Becky Marra Davis: How could we ever forget our special lunch the Friday after we had boycotted buying lunch tickets? 7-Up wrapped in white towels, poured into champagne glasses; Kentucky Fried Chicken; chocolate cake with ice cream! We even had a table cloth and real napkins. While we ate, making a big to-do about our celebration, the principal watched us, or more to the point, he leered at us. We enjoyed the spectacle and were allowed to keep our ‘leftovers’ in the school kitchen. We all went merrily to class. I was in Mr. Drogt’s Pre-Calc class (remember his classroom and the ‘fishing’ trips he would take while we took tests?) when the loud speaker came on. Each one of our names was called; we were to report to the office! Now, we were not the usual trouble makers and were not experienced in being sent to the principals office. I think we were threatened with a two week expulsion for our ‘group’ meal. Then Dave Cornell came to the rescue (he didn’t become a lawyer, but that day he played the part.) He quoted something about not being punished for a rule that was not in effect at the time of the infraction. Well, the classes after us were not happy with us — they could never have any kind of ‘group’ meal, or a number of other privileges, all because of our class!
Suzette Wood responded: Oh, That Lunch – I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER SCRUBBING TABLES IN THE LUNCH ROOM WITH TOOTHBRUSHES. WAS IT FOR THIS OCCASION? SUZETTE
Deborah Melton Johnson: As I remember the lunch room protest, it was to protest the food, especially “camp stew.” I think Debbie Delano Davis’s grandmother brought the fried chicken. I got kicked out of school for three days, not for the protest (they would have had to suspended too many of us) but for “unauthorized use of school property” for using the copy machine to run off flyers for the lunch. Getting suspended was not an unusual occurrence for me, for various reasons. In raising children, both of my boys got suspended for “lunch room” situations and standing up for the environment or what they believed, so it just goes to show “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Deborah Melton Johnson: One of the funniest moments I remember was – Sandy Lensky gluing up her socks in cheerleading.
Cherie Alton McNeilly: The tires off the drivers ed car was good and remember when someone put all the girls bra’s in the shower while we were swimming down by Sandy and Richards house in Gym class. I hope whoever did it will finally confess. And I want to know who put the jock strap in my locker. It was probably a freshman cause it wasn’t very big. Ha!!!!
Rosemary Thompson Alexander: One memory that blows the minds of kids today… remember having to kneel in front of the principal to make sure your skirt wasn’t too short??? It actually had to touch the floor! Of course, as soon as you walked away you ROLLED your skirt back up!!!
Becky Marra Davis: Here are a few memories of birthdays at Houghton Lake: With my birthday being close to Valentine’s Day, Mom would use the red and hearts of Valentine’s Day for my birthday. I remember one year, maybe third or fourth grade, when she made beautiful cupcakes for me to take into to school to celebrate my birthday. I even helped decorate them. We didn’t often do such things in those days, so it was special that Mom would make cupcakes for me to take into school. Then the snowstorm came, and came, and came. No school! Of all the days for school to be cancelled, it was the worse! I remember crying as my family ate the cupcakes – I would never take them into school to share with you! Birthday parties – Today, we do them every year for our kids. I don’t know when that changed, but growing up, especially in a family of five kids, birthday parties were every few years. I remember one party at the roller skating rink. Another, just a few kids over. The parties I most remember were in high school — in my basement, with every girl in the class. We’d stay up and giggle and talk and eat brownies and chips, I think. we all slept on the floor – there were no beds. When we got older, someone I won’t mention, left through the basement door to be with some boy. I seem to remember looking through magazines and listening to music. And playing games, especially Twister! Those were the days! I remember being very jealous of those of you with spring, summer or fall birthdays. Your birthdays were never cancelled because of snow! But then, many summer birthdays were forgotten in the tourist rush of summer. Do you remember celebrating any ‘half’ birthdays? You know, six months before or after, but not in the summer? I think we gave each other gifts, but I remember most the handmade ones – especially hand written notes! I think we passed some of them out in class, which was against the rules! Mrs. Van Derski was famous for catching us with notes – but remember that funeral we had for the fly(?) that we found dead on the floor? We made a full paper funeral parade on the floor between the aisles of our desks. Did she ever find it? (Sorry, that wasn’t a birthday memory; it just sort of came out) I remember going to birthday parties – they were usually small, with homemade treats – none of that store bought cakes for us! (As if there was a store where we could buy decorated cakes!) I think I got mostly books for gifts, and cosmetics. I really don’t remember the gifts much, just the parties and fun we had. That speaks for what is important in life – friendships!
Patricia “Trish” Watson Hampton (from 5th grade): I do remember going to one birthday party of yours. Since I moved after 5th grade, it had to be before that. However, I don’t remember the gift I had for you. I remember having a fun time though! You’re totally right, everything was homemade. If you were in my class in 3rd, (I think) grade, Mrs. Ferris, then you were invited to my birthday party. After the fact, my mom found out that I had invited every girl in my class! Being the great seamstress she was, my gift from mom was an entire wardrobe for my favorite doll…right down to the bra and panties. My dad had made the clothes rack…two tiers. He even made the hangers! Needless to say, I was the envy of every girl there. Those were the days!
Cherrie Alton McNeilly: Bev and I were born at Mrs. Tanners Maternity home in the heights. I well remember those pajama parties in your basement and the thing that stands out most in my mind is Sharon Barnum’s stinky fur coat pajamas she wore in order to win the pajama contest. Where she got it from God only knows! Happy 39th birthday. I know we are the same age. Right?
Rosemary Thompson Alexander: Thank you for the birthday memories! I remember going to one of the parties in your basement and doing an experiment…to see if the wet hand thing really made you wet yourself! If I remember right, we did it to Sharon Barnum, because she went to sleep first, I think. More February birthdays… Cheryl Alton’s is on the 20th, and Patricia Watson’s is on the 23rd, and Debby Thompson’s is on the 24th.
Sam Gardner: One of my memories from high school was one that I wasn’t even involved in. (if I remember correctly I was at the library doing extra credit work.) It involved Dan H., Wendell H., Craig B. and Gary M, there might have been more but I can’t remember, if I left someone out or included someone who wasn’t there, I apologize. I wasn’t going to mention any names because some of you might not have known that these guys participated in such activities, but it has been 35 years, it’s time you all knew. Dan and the rest of the crew were out drinking and had a case of beer in the trunk of Dan’s car. They got pulled over for some reason and the officer told Dan to open the trunk. Dan refused and told him he needed a search warrant. The police officer knew Dan’s dad so he told everyone to get in the police car and they were going back to the Hamp house and have Mr. Hamp open the trunk. He told Craig to follow them in Dan’s car. Well our boy Craig did what he was told to do, but somewhere on Chippewa Trl., he stopped and carefully put the beer in the ditch. When Craig finally arrived at the Hamp house the officer asked him what took him so long and Craig replied that he was going the speed limit. Well they had to wake Mr. Hamp up so he could open the trunk. I’m sure that he was not very happy about all of this and Dan, Wendy and who ever else was probably wondering what the food was like at Camp Nokomis or where ever they were going to end up, because they didn’t know Craig had ditched the evidence. The trunk finally got opened up and sure enough the beer was safely hid down the road, the police officer left talking to himself and I am sure that the rest of the beer was properly deposed of the following day.
Cheryl Alton McNeilly: (In answer to the question – ‘What did we do at the 20th reunion?’) Yes, we did have a program. Sam was the M.C. He did a great job! He is soooo funny! Vicky and Pat were the King and Queen and led us in the Hokey Pokey. I can’t believe how bad some peoples memories are. I think some of you ate toooo many brownies! Our last picnic was at the new park up on Knapp road where Mr. Fockler lived. Since then they have built a really nice Township Hall right at the park. Those facilities can all be rented out and yes I think you can have alcohol for those of you who want it. Everything could be in one place. It is just a thought. Keep me posted. Thanks for everything you have done. I love to read the Bios of everyone. I’ll try to get one together soon.
Becky Marra Davis: The playground in back of Collin’s is ripe with memories! Sandy Lensky reminded me of this when she wrote on her questionnaire, “The pine trees on the elementary school playground and playing ‘king on the mountain’ on the snow banks. Remember ice skating on the playground ice rink?” This got me remembering the many recesses we spent on the playground. We had morning and afternoon recess as well as time at lunch. Younger years were spent on the unsafe (in terms of the current understanding) monkey bars and see-saw. I remember especially the monkey bars, where we girls would hang upside down – given we had to wear skirts to school, this meant we had to wear pants underneath, so that when we played outside, modesty was maintained. How bulky that sounds now! I remember making ‘houses’ with rooms and doors out of pine needles. We would scoop up the needles and form lines in such a way that we could make a ‘house’. The swings were marvelous – so tall with chains so long, that we could reach the sky when we pumped our selves up to a height that would put fear in mothers today. It’s a wonder we ever lived through childhood with the dangers we experienced! There were two devices that we could grab hold and run in circles around the pole and lift ourselves up to ‘fly’. What did we call these?? I remember playing “Red Rover” and “Dodge Ball” on the great open expanses of that playground. By today’s standards, we had an enormous amount of space in which to play. We even, in later years, would go into the woods and follow the trails. By the time of Junior High, recess failed to excite. Instead we would find ways to sit and talk. In winter, that meant building ‘forts’ made out of snow so that we could sit inside out of the wind. I remember one day when several of us ‘girls’ sat and compared notes about what we knew about ‘it’. You know what I’m talking about. We all agreed to go ask our moms that night about ‘it. My mom said that when I was old enough, she would tell me about ‘it’. Some of the moms and older sisters were a bit more forth coming. The next day, we compared notes. I distinctly remember agreeing that becoming nuns was definitely preferable!
Becky Marra Davis: A few memories crop up as I prepare for the reunion. Pictures, comments on the questionnaires, words — Here are a few more thoughts:
Assemblies: We had a number of them. I do remember visiting performers and speakers, but what I really remember is coming to the gym to watch the lift off of NASA launches.
Pep Rallies: Weren’t they every Friday during football and basketball season? Remember all the skits the cheerleaders put together? I remember one where Mr. Stevenson was running around the ‘park’ as the cheerleaders spoke of the signs of spring, and ended with ‘the sap is running!’ I remember the day John Kennedy was assassinated and hearing it over the PA system in Collin’s (remember the junior high ‘wing?’). There was a stunned silence. I was in Mrs. Brenton’s science class (remember the dissections? (of a bear uterus and pigs and deer hearts?) and the picture of the classroom and the desks and the board seem burned into my memory. There was also a time when our English class watched the Tigers in the World Series! I don’t remember the lesson – I think it was ‘get your priorities right!’