Graphic: back to Crook Index Staccato Memories


CHILDHOOD CRUELTY From 1940-1946, I attended Sunnyland Grade School, and often walked past Mrs. Hermann's home going to and from school. There was a time during World War II when I and some others walked past her home, shouting, "Mrs. Hermann the German! Mrs. Hermann the German!" (Mrs. Hermann had a thick German accent, and in our ignorance, we thought that all Germans were enemies of America.)

Mother discovered what we were up to. She cornered me, and explained how the poor woman, an American by choice must feel, strongly suggesting I apologize immediately. Figuring an apology was more painless than a spanking, I went to the corner store, bought some Milk Duds, and took them as a peace offering. Mrs. Hermann was wonderful, and invited me in for a cup of tea, with cream and sugar. What a lady. What a lesson in forgiveness.

LOST LOVE In the world of teen boy meets teen girl, teen boy dates teen girl, I was awkward and unsure of myself. Big time. Therefore, when I met Darrell at church camp, and he became my boyfriend (we used to hold hands while walking along the river after service), I felt secure. Especially since he lived in Clarkston, Washington (meaning we didn't see each other more than once or twice a year). We occasionally corresponded, and I talked about him regularly to the kids at school, as my boyfriend. It was hardly the romance of the century.

When I was a junior, Darrel came to Bellingham to a church young people's convention. I was thrilled to see him. Perhaps this time he might even kiss me! Well, he pulled me aside, and I took a deep breath, prepared to close my eyes in case he kissed me. Instead, he looked down at me and said that he couldn't go with me any longer, because now he liked Ruthie. I looked at him, asking, "Why? What did I do?" He explained it wasn't anything I'd done.

I stood there, numb, unable to figure out where I had gone wrong. Then he looked down at me compassionately and said, "Let me explain it this way, Judy. If you and Ruthie and I were in the middle of a lake and the boat tipped over, I'd save her first." While this broke my heart for a while, in retrospect, I realized that Darrell was so kind that he would never let a boat get too far from the shore!

BELLINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL My strongest memories of high school revolve around membership in the marching band, led by Doc Leedy. During practice and at the Red Raider football games,we got cold, wet, and soggy, but thanks to long underwear, wool, and gloves, and peer pressure, we survived. We were a fine, strong marching organization, and traveled quite a bit in Western Washington, participating in popular annual parades. Every spring traveled by bus and ferry to Victoria, B.C. to participate in the Queen's birthday parade.

I also remember Mr. John Monroe, our orchestra leader, Miss Margaret Gray, our drama coach, and Mr. Albert Hunt, who gave students a new look at classical music. His real field was geology, but he loved teaching Music Appreciation. I was active in politics, and was student body VP my senior year, and was also in the band, orchestra and chorus. I enjoyed showing off, therefore loved performing in musicals, and especially remember A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I played Morgan LeFay, and Rogan Jones played Merlin. I graduated in 1952.

Other notable leaders: Loraine Coy, English teacher who headed the Shuksan Annual Editorial Staff. Under her guidance, the students learned real journalism, Margaret Threlkeld, Spanish instructor, Carol Cornish, Home Relations, Archie Connell, Bookkeeping and Accounting, Mary Dickey, P.E., Harry Emery, English...the list goes on. The educators were exceptionally good, but most of us were so busy having fun that we didn't always appreciate them.

During high school, there were certain "in" things: When guys liked the way a girl looked, it was cool to say, "Hubba,Hubba!" Instead of liking or appreciating things, we "dug" them. Saddle shoes, penny loafers, bobby sox, Jantzen and cashmere sweaters, White Stag sports clothes, Keds, ballerina skirts, drive-in hamburger spots, knitting argyle socks, pep rallies, school assemblies, Ushers and Pep Clubs, and always, the school colors: red and white! Go, Raiders, Go!

I've often wondered about my classmates, especially since I haven't been to a class reunion since 1962.In the fall of 1997, I got together in Phoenix with Joan Wharton, Charla Graham, Marilyn Milne, and Bev Rice. They are even more beautiful than when they were 18. Or, for that matter, 28. As the years go by, I hear from more classmates. Early in 1997 I became re-acquainted with former neighbor and BHS classmate, Harold Varney, via e-mail. He and wife Edie stopped by April 2000 for a brief but enjoyable visit. Click here to view the renovation of Bellingham High School

Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
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