Saturday, May 4, 2019

Class of '75

A couple of summers after graduation,
wearing my Francis Howell High School Tennis Tee

Well it's been awhile since I've taken a quiz,
so I agreed to participate with my twin brother Bruce
in this high school nostalgia survey:

Q: What Year Did You Graduate
A: Class of 1975

1. Did you know your current spouse then? ~ No ~

2. What kind of car did you drive?
Same answer as my brother: I didn’t have a car then. If I got to drive somewhere, it was in my mom's 1968 Chrysler Newport.

3. Where did you work?
As a trustworthy near - (not total) perfectionist, I was in demand as a house-cleaner for several families in the Lake Saint Louis Subdivision ($2.50 per hour). Also, regular babysitter for two of our favorite teachers: Mr. Anderson's (Geometry) 4 kids; and Mr Thomlinson's (Chemistry) 2 kids.

4. Where did you live?
St Charles County, MO (and by county, I mean rural, as in stranded in the middle of nowhere and riding the school bus an hour each way)

5. Were you popular?
Wow! This is the kind of question that truly captures all the worst things about high school.

6. Were you in choir?
8th grade Girls Chorus
Marching & Concert Band grades 5 - 12!

7. Ever get suspended from school?
No. But I did get sent to the office one time by dear Coach / Vice Principal Frank Davis.

My crime -- sitting in a quiet corner of the stairwell finishing up a lab report because my assigned study hall was too noisy to think, and there was currently another class taking place in the biology lab. Yes, I was the kind of kid who got in trouble for sitting quietly, doing homework.

My punishment: having to go to the office every day for a week during my study hall period and and -- get this -- file other students' detention reports! I think that would be illegal these days -- not only unpaid child labor but also violation of privacy! Believe me, I gathered some bribe - worthy info.

8. If you could go back, would you?
Yes, for sure! I can think of no more appropriate occasion than going back to relive the night that our drama department put on a production of Our Town -- and I sat with my friends Cyndee Manley Hepworth & Jim Menard and watched our sibs / friends Joni Menard, Bruce Carriker, Yvonne Brooks, Kathy Mannino-Baldwin, Gail Gerdes Wood & Donna Postel star in the play! Was Paula Lee Bright there that night?

9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with?
I didn't go to prom -- see #5 above.

10. Did you skip school?
Only twice, once in December & once in May of my Senior year, to complete some massive amounts of homework -- see #7 above. And, yes, I got in trouble for it both times.

11. Go to all the football games?

Yes -- as a member of the Marching Band.
9th & 10th grade: clarinet ~ 11th & 12th grade: trombone

12. What was your favorite class?
Okay, I'll keep one of Bruce's answers: Current Events (with Coach Gibbons). And, at the other end of the spectrum, Ancient History (with Mr. Wescott). Band every year (RIP Mr. McCune). Biology, beginning & advanced. And, of course, all the literature classes (see #16 below).

12a. Least favorite: Bad Algebra Memories
And Bruce agrees with me!

13. Do you still have your yearbook?
All of them from 7th grade through Senior in college. Don't forget, I'm an archivist!

14. Did you follow the career path you wanted?
Yes -- I've never veered from reading & writing & cutting & pasting!

When I went back, after my B.A., to visit one of my favorite high school teachers and told her that I was going to go ahead for an M.A. (and eventually Ph.D.) in English, she said, "Oh, ripe for unemployment! What do you want to do when you finish -- become a very educated housewife?" (her words).

I guess Ms Buerkle was feeling bitter about things, despite teaching some of the best classes: Humor & Satire, English Bible, Development of the Novel. Clearly, she was not trying to be supportive -- quite the opposite in fact; she was trying to be mean and make my career choice sound frivolous -- but the way she described it actually made it sound rather appealing! So, even though it hadn't occurred to me until that moment, I said, Yes, now that you mention it, I think I will do exactly that with my life! And I did! And I still do! It turns out that "very educated housewife" isn't actually such a bad calling after all. It's not about the money, but one can thrive!

15. Do you have a class ring?
Yes! Vikings Forever!

I am dismayed, however, to read that Bruce has lost his -- yet again -- because he already did that once before and I miraculously found it for him. Not sure if I can repeat the miracle!

16. Who was your favorite teacher?
Oh so many, but first and foremost Alice Lemp for Shakespeare and Senior English.

Next, all the other English teachers starting with Catherine Bell (8th grade), Roberta Buerkle, Rocky Donnelly, Oneta Henson, Judy King.

Plus special mention to Ken Kielty & Jim Lange -- for Student Council & Consciousness Raising; even though I was never enrolled in their classes, I still hung around and learned a lot.

17. Did you letter? ~ Yes -- for chasing tennis balls. ~

Freshman Year
We couldn't really play tennis, but we had plenty of nerve!

Sophomore Year
Look at my cute little sister Di!
No wonder the photograper put her first in line!

And a Lyre for Band

18. Did you graduate? ~ Yes ~

19. Did you graduate with a 3.0 or higher?
I think this probably qualifies as another one of those #5 questions. But, anyway, what do you think?

20. How old were you at graduation?

Bruce and I turned 18 on May 24th
and graduated on June 3rd, 1975.
Here he is giving the graduation speech -- 44 years ago!

Additional quizzes . . .Possible ~ Plausible ~ Improbable

Quarantine Quiz Shows

[Class of '75]

Challenges: Special K & Ten Favs

"Christmas Quiz"

"You're Out Walking"

"Take This Quiz!"

"Monday: Pop Quiz"

"Talk to Me"


  1. That was such an enjoyable read. You remember so much more about those days than I do. And my regret? That I didn't get to know you and Bruce better way back then. I'm so thrilled and thankful to have you in my life today.

  2. I think you and I spent a day sanding a desktop that was defaced and we got blamed for it... sixth grade at Neosho JHS... I remember we laughed a lot. Not exactly punishment :)