The Day You Turned 16?
by Tommy Towery
Following Rainer Klauss’ (LHS '64) recent contributions to Lee’s Traveller, Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly (LHS '64) and I were discussing some way to allow more of you to also participate. During the exchange, we both commented on how freely many of you share information on Facebook but seem less enthusiastic to supply the same information with the readers of the Traveller. One thing I noticed is how many people willingly do Facebook surveys or answer questions to see what animal, or flower, or TV show character they were based upon simple questions. Realizing how simple it seemed, I came up with the idea of basically supplying a story and just having some of you fill in the blanks with your own information, a little like your Facebook participation. The idea remained me of the game which was created during our childhood “Mad Libs..” I always loved playing that game back then.
Mad Libs consists of a book that has a short story on each page with many key words replaced with blanks. Beneath each blank is specified a lexical or other category, such as "noun", "verb", "place", or "part of the body". One player asks the other players, in turn, to contribute some word for the specified type for each blank, but without revealing the context for that word. Finally, the completed story is read aloud. The result is usually comic, surreal and somewhat nonsensical. Mad Libs was invented in 1953 by Leonard Stern and Roger Price, but no name was chosen until five years later in 1958 when the first book was published.
Instead of just asking for words, I am giving you a basic set of questions to answer, which once the blanks are filled in, will all go together to document an event in your life to which other readers might relate. We have done something similar several years ago, but not to the extent this project offers.
So, here is your challenge. You can submit an interesting story, even if you don't consider yourself a writer. I will edit as necessary, so don't worry.. Please cut and paste the following questions into your own word processor and answer them and then email the document back to me. If you cannot do that, then just write down the numbers and fill in the blanks and send me the answers and I will do the rest. I will print as many replies as I get, so go for it.
The first story I seek, is the life you were living on the day you turned 16. Here are the questions I wish you to answer. Feel free to add additional content. You are not limited to just one or two words. Good luck and thanks.
The Day I Turned 16
I turned 16 on (date)_______________.
1. I was living at ____________ , along with ________________.
2. My best friends were __________________________.
3. My favorite fun activity was _________________________.
4. I loved to watch (show or genre) ___________________ on our (type/brand/size) _______________television.
5. My favorite type of music to listen to was _____________________.
6. I was looking forward to turning 16 because I _______________________________.
7. Up until that day, my best vacation ever had been to _____________________________.
8. Our family car was ____________________________, but my primary mode of transportation was _____________________.
9. My favorite food was ________________________, and if I could eat anywhere I wanted to eat I would go to ________________________.
10. My favorite type of movies was ________________________________.
11. If I wanted to look good I would wear my _______________________, and I would put on _____________________ to smell good.
12. For my birthday I planned to __________________________.
13. My favorite subject in school was _______________________, and I thought I wanted to __________________________ when I graduated from high school.
14. A memorable décor item in my room was _______________________.
15. I had a crush on ___________________________.
16. My favorite beverage was ____________________________.
17. My first kiss was ___________________________.
18. I could describe my parents as ___________________________________.
19. I considered myself _____________________________.
20. My favorite group/organization to which I belonged was ____________________________.
Memphis, TN - I am counting on at least a few of you to send me your answers to the questions above to share with your classmates. I think this is a good way for you non-writers to document a part of your childhood, and maybe even inspire some of you to preserve a little more of your history for your family. Should this beginning project work out, similar items may come along in the future.
Reunion Facebook Group
Started by Greg Dixon
Greg Dixon has established a Facebook group called "Lee High School Reunion for Classes of '64, '65, '66" for those of you who use Facebook and want to keep up with each other via that media. It is a closed group, meaning you have to be invited, but anyone in the group can add new users. If you are one of those people, please insure you only add friends you know, since many spammers ask to join groups and then bombard the page with ads trying to sell things. If you have not joined or already been invited to join by Greg, please contact him for an invite. Just do a search for "Lee High School Reunion for Classes of '64, '65, '66" in Facebook to find the group.
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Alice Gullion Preston
As always, I enjoyed your article comparing the goals of some class members declared in the yearbook with their actual careers. As for Alice Preston, her goal was to be a secretary. Actually, she achieved far beyond that very honorable and important goal. From 1983 until she retired, Alice was office administrator. This means she was in charge of everything except the practice of law. She actually hired and supervised the secretaries, bookkeepers, paralegals, receptionists, and everyone else except the lawyers. You were right about one thing. I relied on her exceptional organizational and people skills on a daily basis. From my perspective and that of my clients, Alice succeeded far beyond her original goals.