A Senior Moment
by Eva Pasco
Author of "Underlying Notes"
The year 1969 is most memorable to me as my
last year at Lincoln Senior High, and the start of my freshman year at Rhode Island College. Though I can
now appreciate the challenging spirit of the Sixties, you might say it eluded me while living through the
decade. Sure, I'll never forget Apollo 11 with Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon and his famous words:
"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I also admit to following the Chappaquidick
chronicles which drowned any notion Ted Kennedy might have had to run for president. I watched Dustin
Hoffman as Ratso in The Midnight Cowboy at the movie theater with my first steady boyfriend.
Yet, Woodstock happened without me. Then as now I doubt I'd forego
showering or washing and coiffing my hair. I did faithfully write two cousins who served in Vietnam, but
remained neutral on the subject of the war itself. The My Lai Massacre was a terrible blight in American
history that did not tragically affect my family.
I was too involved with amassing senior moments. No, not the memory lapse
kind, but twelfth grade fluff. World current events of the sixties may be somewhat hazy, but my senior
class trip to New York in May of '69 is vivid as though it occured yesterday. The guys had to wear sport
jackets and ties and we girls wore dresses with hose.
I remember waiting at the end of my driveway in the burbs
dolled up in my ruffled aqua and white polkadot shift. Just as the squeaky schoolbus plodded down Angel
Rd., Gretchen, the neighbor's St. Bernard, bounded across my yard. Jumping on me, she interpreted my
frantic gestures to push her away as an invitation to roughhouse. She wrestled my arm with her teeth,
drooling slime over it. I had mere seconds to get myself presentable with a tissue before boarding the
Boy the times they are a changin'! All of
Mr. R's senior class history students fit comfortably on a single Greyhound with only one chaperone--Mr. R. We
affectionately called him "The Buddha" because he always sat crosslegged on a table during lessons and his
belly hung over his trousers. When we arrived
in the big city, Mr. R kept the guys under close supervision to make sure they didn't wander off to buy booze.
We gals had free rein to go wherever we pleased until boarding time.
My girlfriends and I were born to shop so strolled through the now
defunct Orbach's and other prestigious department stores. Then we picked a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown
to have lunch and busied ourselves with buying souvenirs. It never dawned on any of us to do something
stupid or crazy other than giggle and be loud.
Though I lament not being more involved in the political rustling
of the sixties, I cherish the carefree times and innocence retained in those senior moments of
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