Thursday, July 27, 2006

Doraville: On Being Rascals

Dora Class of 68: The summer after my ninth grade year Paul and Brant would walk to my house on Saturday mornings. EARLY Saturday morning! My mother would let them come upstairs and wake me. They would have this stuff called Crazy something- Paul might remember what it was. It was a foam that you sprayed out of a can and they would spray me in the face! Then we would go in the guest house out back and they would spray it everyplace. They would also visit with my older sister Lynda. She was a great sister and always treated my friends well and never thought I was a tag along. She was going with Walter Ferguson her senior year and freshman year in college. I can remember Walter teaching me how to play the first three chords to Don't let the son catch you crying.

That same year a bunch of us skipped school on exam day. I had permission from my parents and told them we could leave after our exams I also went to the office and got an excuse from Mrs. Ferguson(Walter's mother) so I was in the clear. I always managed to cover my tracks. I can remember a whole bunch of us went to the little guest house out back. Nancii and BJ were there. Buddy Billingsly had a black pick up truck and took us riding in the back of it and someone from school saw us and called Mr. Lieblong. As I said, I didn't get in any trouble. BUT Bj and Nancii were expelled and their parents had to come to the school. Mr Lieblong made them go from class to class and sing. I never understood that but I am sure B and Nancii can tell you more.

Dora: Correction--After 43 years, I had B and Nancii's punishment mixed up with the wrong crime. They had to sing for something else they did and had another punishment for skipping school. Nancii will have to tell you about it. Regardless, I managed to not get in trouble. Almost makes me feel like Eddie Haskle!

Years later in the 11th grade Sula and I left school early. Mrs. Henderson, Sula's typing teacher, saw us at Faupel's. Once again, I had an excuse and Sula got in trouble! There were 2 months left of school and she was put into detention for every last day until school was out. I must have been pretty slick! I always managed to get by with stuff.

My sophomore year, we were having religious week at school. Can you belive that? Times have changed but we actually had a religious week with a 45 minute program, True to our nature, Jan and I would skip with Warren Lawman in his little yellow VW. We came back to school to early on the last day. We entered the newer part of the high school and Jan and I went in the girls restroom. We walked out and saw Mrs. Henderson! We ran back in the rest room and Warren ran in with us. We told him to get out and as he ran out to hide in the boys rest room, he ran into Mrs. Henderson. He was suspended. Jan and I were standing on the toilets. I don't know why she didn't come in and look in the stalls, but we were safe. Once again I escaped punishment.

I could never sing. Never. My senior year I was on the Emissary staff and we would leave school to sell ads or say we were selling ads. It was during the Christmas holidays. We were bored and a group of us (Jan, Lou & 2 others I can't remember?) - none could sing- went to the primary school and walked down the halls singing Christmas Carols. The teachers would come to the doors and give us cookies and punch that they were having. When we went back to the school, I was helping in the office next period. I heard Mr. Hawley on the phone. The school had called to thank Mr. Thomas for sending the Christmas carolers over to their school! I stood there thinking I am dead this time! Mr. Thomas walked in the office and Mr. Hawley said the principal called and said to thank him for the entertainment. He of course did not have a clue! I walked out of the office and I guess it was never known what we did!!

In looking back, we were rascals- but we didn't use guns, we were not mean and we just had plain fun!


Anonymous Sula said...

Hell yeah you were slick, girl! No dumb blond under there AT here's the full worked in the office in high school. You said, "Sula let's leave early today. I have the car today... I'll tell them there's a funeral or something." I said, "Dora, I can't just up and leave typing class!" Dora says "Yes you can, I work in the office & I'll just sign you out...tell Mrs Henderson you are going to a funeral." So I did. It was the first time I had ever done something like that. Dora came to the typing room door at the appointed time & we left together. But we didn't go to a funeral. After we got in the car I found out Dora had not signed me out. We drove around & then went to Faupel's. Since Mrs. Henderson's typing class was the last class of the day, she knew we didn't have time to go to a funeral & then end up at Faupel's-- and she went straight to Faupel's after school. So I was walking up to the order window & she called out from her car for me to come over. She said, "Just what do you think you are doing lying to me-- do you think I'm stupid? Do you think you are going to get away with that?" And I was dumbfounded at the way she talked down to me. I left just 15 minutes early. I was the fastest typist & already knew how to type & I was bored -- even today I can type 125 WPM (can't you tell?)...and she said "You will meet with Mr. Hawley tomorrow first thing & you're going to regret trying to play me for a fool." She was LIVID. Steaming, shaking mad. Her punishment, which was approved, was staying every single day after school until 5 pm until the end of the year. It was an awfully cruel punishment because my family was moving from Forrest City right after the end of the school year & I had little time left with friends and the town I loved so much, even then it broke my heart to leave. I also had piano lessons & practice & I had to miss for 2 months...and I sorely missed that...anyway...I had a huge pity party and it had a bitter effect on me that I'll never forget. It was also the beginning for me of a big change inside. I was a goody 2 shoes before that, afraid of getting into trouble always, and always in line, always obedient in every way (except for doing impressions of Mrs Bratton & the usual cutting up like everyone in Mr. Shuford's class). I ended up resenting all authority...we moved that Summer to South Florida, but I returned after a month of school down there to FC to live with my grandmother & finish. My grandmother was a fantastic woman, very cool and never gave me a hard time. She was a joy to be with, to live with...but I skipped school constantly & rebelled in every way possible after that. The Vietnam War had escalated too by then, my heart was broken over a boyfriend, the world seemed so cold and indifferent, the future so uncertain, there was a terrible shake up where some of my dear friends were hurt a lot -- I was feeling very disenchanted. Childhood seemed to have come to screeching halt. I remember I skipped so much my senior year, one time for 3 weeks straight, Maxine G called me in for a conference in Mr Hawley's office & warned me that due to my record Mr. Hawley had told her that she would have to call my mother in Florida and I would be expelled the next time I skipped...and I might not graduate at all due to the # of days missed. I surprised myself. I just took a breath & looked her in the eye and said (respectfully) "You know what? Go ahead if that's what you really think is best for me. I'm 18 years old now. I'm the legal age of majority. I only need 1 credit to graduate because I've taken extra classes for the last 3 years & if this school wants to expel me in the last few months of 12 years of perfect behavior, then fine, I'll take a correspondence course & for the 1 credit and you'll still have to give me my diploma by the Fall. And go ahead & call my mother. She's 1000 miles away you know." Maxine kind of looked at me like...hmmmm...and then said something like "Sula, just try to hold on & lay low the rest of the year, ok? Let's just get through this." She was great with me... but you know, it was the first time I stood up like that. I guess it was my first "legal argument" you might say! (And I still ended the year with a B average & got an out of state tuition scholarship to Ole Miss!)

Thu Jul 27, 08:04:00 PM 2006  

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