While looking through my 8th grade yearbook for something else, I came across this photo of the Library Club, and I found it contradicts my memories in numerous ways.
First of all, I’m not in it.
OK, so maybe I was out sick the day the photo was taken, because I know that I was in Library Club in 8th grade. I have so many interlocking memories about it that they can’t all be wrong. Can they?
Also, clearly Carl Wetzel wasn’t the president as I wrote in my post on the Library Club a few days ago, but he was an officer; his presidency came a year or two later.
Look in that second row. There are Donna Haak, Sue Kohl, and Saundra Daniels. Not only don’t I remember them being in Library Club, I don’t remember knowing them at all in 8th grade. That year our class was divided into sections, and pretty much every course we took was taken by the whole section; no mixing and matching. Except for health and gym classes, where the boys and the girls were separated. So I pretty much only knew the kids in my section that year, and those three girls weren’t in my section. I didn’t get to know them until the following year, I think.
And is that Carl Tevalt in the upper left? The fourth row isn’t captioned, but it sure looks like him. As it happens, Carl was in my section in 8th grade, and I can’t think of many people who were less likely to be in LC than he. Curious.
Now as it happens, I was looking through the yearbook to find a good photo of Sally Price, and there she is, third from the left in the front row. One of the reasons I am positive I was in LC in 8th grade is because that’s where I met Sally Price. She was a sophomore that year, but somehow we became fast friends.
Partly this was because we both had to take an early bus to get to school and then had to sit in the cafeteria for a half hour or so before we could go to our homerooms, so once we got to know each other we began sitting together in the caf. Usually with Donna Patches (first row on the left) and a girl whose name I think was Jennifer something-or-other (sorry, I can’t be certain after all these years), and I think she’s the one with the glasses in the middle of the fourth row (but again I’m not positive).
Anyway, I enjoyed chatting with the three of them in the mornings, but especially with Sally. And I remember working with Sally during the same periods in the library, so we’d continue our chats there.
Oh, and one of my odd lingering memories of an LC meeting is Carl Wetzel referring to Sally as Sally Belle; I don’t think that was a nickname, I think that was her middle name. But that is a very vivid memory. Odd, isn’t it?
As it happened we had a lot in common. She’s the one who introduced me to the Sherlock Homes stories, which I had somehow never gotten around to reading until then.
Sally lived outside Myerstown, on a farm (I think), and she mentioned to me that on a neighboring farm lived someone that she thought I’d get along with. She was right. That was Leonard Yingst, and we became fast friends and stayed buddies through college and afterwards until I finally moved away from Richland in the late 1970s, when we just failed to keep in contact. But Sally didn’t introduce us; I’ll write about Leonard some other time.
If you look at the far right of the fourth row, I’d swear that that is Leonard. And I have no memory of his being in LC. We didn’t meet until—well, I’ll write about that later.
So looking at that photo is really giving me a sense of walking into the Twilight Zone.
But this post is supposed to be about Sally.
Because sadly our friendship was cut short when her mother forbade her to have anything more to do with me.
OK, that’s not what happened, but it may as well have.
What happened was that her mother decided that Elco was not giving Sally the kind of education that she deserved (Sally was a truly bright and gifted individual), and so she was sending Sally to a private school (I don’t recall just where). Sally seemed torn when she broke the news to me. On the one hand, I believe she agreed with her mother about the education, but I think she was also sad to be leaving all her friends behind.
After that school year, I never saw or heard from Sally again.