“Mommy.  Come get me. There’s a fire in my room.”
I popped awake as Esia’s six-year old voice drilled into my consciousness.  Smoke filled the window cavity above the loft bed I shared with Sylvia, Esia’s mother.
I sprang up, guarding against hitting my head against the low ceiling.  My feet touched the top step of the spiral staircase leading to the ground floor. Then, unconscious of my moving, I was on the ground floor, running to the girls’ room. Rancid smoke filled the air.
Esia wasn’t having a nightmare. Our house was on fire!
After getting everyone safely outside, I had to do something about the fire, but hesitated calling 9-1-1. We lived on Bainbridge Island, a semi-rural island in Puget Sound, about eight nautical miles from Seattle.
A volunteer fire department serves the area. If I called them, the house in which we lived, which I spent the previous four years remodeling, would likely be lost before they could respond; yet, there was no choice. The small fire extinguisher, which had doused earlier kitchen fires, was useless against this one.
After making the call, I joined the rest of my family in the yard. I was clad in cotton slippers, a tee-shirt and sweat pants, not the appropriate dress for a cold, damp February morning.
The house was blazing when the fire trucks arrived, five minutes later.  By then we had been joined by Jim, a friend who lived in a cabin on the lower part of the property.  He silently watched property and art he had stored in an outbuilding being turned into ash.  Sylvia and I sat on the damp grass, hugging each other, glad to be alive, but numb from the morning’s experience.
Our neighbor invited us to her place; we gratefully stumbled next door, into the warm, inviting house. The phone started ringing almost as soon as we were settled, with cups of hot coffee.
“Is it Allan and Sylvia’s place?”  “Is everyone OK?” The island telegraph was working.
Dixon, Sylvia’s ex-husband and Esia’s biological father came rushing in. “I was eating breakfast at the cafe and heard the fire alarm. The smoke looked like it might be coming from your place, so I rushed over. Is everyone OK? What happened?” The words spilled out of his mouth in a fear-stoked frenzy.
“We’re fine. Not sure what happened, but the house is pretty much gone. Esia woke us up and saved our lives. She’s a hero,” I explained. Although tired and still scared, Esia beamed.
“I’ll take the girls. They can stay with me until things calm down.” Dixon offered. Sylvia and I were grateful. Some consistency and familiar surroundings would help the six-year-old Esia and Simone, her nine-year-old sister, deal with the life-changing morning.
Our next visitor was the fire chief, offering solace for the bad news he brought – the house was a total loss. “People will be calling the station offering to help. Do you want me to tell them you would appreciate their assistance?” he asked. “Can you tell me what happened?” 
I nodded, unable to carry on much of a conversation. “I don’t know what happened. I was hoping you could tell me. The fire started in the girls’ bedroom. Our youngest woke us calling her mother for help.”
The chief nodded, said he would talk with us later, and returned to the fire-scene.
At 8:00 am on the morning of February 4, 1978, our worldly possessions consisted of an old car, the clothes we were wearing, a suitcase filled with Sylvia’s card collection, some cast iron fry pans, a bottle of mescal, and a few other odds and ends.
Furniture, clothes, baby pictures, books, records, Sylvia’s artwork, Jim’s photographs, toys, all of the material items collected in decades of life were gone, destroyed by fire, smoke, or water from the firefighters’ hoses.  A week before, a Bekins van had arrived, filled with furniture that had belonged to my grandparents, mementos from my childhood, and family heirlooms. My parents were moving from the house in which I grew up into a condo; they had sent everything they thought I might want. It was now rubble. 
By 10:00 am that morning the first donations came in. Soon, bags and boxes containing clothes, food, and toys surrounded us. A sewing machine and tools soon appeared; offers of money and help followed. During the following days and weeks, items appeared almost daily. We passed on to other needy families and friends or donated to local charities what we couldn’t use or didn’t need. I felt blessed being able to give back to the community that had embraced us.
Many donations had come from strangers, fellow islanders, many of whom had experienced similar needs in their lives. More than once, strangers came up to me in the local grocery store, and introduced themselves. “I heard your house burned down. I am so sorry. When I was younger, the same thing happened to me. What can I do to help?”       While I usually had no specific answer to the question, I was warmed and comforted by the concern.  I was especially touched by a note I received at work about six months later, from an eight year old girl who lived in North Bend.  I didn’t know her or have any idea how she had heard about the fire.
The note accompanied a small, somewhat raggedy stuffed teddy bear. She had written “I am sorry you had a fire. Here’s my favorite toy to give to your daughters. I hope they are OK.” Whenever I have doubts about the inherent generosity of people I remember this note and they are erased. 
I had bought the 700 square foot house about five years before. It sat in the middle of two acres of woods, visually screened from nearby houses, which made it feel isolated.
There were five outbuildings on the property, including a 250 square foot cabin with heat, electricity, and an outhouse, but no running water. Jim was the latest friend to live in it. We used two other outbuildings as storage, another as a chicken coop and the last one housed a wood-stove fired sauna. 
The house had been a project from the time I took possession. With no prior building experience, or even a tolerable grade in junior high wood shop, I decided to remodel a house. Since I had little money, I was going to do most of the work myself. The project consumed the better part of five years and outlasted several relationships, both with lovers and roommates; whose commitment to the project I erroneously assumed was the same as my own.
My first project was to install a large skylight to bring much needed light into the house’s dark interior.  This turned out to be a major educational opportunity, the lesson being a chain saw, a bottle of tequila and a couple of joints did not necessarily work well together.
Nor, I soon discovered, was having a skylight sit below the level of the roof the best possible design. It lasted a year without leaking, but when the rain did start dripping onto the floor below, the water loosened the adhesive that enabled me to remove the seemingly permanently affixed floor tiles.
As I looked at the smoldering shell of the house, even with the roof having been chopped away by the firemen, I once again felt the excitement I experienced when I first plunged the chain saw into the house’s structure and realized I had passed the point of no return.
In fits and starts, the project continued for over the years. Major changes in the house were created, with materials purchased, scrounged, and traded for. A spiral staircase was fabricated and installed, leading to a sleeping loft with a properly installed sky light over the bed. The removal of the living room created 16-foot cathedral ceilings. A large claw foot bathtub was installed in the one bathroom, whose walls were covered with cedar shingles.      Clear cedar covered the kitchen walls, where meals were cooked on an old stove with four wood-fired burners, four gas burners. There was a wood-fired oven and a gas one.      The closest outbuilding, which had been used by the previous owners as a bedroom for their teenage son, was connected to the main house by a combination dining room and solarium/greenhouse. This was made from almost a hundred wood framed 2x2 windows on the exterior wall, with an interior glass wall separating the dining room area from the solarium.
When it burned, the house lacked only a few finishing touches to be completed. I was proud of what I had accomplished, with the help of some friends. It looked great, the original size nearly tripled. The design was creative and personal, the results comfortable and inviting.
That was yesterday. Today, I looked at ashes, struggling to absorb the enormity of change the morning had wrought. I was homeless, without possessions. While devastated by the loss, part of me felt free, unfettered.
My friend, Jeff appeared. My first tai chi teacher, he had made the spiral banister and done other work on the house. We embraced. “It’s gone,” I sobbed into his shoulder, finally releasing the emotion I had been feeling. “All the work, gone. For nothing!” 
No longer needing to be strong in front of the girls, I was able to fully feel the loss.
We stood silently for a moment, our arms around each other. Then Jeff said, “You still have the memories and the experience. They are the only things that last anyway. The rest of it is finite; the property always disappears sooner or later.”
I knew he was right, but I was not ready for philosophical truths. The experience was too new, the pain too raw. I was still trying to absorb what had happened and what it meant for me, Sylvia, the girls, and our future life together.  Reflecting on lessons to be learned could come later.
The fire investigators concluded a faulty baseboard heater was the cause. While I accepted this physical explanation, I was not convinced it was the actual cause.
Six months before, I had an astrological reading done. The astrologer told me, “You have an ambivalent relationship with personal property. If you don’t get clear about your feelings, you’ll lose the property.” This was an accurate observation, at many levels.
A year earlier, frustrated by the slowness of the progress on the house, I threw a hammer across the living room, screaming, “Burn to the ground, you son of a bitch! I don’t care!!” It seemed God had finally received the message, although a bit late.
I had grown very attached to the house; yet, this voice came out of the cosmos, saying, “Allan, sorry it has taken me so long.  I’ve been really busy. I just got your message. You’ve been good, so I am willing to grant your wish. Here we go.”
A celestial finger pointed down at the house, flames emanating from its tip.
I’m thankful no one was physically hurt; possessions can be replaced, or, more likely, not be missed. The actual losses were financial, emotional, and psychic.
Sylvia and I decided to separate for a while. I needed to integrate what happened and sort out my life. For a while, I didn’t want to be responsible to anyone other than myself.
For almost a year, I house-sat for various friends, keeping all my remaining possessions in the back of my car. I purchased nothing that wasn’t necessary or immediately consumable.
I never doubted that, like the legendary phoenix bird, I would rise from the ashes. When and how that would happen, and what I would be like, were questions yet to be answered.
Dr. Larry Albright reports from New Hampshire that pulling fish from the water is a nice change from pulling teeth from mouths.  He didn't say, but there's a good chance he landed this trophy with
a flyrod.
To many teachers, there always seems to be a  “special” student whose presence blesses them with opportunity for developing patience and exercising mercy.
A couple of years before the ceremonial hanging up of my book bag, I found a “ special” student in my eighth-grade basic math class, which met the period immediately after lunch. As you teachers know, it’s the period that features major burping, belching, and farting.
This “special” student had a pro-active mother who stayed on his case.  Her dedication to his success seemed far greater than her son’s.  Half way through the school year, his behavior and work ethic still registered well below the acceptable level in her eyes and mine. 
Without warning one day, she appeared at lunch time, freshly coifed, flashing red finger nails, perched on spiked heels along with tight jeans and tighter sweater. Given her linebacker-like body, it was a sight to behold.
Her antics would quickly flush the office staff like a covey of quail, but on this day, her mission was with me.  Mom wanted to observe Junior without him knowing she was in the room, hoping his reaction to seeing her there would spur on his academic ambitions.                    In the room, we discussed options – under the table, behind a desk, next to a filing cabinet – none of which seemed appropriate for her body type and none of which accomplished the goal of being invisible to her son and the other students. 
In a joking manner, because I wasn’t sure Mom would fit and would be offended if she didn’t, I said, “There’s always the cabinet!”
The cabinet was a built-in, floor-to-ceiling structure with two doors, which occupied a corner at the back of the room.
"Perfect!” she said, so we quickly emptied the contents, placing things inconspicuously about the room.  We didn’t want hints of anything being different. 
Seconds before the bell, she grabbed a stool and wedged into the space.  She barely fit and I had to assume she was still breathing. 
"Great! Just leave the door cracked so I can watch him,” she whispered with satisfaction. 
           The bell rand and the social confusion known as class change began, with the usual suspects staying out of class until the last minute, and, when forced to enter, wandering around until the instruction was heard, “It’s time to get started.  Take a seat.”  Fortunately, it was a small class and no one ventured near the cabinet area. 
Teachers also become actors at times; today my role was to play it’s-just-a-normal-day-in-class-with-a-parent-hiding-in-the-cabinet.  Junior, built like Mom, sat by assignment at center stage, literally right in front of my nose, so I could easily grab him, oops, redirect his attention. 
Some days class clowns have it, some days they don’t.  Today, Junior’s antics fell on deaf ears.  His audience wasn’t amused; so, after a few minutes he fell asleep.  Realizing that Junior had no intention of participating in class, Mom made her move. 
Slowly and quietly, the cabinet door opened.  A girl, sitting nearest the back, sensed movement and looked toward the motion.  Her mouth and eyes mirrored the opening door, as she stared agape at the emerging form.  As this unexpected creature uncorked from the cabinet, the girl’s pencil dropped, she stiffened in her seat, her eyes never left the appearing apparition. 
One by one, students turned to watch, silently and with similar shock.  This stranger, who seemed to have materialized from nowhere, walked to the front of the room and stood next to me, over her son. 
I was still teaching, although no one was listening.  I stopped and on cue Mom said, “Junior.”  No response.  A little louder, “Junior!”  Silence.  A third time, “JUNIOR!”  She had everyone else’s attention, except Junior’s.
Finally, I shook Junior.  This roused him and he uttered his typical, annoyed “What!” 
I gestured to Mom who, with no need for words, assumed a wide stance and pointed to the door. 
He sheepishly exited the room, not to be seen again that day.  As she followed, the heat emanating from Mom nearly triggered the fire alarm.
When the door closed, the class breathed a collective sigh of relief, having not been the object of the smartly dressed linebacker’s attentions. 
Before resuming the lesson, I said, “You never know what’s coming out of that closet.  It could be a portal to other dimensions!”

              Jerrilyn Hornbuckle Wells

Band Trip Memories
From Steve Barrett
Our band trip to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival, in 1960, provided many memories for all of us.
My first experience with powdered scrambled eggs was at a stop on the trip. They tasted like what I image wallpaper paste must taste like. I don't think I've eaten powdered scrambled eggs since. A lot of my fellow band members had the same reaction.
The band stayed at the Potomac Motor Court.  We had several chaperones, one being a band member's parent.
One night, after dark, as a group of us were walking out through the motor court, we noticed this parent go into a phone booth on the corner and close the door, at which time the light came on in the ceiling of the booth, letting us see exactly what was happening in the booth.
What was happening is the parent, oblivious to the exposure provided by the light, removed the cap from a half pint of whiskey and took a long draw.
Being under a spotlight and seen by a large group of band members can’t be what this parent had in mind.
One evening about eight of us were walking through downtown DC (or maybe it was Georgetown) looking for a place to eat.  Don Barbour, an African American member of the band was with us.  This was 1960 and Washington was in many ways a deep-South city, but we didn’t give Don’s presence a thought.
The first couple of restaurants wouldn't let us in, because Don was with us. We told them that if Don couldn't come in none of us would. We eventually found a place where we could all eat dinner together, but we learned an ugly truth about Washington.
Times have changed in the last 50 years, for the better, of course.
There’s a sad postscript to this story, involving Don.  During the summer or fall of 1960, Don worked on a farm off old Six Mile Lane, when that area was all farm land.  In a tragic accident, he lost the fingers on one hand, which ended his prospects of playing baritone sax with The Presidents, here in Louisville.
Don contacted a musical instrument company in New York, to see if they could make any modifications to a sax, but I think that was to no avail.
I'm sure this has been a big burden for Don to carry all these years, but knowing Don and the kind of person he is, I’m also sure he persevered and has done okay for himself.
Working up courage to call home . . .
Washington, DC Ugly Eye Opener . . .
Jerri Hornbuckle Wells as she appears
on Facebook
Parent Hides In Cabinet;
Jerri Plays Along
Tales and Photos Supplied by '60 Classmates
The house looked beautiful, warmed by the wood fire ablaze in the living room fireplace. Candles illuminated the long table that was covered with a white tablecloth. The twenty place settings gleamed with crystal wine goblets, fine bone china dishes and sterling silver cutlery.  Julia Child would have been proud of the ambience we created for this mid-winter dinner party, on a cold, rainy evening in 1973.
Our guests were invited to the Bainbridge Island mini-farm my friend Kae and I were house-sitting for friends, who were spending the winter in Mexico.
Having taken the ferry from Seattle to the island, situated in the middle of Puget Sound, our guests were dressed in their finest party clothes, filled with anticipation and expecting a memorable dinner. They weren’t disappointed, although they wouldn’t get the memories they expected.
A menu, elaborately written in stylized calligraphy, awaited the guests as they entered the wood-paneled house. People stared in disbelief, struck dumb by what they read. The story of the magical, black tie candlelit gourmet dinner Kae hosted months before was common knowledge, even among those who weren’t there. Tonight was her curtain call and the expectations ran high. 
Our initial idea was a high-end gourmet dinner using only canned food. Only one location in 1970’s Seattle stocked what we wanted -- the kitchen department of an upscale department store. We quickly realized this idea was beyond our unemployment compensation-funded incomes.  Plan B, at the other end of the culinary spectrum, was a junk food dinner.
I had become a vegetarian several months before, and had been boring my friends by preaching of my new food preferences, while disparaging their carnivorous diets.  Our proposed dinner would violate almost every one of my new dietary preferences, but I was willing to make the sacrifice, for creativity! 
After Kae and I drank two bottles of wine, smoked some dope and ate Fritos, party ideas began to flow. We decided to use as much crystal, china, and silver we could gather, to lend elegance to the meal.  The dining room was large, with picture windows overlooking the pastures. The wood-burning fireplace would lend both heat and visual focus.  As Julia Child taught, ambience and presentation are keys to a party’s success and would especially be to the one we were planning.
Most of the menu came together easily, although determining the appropriate alcoholic beverages to complement the Kool-Aid and instant coffee was a problem. One night, I saw Tina Turner on TV. She was still married to Ike and she described his favorite drink -- hot buttered Ripple.
“That’s it!” I exclaimed, “The favorite of a famous rock and roll star and made from junk food!  What could be better?”
The butcher at our Seattle neighborhood market made some of the best sausage in the city.  I bought a five pound chunk of beef bologna, which was to be stuffed with a two pound package of Velveeta cheese, wrapped in a whole wheat pastry crust (I was a hippie vegetarian, after all) and baked. Thus, we created Bologna Wellington, or maybe it should be Baloney Wellington.
Kae’s 15-year-old daughter, Erin, was visiting for the weekend.  She volunteered to help with the main appetizer - Cheerios stuffed with Cheez-Whiz, which turned out to be not one of our better ideas.  Even stoned, I found the preparation tedious and having prepped early in the day, the Cheerios were soggy by the time our guests arrived.
The other appetizer, Vienna sausages straight from the can, was easier to fix and kept better. 
A small crisis occurred when my cat Angela decided she liked bread crusts. A loaf of Wonder Bread had been placed on a serving platter; Angela had taken bites from about a third of the slices, leaving ragged edges.
It was too late to go to the store for a fresh loaf of bread. In any case, some missing crust from a few pieces of Wonder Bread merely added to the meal’s style.
By seven o’clock that evening, twenty of us sat around a candle-lit table.  Kae had beautiful china and a few pieces of wedding gift silver service left from her prior marriage. We borrowed additional silverware and crystal wine glasses from friends. A white linen tablecloth and napkins came from the local thrift store. The set table looked exquisite, illuminated by candlelight.
Our guests arrived, filled with anticipation.  The dinner would definitely be memorable, although probably not in the way they expected.  The menu, scripted in Erin’s beautiful calligraphy was displayed in the entryway and even after reading it, and being presented with the listed drinks and appetizers, people thought this was merely a joking prelude to the real meal.
After cocktails, we moved to the table where Kae presented the first course in a beautiful porcelain tureen.  The aroma of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup wafted over the table as it was ladled into bowls.  Some guests were transported back to their childhood.  Others began to realize the menu they read was serious.
Later, picking at their fish sticks, people began to speculate about our intentions.
“Is this a joke?”
“Are you making a political statement?”
“You damned vegetarian! Are you getting back at us for eating meat?’”
“What restaurants are open on the island at this hour?”  The answer, none, was greeted with groans and profanity.
“OK.  Joke’s over!  When are you actually serving dinner?”
Hope, mixed with concern and apprehension, underscored the question.
The Bologna Wellington was presented, along with beautifully plated sides of canned green beans, canned spinach, instant mashed potatoes with canned beef gravy, tomato aspic and Wonder Bread.
When the realization sank in that what was on the table was actually dinner, wine bottles emptied faster, joints appeared and marijuana smoke filled the room; but then, some people wanted seconds.
“This is just like Mother used to make.”  
“Is there more?”
We had given permission to eat stuff none of us would have otherwise touched, even in private. Whether it was the wine, the dope, or the absurdity of the meal, by dessert time, people were into the spirit of the evening.
The Twinkies, Ding Dongs and HoHos were quickly devoured.  Impromptu games of catch with dessert triggered raucous laughter. It was a fitting end to the meal.
Our friends were still friends after the dinner, although they asked about the menu before accepting future dinner invitations

Kae and Allan’s Mid-Winter Dinner

Appetizers:    Vienna Sausages au jus
Cheez-Whiz stuffed Cheerios

Aperitif:  Hot Buttered Ripple

Soup Course:  Campbell’s Chicken Noodle

Fish Course:  Gorton’s frozen fish sticks

Entree:    Bologna Wellington

Sides:Instant mashed potatoes
  Canned gravy
  Canned French style green beans
  Canned Tomato aspic
  Canned spinach

Bread:    Wonder Bread a la Angela

Wine:    Red and White 

Beverage:    Grape and Cherry Kool-Aid

Dessert:        Twinkies, Ding Dongs, HoHos

Coffee:        Instant Folgers
Cheap Wine, Wonder Bread and
Baloney Wellington:  a tale of culinary adventure from Allan Ament, who lives on an island in Puget Sound
Bardstown Road in Buechel, with Jerry’s Drive-In and the Skyway drive-in theater, was almost the center of the universe for a lot of us in our high school days, but that universe also involved other places and lots of driving.
Once we had access to vehicles we became part of a ritualistic cruising route I’ll call the Ranch House Loop. It took us from the Ranch House on Shelbyville Road to Jerry’s to the bowling alley at Hikes Point, where Frisch’s Drive-In was also a must cruise, and finally to Putt-Putt near the Watterson Expressway, in our endless search for something to do, someone to meet, or some unknown extraordinary event that couldn’t be missed.
There were all sorts of things to see, like guys cruising with their hot rods and their girls who liked hoods.  Some of us had to drive dad’s car (or even worse, mom’s car); so, we would remove the air filter and drive around revving the engine like a pre-drag race warm up. Girls from other schools would be seen, although connecting was a faint hope, further aggravating our raging hormones.
Occasional fights were also a possibility and remaining a spectator sometimes required great skill and cunning.  Every month or so, Bill Hess would press his bare butt to somebody’s back seat window.  His driver would then slowly cruise through Jerry’s, reporting reactions to Bill.
Sometimes we would actually eat something, go bowling, or play miniature golf, take a date or beer or both to the Skyway, but most of our time was spent scheming, dreaming, or gossiping (yes, guys did that, too).      All kinds of schemes were dreamed up with most going nowhere. Some that were carried out have been forever repressed, but at least one has leaked through to my present consciousness.
It was a gloomy Halloween night (what else?) when nameless individuals, dressed in dark clothing and armed with black spray paint, converged on the all girls Assumption High School sign on Bardstown Road.  The gold on black school sign was the target.
During their work, the conspirators frequently had to ditch dive, when traffic would approach, but eventually the mission of
blacking out UMPTION was accomplished.
The next morning was Sunday and an early rising friend of Assumption undid the handiwork before many could enjoy it.
That prevented those of us going to church across the street from witnessing the results of our commando operation, spreading frustration throughout Sunday school.  Nevertheless, knowledge of this poetic prank lives in legend.
Oh sweet, innocent, misguided youth.
                                                                Submitted by Larry Albright
Cruisin' on a belly full of french fries and a dollar's worth of gas . . . Larry Albright remembers nights on the Loop
With apologies to our friends at you know where.
Vol. 50, No. 1         FERN CREEK, KENTUCKY - Location of Friendliest School in the County        October 3, 2010
Not all of Allan Ament's life experiences have been as whimsical as a junk food repast.  Here, Allan shares a tragic story about fire and a creation lost.
    Asking us to dig up memories of our days at Fern Creek presents the problem of where to start, or more important, where to stop, since some of the more amusing tales revolve around our almost daily avoidance of Mr. Klapheke. 
Most of us probably can still hear the clicking of his heels in the hallways, which elicited a feeling of dread that we had been caught for some infraction, major or minor, depending on one’s point of view. 
I admit that some WERE major, like failing to take the Thanksgiving baskets to all the families on our list, and doubling up on other families, so we could have the rest of the day off. 
Or the time a few of us left school and went to Frankie Schmidt’s house, where we began drinking either beer or Scotch from the family stash.  Somehow Klapheke found out and the phone rang at Frankie’s.  He announced he was on his way.  The house emptied, instantly. 
Knowing we’d all be thrown off the cheerleading squad if caught, we promised to never tell on each other.  Now, here I am 50 years later, breaking that oath, but Klapheke died years ago so he can’t punish us now.
I’ll never forget the look on Klapheke’s face when Frankie Weisburg and I went to the office, seeking permission to take the day off for Good Friday services.  The “look” morphed from amazement to incredulity to scorn in a matter of seconds followed by a loud ”Get outta here!” 
One of my favorite recollections was when six of us piled in the trunk of Frankie Schmidt’s beige Studebaker and went to the Skyway Drove-In.  You might remember this about Studebakers of that era:  they came to a point in the rear.  The rear seat folded forward; so, we stuffed our feet in the point and fanned our bodies in the remaining space in the trunk.  Our dates followed in their cars, so we had a string of cars pulling up to the pay booth with one person in each car, something not likely when you went to the drive-in. 
Some other memories of the Skyway:  hearing Lady of Spain played on the accordion between movies…..those stinky, smoky mosquito coils we’d place on the dashboard, to keep the critters away.  Sometimes driving off with the speaker attached and watching the cartoon character stuff his face with food and drink at intermission.
I’ll never forget cheering in a downpour at Southern, during a football game.  Our skirts were long and heavy, even when dry and our sweaters always smelled like Toni Home Permanent.  After about an hour in the rain, our skirts got considerably longer, as did our sweaters.  We looked like waterlogged, soggy-haired rats, wearing skirts to our ankles and sweaters to our knees.  It was probably one of the worst nights ever, even though we wond the game.   
It never failed each week that Bonnie Norene and her sister Kay would come up with an eight stanza cheer.  We’d get it on Thursday.  We had to memorize and teach it to the student body at the pep rally on Friday, before the game on Friday night.  It didn’t always work, because we frequently forgot the words and would bump into each other, when half of us turned or jumped the wrong direction.
     Despite the sour milk smell which haunted the cafeteria, we had lots of great dances there following the games.  Sometimes the dances were “Sock Hops” held in the gym, then the smell became ‘old socks’
     I could go on, but won’t.  I loved my time at Fern Creek and remember so much that it amazes me.  Now, if I could just remember where I put my keys this morning.           
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the reunion.

Mary Jane Fields Kasser as seen in her passport.  Mary Jane lives in Sarasota, Florida
Mary Jane Reveals She Was Sometimes A Naughty Girl
Mary Jane’s three children:  L-R, Allison, Trey and Alexis.  Alexis works as a Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East. 
Friends forever, Mary Jane and Barbara Bryant Lechner on a shopping spree in Florida.  Barbara claims they're posing with the ugliest purses and shoes they could find.