High School ~ Flags, Driving and A Boyfriend

Last time, I ended with the Jr. High School Years. At the end, I mentioned how we moved the summer before high school started. I was less than thrilled. Yet, as I look back, I can see God's hand on my life. Even if I wasn’t serving God, or going to church at the time, He knew what was going on. He was allowing all of this in my life and I’ve always believed that He was and is in control.

High school was tough. Especially since, I didn’t have my friends from Jr. High. The actual school work wasn't hard, it was just knowing where to fit in. That was the toughest part. I wasn’t very athletic, so I didn’t fit in the ‘jock crowd’. I wasn’t popular, so there was no way I’d make it on the cheerleading team or pep squad. I had no clue where I would end up. I didn’t have the greatest self image, but I was outgoing, so that helped. The summer before school started, I somehow heard about tryouts for the short flag team.  I wasn’t even sure what that was, but I thought why not. So, I went to the tryout practices and gave it a go. As it turned out, I wasn’t too bad and made the team! I was thrilled!
Short flags was apart of the band program, so we had routines to learn for parades and half-time shows. Plus we competed in team competitions separate from the band, so we had to create and learn a routine for that. We had practice before school and after school. It was also a requirement to take band as a class, so we practiced then as well. I loved flags. It was a lot of hard work, but I really enjoyed it. I think it was my freshman year, we had an awesome routine to the film score of The Star Wars movie. It was great!

During all of the practice that summer, I met a boy. He was my first real boyfriend. He was a year older than me, he played the clarinet, and was the drum major for the band. He was so sweet. We fell in love that summer. As young as we were, I would say, yes, we were in love. Looking back, he really helped me during high school.  It’s always easier to face life with someone right beside you than all alone. But he had his own set of troubles as well…. Don’t we all. I’d like to think we helped each other. Man, I was sooo young! I look like a baby! Well, in my book, with me being 50 now, 14 years old is a child! Now is probably a good time to being this up....Mom didn’t really do the whole “Birds and the Bees” talk. The “sex word” was never used in our house! God forbid! You’d think she’d want to give me a heads up on things since she got pregnant herself at 17. Nope! This was all the info she gave me…”Don’t come home pregnant!” Wow… I guess that was all I needed. Thank The Lord, I never did get pregnant. But it would’ve been nice to know what I was giving away. That maybe I should’ve “saved” myself for when I got married. I didn’t know anything about that…. 14 was waaayyy too young… for a lot of things I was doing!

me R

How about driving? Do you think 14 was too young? Mom didn’t think so, she kind of insisted. What? I barely let my kids drive the lawn tractor at that age! What she was thinking?!! Of course, I wasn’t one to question mom, and at the time I thought getting behind the wheel was pretty exciting! I started by driving in and out of the garage and up and down the driveway. She had this super cool red Karmann Ghia. It looked something like this, but not so shiny…

Red Karmann Ghia

Then the day came when mom told me to go to the store and get some milk. I protested, “But, Mom, I don’t have a license and I’m not sure I can do this.” She replied,”Oh, don’t worry so much, just take the back streets. You’ll be fine”. So, I went. I was fine. I’ve been driving ever since.  I didn’t take any driver’s training courses in school. I just drove.

School ended up being pretty easy for me. I didn’t have too work to hard for decent grades. My favorite subjects were probably English and Home Ec. I guess that stood for Home ‘Economics’ I don’t think we really learned any “economics”, it was mostly cooking and learning how to sew. I liked school, I was never one that got in trouble or played hooky. Flags and band kept me pretty busy.

I managed to find these two pictures from high school, my sophomore and junior year. In case you can't tell, "preppy" was the fashion then, and you can bet I had on penny loafers with a penny in them!
Soph and Jr yr
I got a part time job, at a local florist shop, during my freshman year of school.  I don’t know how I had time for a job, but Mom wouldn’t let me be a part of flags, unless I paid for it. So, I had to work. I enjoyed working at the florist shop and it was close to home. The job mostly consisted of helping customers and “stripping” roses of their thorns. The owner even taught me how to make boutonnieres. That was such a fun job, probably because it stirred up those creative juices. Sometime during my sophomore year, I left the florist shop and began working at Burger King. They were open later, therefore, I could work more hours. Plus I made a few more pennies. I think everyone should work some sort of fast food or retail job. Those jobs will keep you humble. They pay lousy and you have to usually do some sort of dirty work. At least there was free soda!

One of the highlights of high school was the Christmas Balls, Proms and dances we went to! It was so much fun to dress up! Tuxedos and long ball gowns. I made my dresses for all of the dances.  One, I could and two, I couldn’t afford to buy one if I wanted to. Thank goodness I could sew! Our school had what we called a “Backwards Dance”. Basically a “Sadie Hawkins” where the girl asked the guy to go to the dance. That was the 50’s dance picture… My boyfriend and I loved going to all of these dances! There was some interesting fashion going on there… Guys have it so easy!! You can’t go wrong with a tux! As you can see we were together for quite a few years. Those are some good memories. :)
Formal dances 2

As I’m looking back on all of the high school years, they kind of clumped up all together in my mind.  I find it difficult to separate the years. There were football games, parades, competitions, parties and fun times with friends.  Although, I didn’t really have too many close friends. There were a few, but I don’t know how much I opened up. My boyfriend was probably the closest friend I ever had. I didn’t have 'those' friends that I knew ‘all my life’. Moving around so much didn’t allow for that.

In our little family, we were all doing our own thing. Mom worked a full time job and was involved with her boyfriend, who unfortunately was married. Yeah, great… I was involved with my boyfriend, and I don’t really know what my sister was up to. It’s like we were all in our own little world. I didn’t receive a lot of support or supervision from mom. She may have attended one of my flag competitions. It was hard knowing now, that she wasn’t “there” for me. But back then, I was glad she wasn’t. I had been embarrassed by her behavior so much in the past, that I was always afraid she would embarrass me again. She never checked on how I did in school, but I was the responsible first born, I guess it was expected of me to do well. Growing up, it felt like my sister and I were tag alongs with mom. I knew she loved us, but we weren’t her top priority. She did what she wanted and we just tagged along. She wasn’t the best example, but when we screwed up, we should have ‘known better’. It was mom’s way or the highway. I'm sure it was hard being a single parent, and she did the best she knew how.

My sister and I learned early on, not to fight within earshot of mom. If she heard us, we both got it.  It didn’t matter what it was or who was at fault, we would both get smacked. So, if we were arguing about what TV show to watch and we heard mom drive up… it was over, we’d shut up and act like nothing was wrong. When mom was on a rampage, and not in the same room, my sister and I would look at each other, scrunch up our faces, and pinch a piece of hair on the sides of our head. That was our signal, mom was pissed, stay out of her way!

After we moved out of grandma’s house, we didn’t see her as much, mostly on holidays and birthdays. There might have been some bad feelings between her and mom, which I’m sure wasn’t the first time… I know grandma didn’t approve of who mom was seeing at the time.

It was always so nice to see grandma!
moms bday

Well, don’t I look happy! Apparently, I didn’t want to take the picture! Looks like sis wasn’t to thrilled either! Mom must have been trying to take a selfie, maybe that’s why she cut off. Wish we would’ve had all the social media and internet back then, because it is hard to find even one picture! Well, I made up for that with my children! I have TONS of them! Poor kids….

my bday
When I look back at most of my high school years, which was over 25 years ago by the way… it was a pretty mellow time in my life. Nothing dramatic stands out, at least not until my senior year. Then things started going a bit haywire. So, I think I’ll end it here… next time I’ll share about my senior year of high school and we’ll see where it goes from there.

If you'd like to read from the beginning, here are the links:
A Child of the 60s &70s
Life in Hawaii ~ Vacation Turned Staycation
The Jr. High Years ~The Good, Bad and The Ugly



  1. Hi Lori, I remember all of these pictures!! I had most of them :-) I didn't know about this part of your life, I'm so sorry. But things happen for a reason and you are a wonderful person because of them!! I do see Randy once in awhile. He worked at the school district here with me as a teacher for years after his retirement in law enforcement. You two were both such good friends to me during our high school years, thank you for that!! I remember you making all your dresses and I always thought they were so beautiful!! I enjoy seeing all your adventures here. Take care my friend. Love, Fran Tamayo

    1. It's crazy how long ago that was!! Thank you for reading, Fran!

  2. I'm continuing on my journey with you, Lori. Thanks for sharing your high school years.

    1. Kitty, thank you so much! I'm hoping that my story will touch someone and hopefully encourage them! I really appreciate you taking the time to read it! Blessings to you!

  3. Lori, this is such an interesting post. I always love hearing about other people's journey through high school. I was not the most popular but I had a lot of friends and I look back on my high school years with fondness. I imagine now I have been out of school more years than you are old (if that makes sense) but they are good memories for me and I have enjoyed learning about yours..Happy Thursday..Judy

    1. Awww... Thanks Judy! It's so good to remember days past with a smile! I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read this. Blessings to you!!


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