Swing into Spring

In my junior year of school at Floydada High, I took Distributive Education (DECA) classes. Even though I planned on attending college, I needed to earn some money, and these courses allowed me to work for a couple of hours each afternoon. In retrospect I wish I’d gone the purely academic route, but I didn’t have a great deal of career guidance coming my way. In the end it all worked out okay, I suppose.

DECA was interesting, though. We learned a variety of things about working in retail businesses, including how to display goods and market them to the consumer. Our teacher, Mr. S, was rather limited in his understanding of marketing strategies, but that didn’t keep him from trying. I remember one lesson in which we were to come up with an advertising slogan to promote a product.

The only slogan Mr. S could come up with as an example was “Swing into Spring!” Given that we lived in the Texas panhandle this sounded a great deal more like “Swang into Sprang,” and every time he said it I’d dissolve in a fit of giggles.

Mr. S was not amused. In fact, he threatened to send me to the office if I couldn’t stop laughing. Of course that made it worse, and I ended up trying to explain to the principal that I wasn’t being disrespectful to Mr. S. Apparently the principal wasn’t amused either, but rather than calling my parents to report my transgression he allowed me to stay in his office until it was time for me to report to my DECA related job, the better to compose myself before I found myself in the presence of Mr. S again. As punishments went, it was pretty sweet.

Ironically, just a few short days after my trip to the principal’s office I received a note to call my mom during DECA class. We didn’t have cell phones, kiddies. This was back in the dark ages. The only phone available to students was in the main office.

All the way there I imagined I could hear the other shoe dropping. Somehow, I figured Mom had learned of my previous transgression and was going to read me the riot act followed by a few weeks of grounding. I’d had a feeling I’d gotten off too lightly from the start.

Instead Mom had called to tell me that my dad had been offered a job in another town and that we’d be moving before school’s end. I was supposed to begin wrapping things up. Man, how I wished she’d been calling to ground me instead.

I returned to class sobbing. My friends gathered ’round to console me, but I could tell Mr. S was feeling pretty smug–he figured I’d gotten further punishment, as well. He looked a little less smug as my story unfolded, but was probably relieved that I’d be out of his hair.

The joke was on him, though. In the end my folks arranged for me to live with my maternal grandparents to finish out the school year in Floydada. I still wasn’t happy about leaving my friends and the only schools I’d ever attended in my last year, but it was a workable compromise. Plus, I met Studly Doright in the new town, so that was a positive.

And the next time I got the giggles over “Swang into Sprang” again, Mr. S let it go. I guess he figured I’d had punishment enough.

Sophomore Year

In 1973 I was a sophomore at Floydada High School in Floydada, Texas. I know this because as I was cleaning out a closet today my yearbook from that year fell from one of the top shelves and landed on my big toe. I cursed. Loudly. Then of course I had to sit for awhile and thumb through this piece of vintage gold.

This is my class photo. I was a plain child and obviously something of a snob. Look at my disdainful expression:

“Let them eat cake!”

I was also thin enough that if I turned sideways all that was visible was my nose. Man, I loved that belt:

Cyrano de Bergerac with the coolest belt in the history of belts.

That’s me with a tenor sax in my hands. I could play passably well, but never could match the others in my section.
There’s that nose again. At least it made me a standout.
I think this one was taken of our Future Teachers of America group.
Not a bad photo of me. I learned early on that I didn’t have a good side.
I adore this one because it pictures most of my closest friends from high school.

Okay, I’m through resting my toe. Back to work.

Peace, people!

Contemplating Pizza

When I graduated from high school in 1975 I weighed a whopping 115 lbs. At 5’8″ I was one skinny chick. I was also fairly shy and unassuming. 

Forty years later I’m proud to say, I’m still 5’8″ tall. Yep, I’m pretty proud of that. Plus I can still wear the same earrings that fit me back then, not to brag or anything. 

On a day to day basis I don’t give my weight much thought, but in late October the group of people I went to school with in Floydada, Texas, is having its 40 year reunion. I’m pretty sure I can’t get down to 110 (or 120 or 130 or…), but it’d be nice to lose 10 pounds or so. 

I probably should start working on that right away. Or maybe I’ll have another slice of pizza.

Oh, I’m not that shy and unassuming anymore either.


Peace, people!


I attended two high schools back in the 70’s: Floydada high school and Dumas high school. Just three hours apart in travel time, but at that point in my life it might as well have been three hundred hours. 

I’d spent all of my school life in Floydada, Texas, population 4,000, until the end of my junior year in high school when my dad switched jobs necessitating a move to Dumas, Texas, population 10,000-ish. Eventually I adjusted to life in the “big city” of Dumas. It was tough, but I made friends and met my Studly there, and graduated from Dumas high school in 1975,  so all’s well that ends well, right?

Fast forward to 2015 and the epic forty year class reunion. I would love to attend the reunion in Dumas, and I’m even going to be in Texas the weekend it takes place. Unfortunately that’s the same weekend the the Doright Family Reunion is scheduled, and I’ll be unable to be in two places at once. 

Floydada’s class of ’75 is planning to meet in Gruene, TX, in October. I’ve already booked my hotel room for that event. After all, these are the grown-up versions of kids I went to school with from kindergarten through my junior year.

I was never “most beautiful” or “most popular,” but I always had a place among my class. And I was probably too busy dealing with my own insecurities to notice those who were more disenfranchised than I was. So I was caught by surprise when a member of the class became angry that she’d been invited to the reunion because she had felt disrespected and unnoticed during our school years.

I wish I’d noticed her more. I wish I’d been nicer, friendlier, more inclusive. I wish I’d known then what I know now–that it doesn’t diminish our own worth when we include others. Who knows how my life might’ve turned out if I’d known that years ago?

To all those who felt they weren’t included, you are loved and valued and I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you this years ago.

Peace, people!