Well, it’s been a while, but I do still vividly remember a lot of things about high school. I loved school, and I loved learning (yep, nerd alert); however, as we all know, there is much about high school that will NEVER fit under the category of academia. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of those things that, to me at least, made Manchester High School so incredibly memorable and truly some of the best years of my life.
- The Mighty, Mighty Blue Devils: Friday Night Lights! Enough said; there it is…Go Big BLUE! ALWAYS!
- The Smoking Area: Yes, there was one back in the day when there was no age restrictions on teenagers smoking. I didn’t smoke, but I had a permit. My friends were there. Several hot guys were there. I was going to be there too. Try explaining that one to your momma, but she signed the thing for me every single year I was there.
- The Pay Phone: Who remembers waiting in line at break to use the stupid pay phone between A and C hall? I tell people about that phone, and they are amazed. They can’t believe we had access to a pay phone in the building. We did! There was ONE, and it was generally in high demand!
- Sweeping Floors: The ultimate in detention! There was always a crew sweeping floors after school to the tune of Mr. Glencamp calling someone “girlfriend” before that was even a thing! No one wanted to do it, but almost everyone did at some point or the other. As for me, I avoided the sweeping floors but had to attend Saturday school twice. Once we cleaned the football field after a game, and the other time I cleaned the front office. I don’t litter because of that football field clean up by the way.
- Hardee’s: The best early morning meeting place was Hardee’s. You stopped by to get a sausage biscuit before heading across the street to the student parking lot where you could finish your smoke, and it would be unusual if you DIDN’T see a truck with a gun rack and guns in the back window!
- Tutorial: Those were the days! Two classes with a L…O…N…G tutorial in the middle. What is a tutorial, you young ones ask? Literally an hour and a half long study hall, and you went to the cafeteria at some point to eat lunch. Much better lunch than we have today, mind you. I still remember having Mrs. Thompson for a tutorial one quarter…fun times, fun times.
- Senior Agreement: What agreement? I do my work; I graduate. That is the agreement these days. However, back in the 80’s, if you had passed all your classes, you only needed three credits your senior year. If you had a job you could leave every day at lunch. Amazing!
- The Teacher Room on B Hall: Seriously, I saw this by accident one day. There was a room where the B hall teachers kept a coffee maker full all day. They would head in there during those long ten minute breaks (while we were chatting up our significant others or some other silly kid stuff) to drink coffee and smoke. It was a shock when I saw one particular teacher open the door puffing on a cigarette, but I got over it. When I taught there years later I looked for this mysterious place, and all I found was a book room.
- Mums: Every fall, all the girls would find the perfect plaid, wool skirt and sweater to gear up for homecoming. The court was chosen, the parade was set, and we would have a great, fun filled spirit week (except in 9th grade when I decided to wear a yellow Gone with the Wind dress…big mistake!). Homecoming night the boys would all bring their dates corsages. Every single girl, and I do mean every single one, had the same corsage! A huge white mum with some blue pipe cleaner in the middle with long blue, white and silver streamers hanging down. When my own son attended in the early 2000’s, the corsage was still basically the same. Don’t mess with a good thing, I say.
- Goody Road: While a couple of miles away, Good Road was where everyone headed after school and probably before school too for many. I don’t know if other schools had a “Goody Road,” but ours was the best. We are that town where everyone literally drove up and down one street all night for fun! Everyone hung out there, and if you weren’t there, you had been there and someone knew where you had gone and when you would be back. The penultimate meeting place for a bunch of rowdy, let’s have a great time teenagers!
Attending MHS in the 80’s was an experience of a lifetime. I’m not sure my own children will have the same type of memories of their high school years as I have, but I certainly hope they are equally good!