Class of 1972

Karen, Kathy, & Holly

Karen, Kathy, & Holly

Time didn’t seem to pass as quickly then as it does today, but eventually I found myself a senior in high school.  The beginning of that school year marked the halfway point in Ed’s tour of duty overseas.

The school started a new program that year which allowed senior students to go to class part of the school day and work part of the school day.  I believe they called it VOT back then(vocational office training).  I took part in this program, so I finished with school at 1:00 every day and I continued with my job at the department store.

I know that most students get “senioritis” at some time during their final year of school, but I was just the opposite.  I studied harder that year than any year since the eighth grade.  I don’t know why, but I did.  I still remember doing my last term paper for English.  The paper was entitled An all volunteer armywould it work?  The army was a subject near and dear to my heart for obvious reasons, so I put my heart and soul into that paper!  I made an A.

I was a little more social that year than I had previously been due to the fact that most of my friends had their drivers license.  Oh, the thrill of riding back and forth from The Dairy Queen to Reese’s 301 Drive-inn!  There wasn’t much else to do in our tiny town.

 Karen P. was my best friend all through  high school.  She and her family moved to town our freshman year.  We usually brought our lunch and ate together.  Karen was the oldest of five children, which I thought was great because I love big families!  She was also very smart, in fact she was class Salutatorian.  Karen and I remain friends even now, 40 years later.100_02601

Another close friend of mine during that final year of high school was named Holly.  She and I shared the same birthday as well as the fact that we were both engaged.  There weren’t very many girls wearing engagement rings in high school!  Holly was engaged to a really sweet guy named Bo.  She and Bo spent a lot of time with me that last year while Ed was gone and I really appreciated it.   Since I didn’t drive, Holly would give me a ride to school or work–where ever I was going.100_02611

The school year passed and soon it was almost March–the month that Ed was supposed to get to come home.  We all got a very unexpected and unappreciated surprise when the army decided to “extend” Ed’s tour of duty for another two and a half months!  In exchange for this extension, the army would release Ed from the service six months early.  I liked the last part of the deal, but I was devastated about the longer tour.  Many tears were shed on my part over that news…Ed never said, but I wondered if he may have shed some, too.

Our caps and gowns were in,  final assignments were completed, and it was time for graduation practice and the last few days of school.  I had quit my job by then.  I don’t know why I quit early, perhaps I wanted to have a little more free time or maybe just rest up  before Ed got home.  Anyway, I was “knee deep” in anticipation of graduation AND the fact that Ed was FINALLY coming home!!! 

 Holly, Karen, and I planned a little “senior trip” to the beach.  This was a big deal for us because we planned to spend the night–with no chaperones!!  Would you believe a couple of days before school got out and we planned to leave for our overnight trip to the beach, I got the news that Ed was stuck on the island (again) and wasn’t going to get to come home afterall?  Yes, it’s true!  I can’t tell you how upset I was!!!  Finally, I got myself together and decided I was going to put a smile on my face, go on our “senior trip” and have a good time, even if it killed me!  We did have a good time, the three of us girls, on our beach trip.  Of course we came home tanned and tired!

The following morning, after getting home from the beach trip, I was asleep in bed when the phone rang.  I answered it and it was Ed’s mom asking if I was ready to go and pick Ed up at the airport!  I just about dropped the phone!  Somehow, Ed had managed to get off the island after all!  I’ve never moved so fast in my life!  Within two hours we were at the airport!

I can’t begin to tell you what a feeling it is to see a person that you are in love with, but haven’t seen in almost 2 years.  It’s something I can’t explain.  I’d gone from a barely 16 year old to an almost 18 year old, so I may have changed the most.  I’d let my hair grow the whole time Ed was gone, so by then it was down to my waist.  Ed had grown this huge handlebar moustache!  We looked different, but the spark was still there!

All is well that ends well, Ed made it home–and with a day to spare before my high school graduation.  I was so happy that he would be there to watch me receive my diploma!

Now comes the part of the post when I ask myself, if I could go back, would I do anything different?  As I look back, I wish I’d studied more all 4 years of high school.  There was never any pressure on my to study, other than what I put on myself, my parents were just glad that I stayed in school.  I could’ve been an honor graduate if I’d tried a little harder.  Today I would like to be able to say “Iwas an honor graduate”–even though I did get voted  “outstanding senior” that year… Ah, hind sight is 20/20.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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