Sock Hop, Soda Shops,and Sororities

Photo credit: loop_oh via / CC BY-NC-SA

Back in the the day, when I attened high school, those were indeed Happy Days.  It you’re familiar with the 1970s television show, they do a pretty good job of capturing my teen years.

Our high school, West High School,  reminded me of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s mansion in Pride and Prejudice. There were four floors with and the stairs were shared – right side was upstairs while left side was downstair traffic.    But what went on inside those stately walls was more like  Grease than Northhanger Abbey.

Once a week we would have a dance in the gym, it was called a canteen.  We set up a record player and someone would spin the latest 45s.   We danced the jitterbug, the stroll, and the bop. Some of the kids were so good, they went on to dance on American Bandstand when it came to Cleveland.  Keep in mind that while American Bandstand originated in Philadelphia —  Rock and Roll was born in Cleveland.

We spent our Friday nights at Diney’s Dinner arriving in Cadillac’s borrowed from our fathers.  Waitresses carrying trays of french fries and sodas rollerskated over to our cars where they suspended the trays on open windows.  If the weather was bad, we’d head down to the Capitol Show where we watched Ernest Borgnine in the movie in Marty.  That is until we got a little too rowdy and they asked us to leave.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Interior Design / CC BY-NC

 At the end of the year, the school yard became a midway with rides and games.  Groups of girls dressed in their sorority or club colors strolled the grounds flirting with bad boys but making dates with good boys. My sorority was called Zeta Chi. Our jackets were black and white – and we ruled the school.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot.  We also went to class!


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