Something you should know about me: I was in the first 9th grade class of Boles Jr. High, in Arlington, Texas. Since we were the 'senior' calls, we decided the school colors (Royal Blue and Kelly Green...seriously, not just blue and green. Royal Blue and Kelly Green) and we decided the school mascot (Bulldogs). There was a big vote by all the incoming 9th graders from the two feeder jr. highs: Workman and Gunn.
Gunn is where you wanted to go to school. Gunn was an cool school. They were the Gators, for crying out loud. It was a rich-kid school at the time. It was a predominantly white-kid school. It had been around for years and had a very upstanding reputation and successful athletic department.
I would have gone to Gunn if not for the building of Boles. Unfortunately, the year I was to enter 7th grade, the city changed the zoning so that me and my neighborhood was sent to Workman. I use the word 'sent' to Workman because it was a bit like being sent to prison. You got to go to Gunn. You were sent to Workman.
Workman had a reputation too. But not the kind you wanted to be associated with. The kids at Workman were tough. There were girl fights almost every day. There were fire alarms at least once a month. The principal was beat up. Sometimes the lights would go out in the entire school for hours because someone managed to break the electrical box or something. Teachers cried openly. It was, by my memory, a bit like Dangerous Minds. You'd walk down the halls (because you snuck out while the teacher wasn't looking) and pass classrooms where all the kids were sitting on the desk or throwing paper airplanes or holding the teacher at knife point.... Like I said, it had a reputation.
One girl, Cher, even wanted to beat me up. I don't know why? I never ever did anything to Cher but I heard one day that she wanted to kick my a**. Cher was 5 feet tall and weighed about 85 pounds. I was born weighing 85 pounds. I wasn't scared of Cher. I was scared of Cher's people. Cher was a Freak. Some people call them Hippies or Stoners - in Arlington they were called Freaks. They wore black and had metal accents (chains, spiked bracelets, lip rings, ice picks, etc.) . They smoked outside of the school. They listened to Metallica and wore concert t-shirts. Cher's #2 was a 6 foot Amazon who could have squashed me like a gnat. I was terrified. Rumor was that she was going to 'get me' in the parking lot. So, of course, I would wait inside until I saw my bus pull up and then I'd bolt out and jump onto the bus (where I sat in the back, naturally). Cher was best friends with my former best friend from elementary school (Wood Elementary, thankyouverymuch) - Robin Dean. In the course of a summer, Robin went from fresh-faced girl wonder to a black-eyeliner wearing Black Sabbath groupie! I remember her being absolutely shocked that I hadn't had sex yet...in 7th grade. Anyway, I guess because I was Robin's ex-best friend, Cher hated me. Sorry to say, the fight never happened. It would have made for a good story, I am sure. In fact, I think Cher did confront me but never instigated anything. Probably too scared to muss up her mile-high bangs? [Robin and Cher remained BFF, I guess because I used to see them in the mall together post college. They worked at the Este Lauder counter together. Robin was very beautiful. I stayed away from Cher.] Cher? Who names their kid Cher anyway?!
Where was I? So, I had to endure two years of being bused 15 miles to Workman before we were transferred to Boles which was a mile away from my front door. I didn't make the cheerleading team. This was traumatic. We had to try out for cheerleader at Workman. They were taking 6 from Workman and 4 from Gunn because the transfer population was greater from Workman. This was back in the day when to make the cheer team you had to get the judges vote, the teacher vote and the popular vote. I was a shoe in for the popular vote, let me just make that clear. That was the easy part - I was funny and had friends. I also nailed the judges vote. [When we were being taught the try out routines by the high school cheerleaders they actually pulled the girls they thought would make the team and sat us all down. "You guys will most likely be the ones to make it...". I stopped listening after that because I was so excited. What was their point? It's actually quite cruel being that I was the ONLY one to not make it from that group.] The problem was...the teachers didn't like me much. Not their fault. I hated school and I talked too much. I doubt I was very respectful them and I never exceeded expectations. Total under-achiever scholastically.
When I didn't make cheerleader, I was devastated. My mom, God love her, actually called the school cheer sponsor to ask her what went wrong. To my surprise, the teacher actually humored her! She said I got the popular vote (duh) and the judges vote but I didn't get the teacher vote. Those old bitties conspired together to dash the dreams of a lazy student! I hate them to this day. Although...Michelle Petty made the team in my place. She wasn't allowed to attend the clinic (where we learned the try out routines) because she has been suspended from school! HOW did she get the teacher vote and I didn't? Mom...is there something you need to tell me here?
Boles was a complete 180 from Workman. It was normal. Good kids. Clean walls. New carpet. Happy teachers. There were still Freaks but it was mostly Jocks and Preps and Ropers and the Geeks, of course. I remember it being a fairly cohesive school. Everyone sort of got along or left each other alone. I don't remember any fights - do you?
Here is the point of this post FINALLY! When the school opened the 9th grade class, the first 9th grade class, created a time capsule. I actually remember being excited about the capsule. I remember there is a newspaper in it. That time capsule was to be exhumed in 20 years: the year 2008. Janette Lee commented on my blog the other day that the capsule is being exhumed and she is responsible for traking down alumni. I am so curious as to how Janette came to carry this honor? When I read the comment and I got so tickled. I remember being so excited about the capsule and imagining what the year 2008 would be like. I am really curious about what will be in the capsule. Mixed tapes? VHS videos of the Cosby show? I hope that Janette will start a blog or create an email or something to let us all know the results. Will I be flying home for the exhumination (word?)? Ah, no. But I am curious and a little excited.
Janette, if you're reading this, I can't seem to send you an email to the address you left me. They keep bouncing back. Oh, and tell Clint HI!
This is what this post is all about. The time capsule. The rest was just sort of what came to mind while driving down memory lane. Maybe this post will get the attention of other Boles Bulldogs from the first 9th grade graduation class or survivors of Workman (except for Cher. I don't want to hear from Cher)! We are the Bulldogs, couldn't be prouder....