The Highland Avenue Girls

This gem from the Highland Avenue Junior High School newspaper, The Highlander, was saved by Nancy Musser ever since our eighth grade, 1949-1950.  Incredible!

We were apparently all asked to fill out our likes, dislikes, hobbies, nickname, and ambitions.  There is no mention of the person on the Highlander staff who compiled our replies, but, thanks, whoever you are.  This is for you.

Even if you do not remember these people, it is an interesting chronicle of the times.  Taken individually, they do not have much meaning.  Our answers would probably change by the next  day and most of the nicknames were never used by anyone I knew.  But, collectively, they reflect  what we were thinking at that time of our lives.  Convertibles are often mentioned as the epitome of the good life.  We could imagine nothing grander.  The Phillies were popular.  That was the time of the “Whiz Kids” and they would not do as well for another 55 years.  The A’s were still a Philadelphia team, but no longer the most popular.  TV was just coming into its own and is mentioned in general, not specific programs.  And what is all this interest in horseback riding?  You would think Lansdowne was in the backyard of Churchill Downs.  I never saw any of them ride, or even heard them talk about riding.  None of the boys mention it as an activity.

Girls had recently emerged from the shelter of their parents and were becoming aware of other personalities.   They often mention a dislike for show-offs.  This was a surprise to me, because from my viewpoint, they were always attracted to the show-off boys.  I think they meant they disliked show-offs who were showing off for other girls.  If I had anything to show off, I would have.

I kept the original spelling and punctuation.  The article on the boys will follow as soon as I can type it.  I regret that most of the people mentioned will never see it.

Mary Kay Abbot’s activities are softball, cheerleading, orchestra, science club.  “Katie” likes sports, animals, convertibles, and dislikes city life.  For the future she wants to be a Vermont farmer.

Anna Marie Anderson prefers animals to boys.  Taffy likes ballet and would like to be a teacher.  Her hobby is collecting stamps.

Joan Anderson loves jolly people, Spike Jones, popular music—collects stamps, postcards, keeps a scrapbook.  “Giggles” says showoffs are pet peeve.  To be a teacher is her ambition.

Wanda Anderson enjoys animals and foreign correspondents.  “Dokkie” would like to see the world and teach school, likes to sew.

Anne Bate does not like to baby-sit Friday and Saturday nights.  She thinks the Phillies are grand, likes to play baseball, horseback ride.  “Suzie” likes dogs, swimming, overnights, and “T.V.”.  Her ambition is Ha Ha!

Marian Bell spends most of her time bawling Mary M. out, swimming, dancing, and having hilarious good times.  “Mimi” says rainy days are horrid—so are snooty people.  “Mimi” will make a grand airline hostess.

Ruth Beverly’s hobbies are softball and basketball, horseback riding, reading, and ____.  “Peewee” likes all things that come naturally—such as summer vacation and dislike of homework.  To be a nurse, and live in California are ambitions.

Gail Bonner loves phones, 8C, Charleston, Ocean City, but dull places are taboo, loves science with “Aggie”.  “Lyn” likes Linda and Joan C’s. laugh.

Jean Brown’s hobby is sports—especially basketball.  Beans is a good swimmer and loves pets—doesn’t like homework or school.

Rose Buccieri collects cards as a pastime and sports, lunchroom duty are her activities.  Boys, food, clothes, and Phillies thrill her and burr haircuts chill her.  To become a secretary is her hope.

Juliet Calabro is teacher’s aid, twirls baton, enjoys drawing, painting, and tennis.  “Jul” has a soft spot for smart clothes, bright red, clean-cut boys and creamy convertibles, but steers away from dull people and fattening foods.  In future she’ll become a model.

Joan Carberry loves to dance, go to parties, telephone, but won’t have picture taken, hates doing dishes, likes hockey, wants to be a teacher.

Ruth Cleland plays softball, hockey, basketball.  “Ruthie” collects penants and postcards, but dislikes burr hair cuts.  First ambition “A” in Social Studies, then to be a nurse.

Pat Coffin’s hobby is using the “T.V.” set, likes football, baseball games, westerns.  “Pat” enjoys ice skating and basketball but snoopy people get her goat.  Patsy likes to get along with everyone.

Valerie Dressler would like to sail around the world, but in the meantime she’ll root for the Phillies, listen to latest records and have fun with Gail and Aggie in science.  Fish, crew cuts disagree with “Val”.

Dorothy Dreyer’s ambition is to be Roller Derby player. [I remember this and thought she would. -RW] “Dot” enjoys clothes, horseback riding and sports.  Male teachers and tests are among her dislikes.

Marilyn Fox favorite team is the “A’s”, also enjoys music and eating.  “Foxy” chills to homework—basketball, softball, student council, and lunch-room duty fill her time.  To be a dress designer is Marilyn’s ambition.

Marie Gelletich’s hobby and talent is drawing, but she wants to be in showbusiness and travel all over the world.  Baby sitting, smart clothes, roller skating, television, Mr. Rank and kickball are “Ree’s” likes.  Boys and girls who show-off irritate Marie.

Gwen Gentile says she and squash, scallops, and boys don’t mix but “Meatball” enjoys swimming, music, wants to become a dress designer.

Marel Harlow says her main activity is living!  Goes for sports, movies, and homework, enjoys food and mail.  Some people bother her—would like to be a pin-up. 

Minnette Hodges likes summer vacation and dislikes homework.  Dimps says sarcastic people and showoffs bother her.

Muriel Johnson loves movies, especially Monty Clift’s.  “Mert” can’t stand snooty people—thinks short people are cute, could live in dungarees all the time, but for school loves snappy clothes.  Muriel’s high hope is to become a singer.

Linda Johnson enjoys softball and hockey and Mary M.’s [unintelligible several words] people.

Sandra King is allergic to school and some teachers.  “Sandy” raises cats and boxers as a pastime.  Swimming, riding, boating, and softball occupy her time; hopes to be a model or get married and live on King Ranche.

Kristin Klintman wants to be an airline hostess and she likes movies, “T.V.” and dogs, but flirty boys and showoffs are her dislikes.  “Nina” collects dog statues.

Blanche Kurtz has a soft spot for ice cream, also likes summer vacation, swimming.  “Brownie” dislikes homework, two-faced people and stuck-ups.

Nancy Leith has the unusual hobby of collecting precious stones.  Basketball, tennis, and mail are among the better things in life for her, but thousand-leggers scare her.

Audrey Lewis enjoys art, dancing, sports, and dogs.  “Aud” says burr haircuts are awful, homework is too!  Will be missionary nurse in Africa?

Norma Luisi likes birds, dogs, horses, and farms.  “Normie” enjoys dancing and the piano, but dislikes shopping with mother, taking care of sister—wants to become a teacher.

Joan Maher collects stamps, enjoys baseball, especially Phillies and Curt Simmons.  “Joanie” is peeved when not paid to baby-sit, would rather go to movies.  Joan wants to name 8,000 words in English language.

Patricia Mason loves horses and scatter-pins, takes snapshots as hobby—eating as a hobby—but doesn’t like to sew.  “Patti” will be an English teacher.

Nancy McCullough would rather talk and chew gum than practice the piano.  Some day “Mac” wants to travel around the world but she’s now contented to baby sit and root for “A’s”.

Beth Mellott doesn’t like guitar music, plays piano well, thinks canasta and swimming are fun, wants to teach.

Mary Mertz sings in the choir and plays piano well, enjoys sports, popular music, loves to laugh and walk.  Silly people thrill her and serious people dull her.  Mary wants to live in style—convertibles, pool, etc.

Mary Lou Montgomery skates, swims, and plays tennis.  “Lulu” collects knick-knacks, likes baby sitting, proud people peeve her—wants to travel to Europe, Hawaii, Cuba.

Janice Mowry goes in for decorating as a hobby, boys, music, vacation, “Spike Jones Mule Train” are favorites, bubble-gum, “T.V.” bother her; will teach music—call her “Sugar Plum”.

Joan Navitt’s hobby is sports, especially basketball; likes crewcuts, corduroy jackets, telephones and radios.  Three tests a week provoke her, wants to teach, own a green convertible.

Sally Nupp is fond of reading, dancing and piano playing (her ambition).  “Walnut” says show-offs peeve her while westerns and horses please her.

Joan Pheneger plays tennis and piano—thinks “T.V.”, “Call of the Wild Goose” and Doug Fairbanks, Jr. are wonderful but to Juliet’s wiggle and spinach Joannie says “Ugg”.

Jacqueline Short collects doll house furniture for a hobby and the Phillies, dancing and cooking also help her enjoy herself—fresh boys among dislikes—to become airline hostess and travel around the world are ambitions.

Beverly Templeton has music and dancing in her soul.  Boys thrill her, so do vanilla cokes, convertibles.  School, hot-rods, peg pants disgust her.

Barbara Underwood enjoys outdoor activities, loves to talk and likes popular music.  “Babs” is adventurous, wants excitement but won’t eat pea soup or kale.  Will be reincarnated as anteater.

Fawn Ward thinks ruffles, crew cuts, and asparagus are revolting.  Dancing, horseback riding, sewing and fashions, outdoor sports, and reading all are enjoyed—career in medicine or ranch life in store for Fawn.

Arnett Ware loves to dance, ride (on horses and Buick convertibles), and laugh.  Easy going people, outdoor sports, red orange nailpolish, windy weather, barefeet, dogs and olives are favorites.  Cats, dentists, television, M.C.’s give “Warehouse” creeps.

Agnes Watson interested in sports and art has weakness for vanilla ice cream sodas.  Snobby people and “Three Musketeers” irk her—loves to see Gail Bonner get bawled out, wants to be bachelor girl and gym teacher with hot-rod.

Judy Young wants to take trip around the world.  “Youngie” could watch Phillies play anytime but Athletics are pet peeve—enjoys teasing little sister.

Rwalck@Verizon.net

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in History, Lansdowne. Bookmark the permalink.

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