Skip to main content


Wednesday, March 16, 2011
High School - Poca High School, Putnam County, WV
What year was it?
Fall 1960 - Spring 1963

What were your favorite bands, or singers?
Sam Cook, Chubby Checker, Conway Twitty (It's only make believe), Johnny Rodriquez.
Meatloaf. ELvis.

What was your favorite outfit?
Straight skirts, blouses, cardigans or jackets, little heels.

Other Outfits?
Jeans and a white Dr. Ben Casey shirt.

What was up with your hair?
Everything. I put peroxide on it. Lemon juice, thinking it needed to be lighter.
I cut it, styled it, put it in a pony tail or a french twist. Hair was the most important thing in my life in high school. And hair spray, the stiffer the better.

Who were your best friends?
Patti Jones, Karen Mattox, and Susie Bailey all thru elem school. Then added on Donna Dailey, Sharon "Mouse" Hackett and Janice Wick and many others. Also Bonnie Kerwood who was older than me and lived near me so we hung out listening to records after school. Sometimes her parents would take us to the Valley Belle in Nitro to eat lunch and we'd have soda fountain cherry cokes, they mixed up with our sandwiches and sometimes lemon sherbet or an ice cream cone.

What did you do after school?
Home to my room. Or I would take long walks along the highway since it was the only place to walk or to the cemetery on the hill above our house where I'd read all the gravestones. I was enamored of all the people there and the variety of sayings on the stones. Everything from MY ANGEL, to BLESSED ARE THE MEEK FOR THEY SHALL SEE HEAVEN or was it Jesus??? Always interesting.

Where did you work?
I worked a month at a Superman Drive Inn. We took trays out to the people who ordered at the curbside. We work black pants, white blouse, white tennis shoes. Didn't last long at that job. It wasn't for the weak. Besides I was flashed and went home in tears one night when I worked alone in the dining room. Short career.

Where did you eat lunch at school? Sometimes in the cafeteria but often up the street from school. We would go to the Poca Dot, where you could get a hot dog with chili and coleslaw and an orange crush. My fave. They also had a jukebox and we could dance, usually with each other. Or we'd watch the seniors girls and boys dance and show off. The twist was popular then.

Did you take the bus?
Yes, all four years of high school. Actually I went to Poca High School in Poca, WV my freshman, junior and senior years. Sophomore year I went to Beeville High School in Beeville, Tx where my sister and her husband were stationed with the Navy. I lived with them due to family problems at home. I'm sorry I missed that year with friends but I had quite an education being out of WV. We had Mexicans in our schools and I learned what it was like to be the different kid, due to my WV accent. Plus I learned that during that time the latinos did not get any respect, much like the black population during that time. Really very sad. I had a crush on a boy named Geronimo Rodriquez. Very handsome, very nice.
Basically I was accepted and had two good friends. Patsy Donahue and Pat Nunn.
We skipped school one day to drive to San Marcus to the beach. We had all just gotten our licenses at age 15. Patsy had "borrowed" her sister's car. There was a tarantula on the dash and we skidded to the side of the road, barely putting the car in park, and jumped out screaming. Eventually one of the girls knocked the spider out of the car and we went on our way. It ended up being a cold day at the beach with zero boys and we went home disappointed.

Who did you have a crush on? In Tx I had a crush on a sailor from my brother in laws office, last name of Bamberg. He played a guitar and sang to me. HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU. I fell head over heels for him but he was too old for me and he was Mormon and believed in multiple marriages. End of that relationship.
Back at Poca, there were several boys on the football team I liked but none seriously. One boy I liked in my Freshman year (WV) at Nitro High School but I lost him when I moved to Texas. Just before my senior year I met Raymond, my husband, and I married him during my senior year. Mistake? No. It's been 48 years and we are still in love.

Did you fight with your parents?
Yes, I thought they were OLD. My mother esp. I gave her a hard time and I've been so sorry since. I was unruly and mouthy, and maybe a tad bit wild, again, this might have been in my mind. Sorry Mother! I really am.

Who did you have a CELEBRITY crush on?
Tab Hunter, Sal Mineo, James Dean. Read movie magazines constantly with a flash light after lights out.

Did you smoke cigarettes?
Sometimes - off and on.

Did you lug all of your books around in your backpack all day because you were too nervous to find your locker?
That was before backpacks so sometimes I lugged all my books in my arms, dropping them along the way.

Did you have a 'clique'?
I didn't really have a clique but i did hang around with my group of friends

Admit it, were you popular?
In my head, I was. Not sure with anyone else.

Who did you want to be just like?
I wanted to cut my own path. At a younger age I loved Liz Taylor, Jane Russell, and Debbie Fisher.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
At first I thought I wanted to be a hair dresser because I loved fooling with hair then I wanted to be married with children. Until I got there - then I wanted to be a student in college and a writer, in the worst way. That dream has come true and I'm grateful that it's brought so much fulfillment. And is still doing so.

Where did you think you'd be at the age you are now?
I thought when I was young that my age now was ancient. I didn't have any long term plans back then.
Now, I want to taste life, travel, and do things I haven't had a chance to do.

Hope you had fun reading - I had fun writing it. AND PLEASE
Blessings. Barb


  1. Interesting! Brought back some memories, although I when to high school from 69-73! You have an excellent memory!

  2. Fun! Now this makes me want to write about my youngest older sister, Libby, with her poneytail, pink lipstick, sweaters and bobbysox.

    I also had a Ben Casey shirt -- I had two of them -- one looked like a shirt he'd wear and the other one had the symbols that were at the beginning of his show.

  3. Oh I LOVED This Barb! I smiled, laughed & even teared up. I soooo get you! I wish you had added pictures. Although you write well enough that I could picture these as I read them.
    Love to you!

  4. I loved those Ben Casey shirts. When I was about 12, I loved Elvis and got my hair cut in a duck tail. What teenagers will do! Seriously.
    OMG, don't get me started on cuffed jeans and bobby socks. I also wore my sister's white buck shoes. Does anyone remember them? Reminds me of all the fun I used to have and that JUST isn't right. I should be having more fun right today. What's wrong with this picture? Maybe that I am 65????

  5. Oh I like this Barbara. Brings back so many memories.I went to high school..68-71. I still have so many memories of the different hairstyles and thinking I had to roll it every night. I went to Murphy High School and the girls weren't allowed to wear nothing but dresses. Times sure have changed. Thanks for your wonderful post. Have a nice evening, Susie

  6. It's fun getting to know you better! I went to HS 68-71. I've never heard of a Ben Casey shirt though! Maybe in Chicago they weren't popular or I was just really backward. Glad you were able to achieve your writing dreams!

  7. The Ben Casey shirts were made like a white dr.s shirt back then. Short sleeved. Tabs on the shoulder if I remember right and I'm not sure what color the stitching was. Ben Casey was a show about a doctor. I remember it as being fun to watch. I think I was in love with him. Can't remember who played the part but tall dark and handsome, that I remember!

  8. I'm class of 63, too! Torrington High School, Torrington, Connecticut ... How innocent we were, how naive. Ben Casey starring Vince Edwards -- I thought he was so much more attractive than Dr. Kildare!!! And for me every day was a bad hair day -- I remember looking at shampoo adds (Breck was one) believing that somehow this one or that would give me the gorgeous tresses of the stars in the picture!

  9. I was in high school 64-68, and I, too, had a Ben Casey shirt, and a Liz Taylor shirt. Remember those? They were tunic style with wide ruffles around the neck, down the front and around the bottom. Actually, I hated high school and couldn't wait to get out!

  10. Very interesting, Barb. I enjoyed reading about your school days. I remember the mini skirts, Nehru shirts, ponytails and knee socks. I loved Herman's Hermits and Three Dog Night. My boyfriend (now husband) and mine's song was "Precious and Few". It's fun going down memory lane.

  11. What fun this was! and, you know, your mom may have wanted to apologize to her mom too!

  12. That was really fun. Very interesting. I can't believe you've been married 48 years! That is awesome!!!

  13. This was so much fun to read. I enjoyed getting to know you better, and experiencing a slice of nostalgia at the same time. I graduated in '69, so you were one of those worldly adults I desperately wanted to become.

  14. My sister had a Ben Casey blouse, all the rage!I remember angora sweaters and The Beatles. Yep this blog brings back the memories.

  15. Oh Barb - you are so kind. Thank you for your caring comment on my blog - much appreciated.Sarah x

  16. How cool! Enjoyed reading about your past!

  17. I loved reading this post and getting to know you. We are the same age, so at times, I almost thought I was reading my own answers. I may use these questions on my blog. Again, it is good to meet you. I'll be back.

    I just popped by after seeing you on Cat Bird Scout's blog. I thought it looked like you were sitting in the exact same chair as I have in my study! It turns out your chair looks like it is black and white. Still, they are very similar.

  18. Barb,
    I love that you took us back there and gave us such fun details! Your life sounds like a movie from the 60s:)

  19. Wow, you've given us a fascinating slice of life here. It's fun to read about the trends and culture of the time. I went to high school in the mid-70s, and for us, music was huge. Concerts were our social event, straight leg jeans, Levi's, were part of our uniform of the day. My first car was a Chevy Nova, standard shift known as 3-on-the tree!

  20. Very funny Joanne. We had a Nova.
    Thanks for stopping by everyone. Love reading your comments.

  21. What a great post. I shall have to borrow this idea for my own, if I may!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Dreaded School Pictures

This year when my children brought home their school pictures, I cringed. These kids can leave home looking cherubic, but the minute they pose for that school photographer they are transposed into unrecognizable beings. My middle daughter brought home pictures bearing her name and room number that couldn't have been my offspring. Nor a distant relative.
I had worked for hours on this child. Her hair was parted in the middle and drawn into a cute little ponytail over each ear. Even though she is at an awkward age, she looked adorable when she went out that door. Her missing front teeth only added to her charm. The kid in the picture has her mouth open wide displaying ugly dark gaps. Her one visible ponytail is lopsided, her part is uneven, and her bangs look like they were cut with pinking shears. I know this isn't my child because I always give my children a good haircut before they have their pictures taken. The only thing vaguely familiar is the sweater the child has on. My dau…

Building a story vs building a house

My latest book!

Dear Writer: 
Writing a story is somewhat similar to building a house. Or not!
Remember this:
when we give a piece of our story to someone to read - we expect them to see the whole.
It's like building a house and offering a single piece of lumber to another builder. “Here, see the house I'm building.” SOME CAN SEE IT AND SOME CAN’T. Here's the thing: MOST CAN'T.
This step is as necessary to me as breathing. 
I need to give you single boards as I create them. AND I expect you to be a visionary and say, “Why yes. I see.”  
I need you to see how special the piece of lumber is that I'm using and to see that eventually I'll add more pieces to make the whole. 
Choose people to read your work who like the kind of stories you write. 
There are as many kinds of stories as there are houses to live in. If you give a brick ranch to someone who only appreciates a cape cod then he'll have a hard time fitting himself into what you are offering.
Don’t rebu…

My Favorite Essay by Gladys Taber


From an essay by Gladys Taber
Family Circle  - September 1982

    I sat in the sun the other day while the dogs dug up the lawn and thought about work. I wasn’t working. I was just thinking about it. I have found that when I cannot possibly accomplish everything I am supposed to and feel an unbearable pressure---as all homemakers must---if I just stop, life goes better.
    I get a good book, make some spiced tea and sit down on my own corner of the sofa or in my favorite lawn chair. I let life settle in around me, and that is the only way I can express it. After 20 minutes or half an hour, I go back to the mechanics of living.  AND at days end I am just as far along as if I had not stopped to think.

Another of her thoughts: time for thinking is a gift one can give only to one’s self.

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have over the years. When I've had it with my life some days -  I have only to sit down with a glass of sweet tea and think of this essay an…