A new school year and new learning opportunities with organizations, classes and even after school activities!
Back to school for my junior year. I was still involved with the Hi-Y organization and this year I was selected to be a representative on the Student Council!
Carole Laws continued her work with the Sunshine Society and their charitable activities. She was selected, this year, to be an Office Secretary and help the principal`s staff one class period a day!
Carole was again selected to be a Varsity Cheerleader, this her third year!
Class pictures were taken as usual and we all tried to look mature. Some did and some didn`t!
Carole Laws is in the middle of the fourth row looking cute!
With the name Wolff, I was always on the tail-end of any school list or posting. So, as usual I am in the last row, second from the left. We had a whopping 81 students in our Junior Class!
We had a mild Autumn this year and when we picked up Grandma Wolff for a visit, we went to the Falls Park in Pendleton for an outing with the ducks.
Grandma wasn`t an outdoors person even though she grew up on a farm in Canada. She was an avid reader and loved to sew and crochet. But, she did enjoy short outings and had a nice morning with the ducks.
Of course during the fall baseball series on television, the gang still played our games in the front yard! On one such day we were
playing ball and dad was using his new Bolens lawn tractor and trailer to spread driveway stone. The Neighbor From Hell made the mistake of coming onto our property and confronting Dad about how Dad should make us stop playing ball. It wasn`t long until Dad had the Neighbor From Hell by the seat of his pants and shirt collar and was escorting him off the property! The Neighbor From Hell immediately jumped in his car and took off for Anderson and his lawyer. Obviously nothing ever came of it, except that Halloween was just around the corner and revenge was sweet!
Mother changed jobs to work in Indianapolis with the Jefferson National Life Insurance Company. She would be the private secretary to one of the vice presidents of the company. She could ride to work with Dad and save her having to drive.
Meanwhile at school, the new vocational building had been completed and I was taking woodworking and drafting classes. I was working on two majors, science college prep and vocational arts. At this time I was planning on studying civil engineering at Purdue University.
I also began my new duties as the assistant basketball student manager and statistician. This of course required daily after school time, so I drove to school every day.
Often after practice, I would go to Tanky`s Drug Store where Carole worked and have a spanish hamburger on a grilled bun with chocolate milk. We would talk about everything and often time would slip away and I would be late getting home. She had a feisty personality, but was very passionate and caring about other people`s feelings. I was dating other girls, but this just seemed like a real nice friendship that didn`t require dating!
We shared a game of “bumper tag” as Carole had a driver`s license and no car and her friend had a car and no license. The game started about sunset with a group of school kids meeting at the school parking lot. The rules were simple. As we drove our cars around
town and into the country, obeying all traffic laws and coming to complete stops at stop signs, we would try to “tag” another`s bumper with our bumper. Score was kept by the honor system and we would meet at Jimmie`s Dairy Bar or some other designated spot, at a designated time, always after dark!
Back then, bumpers were constructed of sturdy, frame mounted, stamped steel and could easily take a “tag” of a couple miles per hour! The trick after dark was to turn off your headlights so you couldn`t be seen from the front and the use of the emergency brake hid your detection from the rear.
Another fun activity, especially around Halloween time, was to plan a cemetery pizza party. Pizzas were just beginning to get popular as Art`s Pizza had recently opened in Anderson. When I first heard about pizza it didn`t sound like a combination I would like, but that changed quick. But I digress. The cemetery pizza parties were bring your own and a car load of kids to a designated cemetery usually late at night. Pizza and pop around the head stones or in the mausoleum if open, was accompanied by horror stories and weird sounds!
Pendleton had its` drive in restaurants where the kids would hang out. Not as fancy as Indy but always packed with friends.
Indianapolis had the Tee Pee drive in by the State Fair Grounds, but the big drive-in curb service restaurants in Anderson were always a big draw too. Frische`s and the A&W root beer drive-ins were popular places to park and be seen. Police were a common sight to direct traffic in and out as kids made the rounds!
At this time, on a clear night, we could watch this tiny shiny object cross the evening sky. Sputnik, as it was called in Russian, meant “Elementary Satellite ” and was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October 4, 1957. It was a 23 inch diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennae to broadcast radio pulses. It was visible all around the Earth and its radio pulses were detectable. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War.
With baseball season over and the gang`s time and interest waining, Dad decided to plant weeping willow trees on the home plate and pitcher`s mound bare spots. I bet the Neighbor From Hell jumped for joy thinking the ballgames were over! They did slack off a little, but we continued to play occasionally, much to his dismay.
With the three of us off to work and school, it was becoming a problem keeping King Beau inside all day while Tippy was out running. They couldn`t be trusted to be together without supervision, so Dad decided to build a kennel and joining dog houses so they could be outdoors all day.
We started digging and framing for the cement runs, which would be up against the cow barn to help protect against the weather. A large shed roof dog house with vents and an inside partition was constructed on the west end. The farm fence enclosure also divided the dog run in to two sides.
As King Beau grew, he was able to jump the fence and the electric wire fence from our horse days had to be installed around the top. When we got home, they were happy to get out and enjoy each other, for the most part!
Dad was also busy wiring the house for hi-fi speakers in every room. The old tube type receiver-amplifier was going to be updated! He had bought a big oak console hi-fi with built in radio, turntable and duel speakers to take advantage of the “stereo hi-fi” that was soon to be available.
Dad was happy with his new transistorised Hi-Fi Stereo components. In the 1950s, audio manufacturers employed the phrase high fidelity as a marketing term to describe records and equipment intended
to provide faithful sound reproduction. Hi-fi became a generic term for home sound equipment, to some extent displacing phonograph and record player.
The old 78 RPM records were easily broken and scratched and could only have one song recorded per side. The new high fidelity quality would propel the switch to a new larger diameter 33 1/3 RPM vinyl record. This slower speed and larger recording space enabled the recording industry to market a complete symphony on a single record!
The radio stations were updating also to compete with the hi-fi craze. The AM stations were being challenged by the higher quality FM stations, however the drawback for the FM stations was that they were broadcast much like a TV signal and didn`t have the long range of an AM station.
Since the end of the war, it seemed as though things were changing at an accelerated pace. New and improved products were being developed and more women remained in the workforce following the war. With two incomes, more and more two-car families were popping up and automobile sales were setting records.
All of this change didn`t go unnoticed in our small town of Pendleton. It even came to change our comings and goings at Pendleton High School! The school trustees had noticed an increase of automobile traffic flowing down East Street in front of the high school. At present on East Street, there was no interruption of traffic flow for several blocks in both directions and the front of the school was becoming a cruse zone for the increased number of high school drivers.
This fall, it was decided to install a traffic signal at the intersection in front of the school. This was great for Carole who lived just across the street on the corner. She now had her own traffic signal to insure her safety during her perilous trek to school! (That`s her house in the background.)
Christmas time and another BIG tree of course.
This winter I decided to retire from the rabbit raising industry. It was becoming too time consuming with pressing studies and school activities. But, I found another venture that required much less time and maintenance. Raising Guinea Pigs for Eli Lilly laboratories!
Winter school activities included the annual Sunshine & Hi-Yi Christmas Dance. Carole and I were dating, but not each other.
Carole was also selected as the school representative to be on the Blocks High School Fashion Board. She traveled to Indianapolis and the Blocks Department Store each month for a luncheon and fashion discussions with the other board members and the Blocks teen fashion purchasers.
As a warmup for March Madness, Pendleton hosted an invitational basketball tourney with many Madison county high school teams participating. This year, the PHS Fighting Irish walked away with the trophy!
Popular demand started the first Madison County Basketball Tournament in 1959 and the new Madison Heights High School hosted the first games.
Spring was also time for the PHS Annual Band Variety Show. It was scheduled right after the last home basketball game since the whole gym was transformed into a musical showplace. I was part of the lighting and sound crew and Carole and my girlfriend were part of the dance troupe.
I also helped my girlfriend teach dance lessons at her home dance studio which occupied nearly the whole upstairs of the house. She advertised in the High School Year Book.
Spring season was, as always, unpredictable Indiana weather. An April snow storm swept through, just to keep us off kilter wondering if summer was ever going to show up!
I had been showing Tippy at area American Kennel Club (AKC) dog shows for awhile now and this year we started taking King Beau also.
Getting two dogs bathed, trimmed, brushed and ready to travel in the Nash Rambler station wagon was always an adventure. King was big enough now that he was always trying to dethrone Tippy`s dominance as the Alpha Male. These two pictures, taken in 1958, and 1959, show how much King Beau had grown.
Tippy`s ribbons and trophies can be seen over the mantel.
Despite the size difference, Tippy maintained his dominance throughout their relationship. On bath day, I would bathe Tippy in the bathtub and he would stand perfectly still throughout the ordeal. I would dry him off and hang the towel up and he would wait for the signal that it was over and he could jump out. Mother would bathe King and it was always a total disaster with soap suds everywhere from floor to ceiling! When he would shake himself dry, before Mother could grab the towel, it was like turning on the sprinkler hose.
During our dog obedience classes, I met a trainer who worked with the Indiana State Police canine training unit. He asked if I would be interested in helping him with some of the training. I said sure and spent the summer working with him and the recruits.
Meanwhile, I still had some school to finish. I was taking a drafting class and our semester assignment was to design the plans for our dream house. Little did I know that 45 years later that dream house would present itself for sale to Carole and myself!
From the outside the Cape Cod style house was just like my design with the one exception. My design had an open breezeway between the house and garage and this house, which was built in 1948, had the breezeway enclosed for an entry at some time. It had the living room bay window, the sunken den, the double built in china cabinets in the dining room, the front upstairs window dormers and the rear shed dormer across the back just like my original plans from 1959. We bought it in 2006, after 11 years of negotiations for the sale of our home to a developer in an increasingly busy business district.
Unbeknownst to Carole, she fell in love with my “Dream House” the first time she saw it, 48 years after I designed it! I know this is a giant leap in the time line, but the story started here in 1959, and this is where it needs to be told!
Back to 1959 and our Junior Class Play, `Susan Steps Out`, which was a great opportunity for many of us to participate in new activities never before experienced. There was acting, directing, publicizing, sales, advertising, printing, makeup, costumes, stage design, and lighting. I enjoyed the hands on part of being stage manager and creating sets and going with the teacher-director to pick out furniture and props for the show. I didn`t have talent but I did have skills!
Speaking of not having talent, for some reason I tried out for the varsity track team. I made the team, trying to run the 110 yard high hurdles, but I didn`t letter this year. “If at first you don`t succeed…”
This Spring was the time for Grandpa and Grandma Barrett to expand their garden to twice its` previous size. It now stretched all the way to the back property line, but keeping the same width. Grandpa was now 69 years old and still working part time running a turret lathe at a machine shop in Anderson. He told them he was thinking of quitting so he could work more with his garden. They offered him a raise to stay! He and Grandma truly loved working with the earth so he retired again and they ordered more fruit trees and berry bushes for the expanded garden!
Strawberries, black and red raspberries, apples, peaches, pears, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, white onions, sweet onions, green onions, butternut squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, potatoes and green beans along with huge flower beds surrounding the house kept them happy working together.
Back at school, our junior class was putting the finishing touches on decorations for the school prom which was hosted by the juniors for the senior class. Carole and I both went to the prom, but again, not with each other! Carole was part of the junior welcoming committee for the prom and was Chairperson of the crowning committee.
Our class initiated and organized the first post-prom traveling breakfast for Pendleton High School. With a lot of help and parent volunteers, homes and a few businesses were opened up for the various breakfast courses. Our house was one of the stops.
School was out and the summer activities took over. This included the continuing saga of the neighbor from Hell! We had taken a mini vacation up to see Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Suspension Bridge. (A little side information about the bridge courtesy of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.)
“The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and It is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. Its total length is 26,372 feet. All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or “sway” but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position.”
Ok back to the trip. We returned after a few days and as we drove into the driveway easement, next to the Neighbor from Hell`s garage, and started onto our part of the drive, Dad noticed something liquid in the tire ruts of the drive and so he pulled over to avoid driving in it. Good thing! We could smell the odor of raw sewage as we passed over the waste! Once on our property Dad stopped and we got out to investigate. It didn`t take long to figure out that the Neighbor from Hell had gotten sewage from his septic tank and spread it on our end of the easement.
As soon as Mother got out of the car and through the door to the phone, the lines were burning! Calls to the State Board of Health, State Police and the Madison County Health Commissioner were made in her secretarial efficiency and that afternoon there was action!
The police were the first to arrive and after interviewing Mother and Dad and collecting some background, they were off to talk to the Neighbor from Hell. The idiot not only admitted he did it, but that he had every right to do whatever he wanted on his property. The officers informed him as to the definition of an easement and that it was not his property to do with as he wished and that he would have to clean it up immediately.
About this time the Madison County Health Commissioner shows up and gives the Neighbor from Hell 24 hours to decontaminate the site and put down new crushed stone or face prosecution. Off to his lawyer he goes and the next morning, bright and early, a crew was out cleaning and spraying the mess. New crushed stone was put down that afternoon and all was well, for now!
This summer Carole was still working at the drug store and she also started working at the Falls Park Pool concession stand. I finally got the nerve to ask her if she would like to go with me for a drive and a coke and she said ok!
I received my athletic jacket this year and was able to wrangle the convertible every once in a while for special occasions, like taking Carole on our first ride!
My summer project was helping repaint the Barn House; the high areas especially! The red paint used on the 1953 painting was touted as the best on the marked and guaranteed non-fading. It turned a shade of purple and of course the manufacturer claimed no responsibility. This picture shows the difference in color.
Little did they know, that they were dealing with a bulldog of a gal who didn`t know how to let go! It wasn`t long until replacement paint of a superior quality was delivered to the house for free!
Baling hay was also on my summer work load Great food and the pay was ok.
A gravel pit company started up along highway 67 just about half a mile northeast of us and it would have an impact on a project of ours. Years ago Dad and I started hand digging a pond in the middle of the back field, by the Cow Barn. Over the years, as we kept enlarging the pond little by little, it was becoming quite the rest spot with its weeping willow trees and fish in the crystal clear pond.
Then this fall, we noticed a continuing drop in the water level and clarity. Mother called some neighbors, who were all on well water, and confirmed that we were all experiencing less water pressure. Here was another “bulldog” crusade for Mother to get her teeth into!
The gravel company tried to assure Mother that this was just a temporary problem and that they were only digging gravel for the construction of the new interstate 69 highway project. Not a good answer and a few days later a work crew with a backhoe and truck from the gravel pit showed up.
After we netted the fish to safety, the workers began the project to expand and deepen the pond. They worked around the existing willow trees and followed Mother`s suggestions for the layout of the expanded pond.
Soon Dad was busy planning a bridge walkway across the pond and retainer beams for seating. Some of Grandpa`s fruit trees can be seen in the background.
A circulating pump was added to the pond and connected to a cement statue fountain of A Boy on a Dolphin.
This Junior year of high school was certainly full of exciting experiences and new accomplishments, but this Senior year, which was about to begin, would be filled with more whirlwind experiences than I could have imagined! Let`s follow the musings of the character building activities of my final high school year. It may be revealing!