Well, Here I Am Part 2
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The continuation of Janice Foley's story, Well- Here I Am
Table of Contents:
Florida or Bust
The Last Mile
High School at Last
Just Two to Go
The third and fourth grades went by with very little activity.
I found the school work to be quite easy as I got a hundred in spelling for the complete years; this was just short of a miracle for me.
Over this period, I made a lot of new friends, some of who I still call friends today.
Two of the best were Charlene Bensley and Mary Lou Embright.
They have both moved away from Akron now.
I remember one exciting event that happened when I fell out of our car right in the middle of Main Street.
My mother was driving when this happened and so it seemed to have more effect on her than it did on me.
This might have been due to the nature of my fall, as it was right in front of a trolley car.
The fifth grade went by with even fewer events, except for the fact that I always managed to find myself in the middle of the battles between Bobbie Fitch, Patty Backe and the Parrish twins, Jean and Jane.
However, I pulled through these battles with only a few scars and tramped on through fifth grade with banners flying.
I spent the summer of my fifth grade in Oklahoma.
Many misfortunes befell me while I was there.
Less than a week after I arrived I fell into one of the largest ant hills you could find in the whole of Oklahoma.
They were the large red type that left scars for months after.
The trip home was quite eventful too.
Our car was side-swiped by one of those big overland car transports and I was laid up for a few days in the hospital.
It was not long enough however, to delay my resumption to school.
That year, believe it or not, I was anxious to resume school on time as I was to have four different teachers.
I was also to be with a split group, part sixth and part seventh grades.
I won a prize in penmanship that year even though it's still hard for some to believe it now.
I also gained a few pounds to tip the scale at sixty pounds.
That was also the year I developed a crush on one of the boys in my neighbourhood.
He was a 'Freshie' at West High School at the time and I thought him quite the big time.
Our 'mutual' friendship lasted a little less than three months however, for I discovered that there were other fish in the sea (and I think he did too).
It was almost Christmas of the third year when my kid sister, Sybilann, was born.
I thought her quite the normal child at the time, but I was to learn too soon that she was a little more than that.
This was my first attempt at 'babysitting' as Sybilann was at the stage where she had to be watched most of the time.
This was also when our neighbourhood began their annual pilgrimage to the show.
Every Friday night for a number of years, they attended the Highland Theatre and this was my first time of being invited to go along.
At the time, knowing that I was the youngest member ever to go with them, I considered this a rare honour.
I also joined my first sorority that year with Janet Kerr, Helen Walsh (now Mrs. Walt Hoffman), Helen Hiable, and myself as members.
The sorority broke up soon however, due to lack of funds in the treasury.
The summer went by swiftly with the usual trip to Canada included and school also coming soon after.
At the start of school that year I joined the ballroom dancing classes at Brown's Studio.
This was where I met a boy from Rankin school.
I soon found him spending many of his afternoons at my home along with his many male friends.
This however, was to be postponed for a while because of a trip I was to embark on.
FLORIDA OR BUST
Shortly after Christmas my Mother, Grandmother, Sybilann and I decided to visit my brother in Florida.
He was the pastry chef at the Princess Martha Hotel in St. Petersburg at the time and we decided to travel through the South to go visit him.
The trip to St. Pete was a lovely one as we had the opportunity of visiting many beautiful places.
The state I really fell in love with was Maryland. I dream of living there someday.
I spent three weeks in St. Pete and it is a wonderful and lovely city as well.
I spent a lot of time on the million-dollar pier; it is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever seen.
After spending some time with my brother we went to Miami.
The army and navy had both moved back into the town, so you can imagine how the city was.
Although I found it to be interesting, I am not really a fan of big cities, so my trip there wasn't the most enjoyable.
We left Miami for St. Augustine and I visited all the historical spots in the city.
We took one of those old carriages on a ride through the city and I found it to be one of the most interesting road trips ever.
Some of the spots I visited include the oldest house in America and the Fountain of Youth.
We came home by way of the coast, so I got to visit the home of George Washington at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Then we went on a tour throughout the capital.
We came home on the Pennsylvania turnpike, and this being my first trip there, I really enjoyed riding along such a grand highway.
It was a wonderful trip; one I will never forget.
I found it difficult settling back to school after my return, but school was also over before I realised and summer was around again.
This year we took a trip to my mother's hometown, a little place in southern Ohio.
It's called 'Chillicothe' and it is one of the prettiest little towns in the state.
The visit was a pleasant one and I was quite busy keeping up with my cousins' escapades.
We returned home a little early since my mother had purchased a farm just outside Akron and she was planning on having our house finished by the first of September.
It was a sweet little home once it was completed and we spent many happy weekends there.
THE LAST MILE
At this point I was in the eighth grade and I was ready for anything.
School work was easier than I expected, so I did not have to worry as much about it as I had in previous years.
Our school principal was replaced by a new one, who was much nicer than we initially thought.
His name is Mr. Whiteman and he replaced Mr. Brunnell who was our principal for as long as I could remember.
We thought we were getting a tough break since he was to leave the year we were to graduate.
However, the new principal proved to be a 'peach of a fella' and he seemed to go out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed as eighth-graders.
Mr. Whiteman started a club to keep the school in order and the eighth-graders were appointed to take charge.
I was named captain and was in charge of making sure the second-graders were kept in line.
A jury was also formed around this time and I was elected to be one of the jurors.
We kept tabs on all the kids in school and gave light sentences, such as dusting desks, to anyone who stepped out of line in any way.
It proved to work better than expected as no kid likes to be punished by their friends.
We also had quite a boys' basketball team that year; they went through the whole season undefeated.
We presented two pageants that year with the help of Miss Alpeter and Mr. Whiteman.
For our graduation we performed the play 'Room for One.'
It was a comedy and I was on the ticket committee.
The play turned out to be a big success and we donated, with the money we had earned from the play, a large War Bond to the school.
Our last basketball game of the year was played against Portage Path school and we defeated them by two points.
Ann Seiberling had a party before the game and I went with Bill Buckingham as my date.
Bucky was in charge of the cop boys back then and he was also one of the basketball players, so you can see how important this fella would be to me back then.
The boys from Portage felt a little bit of injustice after the game as they so often claimed that we won because the time after the foul was held for too long.
Graduation was not far off after this and it proved to be a pretty special one.
I can remember how happy I was with the way the day turned out.
We always had the graduation service on the front lawn and it rained on the morning of the graduation.
It cleared up however, and it was just cool enough for us to enjoy.
I can remember how nervous I was feeling.
I had not worn high heels very many times before that and we had to walk down a small incline to get to the platform; I was sure I would fall flat before I got there.
I made it however, and everything came off just fine.
After graduation we had dinner at the University Club and we danced afterward; it was one of the happiest evenings I can remember.
School was out and summer was here again.
This year we went to Chillicothe as we did the previous year and I can remember quite well the rip-roaring Fourth of July my cousins had.
We had enough firecrackers for an army and we certainly didn't spare the neighbours anything.
The whole summer was in fact, a holy terror for the neighbourhood.
HIGH SCHOOL AT LAST
When I returned I had something to look forward to; being a freshman at West High School.
All my older friends had told me how hard everyone here was on 'Freshies', so I was prepared for anything.
The first afternoon I came to school with ten of my girlfriends, so it wasn't so bad.
The school appeared large to me.
I remember going around that afternoon to find out the numbering on each room, so I wouldn't have any trouble finding out where I was supposed to be.
I didn't realise then how lucky I was to have all my classes set up for me.
It was sheer bliss, now that I think about it.
I spent my first semester like any other 'Freshie'; studying.
I managed to make the honour roll three times and this was something I was proud of.
Chuck McManus, a good-looking senior, was a neighbour of mine at the time.
I was in my glory when he brought me to school each morning in his car.
It makes a lot of sense now why a lot of the senior girls were being nice to me.
Along with everything else that was happening, my brother got married.
He was in the Air Corps at the time and got married in Kansas.
I joined the H-Club at the West Congregational Church that year and it allowed me to meet a great many kids from both West High and Buchtel High.
We went on an overnight camping trip to Mankato that year, and it would be my first time ever hiking through a pitch-black forest at midnight, I swore never to do it again.
West High were city champs that year in football, but I did not then know what a good team we really had.
I failed to really appreciate them for at least three years.
I spent that summer on a farm.
For the first time, I got a taste of what real farm life was like.
I definitely decided then that it wasn't for me.
I went all out to be one, but I soon changed my mind.
I did however accomplish quite a few things that summer.
I learned how to milk a cow, ride bareback, and take care of livestock.
I shall repeat, farm life just isn't for me.
I returned to Akron that fall and started the sophomore classes with high hopes for the future.
My classes were much harder this year than the previous year and I had quite a struggle with both Spanish and Geometry.
During the first semester, twelve of us, all girls, formed a Tri-A Club.
Our members were Eileen Arnold, Patty Backe, Katy Cox, Ann Dabney, Bobby Fritch, Jeanne Garrigan, Janet Patterson, Pat Prosser, Martha Theiss, Eileen Weinert, and myself.
The first officers were elected with Janet Patterson as President, Janice Foley as Vice President, Pat Bache as Secretary, and Bobbie Fitch as Treasurer.
Our first year as a club had very little activity as we took the time to make plans for the future.
I was elected Treasurer of Hi-Club and Secretary of Girl Reserve's.
With these and the many other jobs I had, it turned out to be a very exciting year for me.
This year, the Girl Reserve's gave their first formal and I went with Jake Woods.
We went to a cocktail party, first at Bobbie Fritch's and it was a lot of fun.
JUST TWO TO GO
My junior year was an uneventful one.
The first semester was very dull.
I had quite a struggle with my Algebra and Chemistry; I soon came to the conclusion that I was really dumb at math.
The Tri-A Club gave their first tea that spring and it was a huge success.
I was elected to Student Council that semester and I was also very pleased when I was chosen to serve on the Executive Council.
I also got elected as Vice President of the 11A Class; this was a big surprise to me.
Being elected as President of the Teeners of Woman's City Club however, was the highlight of that year. When I joined the club two years before that, I someday hoped to be some kind of officer, but I never thought it would be President.
I was overjoyed when school was out, for I had already planned my summer.
Mr. and Mrs. Carkcuff, I call them Johnny and Jerry, had asked me to come to Massachusetts to spend the summer there taking care of their little daughter, Susan.
To hear it put that way might sound a little dull, but I can guarantee you that it wasn't.
I only had to take care of Susan for three hours each day; what to do with the rest of the time was up to me.
They also had two cars and one was a Jeep which I got to drive a lot.
They had joined the Yacht Club and it was there that I really learned how to man a boat.
Each Tuesday I visited Newport Naval Base with Jerry and Johnny, because Johnny was still on sick leave from the Navy.
I was taken aboard many of the ships there and I got a firsthand experience of what Navy life really felt like.
I also visited Boston very often because we were living on Buzzards Bay, which is only about fifty miles from there.
The Bay was a wonderful place to swim and each morning a group of fellas and girls, who I got to know quite well, would either go for a swim there or sail out to the ocean which was about ten miles away and swim off the coast.
Leaving there wasn't too hard as I had made a lot of friends already and planned to go back the following year to visit them.
I had finally reached the status of Senior.
It took a little buckling down at first as I hadn't done a thing all summer.
We had a good football team that year even though we weren't city champs.
After the Buchtel game, just like I had done in previous years, I invited a group of kids over to my house.
I ended up with more than a hundred and thirty people before it was over.
Time went by really fast and the Teeners put on their annual New Year's Eve Dance.
This, of course, took a little work on my part, being the president of the affair and all.
I went to the dance with Bucky Davis, an old flame of mine.
We had breakfast along with ten other couples at my house the following morning at 7 o'clock.
The kids left at about ten o'clock and I went to church afterwards.
I did not get to sleep all day or even on the following night; which was New Year's night.
I went to see "Cris Crosses."
It was presented by the Penn State College Players and it was one of my most enjoyable evenings.
After the play, I went to the University Club to meet all members of the cast.
They were indeed a grand bunch of fellas.
After getting home from all this, I decided that I was going to sleep for at least twenty-four hours.
You see, it was now forty-eight hours since I last closed my eyes.
Hour forty-six was over, but from the look of things, forty-seven holds a lot of good times in store for me.
P.S. My future for the next few years is fairly well-settled.
I plan to attend the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio.
My hope for the future is that it is as pleasant as these last few years have been for me.
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