Memories of well-spent junior high school days

Memories of well-spent junior high school days

For a starter — oh, my incredible English teacher, Mrs. Goldman at Riverdale JHS 141, oh-so-secretly invited me to help out at school, one hour early, so, that with the the dawn’s early light, I could secretly help her mark my classmates’ essays… No, maybe it was Miss Rau in ninth grade. (Your guess is as good as mine!)

I was never a hard grader — besides, everyone in our class was so smart to begin with — and Miss Rau was forever conscientiously looking over my shoulder to be sure I didn’t give my friends any special benefits. Longtime cohorts like Peter (Dr. WipeOut), his side-kick, Michael, and how  can I forget Allan* and my all-time once best friend, Evelyn, now a highly respected judge in Vermont)…

We sure knew how to party in those days!!!  Oh, to look back at our customized versions  of “Post Office” and “Spin the Bottle,” chock full of lots of M and M’s, and slow dancing.  (Confidence-building exercises, you could say, for young New Yorkers– the Riverdale/Bronx public school variety!)

Our nothing short of phenomenal class of 35 NYC public school students was officially classified through 1964-1967 as 7SPE313/8SPE300/9SPE134. We traveled from class to class like a pack of semi-urban wolves, and frequently got individually cited by hall monitors for making far too much noise along the way. Evelyn was sometimes our insightful instigator; I was but an enthusiastic back-up giggler!

Evelyn and I were virtually inseparable during school hours, sometimes snacked on French fries together after school, when we could afford them, and chatted for at least an hour every night on the telephone, after we finished our math problems, history essays, wrote occasional poetry together, completed our science memorization, analyzed the latest Beatles’ songs, and after I finished my piano exercises.

I used to tie up the family line, causing considerable consternation for my father who shared the invention for vital client calls … and that’s how I finally got my very own bright white Princess telephone!  I won — my dad caved, you could say.

And as I mentioned, we partied hard (when we could.)

Honestly, there were only three parties, back then  — it wasn’t so easy: you needed a house or apartment on a Friday or Saturday night devoid of any parents or siblings. Laundry rooms, if you lived in a house, and bathrooms were especially popular for our make-out expotitions, since the bedrooms generally filled up fast.  And to this day, every time I hear “And I Love Her,” I’m back in the arms of my junior high school love or someone like him.

Close your eyes and listen:

* Special thanks to Allan, (“the King”) who once whispered to me that sometimes it makes sense to think  first before voicing an opinion.  (How did he know so much already?)

To be clear, our guidelines for Post Office were a bit different than the traditional rules for this age-old kissing game. (But that’s kind of our secret…)



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