Monday, August 17, 2009

Mojo Magic

I went to a wonderful high school some years ago.

20 years ago.

I know! I can’t believe that either. ☺

But nevertheless, the time, it passes.

As I perused FB photos from the reunion this last week, I remembered many things about high school. The memories are random and in no particular order. Which is pretty much life for me these days.

So. High school.

1. My graduating class had @650 graduates. I can’t remember the exact number.
2. At graduation I did not know either of the people sitting next to me. (I had to count down the row 10 people before I came to someone I knew.)
3. My sophomore year of school I never saw my best friend at school, ever. We had different lunches and class schedules and so had to meet up on the weekends.
4. I was in band and choir.
5. I loved band. They were like family during those years and some of my best memories are with those funny, funny folks.
6. Our band was really great!
7. It took 6 buses to transport our band and equipment to games and contests.
8. MA was always my seatmate on band bus trips. Unless she had a boyfriend.
9. I had a boyfriend every year of high school but rarely had a date on the weekends. Unless it was a holiday. (it’s like a riddle)
10. I did not go to prom and I’m still okay with that.
11. My dad heard about more of my friend’s parties than I did. (clarification: he was never invited. He just always heard about them.)
12. I was only offered drugs once. (I stared at the young man in shocked silence and he immediately shoved the goods back in his pocket and sulked in the back of our chemistry class. I never saw him in class again.)
13. I cannot stand KFC because of a very ill-fated meal on a cross country band trip at a Moose Lodge in Arizona. Yucky.
14. I loved football season.
15. I was a Pepette my senior year.
16. My track runner was Shane, my basketball player was ?, and my football player was Tag. (why can’t I remember my basketball player? Shawn Almond? Did he play basketball?)
17. I first got to know Tag in 8th grade. In junior high, the football players joined home economics class for laughs and Tag was placed in my cooking group. I cooked. He made jokes. We got an A.
18. An author followed our football team around all year and told our student body at a pep rally that he was going to write a book about Permian like the story “Hoosiers”.
19. He did write a book.
20. It is nothing like Hoosiers.
21. The book made me sad. The movie was weird to watch. The TV show is one of my favorites. Go figure.
22. The first time I took a computer class was my junior year.
23. We learned MSDOS code. We thought we were so advanced.
24. We often wrote words and messages on each other’s car windows with white shoe polish.
25. I remember the first time I heard the brass section play in a rehearsal at the band hall. It was impressive.
26. Mr Nail called me a slug once over his bullhorn.
27. I remember all the girls curling our bangs in the dressing room after early morning marching. And the smell of hairspray that permeated the air. Bangs were so important then. (Okay. Bangs are still important. We just don’t make them so big.)
28. The invention of the butane curling iron revolutionized life for the band girls.
29. The last time I ever marched, it was rainy and cold.
30. My dad always played Santa Claus at our half time show at Christmas.
31. Hawai 50!
32. I can still play part of the Mojo fight song on the flute. (powerful ☺)
33. Arlington High vs Permian was the best high school football game I have ever seen. Maybe that was ever played?
34. The Arlington High band got aggressive during our pre-game march around the track thing. The band. They marched into our band and hit us. Meanies. I thought we were really going to see Mr Nail’s head explode.
35. My friends gave me a surprise party for my 18th birthday.
36. I made a bet with my BFF that whoever married first had to buy dinner for the other at a very expensive restaurant when we turned 40. We got married within a month of each other. (after college, not in high school) I owe her dinner. Soon.
37. I loved sitting next to Karina in band. We were funny. (even if no one else appreciated the humor)
38. There was this one intersection of halls at Permian where you could barely move through between classes. You just sort of smooshed into an obscure sort of “lane” and inched your way in the direction of your next class. It was noisy and crowded and always made me nervous.
39. I think of that every time I drive in Kampala traffic.
40. I made first chair in the PHS band flute section exactly one time.
41. I never sat first chair because, well, Denise and Stephanie…but I told my dear friend Mary and she celebrated with me.
42. TACO VILLA!!!!
43. Before I got my car I rode to school in a white mustang with Jill. We were always running a wee bit late, so Jill had to drive fast. It broke her heart to do so because she was such a safe and conscientious driver. ☺
44. Open-campus meant we got to eat out for lunch. I thought this was so cool but it was also the most stressful time of day. Drive somewhere. Eat. Drive back. In 25 minutes.
45. Eating at Wendy’s always makes me think of Danny, Mary and a brown Honda.
46. I was president of the National Honor Society.
47. I was chaplain of band and choir.
48. I led a lot of prayers.
49. I had a Physics teacher named Mr. Hare who was completely bald. And he was a contortionist.
50. I started and ended every school day in the band hall. It was home away from home.

Our class became somewhat famous. We are the class from Friday Night Lights.

It was exciting to think of someone writing a book about our school. Until it was published. And then most folks were underwhelmed or irate. It is difficult to be scrutinized publicly.

I never played football. (shocker) But I was an active part of many other aspects of Permian High School. So, for me, the very public analysis of our football program, school and town never felt complete. Did Mr. Bissinger really do all his homework?

He never interviewed me.


Go MOJO! Keep supporting your kids.

I loved being a part of your tradition and memories!


Sherilyn said...
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Sherilyn said...

(Sorry about the "deletion" just above this. Needed to correct some misspelled words.) That was a fun walk down memory lane! I never knew that you hate KFC!! Thanks for tolerating it the thousands of times I've served it to you! Your senior year is a blur. You were band chaplain, band sweetheart, choir chaplain, vice-president of the pepettes, president of the National Honor Society, along with taking 6 hours of concurrent credit at Odessa College and you graduated #10 in your class of over 650. You were also a leader in your youth group at church and never missed an activity there. Whew! Just writing that was exhausting! Many, many good memories! Did you know B. Bissinger attended your 20th reunion? That man has alot of nerve (and alot more money after the book, movie and TV show!)

Anonymous said...


Shelley LaValley said...

AAAWWWWWWW!!!!! I didn't know you were a fellow band geek! No wonder you and Jeff found each other :)

James Lewallen said...

Great memories, Cheryl! You made me smile as I read through there!
#16 - Don't know if he was your player, but Shawn DID play basketball. He's now the principal of Hood Jr High! :D
#23 - And what about learning PASCAL! So groundbreaking, lol!
#34 - I SO remember that! I also remember we got some hits in on the second go round as well!! :D And I think that was the maddest I have EVER seen CN!!
#38 - Taught there for 4 years and the intersection of K, M & G halls is STILL insane!!!

Kristi said...

I know this may be heresy to you, but I really didn't think that the movie was that bad. But then I don't have much of a memory, so maybe I really did hate it. Yes, that must be it. I could only hate it out of my love for you. I retract my earlier statement.

Cheryl said...

Kristi (smiling) Thanks for your support. The movie in and of itself wasn't bad. It was its relation to reality that was very weird for me. It wasn't completely accurate and because it used actual names of real people that I knew, my brain wanted/needed it to be accurate. The sports story the movie portrayed was actually okay. As a generic sports story. It was the real live names and circumstances attached that became weird for me. The book drew a more definitive response from me. But that would be a whole post to itself, and well, its kind of old news at this point. Twenty years old, but who's counting? :-)

NiaMoves said...
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NiaMoves said...

Hi Cheryl!! Saw your blog address in the reunion magazine published by the Odessa American. My mother-in-law mailed it to us. I married Steven Bryant and we live in Houston with two children - starting school in Monday! Loved your walk down memory lane. I have many of the same memories. I had buried some of them. Great to reconnect. With love, Kristie Hammons Bryant

Grady Lane said...

Cheryl-Great blog- Didn't know about it till fb post. Wow... excellent sum up of life at Mojoland. It's funny how we all lived it differently, but yet shared the same experiences! I completely agree, Permian v. Arlington in '87 (our Jr. year) should be the greatest HS game ever played. I still have the VHS tape of it my parents made from the replay...I had no idea the band was in such an epic battle, too. I remember wishing I had stayed in band since that was the only trip Black Magic made with the band to my knowledge... it was a blast traveling with the band! Anyway, thanks for the memories, and Shawn Almond was a basketball player, pretty good, too. I think he was your player for basketball. Praying for you and your families health and continued happiness.

Shelley Lane said...

Fun to read that Cheryl. Grady sent it to me and I felt like I got to know him a little better....when I didn't know him at all back then :) WOW, you remember a lot, I also graduated in 89 and don't think I could recall that much, but then I still live in the "high school" world at my job (minus the drama and weird feelings, thankfully). Thank you for being sooooooooo nice to me when I first me you. Hands down, you made me feel welcome more that any of Grady's friends and I've always admired you for that and held that as a special memory in my heart....I do remember that :) Take care, Shelley Lane

Trisha said...

What a fun post, Cheryl! So many of my memories parallel with yours, though my fierce loyalty AGAINST Permian during those years changes my perspective some. I remember being absolutely furious when you (not you personally:) painted panther paws all the way down 191. The nerve! I think it's God's humor that He brought me to Odessa and tied my life together with so many who love MOJO, including Gary and Sharon and your sister! I think I was jealous of the book when it came out! (I mean, what makes Permian more worthy of notoriety than my Midland Lee Rebels?) Never saw the movie until we were about to move here! I did love my Permian friends, and even went to a PHS Homecoming with Phil Hart! Fun times, those high school years! Thanks for stoking those memories:) Love you!

jandshenry said...

Wow! I remember all those things. Except I was told I had palsy instead of being called a slug. The butane curling irons. The KFC on the band trips. The bands marching into each other. I used to sneak jolly ranchers into my hat box. Just fun to remember. Thanks for jogging my needed the exercise.

Karina said...

I read this when you first posted it and was completely and pleasantly surprised that I was included on your list. I was so surprised that it took me almost 7 months to leave a comment! I think you are one of the few people on the entire planet that appreciated my humor! Thanks for that. Every time I remember that I made your list of memories, I smile. Thanks for that, too, because I remember it at odd times and often. I think God pulls that up from my memory every time I need to smile. Love you bunches! Karina