Friday, March 29, 2013

Future Stars

The band.......Kara, Maria, Roxi, Wendy, Lela

The back-up singers.....Jack, Georgie, and Philip. (Sometimes.)

The song.......Nobody

The stage......the front porch.

The front porch???????

Oh, right. If memory serves me correctly, we thought if other people heard us, we might get discovered. (I think that was the only reason the boys sang with us.)

The words:

Sittin' in a restaurant
She walked by
I seemed to recall
That certain look in your eye
I said, who's that
You said, with a smile
Aah, it's nobody
Aah, nobody

Maybe that explains the last two week
You called me up, dead on your feet
Working late again
I asked who with
You said, nobody
Aah, nobody

Well your nobody called today
She hung up when I asked her name
Well, I wonder
Does she think she's being clever
(Clever, ooh, ooh)
You say, nobody's after you
The fact is what you say is true
But I can love you like nobody can
Even better

And this was sung over and over and over again. (This is another the reason the boys sang it. They knew all the words because they heard it everyday of their lives during the fall of 1982.)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

One Good Thing About Second Grade

As I walk down the white-tiled hallway with cinder block white walls, I think, "Why does the inside of the school have to look like the inside of a hospital?"

Maybe we're all crazy. Maybe we're in an insane asylum, and we don't know it. They're filling our heads with gibberish and nonsense, forcing us to be the people they think we should be.

That would explain the way they talk, in that sing-songy, cloyingly sweet way. It also explains why they keep us inside for most of the day, and why they stress the importance of math.

My God! Should I do something? Who do I tell? Would anyone believe me? Maybe not. My parents went to school. They were probably brainwashed, too. I bet they'd been taught what to say if one of their children caught on to what school really was.

My heart pumping with worry and questions, I put my backpack and lunch away. As I sit down, I take a look around the room, searching for cameras and other security devices.

"Class," my teacher begins, her happy tone like nails on a chalkboard, "we have a new student. Her name is Jennifer."

I turn, look, and pause. The new girl appears scared. And worried.

How horrid...being new. But even more frightening is being new...and being redheaded.

Jennifer had red hair.

That day, at recess, I found a best friend. A kindred spirit.

Concerning the insane asylum....I'll figure that out later.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Start Your Engines!

There was nothing quite so wonderful, quite so freeing, or quite so exciting as the Big Wheel.

An intelligent piece of plastic. Its colors and streamers, easy to reach pedals, and of course, its big front wheel made it so addictive.

My grandpa kept us well-stocked. There was a Big Wheel for everyone. And with the cement driveway that wrapped around his entire garage -- which doubled as his small engine repair shop -- we had our own version of the Indy 500 right there in Arcadia, Texas.

While I was careening around corners and screaming, "Yeehaw!", my sister and our cousin putt-putted along in the fire engine.

My grandpa also had a small, two-seater, toy fire engine. It went about five miles per hour. As you have predicted, it wasn't my choice of transportation.

As you have also predicted, Maria and our cousin, Dawn, never won the Arcadia 500. But, they probably didn't care and probably never consciously competed. I didn't need their permission to race against them.

Whenever I came abreast of them, I'd shout, "Gentlemen, start your engines!", and I would take off like a shot. They'd eat my dust as not only did I leave them way behind, but lapped them several times over in my ultra-fast Big Wheel. The pedals would set on fire as I rounded corners and shot down straightaways.

Maria and Dawn didn't stand a chance. Even if they'd tried.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Second Grade....It Keeps Going....And Going


Just that word makes me cringe with loathing and distaste. A vile concept. One meant to continually lower your self-worth and your intelligence. Math taunted me with its ridiculous reality. Exactly when would I be watching two trains meet at the same point? Would I ever be putting 53 watermelons in my trunk and then eating 15 on the same day?

I don't like watermelon that much. It's sticky and you have to spit out the seeds.

However, even more loathsome than the concept of Math...more vile...more distasteful...more terrifying and utterly excrutiating was...


Tutoring for Math. Get a hammer and some nails and pound them into my eye sockets. I would prefer it. Maybe my teachers wouldn't want to come near me. Hmmm, this idea holds promise....

Of course, my mother didn't want to help with that AND she LOVED the idea of tutoring. "This will be perfect for you, Kara. This is exactly what you need. You're going to have so much fun!"

Was she insane? Did she understand what it was? Maybe I need to explain....

"It means I have to stay after school. For Math. You know what Math is, right?"

"Of course, I do Dear Heart."

I start wonder if my mom has it goin' on upstairs.

By now I have learned I can't fight my mom's big ideas. I must accept them, grit my teeth, and remember....this too, shall pass.

So, I went to tutoring with Ms. Harris. My Math teacher. She gave me cookies to ease the pain. They were chocolate chip, so it definitely helped. (I like snickerdoodle better, but I'm not gonna tell her that.)