In early January, Rush drummer Neil Peart died of brain cancer at the age of 67. It is literally not possible for me to imagine what he’d been going through since his diagnosis less than four years ago. He was a remarkable person in so many different ways, not the least of which was being Rush’s drummer for more than 40 years.
The first rock show I ever went to was Chicago, at the Hersheypark Arena, in (probably) 1976. I would have been ten or eleven years old, so my dad took me, as I was incapable of driving myself at the time. Little-known fact (unless you, like me, are from south-central Pennsylvania): Hersheypark Arena opened in 1936 as Hershey Sports Arena and served as the home of the Hershey Bears American Hockey League team from 1938-2002. (It also served as an evacuation shelter in 1979 during the Three Mile Island nuclear emergency.) If you want to know more about the fascinating history of this stadium where in 1962 Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points, setting an unbroken NBA record, read this article.
According to Wikipedia, when it was built in 1936, “as the Hershey Sports Arena, the building was the largest monolithic structure in the United States in which not a single seat suffered from an obstructed view.” Who knew?
Also, I just read on the Hershey Entertainment website that Chicago played at the Hershey Theater in April 2019, and that this was Chicago’s “50th consecutive year of touring, without missing a single concert date!” That is impressive.
Back to my first show: that’s pretty much it. I don’t actually remember anything at all about Chicago or the venue itself, just that my dad took me. He probably doesn’t realize this, but my dad is one of the main reasons music is such an important part of my life. When I was a kid, I was always amazed at his ability to name the artist after only a few seconds of a song playing on the radio. I wanted so badly to be able to do this, and it cracks me up to remember my approach: I would just memorize which songs went with which bands. It had nothing to do with the singer’s voice or the sound of the music itself, and everything to do with learning by rote. Eventually, of course, I realized that bands and vocalists have very distinctive sounds. But I didn’t know how my pop knew, so it was completely magical to me.
Dad took me to several shows when I was in high school, the most memorable–for a variety of reasons–being Rush, the year I was a sophomore at Herndon High School.
The way I remember it, my homettes and I were making plans to go–which in our case included two dads as chaperones–when someone’s parent won skybox tickets off the radio (or were given to them?). Naturally we didn’t want to be seen with said chaperones, so we gave them the skybox tickets, and the girls and I purchased regular seats.
I feel like it’s imperative that I mention that in 1981, these two Old Guys who agreed to take us–one of whom was my dad, the other the afore-blogged-about doctor of cow farts–were barely forty. That’s young, as far as I’m concerned–especially since I’m now 54–but for some unfathomable reason, they both felt compelled to wear what equated to polyester leisure suits, shunning ties for a more casual look with dress shirts unbuttoned. I’m pretty sure I remember one of them, at least, wearing plaid pants. They looked exactly how narcs were portrayed in 1970s TV dramas. My girlfriends and I were beyond mortified and made them walk at least ten feet away from us.
The concert, as I remember it, was not only stupefyingly wondrous, but to this day the loudest show I believe I have ever seen. I was both deaf and hoarse for most of the next day. Though Geddy, Alex and Neil were touring their 1981 release Moving Pictures, my favorite Rush song was–and still remains–The Spirit of Radio.
(I love this particular video because 1) at the beginning, it shows the year the song was recorded, 2) it’s clear that much of the audience is my age, 3) the little kiddos with ear protection–something I wish I would’ve known about a little earlier in my life, and 4) Neil Peart’s drum kit is over the top.)
After the show, the dads had delightful stories of their own to share. Unbeknownst to any of us, skyboxes are not private spaces: they can be shared by a number of people who don’t necessarily all know each other. Upon arriving in the skybox, the dads noticed a mini-fridge which happened to be stocked with beer they assumed was complimentary. They decided this was very nice indeed, and were enjoying a couple cold ones when the other skybox occupants returned. Oopsie.
If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure my dad said their skybox neighbors who so graciously didn’t beat the shit out of them for taking two of their beers “smelled like camels.” I’m not sure on what occasion my dad would’ve noted what a camel smells like, nor why he chose this particular animal, but apparently their new acquaintances were more fragrant than what these two sportcoat-sportin’ narcs were used to. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.
To cap off the experience, some guys brought their girlfriends into the men’s room while dad was using the urinal. Good times.
Rush was one of my favorite bands at a very impressionable time in my life, and The Spirit of Radio encapsulates–as does Queen’s Radio Ga Ga–my feelings not only about music, but the role FM radio played in the formation of those feelings. It’s very difficult to overstate how important it was at the time.
So thank you, Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, for being there for me during those traumatic formative years when I wasn’t sure I’d make out the other side. Your music and your legacy will last forever.
Neil Peart photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Hersheypark arena photo courtesy Wikipedia
I was looking through my files this evening and just realized that the school year my notes began was forty years ago.
Forty years ago.
I’m pretty sure I can’t believe I just typed that. I guess if you’re ninety years old and someone’s great-grandma, forty years doesn’t seem like a big deal. But even though I’m only 52, the thought of my 12-year-old self, in middle school, hormones oozing from every pore, is so absurd it almost doesn’t bear thinking about. Maybe I’d feel more in touch with that ‘tween of yesteryear if I had a daughter of my own. Or maybe not.
It took me a bit to decide which note to post today. I finally decided on an anomaly: this particular note is a poem written by a boy. I’m not exactly sure which boy, as I only have a first name. Nor am I certain of the year it was written–only that it was between 1977-1983. It was written on two pages of Fairfax County Public Schools interoffice memo paper, the subject of which is “Dear Jesus!”
Guys, if you struggle with creative expression, maybe you’ll find some inspiration here.
Its hard to love somebody Its even harder to let them know One minute everythings perfect, you think she really understands The next, she acts like she dosn’t care and wants to make other plans. You try to make her undestand, that you love the little things like holding you hand. It would be so much better and easyer to sleep, if I knew and was sure she was mine to keep. I wish we were the only two on earth, I wish even more K. L. could have an earlyer birth. Its really hard to tell somebody you want them alone all to your own God help me, I love that girl to the bone. I want her to understand that I love her body, I want to take tender loving care of it and explain its not in use. I love every part like my dad loves the moose. It hurts so much when she gets mad. I turn my bluest and it looks kinda sad. Jesus, Im not trying to write a poem, Im not writing this so everybody can read it Im writing this because I want to ask you will you help me find this girl and keep her forever I can’t make it without her. Her name is M.C., please do me a favor and let her know shes got the world if she wants it. please I need a miricle if I want to smile Love your best friend K. Babes if your around, I love you to death!
Happy belated birthday, girlfriend. I hope you got those clogs.
I love you.
[Note is in tiny envelope that says: Re-used envelope! I forgot to open the card & so today I was going to throw the box away & found the card, it had monee in it!]
3/17/79 Heather, Bonjour, gawd I’m hungry! It’s not 10:55 & I’ve been here since 7:45. So far 8 judges have talked to me. There’s this real cute guy sitting right across from me, we’ve been talking since 8:40, and he’s really nice. (He even gave me some of his Doritos!) He plays trumpet 4 Kilmer. Good, now the food stand is open, be right back . . . . . . . . . . . . Here I is, relief, a Snickers! Sweettarts! Coke! Still no more judges. I’ve got 8 already & we still have 45 more mins. I just got another judge (MIT). 9 now! 12:05 All right we can go home! Hi, I’m home, now I’ve got to wash de auto so gotz to go! W/B Happy St. Patty Day! C-ya later Did you c Paul McCartney & Wings Over The World? I fell asleep at 10:30 cuz I took a bath. Then I did every exercise on our list even 200 of those leg things to tighten yore tummy. Whew! Yesterday I got a “Hawaii” T-Shirt from me Grams & Gramps4 me b-day! It’s reel purty. I told my mom that I want clogs for me b-day & she said MAYBE. W/B C.
To honor the latest addition (read “dear sweet jesus, not another one”) to the already bloated Star Wars franchise, I’m going to treat you to the longest note I received from KD. Actually, it’s less a note than a mini-journal. K. penned this masterpiece from June 23-July 14, 1979. It covers her activities from eight days after school let out through a family vacation in Texas. It completely filled two 3 x 5″ pocket notebooks: the transcribed Word document is 27 pages long, including several images I’ve inserted.
I hesitate to include the entire thing in one post, but I feel like it should be kept together for the sake of context. I’ve highlighted certain parts for my own benefit, but I think you’ll find them as notable as I do. As you read, keep in mind what I wrote earlier about my friend KD–and that we had just finished eighth grade.
So go make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy. Mi vida es tu vida ahora.
Today is Saturday, June 23, that means we’ve been out of school for 8 whole days! How have we survived for 8 days without T.?!
It’s 9:00 and I’ve been babysitting J. since 7. Boy, has he been a BRAT today! I tried to put him to bed at 8 but NO he had to whine and everything and he wouldn’t lie down no matter what I did! So now it’s 9 and I finally got him in bed by just picking him up and just throwing him in bed and saying “Go to sleep!”
I got your postcard today! Thank you! After you said you were writing me a 12 page note I decided that I had to write you a NOTE. I’ve written you 3 letters so far because I know how nice it is to come home from a trip to a bunch of mail. Did you write our sweetie, T? I keep thinking of what I’m going to write him and writing them down so that I can piece everything together just right. When I go down to Texas, my cousin, T., can help me write it. She’s really good at stuff like that. You should have seen some of the letters we wrote to B.E. last summer!
Ooh, this little kid on Love Boat is completely ADORABLE! I mean an absolute, miniature T. FOX!
Back to what I was saying: They were so FUNNY! One of them got up to 28 pages long!
I LOVE these Polaroid commercials with James Garner and his wife.
I think I’ve got the end of T.’s letter figured out & my only problem is trying to figure which approach to take. You’ll have to help me with it, okay? I’m not going to mail it to him until we’ve BOTH gone over it, and YOU approve and don’t think it’s too, well, you know. What do you think of this ending:
By the way, whenever you can get a hold of Queen’s album, A Night at the Opera and listen to the 2nd song on the second side.
Think about it.
I love you always,
P.S. I’m glad you kept that Valentine. I still think you’d make a perfect Valentine.
Too pushy? Maybe I don’t care, or maybe I do. I’m SO wishy-washy! But you’re going to help straighten me out aren’t you?
Oh, the 2nd song on the 2nd side of A Night at the Opera (which just happens to be my favorite album now) is called Love of My Life. I think you’ll like it. When I get home I’ll write the words down for you. When I get back from Texas there are a bunch of things I want us to do together. 2 of them are to have you spend the night over so that we can catch up on the past month and then we HAVE to go see In-Laws. You’ll LOVE it! I think I told you that in one of those letters.
Now Fantasy Island’s on. Why do they always have to have a scary story? Speaking of scary stories, you’ve gotten me going on these scary books. Friday I went to the Used Bookstore and got The Legacy. It’s good so far, I’m a little more than 1/3 of the way through it. The only thing is the sex, there’s a lot of that. Wow!
How’d you like to hear about my past 2 days? Well, yesterday I bummed around the house until my ma came home. We went to Hit or Miss where I missed (except for one shirt). Then we went to Tyson’s. I was in a really bad mood because of how much I DESPISE Hit or Miss! So me and my mom went to the Magic Pan to have dinner, Potage St. Germain (a country bean soup w/ sherry) and a scrumpcious mixed green salad with bleu cheese dressing. That’s another thing I want us to do. We can do all of those things at once. You can come over, we can go to Tyson’s for dinner. You HAVE to try that soup, you’ll LOVE it! Then we can go see In-Laws, and after that we can come home and do all our catching up.
Well, getting back to yesterday. After dinner we went running around all the stores looking for shoes to go with the pants I got the other day, and for shorts, and a shirt with red sleeves for my Herndon Hornets decal thing. Well, we never found the shoes or the shirt to go with my pants, but I got the red sleaved shirt and 2 identical shorts sets, one purple and one green. Oh, and we can also work for my mom and make money!
The other day when we were going to my mom’s office we went through the part of D.C. with all the big clothing and design stores. Heather, you and I are going to fix ourselves up and go snooty nosed shopping (that means not buying anything because it’s “not right” or “not good enough”) at Woodward & Lothrop, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue along with the others. (like Gucci) Then there are the fur stores, shoe stores, etc… We’re just going to have a ball. To make a good impression we could get hold of some Saks and Gucci bags, stuff them to look like they have a lot of clothes in them. We’ll have salespeople jumping at the feet of the poor little rich girls trying to decide between a Halston or a St. Laurent. Wouldn’t that be fun? To play filthy rich?
Oh, guess what! My neck shrank! I can wear 15” chains now!
Now, today at 11:30 we left for D.C. with our bikes, got there at 12:15 and biked all over the mall area and down to Haines Point (past the Jefferson Memorial). Talk about FUN! It was terrific!
Now I’m watching Sat. Night Live. Elliot Gould is on tonight. They also said that Bob and Ray would be making a special appearance. Have you ever seen them? Talk about DULL! Good grief!
You’ll never guess who’s back on the tube. Your ever favorite Shaun Cassidy and his pal Parker Stevenson. The Hardy Boys are back!
I also got 2 other books at the Used Bookstore, Sherlock Holmes’ Hound of the Baskervilles and Gone With the Wind. I have to finish The Legacy tomorrow so that I can start on GWTW before we leave for Texas.
This icky guy is on now trying to sing and guess who’s bouncing around next to him! MICK JAGGER! How REPULSIVE! He has one leg of his white pants rolled up to his ankle showing a green sock and the other rolled up almost to his knee is showing a red sock. He really wouldn’t be so bad looking if he hadn’t stretched his mouth out so much.
Now I’m home. Sat. N.L. is boring tonight! I mean DULL! I hope Rock Concert is better!
Gee, there’s a whole bunch of lighting but no thunder. Strange!
Ah commercial. Be right back.
Hi! I just went upstairs to put on my purple shorts set so that I could exercise or whatever during Rock Concert. This guy cannot sing.
Oh, you know what. I’ve got a boo-boo. We were coming up this bridge that was kind of steep and I was trying to shift gears but the handlebars slipped and I ran into the wall (a big stone thing) and fell over on my side skinning me knee. Thank goodness that wall was there or I would have been all washed up!
My poor Slither needs some food. He’s going to starve to death! My mom said that he might be shedding soon because his eyes are starting to get glazed over. He’s growing!
Have you ever seen Buddy Hackett? He does the Tuscan frozen yogurt commercials. He’s so pudgy and cute.
Well, SNL is over. Now we get to see if Rock Concert is any good.
I’m going to have some vitamin Cs. Did you know that G. got in trouble last year because he had a bottle of vitamin Cs in his locker and he & a bunch of other guys would stop by between classes to get a handful to munch on. Isn’t that stupid? Vitamins aren’t drugs and you can’t get sick or anything on them unless you take like a whole bottle.
Rock Concert’s on. They’ve got
Jimmy Walker and
Silber, Alto & Mantia
I’ve only heard of #s 1, 2 & 5 before. [This was a rerun: Rock Concert episode 4.3 originally aired 8/23/76.]
I’m going to take a break for a while. Back soon, maybe.
This is strange! Can’t they just get on with the music?!
I’m getting very tired! Enough to fall asleep!
I think I’ll go upstairs & listen to it on my radio unless they get something interesting on. Which they just did. Travolta’s manager or something. Silver Convention is from Germany. WOW! They found them in France at a convention. Don Kirshner says “Travolter.” I’m about to doze off. This is BORING! Silver Convention’s doing “Get Up & Boogie.”
Ooh, ow! The heels of my hands and my butt bone hurts from biking!
Their lead singer is good but the other 2 are stupid. Oh, guess what! When we were biking around that new park between the Washington Monument & the Lincoln Memorial there were these people getting married out on the island in the middle of the little pond. It was such a pretty wedding! The bride had on a really pretty white gown, all the men had on crème de menthe green suits with dark green trim, all the women had on yellow gowns, and the little (I mean little) flower girl had on a dress that was kind of a miniature of the brides. It was just gorgeous.
Now they’re interviewing Travolta. This is OLD! It’s when he was still working on Carrie.
Heather, these shorts are a little short. Eeeps.
I don’t think I should stay up any longer.
Gee, that was a long one wasn’t it?
It’s now Sunday, June 24 at 2:35. I just finished The Legacy. That was good. Kind of ICKY there towards the end, though. Now I have a choice—I can start reading Gone With the Wind and get all involved in that, start on Geometry, start learning psychology or review Algebra. Hm. I think I’ll review Algebra for just a little bit, and then go on to psychology. I’ll start Gone With the Wind Tuesday night, before we leave Wednesday. Then I can read it on the plane and in the car on our way to Granite Shoals.
But before I start Algebra, I’ll write you a little more. You’d be glad you aren’t here. The weather has been just DISGUSTING! It’s been all cloudy and everything for the past several days. Really ICKY!
I feel SOFAT TODAY! I haven’t lost ANY weight since we’ve been out of school! So depressing!
Well, I’ll be back later. I’ve decided to make this your NOTE book because I’ll never get this little paper folded and I want to keep writing you, so we’ll keep this continuous. Guess what I just found in the back of this little NOTE book! “People Info” as I called it, from last year, with stuff on L.W. You have her locker from last year, C-64, right? M.G., S.P., T.H., C.M., K.C., D.M., D.L., J., J.D., L.B., R.R., and these 3 guys from the rink. That stuff brings back a lot of memories. Oh, I can’t stop writing you! I keep finding little notes to remind me to tell you about stuff.
When I was working for my mom I came across the address of this guy, Dr. Zain from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Sounds like a perfect mad scientist, huh? Yesterday, when I was babysitting J., I took him down to Safeway to get me some dinner. You should have seen the guy at the cash register! What a honey! So cute! He must have been new because I had never seen him before. I wish I had! And he was so sweet! He kept giving me these big smiles every time he looked at me. (SIGH)
My friend & I went down to Calvert just for fun and there was the cutest squirrel outside! He was really tame and he would run up and around people’s legs. So we went inside and got some things to feed him. He’d come right up and take them out of our hands. It was just ADORABLE!
Do you have any songs that when you hear them, they instantly make you think of someone? There are 3 people I have songs for: J, T, & J.D. J’s is “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful (and You’re Mine)” because in Industrial Arts last year he came up and started singing that to me. He was always doing that to me. It was so funny, he always kind of made me nervous. He and R. always did that to me. T. used to, but not anymore. J.D. never did. Wonder why? T. has 2 (lucky devil) “Stairway to Heaven” and “Love of My Life.” I don’t think I have to explain
(Back in a sec. Lunch is ready.)
those to you.
I just had a nice talk with A.!
And J.D.’s song is “I Want You to Want Me” but that doesn’t make me think of him instantly.
I just found another one of my little notes. In the 2nd part of “Movie, Movie,” “Baxter’s Beauties of 1933,” the cutie, Dick Cummings says to Isabel Stewart, “Would you think it rash if I said … I love you?” Right when he says “I love you” he looks almost exactly like T. I’d love him to say that to ME! Dreams can be so painful! A. said that T. did break up with D. YEA! Did you know that she’s (A.) going with M.A.? I don’t even know who he is but she said that he has my name underlined in his yearbook and says he knows me!
Did you know J. asked me to the dance last year? I almost died! It was in Ind. Arts and he called me over and asked, “Will you go to the dance with me?” I wish I could have said yes and thrown myself into his arms but instead I said “I can’t” and he said “Why not? I’ll study with you, I’ll go babysitting with you.”
“I’m not studying and I’m not babysitting.”
“Then why can’t you go?”
“Because I’m going to North Carolina.”
“I’ll go with you.”
I’m surprised I kept a serious expression on my face. After class I almost screamed!
I hope I meet some adorable, warm, sweet, cute, feeling guy in Texas or on the plane this summer. I met this one guy 2 years ago. He was really nice and we talked all the way home, played cards & a form of chicken. I had little red marks all over my arm for about a week! I want some romance this summer! Here I am, 13, almost 14, years old! It’s about time! Really, now.
Now I’ve run out of things to say and before I think of any more I’m going to put down my pen and say Bye! for now but I’ll be back later.
Oh, by the way, you put the wrong address on that postcard. It’s 1664, not 1164. But that’s okay, because it got there.
Now they’re playing your song “Rock & Roll Fantasy.” I’ll never get away from this note, will I?
I still haven’t done much in my diary. I’m so ashamed! I just plum forget about it. We have to go to the grocery store, and the pet store for Slither. I’m going to put your name real purty on the front of this book. Hold on.
Well, it’s not the best looking thing but it’ll do.
I need to do something with myself today. Algebra! I forgot about that. P.’s coming home today.
Do you ever have trouble with your friends not liking each other? I do! None of my friends like each other. J. hates all my friends! None of my friends like A., nobody likes C., and C. doesn’t really like anyone. P. doesn’t like anyone, C., J. and you I think don’t like her much. I’ve only had a group of friends who liked each other in 1st grade, 4th grade kind of, 6th grade, and 7th grade.
I wanted to swim today but it’s all rainy and there’s no one to swim with.
I still haven’t developed those pictures. Why bother? I don’t think there are any more of T. I have GOT to stop writing you! If I don’t I’ll go on all day!
I’m in a remarkably wonderful mood right now. It’s 1:48 AM and I just finished watching this marvelous movie called “Swashbuckler.” The star was attractive. You couldn’t say he was cute, really. He was kind of old, but he was attractive. Just like Glen Shonock of the Little River Band. I saw him sing “Reminiscing” on Rock Concert and almost died! He was so attracting! I just remembered that I haven’t given you the words to T.’s song, “Love of My Life” so here they are:
Love Of My Life
Love of my life – you’ve hurt me,
You’ve broken my heart & now you leave me,
Love of my life can’t you see,
Bring it back, bring it back
Don’t take it away from me
because you don’t know –
What it means to me.
Love of my life don’t leave me,
You’re taken my love, you now desert me,
Love of my life can’t you see,
Bring it back, bring it back,
Don’t take it away from me
because you don’t know –
What it means to me.
You won’t remember –
When this is blown over
And everything’s all by the way –
When I get older
I will be there at your side to remind you
how I still love you – still love you.
Back – hurry back
Please bring it back home to me,
because you don’t know what it means to me –
Love of my life
Love of my life …
It sounds better when you hear them sing it. Are there any songs that make your eyes water when you hear them? I’ve got 3 but I can’t remember one of them so the 1st is “Mr. Bojangles” and the 2nd is “The Night Chicago Died.” I don’t know why but whenever I hear those songs I get all sad. I’m wierd, aren’t I?
I was looking through the Amusement section of the newspaper today when I came across the summer schedule for the Merriweather Post Pavilion. The shows I’d consider are Judy Collins, 8:00, July 13, *Chicago*, 7:30, July 26 & 27, Donna Summer, 8:00, July 30-Aug. 1, KC & the Sunshine Band, 7:30 Aug 16 and Beatlemania, 7:30, Sept 4-9. Anything look interesting to you? Chicago sounds best to me. Want to go?
Opposite that schedule was an article about the sequel to “Star Wars” called “The Empire Strikes Back.” What a STUPID name for a movie! They said they have a master plan of 12 movies in all, stemming from “Star Wars.” That’s going to get dull I’m afraid. Of course, Harrison Ford is SO cute! I just might be able to live through all 12.
Now I’m getting tired so
P.S. Why do I keep signing these things? I know, I know, crazy.
Hi again. It’s a couple of days later now, June 27, Wednesday. I thought this would be a good time to write. At the moment, we are on the little bus thing (that takes you to your plane) in the middle of the Dulles runway waiting for them to clean up our plane. It just got here a couple of minutes ago. So far we are 20 minutes late. The plane was supposed to leave at 3:30. Then they said 3:40. The last time I looked at the guy next to me’s watch it was 3:50! What a hectic 2 days! Yesterday we ran all over Tyson’s, then to Schick late, where I left my bracelet (SMART!), then back to Tyson’s. Hold it, we’re moving!
Okay. Well, now we’re on the plane. Darn it! I got a middle seat again! The past 2 times I’ve flown it’s been in the middle & both times, thanks to my dad. He always gets us to the airport too late. At least this time it’s not between 2 fat business men like it was last time. This time, at the window is a guy in jeans, glasses and a VERY short haircut, maybe 18 or so.
Ooh, cute steward coming.
On the aisle is this lady somewhere in her 40’s maybe. She likes to talk. I heard her on the little shuttle bus. I had fun on the shuttle bus while we were waiting around all that time.
We finally took off (at 4:10!) and now we’re doing all these steep turns.
Well, to continue
I was looking around at people’s feet (this is going to sound dumb) and trying to figure out what kind of person was in those shoes. Then I’d look at the clothes, the face, the arms. It was really fun.
I’ve run out of things to say for the moment but I’ll be back.
I’m back again because I’m so pitifully bored. We just finished what they call a snack (lunch to me). Some snack! Steak, garlic bread, tater tots, onion rings, crackers with Austrian cheese spread, salad, cherry tart and iced tea!
Those little notes in the box on the previous page were to remind me to tell you some things.
M & D –
That’s for Mom & Dad. Last night they decided they didn’t want to come down to Granite Shoals and go water skiing and swimming, etc. after all! CRAZY people! So it’s just me and my aunt & uncle. They’re only staying through Sunday though. We’re supposed to get into San Antonio at 6:50 but it doesn’t look like we will. It’ll probably be more like 7:30. This girl in front of me is driving me crazy! She keeps putting her seat back and when the seat is back you can’t open up or close you table, whichever you’re trying to do! So now I’m stuck with my table down so that I can’t reach my bag or get up, both of which I want to do. I’ve got to brush my hair!
We’re staying in these “cabins” (more like a motel except that you have a kitchen, etc.) and my family was supposed to have one, see, But my parents aren’t coming. My dad says that we have to pay for it anyway so I could stay there, and I was thinking that, since I wouldn’t want to be in there by myself (might get spooky), my cousin, T., could move in with me! That would be SO much fun! I wish you were here!
Tonight when we get into the airport we’ll find some hotel somewhere and have dinner. In the morning we’ll drive around to Marble Falls. That’s where Granite Shoals is where we go waterskiing, etc. We should get there sometime in the afternoon or evening which would give us some time to swim and MAYBE ski. I doubt it though. We leave Sunday and I’ll probably go to my grandmother’s house where T. & I will stay in the garage apt. I’ve got my little pocket picture of T. out looking at me. What an adorable FOX! If I had brought my usual hard suitcase, I would have brought all my big mounted pictures of him to put up wherever I was, but yesterday we got me this really neat, soft suit-case. I also got these really neat shoes. Picture a high heeled off-white (natural) boot cut-off at the ankle.
Be right back.
There, I’m all freshened up. I had to go brush my hair & fix my makeup! I felt so gross! But I feel much better now!
We’re now descending. It’s been all clear the whole flight but now, if you look down, you can see all these big thunderhead-like clouds. Eeep!
Hey, WOW! (Interjection) Land! Oops, it’s gone. Oh, there it is! No, gone again. Such purty clouds! From here at least. There it is again! Captain said that it’s 93º in Dallas, that’s where we’re landing in about 10-12 min. We have a stopover there for about ½ an hour, and then, on to San Antonio, Land of the Taco. We’re going to eat good tonight! Good ol’ Tex-Mex food!
Eek! We’re going down in the clouds! Help! They’re gobbling us up! Capt. says they only have scattered clouds there. That’s good. What’re all these, then? Here we go! Right through the cotton candy clouds. TURBULENCE
102 people died in mid-air today on Braniff flight 15 en route to Dallas-Ft. Worth when a giant air pocket crushed the plane as it was descending through moderate cloud cover. Among these was the famous and wonderful K.D. Miss D. has been well known to be in love with a handsome young man named T.E.
Wasn’t that cute? I copied that out of a local newspaper. You should be so excited! You’re going to have a spirit for a friend! Now you won’t have to read all those psycho books.
Thursday June 28
We’re at this really nice little restaurant waiting for our breakfast, scrambled eggs, bacon, biscquits, hash browns & orange juice. YUMMY! You wouldn’t believe last night! We went out to this Mexican restaurant, Mi Tierra (Cafe) for dinner. I had the Special Mexican dinner (taco, beef enchilada, cheese enchilada, guacamole salad, chili con carne, refried beans, Spanish rice, this stuff that’s young lamb) and a Sprite. Their bakery was amazing! Hundreds of everything! Just as we walked in (after waiting in line outside for about 20 min.) they wheeled in this big cart, completely covered and piled high with THOUSANDS of cookies! Literally THOUSANDS!
Ah, just finished that humongous (sp?) breakfast. Like they say, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” Well, actually, I didn’t eat the whole thing ½ hash brows & bacon 2/3 eggs. I’m STUFFED! Last night we stayed at the home of a very nice old man. He’s a friend of my aunt & uncles. I met him for the first time 6 years ago when we drove back from Texas with
He says to put down that he talks to much but I don’t think so. I like to listen to him talk.
my A & U. I was just 7 then. He lived in a beautiful old apartment-like. It’s just gorgeous! 12 ft. cielings! We’re going to the Mexican Market now, Back soon! I’m getting your present there.
Oops, sorry. I didn’t get your present there. There wasn’t really anything there worthy of you. Well, actually they had these beautiful velvet sombreros in red, green & black with sequins and gold and silver thread designs all over the top and bottom of them. Just gorgeous and I would have gotten you either a green or black one (probably black) except that they cost $15 (that was the cheapest I found, they also had the same ones for $25). So now I must find you something somewhere else. They also had a T-shirt that as soon as I saw it I immediately thought, “I’ve got to get that for T.” but I decided not to. It was beige (black would have been better) with big brown letters across the front saying “MACHO”
No, maybe one saying
Just all around
Well, right now we are about 10 minutes out of Ed Adelman’s en route to Marble Falls. On the way we’re going to stop off at Neu Braunfels (New Brownstones in German) for some good old fashioned gingerbread. Mmm.
There’s a place on the map called Oatmeal, Texas. How’d you like to live there?
What else happened yesterday? Well, we wandered around San Antonio before dinner. We went to the Alamo. That was neat, it’s a neat building but what I really liked were the walls around it. Mr. Adelman said that Davy Crockett died under a cot in there. He was too chicken to come out. Then we went to the River Theater. That was beautiful
every couple of minutes or so loaded with people. We heard a jazz band that was all screechy and then Mexican dancers. The first group was older girls, our age & older, the second group was maybe 4-10.
I’m sorry but I have to go to sleep for a bit! Back later.
That was a nice nap. We just stopped at Maegelen’s Bakery for some of their famous gingerbread. [It’s actually Naegelin’s Bakery, naegelins.com] Mmmmmmmm! YUMMY! I’m munching away on some now. I wish you were here to have some too.
Now we just stopped at a little store & got some drinks. Boy, was I thirsty! Did you know that Country Time Lemonade has all natural flavors but no lemon juice?! Isn’t that dumb? Now we’re driving alon what they call the Texas Hill Country Trail. All that’s around is kind of dry-looking grass, short, stubby trees and bushes, little rock outcroppings, very low hills, a few scattered driveways to ranch houses, almost all of these have these big flimsy looking aluminum gates across them
(They all look like that Look at it with this side up)
and barbed wire. We just went through a rocky pass. These low hills are starting to look like low mountains. “This is the country where men and men and women are glad.” Margaret Cox
Whew, we just passed the gate of what has to be a pretty well-to-do rancher. Big marble pillars (granite probably) with gold balls on top of each and a big wooden gate stretched between them. The slats were painted to make up the U.S. flag. Pretty spiffy!
We’re about 60 miles from Granite Shoals and I have to open my lemonade before I pass out from thirst. It is
You’re very lucky to be up in COOL CANADA!
We just passed Crane’s Neck Antiques & Old Things (aren’t they the same?)
Hey! Lake Ahead! Oops! We’re at the wrong end. Phooey!
This morning we went to this really nice restaurant for breakfast. In their lobby they had all these pictures taken by this man with a 90 lb. camera. All the pictures were at least a yard long. They were beautiful! Of London, Paris, Athens, Egypt, Rio de Janeiro, Cuba, the Philippines, the Alamo, Germany and 100 other places but these pictures were just breathtaking. I mean you could see everything!
Guess what I found when we got out of the car in the restaurant parking lot! A (get this)
Pretty lucky, huh?
Mr. Adeler is SO nice. You know what he did? Well, see, he’s a furrier at Joske’s, a big, fancy, Texas department store and yesterday he bought a whole bunch of really fancy cookies at their bakery JUST FOR ME! They’re yummy too!
Well, golly, I hope we’re there soon! I am DYING to get into that gorgeous, crystal clear, heart shaped pool!
It’s not very big, but I love it!
You should see these little houses just nestled into the side of these
P hills! They’re so cute!
I’m really into diagrams and illustrations today, aren’t I? Eek! We almost ran over some stupid little work men standing in the middle of the road. Just passed a Fireworks stand. Hmm, when is the 4th of July? Let’s see. Today is Thursday the 28th
M T W Th F S S
28 29 30
Hmm “30 days hath September, April, June & November …” OK. It’s a Wed. I don’t know where I’ll be then.
I’m going to have some more of my gingerbread man. I bought 3. 1 for now, and one for my cousin and me later. Boy, am I a messy eater! I got crumbs all over myself but I finished off that poor gingerbread man and enjoyed every minute of it! You know I don’t think we’re going the right way because, you see,
Look at next page
Here’s a little map of the lake
Okay, we just passed Packsaddle Mt. on our right with the lake on our left. That would mean that we are going this way (see red arrows) when we want to be going this way (see green arrows) Right? I really think we ought to stop at a gas station and ask. Don’t you?
Oh, guess what I got for my mom at the Mexican Market. A 3-4 foot long string of garlic cloves about so big, all braided together. I’ll let you see it. I like getting gifts that are “different.” That’s pretty different, isn’t it? Now I have to get gifts for:
& maybe A. *
P. & *
I’ve already gotten things for my mom & my next door neighbor-friend, M. (a teeny ceramic vase
It’s hard to trace things in the car and this tracing is about a ¼ of an inch too big all ‘round because this pen is fat.)
I did have (for J.) this really pretty, hand-made bright purplish pink, crepe paper flower but I lost it. Oh well
Gee, it’s windy back here with both windows open!
I have a feeling that, so far, we’ve driven about 50 miles out of our way! None of this looks right and I haven’t seen the lake or Packsaddle for 20-30 minutes.
Oh, how cute! We just passed a bunch of cows and buffalo, etc. and those big ugly things with the huge hump on their backs (not camels).
I just noticed how messy this is. Sorry about that!
We just passed (Oh, good grief! I don’t believe this! I forgot what we just passed) Now my aunt says it’s about another 50 miles. Didn’t she say that about an hour and a ½ ago?
Oh yeah, I remember what we passed because we just passed another one. A windmill and it wasn’t moving a bit! There’s absolutely NO wind out there!
I must say, I’m getting very impatient because I really think we should have been there ages ago. But, hey, wait! Nope, never mind. I thought we were passing packsaddle on our left but it wasn’t it. It just looked like the original. Still no more water! We keep going over these big ridges and I keep expecting to see the lake (L.B.J. – Lyndon B. Johnson) on the other side. Nope. Another ridge and still no lake
Hey! Now that is definitely Packsaddle but if it is we’re still going the wrong way which would mean we’ve driven completely around the lake L.B.J. State Park, 20 miles. Well at least we’re around the lake somewhere. Where I don’t know except that we’re going the wrong way again.
I’ve stopped writing for a few minutes. Oh my gosh! Look how few pages I have left.
Longhorn Cavern, exit 26 miles. We can’t be too far away.
Oh my gosh! The back of my shirt is completely drenched with sweat! But I’m not hot anymore! I’m going to put this away until later. See you then!
Well, Heather, there’s the real Packsaddle! I don’t know what it was I saw before but this is IT! We’re almost there! We just filled our gas tank with regular for 88.9! What am I saying? It was 79.9! That’s just about 20¢ less than the rest of the country is paying and there’re NO lines!
The weather is SO perfect! Light little cotton-puff clouds and nice hot weather with no wind perfect for swimming and skiing!
I am now writing from the porch of our cabin after several hours of hopping from pool to lake to pool to lake to pool to lake, etc. I do believe that I will have a super fantabulous tan by the time I get home. I haven’t even burnt yet. So, as you see we did make it finally and it’s been wonderful ever since we got here. The weather has been gorgeous. Hot & sunny & not windy at all. It’s a little after 2:00, I think, so most everyone is in for their afternoon cat-nap. I’m waiting for T. to get out of the shower so that I can wash my hair so that we can both look just beautiful when we go to Fuzzy’s for rum & pina colada mix. YUMMY! Last night T. and I stayed up to about 1 or so talking about guys, etc. She’s flipped over T., like everybody. I hardly ever let him out of my sight. I’ve got that plastic coated picture with me that I keep tucked in the side of my bathing suit when I’m swimming. Oh, I figured out what I’m going to say in that letter. Just the part that I said I was going to end it with. Make it kind of dramatic. I’ll tell you about the 2 cute guys here when I get back from my shower. And what T. & I are going to do for the next week and a half.
I will go on explaining my little notes there later. Now I want to tell you what happened tonight. OK. First of all we were out at the pool just lazing around when this red truck went by. We … forget that for now. I’ll get back to it later. OK. We went out for Pina Colada (T. says Hi!) mix and T.’s mom (my aunt) got Vodka instead of Rum darn it. I like Rum better.
Sorry about that. I couldn’t think too well last night. Let’s go back to my little notes. Okay. In Houston they have an amusement like Kings Dominion called Astroworld. It’s only about 15 minutes away from my grandparents house, so we’ll (T. & I) will go there at least once. If we were going at least 3 times (I wish) I’d get a summer pass. It’s going to be so fun when we go!
We’re going to have some kind of a party Friday night with a whole bunch of guys but my aunt wants us to go to my grandparents Thursday-Sunday. Oh well. But she said (T.) that she would introduce me to a couple. Thursday night we spent listening to the “gory” details of some of T.’s parties. WOW!
Yesterday was FUN! All these trucks and cars would go by while we were swimming and honk or wave or whatever. Then this one red truck with these two guys went by and we stopped what we were doing to watch them. They went about 100 yards, slammed on their brakes and turned around. We just kind of sat there going, “Oh boy!” Then they turned in, pulled up to the pool, got out, and walked over to us. There were CUTE! One of them had soft brown hair, the other had silky blond. They were both tall with good tans. The blond was wearing white denims & the brunette jeans. Neither had shirts on. They strolled over with these big mugs in there hands and started talking to us. The brunette was Bobby and the blond, Billy or B.J. He was the cutest of the 2. The brunette said, “We were just driving along when we saw you 2 in the pool there. We slammed on the brakes so hard we spilled our keg all over and got all wet.” We talked a while longer then they said, “Well, we may be back after we get some ice for our keg.” We said our good byes and they left. If they came back, we missed them. WOW! Excitement! That’s about all we’ve had. Tonight there’s supposed to be a street dance for the 4th of July but we don’t know where it is yet.
Heather, I have something shocking to tell you and that should explain why I couldn’t write too well yesterday night. You see, yesterday we went out and got Pina Colada mix and Vodka
I’d much rather tell you in person. I will skip over just about all the icky things until I get home.
So see, what we’ll do is:
You’ll come over, we’ll run around Tyson’s a while, go to the Magic Pan and have Potage St. Germain & their perfect salad, then go see In-Laws, and finally we’ll go home where we’ll sit around and talk and go to sleep wherever and whenever we want. Is that okay with you.
It’s July 5th, one day after July 4th, and J.’s birthday. I told you all about him in the letter I’m sending you today. I just LOVE him! We’re on our way to Greenspoint Mall now in my cousin’s van. Gee, I wish we had a van. It’s nothing spectacular but I just adore it!
Have you heard Elton John’s song “It’s Over”? That’s good. Now “Bobby McGee” is on. I like this too.
How was your 4th of July? Our’s wasn’t anything really special. We went to the Kingwood barbeque at 1:30. That was yummy! Then we bummed around. I told you more in that letter. At 8:30 we left for Humble (pronounced HUMBLE) High School for their fireworks which were okay. They had a really good finale where they shot off about 50 fireworks at a time. Sunday when we were at Granite Shoals we took the Tom Lewis boat up the river to Austin with T., J. & B.L., her boyfriend, and my aunt K. We anchored the boat in the middle of the little cove by the country club which put us RIGHT under all the fireworks. That was SO neat! We could see & hear every little bit of the fireworks. The only not-so-neat thing about it was the cinders (HOT) falling around us and we kept getting little metal fragments and stuff in our eyes. You know what? I just realized something. When I got this piece of metal in my eye, I leaned over to try to get it out, the only person to say anything to see if I was okay was J. He sounded so concerned. As soon as I leaned over he came over, “K., are you okay? You sure?” I just LOVE him! I know it’s probably just a little teen-age crush but I’ll just enjoy it while I can. I’ll continue later. We’re here now.
Hi! We’re on our way home. Boy, did I blow a lot of money! About $40! and I didn’t buy any clothes or food. First, at Foley’s, I got a cleanser and a honey and almond face mask. Then I got an Estée Lauder lip brush ($3.50) Then to Battelstein’s for lip liner & gloss ($7.?). Then to Judy’s for a set of makeup brushes for ($10.00) by Stagelights. Oh, by the way
Lip brush Estée Lauder
Lipliner Charles of the Ritz
Lip gloss Elizabeth Arden
Brush set Stagelights
A lot of “Ritzie” stuff!
When I get home I’ve got to go to Bloomie’s for some Christian Dior eyeshadow in “mauve silk.” That’s the prettiest color! My cousin got some Cardeaux lip gloss and some Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. At Foley’s we got our faces done by the lady for Cardeaux and this time she asked me! Instead of me having to go ask if she would. That was fun! She did my face really good but didn’t really do T.’s very carefully. It still turned out though. She used this eyeshadow on me called platinum but now it’s turned a kind of blue. Really nice looking!
The Cardeaux make up is all really good. It’s got all these proteins & vitamins & minerals, etc… and it’s hypoallergenic, water-base with no perfumes or anything so your face won’t break out (or so they say).
When we were at my grandparents we went to these 2 record stores where I got “Queen Live Killers” and “The Beatles 1962-1966”, the red album. Their records are SO cheap! I paid $7.88 for both and they are both 2 record sets! Then we went to this Health Food store. I went crazy! They had all these samples for 40¢ and I bought just about every kind they had! About 8 shampoos, 2 conditioners, 2 soaps, and this one kit that has 5 trial sizes in it (for $11) I’ve been using the shampoos and one of the conditioners called Radiance. I LOVE my hair! It’s really shiny & soft & silky! I’m going to go back and buy a big bottle of that. All that stuff I bought also has vitamins, etc… in it and they’re bio-degradable. I’m going to go back and get a big bottle of that Radiance. I LOVE Health food stores so much!
I’m going to go upstairs to take off all this makeup stuff and change clothes before I go outside to jump on my cousin’s trampoline and make myself happy. Oh, I mailed your letter and T.’s letter today.
T. says I can’t write anything right now so I’ll just put my little *NOTE* reminders down and be back after we get some gum.
Hi! NOW I’m back! I sent you a really dumb letter yesterday.
Right now we are driving from my cousin’s to my grandmother’s where we’ll be through Tuesday afternoon. Guess where we decided to go tonight. You’ve never heard of it so I’ll tell you. We’re going to the Boogie Fog Disco! T. and I both had this urge to go out dancing tonight so she said “why don’t we go to the Boogie Fog?”
of course I said “O.K.!” It’s at Astroworld so I’m going to have to pay $9.25 for about 2 hours of dancing. Expensive! But it’ll be fun. We’re going to get kind of dressed up. WOW! We’re going to go out and get down and boogie ‘cause we’ve got Saturday Night Fever! Look out! Okay, now that I’m calm I’ll explain my “note reminders”. Last night I went out with T. and her friends L.*, B.*, and G. to see the Main Event. We’ve got to go see that too! It’s hilarious.
We just passed a white, 6 door car!
I just Love Barbara Streisand! T. is SO nice! She got all these little carved wood things with the zodiac signs and other things on them. She gave me one with a real purty lion on it (for Leo) and then gave me a Goat one for T. so I’m going to glue their backs together so I can have a K. & T. thing.
While we’re at my grandparent’s we’re going to go to the zoo, the science museum and Rice University. I called my mom today and she said that she and my dad want me to go visit my other grandparents in Ft. Worth before I come home so I’ll be flying there Wed. & home Sat. morn. That goofs up our plan for Friday night. How about we go out Saturday when I get back instead?
Well, we’re here so I’ll continue later
Hi Heather! T. and I are at this moment scared out of our wits. See, we just watched a scary episode of Fantasy Island and now we are up in the garage apartment (a little apartment over my grandparent’s garage (detached from the house)) all by ourselves with only the air-conditioner and an “Air-pot” of tea to keep ourselves company. Oh yeah, and my 2 pictures of T. Where am I going to put those up? Hmmm. I know.
Oh, we didn’t get to go to the Boogie Fog. Darn it! You know, we ought to go to some disco around our house somewhere! What kind of dancing do they have at Maxim’s? How would you like to take disco lessons? The only problem is that most lessons require partners and where are we supposed to get partners?
Uh oh. I’m on my last page so I’ll have to switch notebooks.
T.’s talking to her “friend” S. on the phone to keep us company. What a liar! She makes up all these stories! Every now & then I listen in. What a laugh! Gotta go. T. and I have to run down, outside, past the boogie man, to go see Saturday Night Live. It’s a re-run. Too-bad. Back in a bit.
Well, gee, sorry. We didn’t go see SNL. We were putting up my 2 (sniffle) pictures of T. when T. decided to write him. It’s a cute note. I made her say that I didn’t know she was writing it because I had just left for home. She also can’t mail it until I leave. I want to give him a chance to respond to MY letter before he gets this one. Otherwise it might ruin the affect of mine.
After she finishes the one to T., we’re going to write B.E. He’s so sweet! A little freaked out now maybe.
I just thought of something funny that happened at Astroworld. I was talking to L.E., the guy who worked at the handwriting analysis computer. He asked me, “What do you guys come here for? To chase guys?” You’ll love my straight answer! “No … well … kind of … maybe … yeah.”
Oh golly gosh! I talked to my mom today like I said and you’ll never guess what! So I’ll tell you! Well, (Oh God!) my daddy (YEA!) well, see (Oh! I don’t believe this!) he, um (I better say this fast or I never will) he made an offer on this boat called “No Way”! Can you believe it!!!!!!! I almost fainted when they told me! It’s a beautiful white 50 footer with the kind of cabins I like! If we get this boat I will just absolutely positively die! Well, actually I shouldn’t do that should I? Cuz then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it’s beautifulness! The first thing we’ve got to do is re-christen it. Remind me to tell you about the christening of our other boat.
I get to go to my other grandparents like I said. What a hassle! Wednesday, instead of coming home, like I’d like to, I’m flying to Dallas Ft. Worth where I’ll stay with my grandparents through Sat. morning when I’ll finally get to come home! I’m going to have to mail home my records I bought, my mom’s garlic string and a bunch of other stuff because I don’t have room to carry it. What a pain!
T. knows this guy, D. She showed me his picture when I was here over the winter.
The most beautiful combination of blonde hair, blue eyes, and a super tan you will ever see! WOW! T. says he’s about 5’8” too. Ahhhhhh.
T. sprayed her letter to T. with Enjoli. Remember? That’s the same stuff we were going to put in T.’s English notebook when we were mad at him? (I forgot) Oh, gosh! I got your postcard of the little raccoon today. (my ma sent it to me) How cute! I told you about the squirrel at Calvert, didn’t I?
Something funny happened tonight. While T. was writing T. I tried to call time to see what time it was (Logical huh?) I thought she said to call 884-7171 so I did. This guy comes on, does this little groan and says in a deep voice, “We’re sorry. You must first dial a one or a zero when calling this number. Will you please hang up and try your call again. This is a recording.” I thought I had dialed wrong or something so I tried again. When he came back on I thought something wierd was going on so I told T. to call. She got through and then told me it was 844. Just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy I dialed again. Then this lady came on and said the number was no longer connected or something like that. Now I really thought something was wrong so again I dialed. When this man came on to say, “to help Control pet overpopulation, please call …” I almost fainted until he said, “the time is 11:01” and I recovered myself. I really thought someone was out to drive me insane.
Tomorrow we’re going to get up before sunrise, jog out to the bridge that goes over the highway to watch the sun rise, job around some more, come back for breakfast, then I’m going to wash my hair. We shall then go to the zoo to see all the darling little animals. After that, to the science museum. Monday we’ll pop over to Rice University to flirt with all the adorable college guys! Like WOW! Tuesday night I’ll go back with T. to her house, and Wed. off to Ft. W.!
Well, I’m getting pooped. I don’t know how with all the caffeine packed tea I’ve been drinking but I am.
Tree Frogs (slime)
Eyes Bush babies (?)
White car 1 & 2
You’re not going to believe this but it’s already Tuesday! 8 ½ hours until Skylab falls! INCORRECT
Oh you poor thing, Heather! You’ve been SO neglected. I’m just SO ashamed of myself! It’s already Friday, (the 13th! Oh no!) I’ve been here in Dallas-Ft. Worth since Wednesday morning. I’m staying with my other grandparents, on my father’s side. Everyone is SO nice! I arrived at 10:50 at Love Field in Dallas after a 50 minute flight on Southwest airlines from Hobby airport in Houston. There couldn’t have been more than 20 people on the whole flight!
T. wrote that before I left Houston.
That airline just makes me sick! All the stewardesses (no stewards of course) were little bitty “nothing” orange shorts and tops and they all just flirt like you wouldn’t believe with the passengers. They had an add in the Southwest Airlines magazine that should have been in Playboy!
I meant to bring home the magazines for you to see but I forgot (sorry).
Well, anyway. My grandmother picked me up and we drove out to her sister’s house to go to lunch. Her sister is younger and she has a daughter (17) and 2 sons both in their 20s, M. & J. The daughter’s name is M. and she’s just marvelous! She’s about 5’5” or 6”, skinny, tan, and with gorgeous blonde hair. She’s beautiful! And she’s SO nice! Really super sweet. We went to lunch at the S & S Restaurant (used to be Teahouse) in Dallas. [now http://sscatering.com/] It was really a nice place. I had a chef’s salad and iced tea. Since I’ve been here I’ve practically lived on iced tea! The only problem was that the only people there were old ladies all cackling away. You could hardly hear yourself talk! After lunch my grandmother went to a meeting and I went around shopping with M. & her mom. A couple of hours later my grandmother came back to M.’s to pick us up to go see my great grandmother but M. couldn’t go so it was just me and my G.M. We picked up my great grandmother Nanny and went to pick up some shrimp and to stop for a drink. We took Nanny home and went home ourselves. That evening my grandfather’s sister, M. and her husband, J. came over for dinner.
Thursday my grandmother and I drove around Ft. Worth stopping off at a museum and then going shopping at Hulen mall. I got M. a necklace because I like her so much and besides I missed her birthday (in June) and my g.ma. bought me a real purty necklace for my birthday (Aug. 1). Then we walked around some more, went to Sanger & Harris where I bought this eyeshadow that’s a real pretty purple guess what it’s called! Heather! Oops, gotta go! We’re there
I was writing that on the way to M.’s house yesterday. SO, that means today is Saturday and I’m on the plane, finally going home! To continue with what I was saying yesterday. Isn’t that neat? My, now favorite, eyeshadow is named after my best pal!
That night we went out to dinner at this restaurant that I didn’t like because it reminded me of one of those truck stop places. I predicted (to myself) that it would be greasy. Tadaa! I must be psychic! After that we went to see the Muppet Movie. That was so cute! We have to see that too! Let’s see how many movies does that make?
Movies for K. & Heather to see
Friday morning I got up late. My grandfather took me to lunch at “the Club.” They belong to the Woodhaven Country Club. [http://woodhavenclub.com/] It’s really nice. All these snooty people with their Rolls-Royce’s parked outside. I had the most beautiful fruit salad. Mmmm! FRESH watermelon, oranges, canteloup, and applies on a bed of lettuce with a little plop of lime sherbet in the middle. After that we went to M.’s where I was supposed to go swimming but when she got home from lunch with a friend she asked me if I wanted to go to Valley View to shop instead. So we hopped in the car and she drove us to the mall while I looked at her makeup. We had the best time! It was so fun! We just wandered around the shops and she (oh, she’s SO nice!) bought me this little pin that says “K.” and I bought this pink (It’s really neato) frame for T.’s picture. It’s so funny! Everyone thinks T.’s my boyfriend! I never told them that! but they just all assumed. Everyone thinks he’s just adorable! So most of the time we were shopping M. & I were talking about “our guys”. She’s going out with this guy D.M.? (I forgot) who is, at the moment, going to school in Florida so she doesn’t see him much.
On our way home my grandfather and I stopped at the San Francisco Steak House (I think it’s called) I was reading this magazine M. had given me when we pulled up. As soon as the car had stopped this guy in a red shirt, black pants, dark glasses, brown hair & eyes, and a tan (cute!) opened the door on my side of the car. It scared me to death because I didn’t know what was going on! I stayed in the car while my g.d. went in and bought some cheese. Remind me to tell you about that. I looked around the parking lot and the little thing we were under by the red carpeted front door and there was nothing less than a Cadillac, Mercedes, or Rolls!
When we got home we had a dinner of greasy chicken. Everything they cook is greasy! It’s gross! We had greasy shrimp Wednesday and felt sick all night!
I went to sleep and got up this morning at 7:30 (UGH!) had my cereal (T. introduced me to Grape Nuts MMMM!) took my shower, finished packing, got dressed, and my grandm. drove me out to the airport. Okay, we were there at 9:45. My plane was not scheduled to leave until 11:20. That gave us about an hour and a ½. Plenty of time, right? We had gotten there early because I had to have my ticket changed since I had stayed until Saturday instead of leaving Houston Wed. as planned. No problem, right? We parked the car and checked my suitcase to find that we had the wrong flight. My mom had told us that I would be on flight 204 in to Dulles. Surprise! 204 goes into National 14 goes to Dulles at 11:30. Okay, she told us 204 at 11:30 so we’ll just walk a mile and a ½ from gate 20 to gate 3. No problem. We go to the ticket counter where the man says that I can fly standby because they had 40 empty seats and also it would cost me $62 if I flew confirmed. No problem. Just go to the gate and check in as standby and wait until they called the standbys. If for some strange reason they did sell all 40 tickets I could just pay the extra $62 and get on since I was already confirmed. No problem. Just great. I don’t have to worry about a thing and I might be able to save $62! So I go over to the gate to check in and they say I can’t because I laid over in Dallas and I’m not allowed to do that and fly on this ticket because it was for leaving out of Houston 4 days ago. We tried to explain what the man had said but she wouldn’t listen and told us to go back to the ticket counter across the hall. Terriffic! (No!) So we go across the hall to the ticket counter and wait in line for 15 minutes. It is now 11:05 and people are boarding my plane! Wonderful! The lady there was really nice and said that the man was wrong and hadn’t looked at the whole ticket. Great! We’d have to change it because I was scheduled on flight 204 to National instead of 14 to Dulles. Great mom! But that wasn’t any problem except that it costed $70.50 extra. Great! She gave me my seat #. 15A. Perfect! A wing window seat. Love those!
Now it’s 11:12. I run over to the gate, go through security and am the 5th to the last person to get on. Whew! I don’t believe I made it! We had a pretty decent lunch, chicken, salad, roll, crackers & cheese, and german chocolate cake.
Now I’m writing you with my picture of T. in his Heart shaped frame looking at me. This girl (ICK!) across the isle from me must have a problem! That’s the 4th time she’s been to the bathroom since we’ve left and we’re only about ½ way through the flight.
Oh darn it! I just looked down at my foot and I’ve got a run in my stocking! Hold on while I stop it with nail polish. There, all fixed.
I’m bringing home a bunch of stuff from this flight. Sugar, pepper, crackers, cheese, and my little stir-spoon from my tea.
I’ve got to tell you about the problem I had with film! Oh it’s just awful! I had run out of black and white film so I went to buy some at this drugstore. They didn’t have ANY b&w! Can you believe that? So I bought a 20 exp. roll of Kodachrome 64 (slides) for $2.?? That’s ridiculous. We only pay a dollar something for 36 exp! Really now!
Oh yeah, when I was waiting for my g.m. in the airport today (she went to repark the car) I went into this little shop. I found the cutest thing! I had to buy it! So I did! They’re this little yellow pair of underwear that says “I’m a TEXAN” on the back. So cute! That sounds crazy doesn’t it? They also had these little black lacy things that looked like this [black lace red heart panties] that said “For Sale”
How disgusting! I mean REALLY!
Gee, I wish I knew how much longer we have. I can’t wait to get home to my messy room! I’m going to go read. Back later.
Well, we’re going down through the clouds and I’m trying to yawn so that my ears won’t pop, but I can’t. My goodness, there are a lot of clouds! We just went through one really thick layer and they through a thinner layer and there are still some little cotton puffs down below us and a lot of haze. ICKY!
Not too far to home I guess. I can see houses below us. You know, I think we’re going up again. There, now we’re going down.
Hold it, gotta put T. back in my purse. There. Ooh, hazey stuff! Down, down, down. Oh, hurry up! Gotta brush my hair. Getting lower Hey! runways! Almost there! Okay, here we go, little building, grass, Hey! TOUCHDOWN! I’m home! Yeah! Halleluja! (or however) Gotta go get on the little bus. Call you when I get home!
Okay, Heather. We’re on the little shuttle lounge. Oh, Happy Day! I’m home! Yippee! Wonderfulness! I just
Dulles! It’s so beautiful! They’re closing the doors. We’re moving! I’m coming home! I just don’t believe it. It’s so good to be travelling on good ol’ Virginia dirt! When we were taxiing in I saw a British Airways 747. I had never seen one of those. I had never seen any ordinary British Airways planes, only their Concords.
Did you ever have a friend you thought was so much more sophisticated and worldly than you? I felt that way about one of my best friends in 8th and 9th grade. Along with the perceived worldliness, and more so than any of my other girlfriends, K.’s notes can be counted on to mention various aspects of pop culture–sometimes at great length and in unexpectedly sophisticated language for a young teenager.
K. was what you’d call a latchkey kid, as many of her notes mentioned coming and going when no one was home–a completely alien concept to a kid like me whose grandmother lived with her. K. and her parents lived lakeside in Reston, Virginia–“the first modern, post-war planned community in America,” as Wikipedia explains it. They had their own dock and a small sailboat. K. had a snake named Slither and took riding lessons on a leased horse named Hester. She was allowed to drink piña coladas, went to a Schick Weight Loss Center (more on that in a later post), had a prescription for one of the earliest available versions of Retin-A, knew how to cook, took public transportation by herself and had her own bathroom. If that’s not sophistication, I don’t know what is.
K. even had a darkroom, of which I was immensely jealous, since she was able to make 11 x 14″ prints of her photographs of the boy we both had a massive crush on. When I say massive, I mean M. A. S. S. I. V. E.–there is no way I could possibly overstate this. We stalked this poor kid for two years. More on that later as well . . .
Hi H.! Guess who’s pen I got hold of again! Just kidding, this one is my old papermate. Did you know (oops, stupid pen!) that I owe you 3 notes! I don’t like this pen, hold on. That’s better, I guess. Back to the note you wrote last Friday. Even no empty barrel would look good on T.! Why do you always go to the band room? You know, I think T. is getting his brain back (Thank God!). We’re getting soft, H.! I don’t have the heart to do the “trick” anymore (at least not yet). But when we do get fired up again we have plenty of “stuff.” Thanks for T.’s phone number. You wouldn’t know his address, would you? It’s too bad you didn’t get to shake G.’s hand, Oh well. You wouldn’t want to shake it now though, with a tick in it! I can’t stand ticks! They make me sick! I don’t think T. is going on the Walk for Mankind either, By the way, when is it? You’re right about my needing glasses, they’re coming in soon I think. But I’m nearsighted so I didn’t have any trouble seeing your picture from last year! It was good! My school pictures never turn out! I don’t even know why they bother to take them. I bet T.’s turned out good! He’s absolutely photogenic! T. is so-o-o-o-o wonderful! He’s helping me to overcome my shyness by his just being nice to me! I don’t have much problem looking into those GORGEOUS Blue-Grey eyes of his! I’ve heard that you can learn almost everything about a person by looking into their eyes, too. And it’s true! I think it’s fantastic that a person’s eyes are the “most revealing part of their face” because T. has been “Gifted” with such beautiful ones! Mr. H. never lets our class see anything backwards! I guess he doesn’t like us [sniff]. The guys that threw pudding at us were that kid G. with the red hair (you know, he beat up S.) and some friends of his. I bet when T., T.P., D.R. (ick) and C.R. wore their Adidas (sp?) shirts it was planned. That’s just to much of a coincidence. I didn’t know C. had an A. shirt. But of course! You have to have an A. shirt to be cool! T.P. is cute. He was in my Industrial Arts class last year. So sweet! So was J. (J.)! Did you know him? He moved to Fairfax, poor thing. He says it’s pretty scary over there. Once he found a dead body when he was doing his paper route, and people keep setting things on fire! Oh, Love of My Life come home! So adorable! He’s even cuter now than he was last year! My poor knees! They don’t like to run. This afternoon I left my jacket in French so I took my books out to the bus and ran back in to find that Mlle. S. had locked the room (terrific!) so I had to run all the way back out to the bus. You are so lucky to have all that stuff in your basement! I bet you could really build up your muscles lifting weights! T. asked me the same question a couple of days ago. I don’t have a favorite group really. I’m not one to buy records that much. I’m content with my radio. But I do like the Beatles (Yeah!), Styx, Blondie (hey wow! my nickname) and of course, the wonderful Queen! Have you heard that new song by Alice Cooper that’s sad. Let’s see, I like Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues and the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon. I like Renegade, (doesn’t everybody) and have you heard Superman by Herbie Mann? It’s so neat! I like the beginning best. It is pretty nice living on the lake. I love to go sailing and swimming in it except that I’m alergic to something in the water. I also just like to look out my window at it. It’s so pretty! I would LOVE to live on the beach! I know who you would like to take long Romantic walks with! I love riding but I quit for the winter. I’m no pro but I’m okay. I ride English. I’d love to learn Western, it would be so fun, but they don’t teach that ‘round here (can’t spell today) Have you ever tried jumping? It’s so fun! But I don’t think I’d ever get over 3 feet. I’m too chicken too. I’m at about 1-1 ½ feet now, maybe 2. What happened on Battlestar Galactica?
I love babysitting for the kid I babysit for, he’s so cute (cute eyes) Hes just a little over 2 years old. I’m glad you enjoyed last Saturday. I had fun too. Maybe we could go again sometime. I am just about to finish my Poetry project. What a pain! Wasn’t T.’s good? What was your dad an usher for? That was nice of him to give you that chain. You never told me about your “very good” dream! You probably won’t remember it now since it’s taken me a week to write you back! We have a dart board too. I’ll have to get it out and set up my own little 3-way game of darts (with T. and N.) Yes! I got zapped! What a pain! Oh well, I did it all the times I had to and my wish was supposed to come true today but it didn’t. RATS! Did your come true? I didn’t see the Charlie Brown show. Rast again! Oh good! “Hey Jude” is on the radio (W-P-G-C!)! Yeah Beatles! I’ve started saving my notes. Most of which are from you! That was a cute little note you gave me today! Are your cousins nice? W. seems like the perfect age. D. sounds like he’s at the cute age. And A. sounds like she’s at the nice age. I wish those pictures had turned out better. I’m going to take a whole bunch tomorrow to make up for it all. What a bummer! Only 2 really printable photos of T.! The copies are not expensive but I wouldn’t make you pay anyway! ‘Cause you’re my friend (Right?)! I’m just the same way, it’s so boring staying home when we don’t have school! When is Memorial Day? I’ll have to check that. Those articles from the Police Report are really cheery! What do they mean by “committing an unnatural act?” Nobody had better commit any unnatural act against our sweet T.! I’m not really suprised that so much happen’s in Herndon! Wow! That’s amazing that T.only weighs 130 lbs. especially if its all muscle (which of course it is) because muscle weighs more than flab! G. weighs 160 (about) and he’s 6’2” so that makes a difference of 30 lbs and 6” which is 5 lbs per inch! G. must have heavy bones. I love your doodles! They’re so cute! I wish I could draw but I still draw like I did in 5th grade! Guess who sings backups on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”. You won’t believe this, Brooke Shields! Oh, I was walking home from the bus looking at those beautiful pictures and J. strolled up beside me (he rides my bus) and asked to see them. So I handed him the one where it says “Best Wishes” and then the one “To one of my best friends” and he laughed at that one. Then he asked me if I liked T., now what am I going to say? “Yes” then he goes into his “aw-w-w-w-s”. Then he said something I didn’t hear so I come back with this intelligent remark, “What?” “Are you going to go for it?” and not wanting to sound dumb but not really understanding what he meant, another intelligent answer, “Yeah, I guess.” J. can be so nice. Since he knows T. maybe he could put in a good word. Naw. I forgot to tell you about this, but in Science (thrilling!) I showed T. my picture of my bunny and he said it was cute and asked if I had named it yet. “No, I can’t think of a good name” (I’ve been calling it Bunny”) So he said “How ‘bout T.?” Me: “I thought of that.” T: “Or Led Zepplin? If I had a bunny I’d call it Led Zepplin.” Well, not really wanting to call my sweetie Led Zepplin I’ve decided to name it T. Almost perfect eyes too. If you just added a dab of blue to them you couldn’t tell the difference between T. and T. You have to see my T.! Today I was so happy when I got home, after having such a fantastic day and getting that little bit of “support” from J. I walked in the door, threw down my books, and SCREAMED! I just had to let all that happy excitement out! Well, since it’s 7:15 and I haven’t touched my homework, or my poetry I should go, although I hate to. Anyway, See ya tomorrow! Luv, K P.S. Smile for the shutterbug!
H, Il ya trios très, très étudiants ennyue (‘cuz 2 boys) dans cette class. (There are 3 very, very bored students in this class.) J.S, C.R. & Moi. HELP! I’m all done with my homeowork so I is faking doing it in order to fill my desire to write to you. The 3 of us elected not to take the test. Ain’t we smart? We get to put it off until Friday. Mr. C (hope he doesn’t come over here) gave us a lecture on things to come. Blew my mind! Talk about things from outer space! Some idiot on Uranus decided to give us these stupid formulas to confuse us and weaken our minds. Then they’re gonna invade our souls! Watch out! I feel them crawling through my skull! Help! Oh-oh! National emergency. Here he comes. Gotta go for a sec. Hope you studied some more for the spelling test. I didn’t. I guess I’d better if I have time after bestowing you with my wonderous flow of elegant & colloquial vocabulary & enhancing your unfortunate surroundings. I’ve been thinking about it, & I really do want my jewelry back. I really love my Frampton ring, my French ring & my skeleton necklace; plus the others. Problem: I don’t want to create trouble. I’m almost sure that that’s the girl who took my stuff. If I see her again & she has my stuff, I’m gonna get Mr. P. No, Ms. H. She’s more into it. I really don’t want to get beat up, but I’ve got to look at the bright(?) side of things. Maybe it’ll improve my looks. If not, then at least I’ll have a ligit excuse to cover my face. Also, I’ve wanted to get in a good knock-down fight, but it’s just be dreaming. I certainly don’t want a gang fight. At least I never go anywhere alone. Maybe they’re like C.W.; all words but no action. I sure hope so. I gotta game today. I’m soooooo nervous! This is gonna be the real test if I made the team, what string, & what position. So far I’ve been playing left & right wing, 1st string, no substitutes. But with my ankle, I don’t don’t know. I usually don’t express pain very well, even if I’m dying. So when I mutter & complain ‘bout something, that means it seriously hurts. And this is about to do me in. I’m in so much pain & agony. It hurt so bad to walk down the stairs. Going up is not too bad, there’s not much pressure on my foot. But going down, “THUD”, it hurts like merde. I don’t know how I’m going to play today. Is it better to be a benchwarmer or play crappily? Maybe I’ll play then keel over when I inevitably get kicked in the same place. Make it look good. Well, I’ve got 30 seconds ‘til the bell rings. Luv ya, C. briiing
Organizing these notes first by school year, then by writer, made it easy for me to see patterns in their subject matter. These are the main topics I noticed, in order of their prominence:
Academia (classes, homework, tests, teachers, grades, extracurricular activities)
Popular culture (movies, music, products, TV shows, etc.)
Riding the bus
If I were to make a word cloud out of the above topics, “Boys” would be in, like, 150-point font, and everything else would be maybe 14-point.
C. has been one of my closest friends since sixth grade. She was a competitive athlete and our class valedictorian. Needless to say, much of the content of her notes has to do with A) field hockey and soccer practices and games, and B) classes, tests, homework and grades. As you can see, she also took French, as did several other of my girlfriends. I was quite vexed when they wrote in French, because the only French words I knew were “moi,” “bonjour,” “adieu,” and “merde.” (I took four years of German, which was far more useful in my very ethnic family.)
By the way, I selected the title phrase because I recently shared a Facebook post entitled “What is Uranus Made Of?” on Husband’s Wall. We’ve been asking each other this question for weeks. It never gets old.
H, How do, you know I don’t have a think to talk about except SUPERMAN the movie, you will believe a man can fly. I saw it Thursday night, isn’t that great? Now I don’t have a thing to talk about except cute Clark Kent, boy was he cute, I wouldn’t mind being Lois Lane, Clark was cuter than Superman, you know they are one and the same. Now I don’t have anything at all to talk about, you know, how do you find enough things to write your letters that long. Did you sell any subscriptions? I didn’t. This is a very boring letter because I don’t have a thing to write! Guess what! It’s snowing! I’m sooooooooooo informative. By the way, Nooooooooooooo. You are making me sick with this Lover boy stuff. Hee Hee. You know I like T. I hope mole man and everyone worked out. Well bye now, T (felix) ((spy #1))
One of the many delightful things about transcribing these notes has been researching all the references to 70s and 80s pop culture in an effort to date them. Because Superman was released on 12/15/78, I know this note was written in 8th grade. One of my closest friends, bless her, dated almost all her notes–but the vast majority of them are undated, requiring the highest caliber investigatory skills to figure out when they were written. Though I haven’t been able to date all of them, most of the time–using references to teachers or classes, boyfriends, songs or albums–I’ve at least been able to deduce what grade we were in.
Then there’s the juxtaposition of my life now, in comparison. When I first started this project last December, I’d seclude myself in my office for six hours at a time, enjoying hot flashes and drinking copious amounts of wine, listening to BestNetRadio 70s & 80s Hits, bawling my head off as I thought about how long ago all this was and how old I am now. Poor Husband.
Okay, I’m not really all that old now. But it sure feels like it sometimes. Seven months and several hundred notes later, I’m much more in control. At least the hot flashes have stopped for the time being.
Recently, while Husband was on a business trip, I re-watched “Julie & Julia.” I still like the book way better than the movie. But this time Julie Powell’s experience really spoke to me. Here’s why:
My family and friends know that I’m a little . . . um . . . different, and that one of the more irritating characteristics of this difference is my obsession with the past. Apparently I started working on this obsession at an early age because, from seventh grade through twelfth grade, I saved close to 600 notes my girlfriends and I passed to each other during those years. These notes have moved cross-country with me multiple times, biding their time in a large plastic storage bin with other assorted detritus from the 1970s and 1980s. I’ve transcribed more than 400 of them since December, and they’re going in my book My True North: Finding My Way Back To Me.
I’m not going to commit to releasing one note every day for the next year, like Julie Powell cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But I am going to dive in and hope you enjoy this as much as I know I will. I figure if so many others can morph from bloggers to book writers, so can I.
1/23/78 H, Well here I am babysitting again. My mom found out that we broke-up. She said D’s mom told her that she didn’t think that we were getting along or something. My mom kept asking me why he didn’t come over or call, all I said was “don’t know.” Then she kept asking me if there was another girl. I said “I don’t know” (as usual.) This dumb dog is jumping all over the house (she’s about as big as a wild boar & acts like one) I didn’t exactly tell her that we broke up cause she thinks that “going together” is what you do when you’re about 18 or 17 maybe 16 or 15. So if I tell her that, she’ll tell a long stupid story or sompin’. My mom says that I shouldn’t like just one boy. So I told her “Well, T.’s nice & P. plays tennis. And then there’s T. but he’s taken.” So then she says, well just be sure that there nice. Then I told her what a butt & a jerk S. is. She tells me to be nice to him. Like hell! (‘scuse my Portugese) She says that . . . . Better just tell ya. Re-mind me to. Bye—W/B C
We were in seventh grade when this was written. As you can see, things haven’t changed much in more than 30 years–except maybe the means of communication. We’ve gone from pen and paper to texting and tweeting. One of the things I hope to get across in the coming months is how blessed I feel for having access to this window into the past through the pages of these notes. Most other people may not care about reliving times like these (or even want to), but I enjoy it immensely. It’s both entertaining and humbling.