Sunday, December 03, 2006
a high school year

This post was inspired by something I saw over at Dak-Ind's...You were supposed to post a candid picture of yourself from High School....and this led to what you will read below which is kind of like free-association for me....And in the picture above, that's me over on the far left....I am there with a couple of pals from High School----we were at someone's house, but I don't remember who's and I have no memory of what we were looking at....or what we were doing, either!

I was not a happy teen-ager, at all! And in fact it showed in my school work. I failed three subjects when I was in tenth grade...And in fact, everything about my school work changed drastically after my parents separated when I was ten years old...so, going into the teen years with all the horrors that come with that, by tenth grade things were pretty horrible again, grade-wise....So, that summer we were scheduled to be in Los Angeles for the entire summer.....my very first time in Hollywood....that was the summer of 1947. And because I failed these three subjects I had to go to summer school, taking at least two of the subjects that I failed---French and Geometry. They were both taught by the same teacher/tutor...I don't remember how my mother found this really nice sweet lady, but my mornings were spent being "tutored" by her and cracking those books....and there were two very nice boys in that little class too, and that was it....just the three of us, and the bird-like Miss Thorne.... Yes, that was the teacher/tutor's name, Miss Thorne. And I remember she lived on Clark Street in what is now called West Hollywood, just below what is still called, The Sunset Strip....at that time, this whole section was just a part of Hollywood and really the Post Office was Los Angeles....no Zip Codes back then, and it was not that far from the little house my mother had rented for us all to spend the summer in, on Le Doux Street, which was just on the edge of Beverly Hills, one or two blocks west of La Cienega Blvd., and just a little north of Wilshire Blvd. All the houses in that area were like little bungalows....all close together and all with small rooms, but a house nonetheless....And where Miss Thorne lived was all small houses too, at that time....now, in 2006-2007, it is all big apartment buildings and condo's....Miss Thorne would not recognize it at all, I'm afraid....Here is a closer look at Miss Thorne...there is something quite sad about her and I think she was indeed, a rather sad and lonely lady...I wondered what her life had been like as a young woman living in Hollywood. She must have been a very very pretty young woman....because you can see the traces of that young woman in the close-up picture, though no doubt faded by 1947......I fantasized that she had probably been an actress (before she became a teacher), who's career never really took off....I fantasized that she no doubt had been in love with a man who could not be hers because he was already married and though he professed his love for her, he had no intention of ever leaving his wife....thus...She always spent Holidays alone and Birthday's alone---without him, alone and lonely...(I was a hopeless romantic at almost 16 years of age having been ruined by Radio Soap Opera's and MGM Films...)....I think she was, by the time I knew her, well on the road to being an alcoholic...in retrospect, there was that look about her....it's strange because I have known two women---both contemporaries of
mine---who were in that situation, starting in their twenty's. One was involved with her boss for over 35 years...and he never left his wife...And the other was involved with a rather well known movie star for 35 or 40 years---and he never left his wife either...What seemed so romantic to me as a young impressionable teenager, turned out to be a very sad sad life....both these friends of mine ended very badly and very sadly, too, both alcohloics and always alone on those important days when one should be with a loved one...I really do think that might have been Miss Thorne's story, too....I don't know for sure, but I think she certainly might have been in that same terrible dilemma....

I didn't mean to get off on that but, that's the way these reminiscences go, you know....Back to 1947....this picture below is a kind of interesting one....



It was taken at the then Los Angeles Airport, from left to right...my brother Gordon with his hand trying to keep the sun out of his eyes, and next to him my brother-in-law Bobby, (Robin's husband of three years at that time....they were married for almost 6o years by the time Robin died), my mother, and then me, and in the foreground is my dear sister Robin with her back to us....Mother and I were about to get on the plane to return to New York where I was to take the 'Make-Up Tests' for the three subjects I had failed....well, guess what....I failed those 'make-up' tests so I had to take those three clsses all over again in 11th grade! I honestly don't know how I graduated from High School at all....I can tell you this, my report cards were not a pretty sight! Another shot of my mother and I getting ready to walk out to the plane so we could board the very long flight home....twelve hours non-stop....which was a fabulous thing back then....! This was before 'Jets' you know....? And it was back in the days when women dressed for travel, including girdles and High Heels, no heels on me that day but I'm sure I had on a girdle....that girdle thing changed for me not long after that....I figured if Katherine Hepburn could wear slacks when traveling, so could I. It is hard to believe there was ever a time when we dressed up to sit for 12 hours....pretty crazy....but remember, traveling was fun back then and it was an adventure, too....not like today....

Well this isn't the end of the summer of 1947...but for now, that is all there is on this "candid photo from High School" post. And as always....





More To Come......







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35 Comments:
had this to say:

Good morning Sweet Naomi,

What fabulous photos. I have none of my childhood (I don't think), I think they are all tucked away in photo albums at my parent's house.

Anyway, our stories are pretty similar - allowing for Hollywood and all that jazz!

cq
Here from Michele's this morning...

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 1:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It is very interesting to read about the youth of another person coming from another continent ! We have two things in commun, I were very romantic too (and still are, but less, life told me) and I also wonder how I made it through high school ! I were awfully bad and considered all my teachers as useless bugs they were all awful and I didn't like anyone of them.
Of course you were a teenager in 47 and I ten years later. Lucky me that it was not in 47 because at that time whole Germany was still in ruins and Frankfurt and Bonn were I lived were destroyed at 80 % that's why I lived with my grand parents in a small town on the country side. I remember playing in basements of ruins and sometimes we found a doll or something else. But in 57 it was already different and then we moved in 59 to Brussels. And the first time I took an airplane, I were 23 and this was exceptionally early for a young girl. I have been 2 x in Los Angeles/Holywood in 1994 and 96 and found it very special and quite artificial, I like your description from early Los Angeles better !

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 2:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Good morning.

I always love your stories and can't wait to hear more.

I had a rought time at school too and although my parents never separated I always wish they would as they rowed all the time. I had no friends at school so all I had was my school work so I threw myself into it as if I could hide. The worst year I got a straight A report card!

I really do laugh when I hear that phrase 'School days are the best days of your life'!

I'm here from Michele's this time but as ever I would have popped by anyway!

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 3:16:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love so much to read your teenager's memories, Naomi! I was very romantic and I liked to fantasized, too. And it's great that you have those lovely photos!
Have a good Sunday!

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 5:30:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That was a very both lovely and sad story. I am amazed on people like you who still after many many years have pictures still to show. Very few give value to these things. I for one do value a lot of pictures. I find it hard to discard it so I just put it in a box if not in an album.
I'm sorry to hear that you were not a happy teenager. You don't seem to be. You seem to be a very vibrant person with no traces of that. You amaze me on how you have surpassed them.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 5:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Loved your story and pictures! LA must have been so nice at that time. Neighborly in a way that is lost today with the high rises.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 7:13:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love those black and white photos. For some reason, they just seem to capture the candidness of life so much better. They seem so much more authentic...to me, anyhow. I always love hearing about your childhood, sad as it may have been. I know that had so much to do with who you are today, and I find it so interesting!! Great pictures.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 7:33:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

LOL! How you can make failing school sound like a GOOD thing is beyond me! ROFL! I'm glad you DID finally graduate though... you DID didn't you? LOL... guess I have to wait for THAT story! Your poor Ms. Thorne does sound like a sad case... but makes for a good story!

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 9:25:00 AM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I was a high school teen in the late 60's and I think my only "candid" picture was one my mom took of me asleep with one of those bouffant hair driers on my head. Back in the days of soup can curlers, before Farrah Fawcett. Strange days indeed.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 9:32:00 AM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I was a high school teen in the late 60's and I think my only "candid" picture was one my mom took of me asleep with one of those bouffant hair driers on my head. Back in the days of soup can curlers, before Farrah Fawcett. Strange days indeed.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 9:33:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I often wonder about the teachers from my childhood, what motivated them, whether they were happy or sad. When I was a kid, these things never occurred to me. Of course, now they do, and it's too late for me to do anything about it. I have no pictures, only fuzzy memories.

Thanks for the vivid recollections, Naomi. Your sense of history makes you such a wonderful person to read.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 1:10:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

if it makes you feel better i failed Geometry too! lol.. but never had to go to summer school.

would you believe that I still have contact with one of my HS teachers! He was one of my favorite teachers since I had him in Jr. High and then HS Biology and Home room.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

oh, how i hated geometry! i had to have a tutor for it, too. i enjoyed your "reminiscing". i've been going through old photos and plan to do some similar posts soon.

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 4:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi! Thanks for stopping by! It was really nice to reda about you and your childhood. I will be back to read the rest

Here from micheles this morning! :D

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 6:04:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow...you have such an interesting life...I am constantly amazed. :)
You were very pretty in those pictures...
I cannot imagine sitting for twelve hours..ugh.
It was bad enough when Scott and I flew to Paris...what a horrible flight.
And I was dressed comfortably!

Kendra

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 7:10:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

In some ways high school seems like yesterday and in other ways a life time. I wouldn't go back that is for sure! Maybe I should do a big hair 80's MAdonna style candid shot for my blog!!!

I love your pictures and your story...though sad about those women. Very sad. In some ways I wish we dressed up more for things now....not the airplane rides of course but our culture doesnt' dress up for much of anything anymore...even funerals!

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 7:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow, what great photos, what a great post.
To answer your question you left on my blog: Early Intervention is run by the NYS board of health. Since my daughters were diagnosed with PDD-NOS (a lesser form of autism), EI provides us with in-home therapy services that will enable them to be ready for pre-school - speech therapy, physical & occupational therapy and special ed, to be exact - thanks for asking!

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 8:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a fun post. I love your pictures. :) It's funny, of all the time (the usual 4 years), I didn't make very many friends. I just focused on school work, I guess. I was an okay student as long as I liked my teacher. Hated my poetry teacher, flunked that class. Weird how that worked, eh?

Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 9:44:00 PM PST 

Anonymous the fat lady
had this to say:

Naomi, one of my best friends (from one of the 26 other schools I attended) had the same kind of problems, so her parents sent her to France for a year. She returned eager to study and learn, and could REALLY speak and understand French, not just have credit for it.
It makes me so mad when bad teachers and academic fatheads squeeze the joy of learning out of kids, making them feel defeated and nervous before they even start.
Right now, a friend's 25 year old son is drifting along like "Marty", holding a job, but doing nothing. He aspired to becoming an archetect, but a nasty college counselor had the gaul to tell him he was not "college material", so he dropped out. He's very art-oriented, has a critical eye, and design sense, but tries to supress all that good stuff because he has been convinced he has no potential by someone who has far less potential for any constructive endeavor than he has.
I rescued several dozen of his art and design books from the dumpster,where he tossed them as an act of defeat. I put them away, for the day (hopefully) when he recovers from the drubbing he got from that *&^%%.

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 3:00:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love reading your reminicences (I hope that's how you spell it!) and your insights of others, you are such a perceptive lady and I get so much out of reading your posts!

And yes, I can see the sadness too in your teacher's eyes; it's funny how much we romanticise things as teenagers, isn't it?

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 5:27:00 AM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

Indeed those romantic stories from the teenager perspective are anything but romantic in reality... I often wonder about my own grandmothers, if they were truly happy or just lead the life the environment told them to lead...
I was a good student and that's why I keep taking classes, lol! off to my French class now.

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 8:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you for sharing your high school memories with us. We have all been having a wonderful time, reminiscing, and reading others reminisces. One thing i have learned is that no matter the social class, priviledge, year or even who the person turned out to be in later years, high school was hard on everyone. Also, did you know that you were beautiful even then?
Its been a fun experience sharing, and i hope more folks pick up the high school days challenge.

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 8:12:00 AM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

I don't even know if I could FIND a candid picture of myself from high school.

Although I should go digging for older photos. You never know who'll want to see them in the future.

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 8:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, I could sit and read your blog for days and days. WHEN are you going to write a book?? You have so many interesting stories! I love "old" Hollywood. The 'real' Hollywood as far as I'm concerned. I was born in 1962 and even by then it had changed greatly.
Today, getting a private tutor like you had would cost an arm and a leg. I know because I wanted to get one for my son. Please, more pictures! I love 'em.

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 8:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Do you ever look at those old photos and think "if only the photographer and tilted the camera down just a little bit so we could see what was going on"? lol! As always, a fascinatin insight into your life. Thank you so much for sharing these stories with us!

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 1:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Another interesting story, Naomi, and photos to match. I will have to go through some more photos and do this about me (but mine won't be as much fun to read as yours are)!

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 4:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You've been tagged :)

Monday, December 4, 2006 at 7:44:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I just love old pictures and reading about your memories. I always feel nostalgic for the past and saddened sometimes by how much things change. I would have loved to see Hollywood with the little houses before all the apartments were developed. As for your grades and the teenage years, most of us went through hell in our teen years. I hope it makes us a little more compassionate, but no guarantees there. I actually went to a different high school each of my four years of high school, one in NY, two on opposite sides of Charlotte, NC and one in TX, talk about feeling alone. It's not easy being the new kid every year, and no, I'm not a military brat, just an IBM brat. ;-)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 8:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That was interesting and neat pictures. I have hardly any from those years and not sure why. I didn't have a lot of social activity given I was a country kid; so no pics with other friends at all. The only one of me at the high school Prom was taken by my date's parents and I never even saw a copy of how it turned out. I guess high school years were hard for a lot of people.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 12:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That was a fun ride down memory lane. Isn't it funny how we fill in the blanks and how impressionable we all are when we're young? You had a good imagination and an exciting life it seems to me. I'm glad it all turned out well...that you found yourself and your talents!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 3:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I really enjoyed reading this post. What great memories you have and I think you were probably right on the mark with Miss Thorne. So many women experienced that kind of sadness....waiting for that one great love of their life to be with them....and normally, it just never happened.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 6:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi - I love this post :) It is fantastic to hear about your life. 12 hours to fly coast to coast and it was a miracle. I was thinking this morning about how many things have happened in the last few years that we could have never imagined and what will life be like for my granchildren who are 11, 7 and 2 ....... always love to visit. Take care.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 1:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoyed your school days and pictures. I am sorry about your parents at 10 years old, for you! I would have been devastated had it been my parents! My parents were the best and I could not have imagined one without the other! We had star charts for chores and good behavoir in my home and we even had a meeting every week where we... my parents, my three brothers and I came together to air grievances and tell of our accomplishments in school and such. Dad had a judges wooden gavel(that I still have out setting next to their portrait) to call the meetings to order every week and I was the secretary and kept the minutes as soon as I was old enough to take that job from my mother. I loved those meetings. Except when I knew that a grievance was about to be lodged against me, ha, ha! Oh and my dad was the handsomest man in all of the town we grew up in. In high school, I think I had so many friends because they wanted to just come look at my father. He had that rouge look about him, that even my daughter sighs over. My Mother and father are gone now and I miss them greatly! While I looked through to find my school pictures as you did, I even ran across their old love letters aand I read every one, again!

Friday, December 8, 2006 at 5:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't think you could tell a boring story if they promised you a million dollars. Then again, you're a actress at heart, you might be able to if you were "in character." ;)

A 12 hour flight from CA to NY?
Holy Toledo. I am not going to complain about Europe flights! Oy.

Interesting about your tutor.
And the subjects.
French seemed to come so naturally to me. But the teacher will make or break you, I think.

~S :)

Friday, December 8, 2006 at 6:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What great photos and memories!! My mother made me wear a girdle when I was TWELVE.

I ditched it, AND MY BRA, at 15!

Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 5:42:00 PM PST 

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