Neoteric Similitude’s……….#37 (the 50’s)

A Junior High beginning

A normal Frick Junior High boys gym class was divided between the two full-time P. E. instructors,  Mr. Perry,  Mr. Tabor and part-time Mr. Svedsen,  each assisted by a ninth grade student designated as an accredited Junior Coach.   Each P. E.  class  consisting of  approximately thirty-five boys  and those students were divided into four units,  providing intramural team competition.   Dressing for gym  amounted  to the boys changing into tennis shoes as the rule was, no leather soled shoes allowed on the gym floor.   Opportunities were afforded those with more stringent athletic desires to participate in  special gymnastics and tumbling,  but Gary being of a lesser stature , although very much a sports enthusiast remained one of those that participated in the normal P.E. class activity.

One day Mr. Perry and Mr. Tabor had the boys assemble in the gym, the class being seated on benches along the wall facing towards the sliding petition that  separated the boys half of the gym from the girls.   Gary having never been present when the petition was opened,  watching as it began to move,  exhibiting the girls class seated on benches opposite them, the boys staring  with perplexity and more striking discovering that  the girls hadn’t changed into their gym clothes.   The girls P.E. Instructor standing mid-court, beginning a dissertation on the proper acceptability of socializing between genders and would like the boy and girls to demonstrate by dancing.   What followed  was the  P.A.  system proclaiming dance music and Gary like the others just set there, both the boys and the girls staring across the gym floor at each other.  After some pronounced encouragement some of  the boys traversed the invisible divide and danced with their girl acquaintances,   the  steadfast in obelisk state finally broken.   This P.E. class introduction to the dance having a secondary purpose,  soon thereafter a notice was posted for an upcoming Friday evening school dance.

No leather-sole shoes allowed on the dance floor

Jr. High realm of music

The latest craze – The Bop

It was Hank’s Dad that was asked to provide transportation to the Junior High Dance, doors opened at eight and the activity coming to a conclusion at eleven, Gary’s Father furnishing the ride home.   The boys entering the gymnasium thru the 64th Ave. door.   Mrs. Vrettol, Gary’s music teacher and some chaperoning parents were seated at a table welcoming the students.   The gym was decorated with posters as well as crape paper and the sound of current popular hits flooding the gym, Doris Day’s, Secret Love; The Crew Cuts,  Sk-Boom; Gogi Grant, The Wayward Wind.  Music knowing no bounds, both classical and contemporary having become a cornerstone in his life he was familiar with all the current hits having become an avid fan of the Burgie Music Box and Lucky Larger Dance Time radio broadcast.   The radio broadcast of the Burgie Music Box starting at 9:30 p.m., followed the Richfield Reporter followed by the Lucky Larger Dance Time airing five night a week having added to his music realm, having discovered that the past and current songs inundating the pulse of  history and current events.

Sue Bowers

Jr. High Gary

Gary having been exposed to dancing as were the members of his Burckhalter sixth grade class, his Mother educating his elementary school class in the graphic art during a periodical weekly participation called rhythm time.  His PTA mom volunteering to teach the classic baroque of the 18th century, the waltz, old fashion square dancing, and letting the class free style with the current craze of the day.  During the junior high dance Gary noticed that the girls would sometimes dance with each other but realized it was only because the boys never asked.  He discovered a chance to dance with redhead Claudia Weber who normally would be with Cashmere Paul, a name Gary pinned on Paul Peterson because of his expensive sweaters.   Paul Peterson’s  Mother operated a dress shop in the Mills College shopping area and was one of the sponsors of the Mills Merchants baseball team he and Hank played on.   He and Carol Ayous having  special relationship,  giving her a silver bracelet sporting his name and walking her home after school until his Tribune Route put and end to this endeavor.    He still enjoyed talking with her on the phone and was lamented to find that she would be moving to Concord.   He soon discovered a very striking petite girl who vivacity signature was dancing cheek to cheek.    Her name was Sue Bowers and her consequential lasting impression resonated with him.  The advent of the school dance filling a needed void, Gary coming to reason that his world was one-dimensional, that it was time to open another door.

The  Frick’s Student District encompassed a broad geographical area and upon graduation the students would be dispersed to either Fremont or Castlemont High.   With Hank moving on to Castlemont and Don discovering other gender interest, Gary questioning if it was time to seek a friend who advocates the neoteric similitudes that inhabit his  world.


2 Responses to “Neoteric Similitude’s……….#37 (the 50’s)”

  1. papillonsj2013 Says:

    Gary…Did you photoshop that picture of me? I don’t remember having an outfit like that! Loved the story. I can still remember the first very awkward day learning to dance. I still have two left feet!Hugs, Sue

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