There is entirely too little sex in this blog despite its title. My reticence has been mostly out of consideration for the feelings of my Thai wife who might find these teenage antics of mine unfathomable.
This piece was written for Colman Andrews' Coast FM & Fine Arts Magazine and published in the February, 1973, issue. The headline was "High School Confidential" with the subtitle of "Love in the '50's." I was only 34 at the time and looking back nostalgically on what seemed then to be a lost age. The subtitles are take from my junior high school yearbooks which are now long gone. The original photos are gone so I've added new ones to suggest the times. It's all true. Only the names have been shortened to protect these now senior citizens from embarrassment.
To a cute necker. Good luck in 9th grade.
Jim was the best "necker" in the eighth grade. His succinct entry in my 1953 junior high school annual told me I'd made the grade. Make out in the '50's was our religion and Jim was my guru.
Twenty years ago this month I migrated with my parents and younger brother in a new Ford, west to Southern California. I was 13 1/2 years old and a social Neanderthal. My puberty began and ended with songs; "Oh Happy Day" by Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra heard on our car radio traveling along Route 66 towards the land of orange groves started it all; and, four years later, there was Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" on the radio in my hospital room where I lay with a broken thigh bone after driving drunk into a candy store following a college fraternity rush party.
To a very wonderful guy.
Laurie was my first steady girl (remember that phrase?) in the spring of our eighth grade. Jim's yearbook compliment resulted from his witnessing of my first fumbling attempts at passion with Laurie at a party. It was at that same party that Charlie P heard me emit a loud fart, during a comer embrace and humiliated me for weeks afterward by spreading the nasty rumor that my love-making was excessively noisy. Only the good Dr. Freud could have guessed what future havoc that trauma may have wrought.
I danced with Laurie at parties and at the eighth grade prom to "Song from Moulin Rouge." She was taller than me, classically beautiful in my memory, and I never laid hands on the forbidden areas of her body. I was a nice boy. My lust was confined to wet dreams. Several years ago I ran into Laurie at a coffee shop. She had married an undertaker and was dressed in the uniform of a middle-aged, middle-class matron. Only wide-open eyes and a giggly laugh remained of the girl I held hands with in her parents' living room.
Flashback: A few years out of college, Laurie and Carolyn lived in a hillside apartment in San Francisco, career secretaries by day, beatniks by night. I came over from Berkeley one evening for a party with Dick, who dated Laurie after me. Dick and Laurie and Carolyn and I fucked most of the night away and in the morning I went into Laurie's room and gave her a brotherly hug and kiss.
Lots of luck to a real cute guy.
Lest you think my hands remained virginal throughout junior high school, let me retell the events of New Year's Eve, 1953-54. Jerry and Addie and Melanie and I sat in the back of Jack's lowered Chevy during an aimless round-trip drive from Pasadena to Long Beach during which I managed to slip my shaking right hand into Melanie's pedal pushers, underneath the silky front line, and right onto the end-all and be-all for a 14-year-old boy/man. I hope the experience was as instructive to Melanie as it was to me. Not to be left out, Addie and Jerry enacted the same scenario besides us while Jack delicately tried to watch the road and the rear-view mirror (from which hung an enormous pair of angora dice) at the same time.
Your '40 is going to drag my '41 Chevy someday. Your (sic) going to have your (ass wiped). I'll have a G.M.C
Gary L (Lip)
We have only had a ball together since 8th grade. Especially this past few weeks. I hope we only have a ball Wed. night and Graduation nite. I hope the fun we are having can last through the summer and even longer. I hope that you get your chance to be in that combo. Lots of luck next year.
My Love always,
My Love always,
Judy, bless her often-available bare breasts, had forgiven me for that night the summer before when Jim had lured her into the darkened school hall from the dance at the community Youth House next door, right into the waiting arms of three scared but eager teenaged boys who plotted to punish her for being a "P.T." (prick tease). (Those breasts were only available to a select few then.) Two of us held her arms, another put his hands over her mouth, someone ripped her pants off and Jim lit a match. For no more than a second we stared at a thatch of genuine female pubic hair (blonde), and then fled in separate directions while Judy screamed for help, While several teachers on duty at the dance searched through the school for us, I hid under a bush and then ran home over back roads. Judy told on everyone but Jim (he was a charmer) and I was "grounded" (restricted to home base in the evenings) for a month by my parents.
Jim was our leader. He wore his wavy brown hair (bleached blond in the summer sun with liberal applications of lemon juice) in a duck tail (also "D.A." [duck's ass]), was the first to get a pair of black "pegged" (A-1) pants, had brown loafers with pennies in the front as well as the (mandatory) black 'cycle boots, and was the first (he said, we believed) to actually sleep with a girl. It happened, so the story went, the summer before I arrived in California, one night at the home of his girl friend while her parents were out (our middle, upper-middle-class suburb had a high percentage of party-going parent alcoholics). Mark corroborated the story. He was feigning sleep in the living room in front of the T.V. while Jim and ... (her name is lost in the fog of history) went at it in the bedroom. Stealing a glimpse, Mark witnessed moving white limbs and buttocks and heard decidedly gooey sounds. "Yep," said Jim, "we went all the way." Later, she allegedly got pregnant by another, went to live with relatives, and disappeared into a private girls' school some miles away. Sitting at our permanent table in the cafeteria, Jim told and retold his story and reaped the glory, and later Mickey would pull out a plug of chewing tobacco and we were off into another voyage toward adulthood.
|Drag scene from "Rebel"|
|Marlon Brando in "The Wild One"|
Jerry R, that sexual experimenter who had been beside me on that long New Year's Eve drive from Pasadena, to Long Beach and back, took Jim's place as my guru during the waning days of junior high school. Jerry taught me how to buy liquor: we'd wait in his car outside a liquor store in the black ghetto until an obvious wino staggered along, whereupon we would offer him an extra dollar to buy us something alcoholic (we didn't care what). On our first try, we ended up with a pint of apricot brandy and that became our steady drink for a few months.
Ellis L was 16 but looked 35 with a heavy beard that required shaving twice daily. He was famed for walking into Olson's Grocery Store, where he would buy a quart of Olympia beer, and then sit outside on the curb and sip contentedly, old Ellis, from the bottle still wrapped in a paper bag. Ellis became a lawyer and is reportedly practicing somewhere in Ohio. ,
Flashforward: At midnight, when I turned 21, I was sitting in a bar I had frequented all summer long with a couple of friends who, knowingly, broke into a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday." I treasure the expression on the bartender's face when I proved my masquerade of age by showing him my driver's license, the real one and not the fake one we all laboriously fabricated from expired learners' licenses.
|Taco party photograped for Sunset Magazine|
Flashforward: Two years out of high school, Mark returned one summer from the University of Wisconsin to describe a "bad taste" party his fraternity had held. We organized a reasonable facsimile with wine served out of douche bags into urine specimen bottles, dildos fashioned from rubber-covered Kotex pads for favors, and costumes: loin cloths for the men, bra and panties for the women. Barbara, the Elsa Maxwell of the junior high school slumber party, ended up in my arms for a few hours of mutual regret at what we had failed to consumate years earlier. She ran off to Las Vegas for a quick marriage a few months later.
Making out in the '50's with Janet and, Sue and Pauline (when we kissed while lying on her couch listening to Jackie Gleason's "Music for Lovers Only" album she would blush beet red from her forehead to the top of her low-cut blouse; she too got pregnant by another and went away to a girls' boarding school) and Jackie (spurned for a ski instructor) and Sally and Gail and Cherry and ...
This bit of self-centered social history would probably be incomplete without a brief description of How I Lost My Virginity. It happened on the front seat of that same '53 Ford (by then repainted and engine overhauled) that had brought me and my family to California three years before. It was at a drive-in theatre and the movie was a re-release of "Bambi" which, no shit, was the first movie I had ever seen as a child. It wasn't exactly out of True Romance, but I was as proud that night as I'd been the year before when I'd won my letter in gymnastics by climbing the rope. And she didn't get pregnant.
We broke up four weeks later.
The article ended with my short biography until until the 1970's: Bill Yaryan went to high school in a suburb of Southern California, and was graduated "without honors" in 1957 He has written for a variety of newspapers, and has worked in record company publicity and public relations.
|The author in the early 1950's|