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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

59th Street Bridge

Switching high schools from a small, private girls' school to a huge public school was not an easy move for me. I made the change at the end of ninth grade, and began my sophomore year at Upper Darby High School in Pennsylvania. The changes were all big ones: Holy Child had only 300 students while UD had well over a thousand (Three thousand sticks in my mind, but I could be wrong -- it just seemed like that many); I didn't have to wear a uniform; the kids got away with a lot more -- (I couldn't believe people actually talked back to teachers!); but the biggest difficulty was that all these kids had been together in junior high and elementary school, so I felt like a late-comer -- people had already chosen friends and I wasn't one of them. To make matters worse, UD had sororities and fraternities (not sanctioned by the administration) that were selective and as old as the school itself.

But I made my way, and by the time I was a junior, I had made friends and found my niche through choir, the school paper, and Tay Wistalvan, the literary club. One of my friends, Steve Bell, and I used to enjoy singing "The 59th Street Bridge" and would easily break into harmony and just sing our hearts out (okay, so we were weird). Steve used to dive as a hobby and spent one summer diving around the Andrea Doria. He brought back artifacts he had found and lots of photos they'd taken on the dive. He was so proud of his accomplishments. His dad was a minister and he talked a little about how difficult it was to be a PK, but he really handled it with ease.

So when I heard "Slow down, you're goin' too fast" the other day, I remembered Steve. I wonder if that song stirs memories for him, too?

12 comments:

Jay said...

Maybe you could track him down on Facebook and ask? LOL ;-)

Rich said...

You are too wild, Kathy!!!!

Purple Flowers said...

I would venture to say he does remember the song in that way. Why wouldn't he? Just because we get older doesn't mean former good times are erased from our memory banks.

Lena said...

Any class reunions coming up?

TAG said...

That sounds like a terrific selection for a Way Back Wednesday song. Is next week the first week I won't be the only person doing WBW, we'll see.

(And now that you know how, no excuses.)


TAG

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Isn't it amazing how music can bring back such emotion and such memories?

I enjoyed reading this.

Palm Springs Savant said...

I'm like you with things like this. I have such great memories of high school, cataloged in my mind by songs I was listening to over and over. All I need is to hear a song and a memory comes flooding back. Wild how the brain works!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I think songs do bring back memories. Steve probably thinks of you each time he hears that song.

beachgirl said...

High school memories. Do we really have to go back to those.
My kids asked me what I did in high school. I said band , choir and drama club, They gasped and said I was a freak. Wow. I just loved music and finding a way to get out of class.
But I had fun.

Cheryl said...

I went to a big school in the town I grew up in. I was never one of the popular girls, but always friends with the popular crowd, if that makes sense. And I knew every word to that song and probably still do :)

happyone said...

I did the complete opposite thing that you did. I went to a public school through the 9th grade. Then my mother had the great idea of switching me to a private school where I finished out the last three years of high school. School was not fun for me, but I had my friends outside of school and that was where I was happy!

whimsical brainpan said...

I'll bet when he hears that song he thinks of you too.

I went from a private to a public school too but at the beginning of ninth grade.