Remembering Old Roswell High
40th RHS REUNION, OCTOBER 1992
Betty Boellner - Jones
THERE WAS THIS FEELING ....
Worn brown floors, boards that creaked and groaned, steps that sagged,
the lofty Gothic turrets that beckoned to scholastic heights...
remember the sunshine, clear blue skies, the laughter, the first day
nervousness, teachers that stood outside their classroom doors, welcoming
the hordes to academic confusion. The bell rang, groups moved toward
the doors to climb those sagging steps and wander the halls, carrying
their hopes and their books. It was a time for learning, for wondering.
You hoped you would get to sit by a friend, and if not, by someone smarter
than you. And hour of classroom time wasn't long, you could always draw
hearts and scroll initials inside, yours and someone you hoped would
ask you for a date to the dance. Boys were always distracted by football,
baseball, basketball, track or boxing. Didn't they know the girls were
dressed in their absolute prettiest,-- acting so flirty, so witty,--
there he is! He's looking over here, if I can just get his attention.
He's so neat looking in that red letter sweater, I could just die! What?
How do I know what the formula is for an isosceles triangle? "Yes
sir, I did my homework, Mr. Maxwell." I just can't draw a straight
triangle. Now I'll never get a date to the Sophomore Barn Dance.
in the basement where my locker was, at noontime, the delicious aroma
of real down home cooking,-- Mrs. Davis was frying chicken. Oh, the
hunger pangs! Dodge all those wild cowboys on your way out, ignore the
salty looks from their girlfriends, make for the stairs and freedom.
"Wait, Georgine,-- my necklace is caught in the locker door!"
class was in the ‘turret room.' You could look out those rounded
turret windows and pretend you were a fairy princess escaping the wicked
one, waiting for your Prince to rescue you, and what a climb he would
have to reach you!
the delightful Roman herself, Miss Merkle, who would jar you from your
musings, and then who in the world could concentrate on Caesar's Gallic
Wars after "HE" called you last night, but only to ask you
what the geometry homework was,-- not for a date. "Conjugate the
verb,-- to have," she calls on you. "Yes, I did my homework.
I can cite a phrase, ‘Te Amo." Why does everyone laugh? Why
is this fiery little Roman suddenly throwing your book out of the window?
Maybe your Prince waiting below caught it. In this stringent Boy-less
class which surely could only spawn Rhodes scholars, the best Latinesque
visions were of Robert Tayor challenging Nero in the movie, "Quo
Vadis." Or wondering who had a date with who this coming Friday
sketchy description of Physical Education class, those who took showers
and those who didn't, and those who said they did and hid your clothes
so the boys walking by outside could peek into the low windows and see
you hunting for your clothes. You took a shower and ruined your prettiness
and were late to the next class. Those modest red-bloomer shorts with
the elastic legs left crimps for hours. But the course was required,
two miserable years of it.
could endure anything after the noontime dances. You danced with anyone
who came back early from lunch. Swirling skirts, bobby socks with thick
cuffs, guys in jeans and plaid shirts and crew cuts. How you dreaded
hearing the bell! We were having so much fun.
was time to learn. And learn we did, in spite of ourselves. I learned
more of history than ever occurred in Coach Witt's class. I hungered
through Mrs. Dennis' interpretation's of "Macbeth,"and thought
the language was funny. And who cared about diagraming sentences? We
all knew what a proper noun was. It began with a capital letter.
glorious days set us on our feet to conquer what we thought then was
an infant world, just waiting out there for us to embrace. And if we
lingered by the north door, shaded by the late afternoon sunshine, our
hand touching over the old brass door-pull, it was because we hated
Time took us on our way,-- but then, maybe we never really left those
long echoing halls.