. Until the day dad wondered why everyone else was getting more of it than we were. Ah well, grandma did make me a special Randy-loaf from then on at least!

BB guns and birds. Lots of birds. Shamefully, LOTS of birds.

Model airplanes, ships, cars, space ships, trains, you name it.

Kristy Ellen Weber. 3 years of her. I am soooo much better off!

Football, you bet! There was one time my uncle Dick came to see me play, the only time I can think of he ever came, and we were playing at home against Beaver Local, I think. The offensive guy was too small to block me (I was playing right tackle) so he would lay down and grab my legs and hold me. I complained to the ref, and he said "This isn't the NFL, kid!" I complained to the coach and he said to just step on him. But one time the guy had ahold of me from behind. Laying on the ground holding my feet. The whole play had moved down the field 10 yards and there were the two of us, all by ourselves. The whistle blew the play dead and he let go of me. So I sat down. Straight down, by kicking my legs out. I sat right on his stomach and he didn't get up. They had to help him off the field. When I landed on the guy, my uncle yelled "All right Randy!" and after the game he would not stop talking about it, he was so proud of my crushing the other guy!

Dropping eggs on cop cars from the roof of the dentist building. That was a close one!

Flashlight tag. Run around at night in the dark chasing girls? I'm there!

My balsa wood bridge and paper airplane expertise that got us a third place showing in the first science fair our school had ever attended!

Speaking of science, teaching Chemistry as a sophomore to a bunch of juniors and seniors. I really "got it"

Mixing powdered sugar and salt peter. You could buy salt peter at the drug store, they would sell it even to kids! Don't know what this is for? Maybe we should forget I ever mentioned this one...

The fact that my rinky dink one room school was doing precalc and when I got to Lisbon they were doing 5+x=10. Sheeze. I could sleep in those math classes and get straight A's. In fact, I did get straight A's my last three years of school. There was a girl I wanted to go out with and she said, knowing my freshman grades were B's and C's that she would go out with me if I got straight A's. So I did. But she didn't! You just can't trust girls!

CB radios. KAHK5251 seems to ring a bell as a license. Yes, I had one, good buddy. I used to play chess with a guy across town. My son thinks his generation was the one that "invented" instant messaging. Ha!

The camp near East Liverpool, Ohio that had all the 100 year old porcelain doorknobs in the river that we fished out.

Playing in the town cemetary, on the bridge and on the civil war cannon mounted on the rock. Seeing the family name in several places, and not being afraid.

Going up to visit the Gallo brothers and their mother making me always sing some new piece of music she was learning to play on the piano as soon as I walked in the door. Usually opera!

The hillside clubhouse in its many, many incarnations. We even had a concrete slab under it at one point, that we kids poured and smoothed! All those nails we straightened out, and wood we scavenged from all over town. Three "floors" tall, with a parapet roof.

Playing pool in the huge room dad built on the house just for putting a pool table in the middle of!

Pushing too hard with a long screwdriver and sticking it *almost* throught both sides of my hand. As it was, I felt those twingy healing muscles for years!

Mountains and mountains of firewood. Cutting down trees, splitting, and stacking the stuff. Between dad and grandpa, there must have been a forest of it!

Reading the announcements over the PA for the high school every day my senior year. That was definately worth doing. The girls really dug it!

Ralph and Alice, the honeymooner rabbits.

Playing "video tv" then pong then finally Atari. Nintenwho?