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Another Slice of Life – I am on a role now!

April 14, 2008

SOL Participant 2

 

Slice of Life Sunday is a meme dedicated to preserving the accounts of events cut out of the lives of average people just like you and me from all over the world. And like having ice cream with your pie, there is more to this meme than meets the eye – it’s a meme a` la mode .

 

I have received such joy from all the slice of life stories written by friends I have made here in blogsville. I have also become inspried to write more of my own. I must say one of my favorite things about Slice of Life Sunday is that there is no pressure to hurry up and write something and get it posted on a specific day. With that said, I hope you enjoy my delayed entry for the prompt: slumber party.

 

Slumber parties were a right of passage growing up as a teenager in the 60’s. I remember my friends each taking their turn as host of the weekly Friday night sleepover. I was not always permitted to go as my overprotective mother didn’t like me staying overnight at someone’s home that was not a relative. However, in the fall of 1963, there was a slumber party that I will never forget. It is not just because I was the host of this particular Friday night bash, but because of events leading up to this fateful sleepover.

 

I was in the seventh grade in the fall of 1963. In the rural county where I was raised, each town had a small elementary school. Several of the elementary schools would be combined for a junior high and high school. My elementary school was combined with two other schools and we were bused to the small town of Clark for middle school. I actually loved junior high school. I was a good student and had straight A’s, thus the teachers always liked me. I tried out for and was selected as a basketball cheerleader. I was friends with everyone and enjoyed a somewhat “popular” rating despite being from a lower middle-class family. As a cheerleader, I was obligated to host a slumber party after one of the Friday night basketball games. All the cheerleaders got together to divide up the weeks and I was given November 22. It took some major coaxing, begging and promising to do all kinds of extra chores to get my mother to agree to my having ten to twelve girls over, but she finally gave in.

 

My friend Alice was sort of the co-chair for my slumber party. She helped me plan what to have to eat, what games to play, and even what topics we were going to discuss. As was the regular routine, we were to all meet after the game at the school and three of four parents would drive all the girls to the home where the slumber party was being hosted. My day finally arrived and I was so excited. I had cleaned and polished everything in our house. Even my mother got into making cookies and actually purchased coca-cola for us to drink, which we rarely ever had. I arrived at school really proud of myself and looking forward to hosting what was sure to be the best slumber party yet. Little did I know, events would occur across the United States that would change all of my plans.

 

Being that it was Friday, the day of a basketball game, our school had a pep rally planned to get everyone into a competitive spirit. I think I enjoyed the pep rallies more than the actual games. We had more time to do our cheers and we always had a feature dance routine, which was my favorite. We entered the gymnasium that afternoon and immediately took center stage, lining up to do the opening cheer while the team came running in. As I looked around, I noticed several of the teachers looked like they had been crying. We cheerleaders were stunned to see these adults so obviously upset. We could not imagine what would have happened to have everyone looking like their best friend had died. We were not too far off. The principal took the microphone from Pat, the captain of our squad, and told us to all sit down. He then spoke into the mike and announced for the team to come in and sit down. What in the world was happening? This was not right, something was definitely wrong. Once the team was seated on the gym floor, Principal O’Donald announced the basketball game had been cancelled for that evening. We would not be having our pep rally. We all looked at each other in disbelief. Then, with a cracking voice, he told us President John Kennedy had been shot in Texas.

 

I would like to say I was as distraught by the news as our teachers, but that would be a falsehood. I was a seventh grade girl hosting her first, and more than likely last, big slumber party of the year. And to be honest, I barely knew anything about the President, and I certainly didn’t know much about Texas. Why should this event cancel our pep rally and our game? As I was considering all this, it finally occurred to me that if there wasn’t a game, how would everyone get to my house for the slumber party? That’s when Principal O’Donald announced everyone was to line up and go home on their regular bus – geez, now what was I going to do? All of a sudden, kids were going back to their homerooms to get their books and then to their bus. I remember standing in the middle of the gym thinking. . . wait, everyone just wait, we need to figure this out! But of course they didn’t.  I picked up my books and went to my bus where Alice was already sitting in our seat. She tried her best to cheer me up, but I was so upset, not that the President of the United States had just been assassinated, but that my slumber party had been.

 

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2008 1:51 am

    Now here is a story you have never shared. How disappointed you must have been. I remember school being let out and everyone going home but never knew what was happening until I got home. It was a sad day for everyone. Well written and enjoyable to read….Hugs!

  2. April 15, 2008 6:52 am

    It’s hard not to personalize things at that age. Perspective is in short supply at 14, isn’t it?

    It must have been terribly disappointing for you. Did you ever get the chance to host one?

  3. adamswife permalink
    April 16, 2008 10:10 am

    I was an 8th grader when Pres Kennedy was assassinated. Those were the days of transistor radios. At lunch time some of the kids heard the news on their radios. When I heard I thought it was someone’s idea of a joke – Not Funny! Then we went to the library and got confirmation from the librarian. I don’t remember what happened after that. I know we went home early, but I don’t know how we got there. For the next several days we watched the drama unfold on tv over and over again, ending with Ruby shooting Oswald.

  4. April 19, 2008 12:57 pm

    I was in college at the time of Kennedy’s assassination and remember the ‘disbelief’ followed by ‘dismay’ vividly even today. As for ‘slumber parties’ … I was raised by very conservative parents who didn’t believe it ‘appropriate’ to sleep anywhere but at home ;–)
    Hugs and blessings,

  5. April 21, 2008 7:41 am

    how sad! Did you get another day for your slumber party? My mom was ok with slumber parties but it was rare cuz we lived way out in boondocks and convenience would stop it from happening. I rarely slept out places cuz I like my own bed 😀

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