A Fresh Start

In continuing my life’s story with Mommy’s Piggy Tales

After a rough beginning in Jr High, I needed a fresh start. My parents found just the house they wanted and we moved to the other side of town. When your town is mid-sized, that can make all the difference. We had no way of keeping up (like kids do now) and old ties were cut. So, for my ‘cool friends’ this meant ‘out of sight – out of mind.’

Mom began a job at an elite shoe store in town (The Bootery). She worked in the office and regularly brought home the latest and greatest styles. Talk about fun!

A few days before school started – she came into my room and asked if I’d like to go shop at Sears, JC Penny’s, Montgomery WardsGrigsby’s Rag Doll!! {The boutique that served Dr. Pepper while you shopped and all the High School cheerleaders worked there} *sigh* Seeing the look of shock on my face – she asked, ‘Isn’t that where all the girls like to shop?’ Now, Mom wasn’t an ‘everyone’s doing it’ kind of parent – so this was a moment to savor. Also, she didn’t mean ‘someday’ – we got in the car and went right then! I still remember the houndstooth pants with the tiny belt; the blouse with oversized collar and puffed sleeves; and the v-neck, navy sweater with a parrot on the front. {Don’t laugh – it was waaaay cool} Mostly, I remember our time together. This was the fresh start I’d longed for.

The first day of school I was passed a note during Mrs. Purdy’s Science class. It said something like, ‘I see you’re new – my name’s Kathy – you want to be my friend?‘ That day, a little girl with big glasses, long hair and a kind smile became my bossom buddy. My lonely days were gone! {BTW – Kathy and I are still friends to this day}

I joined choir and was privileged to be in the midst of fine leaders and a well developed choral program. We did well in competition and this favored activity brought school trips and countless rehearsals. Our closing song was, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”. This song would come to mean a great deal to me.

Come 9th grade – I even tried out for cheerleader – even though it was determined by popular vote. I was stunned to be a finalist! The top 5 became cheerleaders – the bottom 5 were the school’s ‘Banner Squad’. Which meant back to Grisby’s Rag Doll to buy those white, patten leather loafers that went with our ‘uniform’.

No, it wasn’t all about clothes {I don’t think} but it WAS about self expression. Dressing fashionably could show others that I was different – I so wanted to stand out.  I guess I did.

This new school had a student body of mixed ethnic proportions. In West Texas, during the 1970’s, that meant racial tensions from both sides. I learned to endure threats due to my color. It was ‘cool’ to be tough and tough I was not! I liked my hair, curled just so and my fingernails painted … ‘prissy’ I was called. The name calling didn’t make me want to change – I just found it confusing. So I learned to avoid the pockets of students who would tease and threat. The teachers were no help – they were obviously afraid of the aggression too. You just had to ‘be there’ to understand the dynamics. Society has changed a great deal and conflicts like these are the rare exception.

My years of Jr High (8th & 9th grade) ended with … a boyfriend. I was ready to settle in for the long haul with him, my friends and the new life we’d made. But, the summer of 1973 brought – you guessed it – another move. This time we would leave our roots for good. The saga continues …


  1. says

    Its wonderful to meet you here~ You have a BEAUTIFUL family!!! Thank you for stopping in at the blog. Also your kind comments. Blessings Catherine Anne

  2. Gail says

    awe, Debi, I too love reading about your life. That is so precious – your story of how you met Kathy. :o) I was wondering how she was doing myself. Odd how we think of people as we go about our own days.

    Love to you friend as the new school year begins.

  3. says

    Hi there, I’m just getting back into blogging and found yours on a Christian Mommy list. I’m enjoying your blog and hope you’ll check mine out. You have a very interesting, wonderful life! :) Blessings to you!!

  4. says

    Oh! I just think all women with the name “Kathy” have to be great…I have never meet one in my whole life that wasn’t a doll….my friend through school, marriage and our first five kids….she is a Kathy!
    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  5. Elizabeth says

    I remember the Bootery and Grigsby’s! Girl – your mom WAS cool! I never got to shop at those places. It was always Sears, Montgomery Wards or Kmart for me. So funny. What Jr. High did you go to? I went to Madison, then Cooper. At Cooper we always sang “The Lord Bless You…”, a favorite of mine as well. What memories! Love looking into your life and your heart.