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Friday, March 6, 2015


I had every intention of writing something inspirational about following our individual paths in life... and then I remembered "The Path", maybe because I had a moment in the grocery store today when I was appreciating male beauty in the guy ahead of me in line when he got carded?  It's either reminisce about the old days or start thinking of myself as a dirty old lady, and I don't think I'm ready for that yet.  Let's just all hope together that guy has a great date tonight.

Anyway, the land around my junior high and high school was surrounded by woods, with "Ridge Acres", a post-WWII  housing development behind that.  You know what those look like, kind of like the green houses in Monopoly, but this was Willoughby, Ohio so all the houses were white.  Maybe somebody would break out and paint their house beige, but you can always find a radical.  They probably immigrated from Euclid, and you know how those people are -- which you probably don't and I'm just teasing.

"The Path" was a paved strip for Ridge Acres "walkers" to get to school.  For us bus riders, it where we congregated and smoked, you know, cigarettes and stuff.  It was the 70s and we were oh so cool.  I'm glad I was still growing replacement brain cells at the time.

To show that as much as things change some things stay the same, my main priority was watching boys.  I had my favorites.  There was a trumpet player who kind of made me wish I hadn't given up my cornet or trombone or one of my many other stabs at music.  Another boy with long, dark, curly hair... well, I could go on.  I was very boy crazy.  My girlfriends didn't understand.  Even now I'm not sure if it was the aesthetics, smoke, fantasies, wishing, or hormones, and I definitely couldn't understand why my girlfriends weren't all a-twitter with me. 

My 2 best guy friends didn't seem pleased with my visual appreciations either.  Of course either of them could've propositioned me, but noooo.  I liked looking at them too, but nobody, I mean nobody, asked me out when I was in school.  My sister assured me this was because I was too tall and ugly, but I didn't think I was so ugly nobody would ask.  I pined, I looked, I giggled.

Looking back on it, I'm now quite sure teenaged boys are idiots and there probably were a few who simply lacked the nerve to ask.  I'm also pretty sure that some of them saw I was a train wreck and were too smart to ask.  Good girls didn't smoke on The Path.

I'd like to say I don't regret any of it, but maybe I do?  Did I really regrow my brain cells?  Was I a bad influence on other people?  It's hard to think of it regretfully though because I had a lot of fun on The Path.  I loved saying "hello" to everyone.  It was a happy place for me, full of laughter, camaraderie, and really cute boys.  Eventually I gave up on waiting for guys to ask me out and started asking them instead.

I took this blurry photo of a mural I painted in high school of the 4 seasons because Grandma said "Even though you think you'll never forget what it looks like, when you get old you'll be glad to have a photo".  Thanks Grandma!  Good advice.  The mural was Path smoke inspired, plus I thought it was a most excellent way to get excused from classes.  20 years after the fact I told the superintendent to get rid of it and have another kid paint a mural there instead.


  1. We all have lots of paths and journeys in our life don't we Linda. ..We never know what would have happened if we'd turned a different corner. It sounded a very typical 1970s hangout....and fun to look back on ;-)

  2. There was a tv show about the 70s with a bunch of kids hanging out together and I used to think that was my life, nothing exciting, just important to us at the time, and pretty funny. Thanks Jane!

  3. First of all, I'm pretty sure grocery store cashiers have to card people who look up to age 35. So don't be so quick to label yourself!

    I also think, or just thought in reading this post, that childhood is really something we all survive the best we can, and hope we learned how to be nice people and not jerks. At least that's what I hope. :)

  4. I hope for nice people around all of us no matter what age we are. It makes our lives so much better, and handsome boy men are good to have around too!

  5. I love the colors and composition in the mural--so dynamic. It seems remarkably mature to me. Smoking on the Path must left something intact!

  6. I love the colors and composition in the mural--so dynamic. It seems remarkably mature to me. Smoking on the Path must left something intact!

  7. I think I was being lazy with this mural because I didn't want to bother doing people or something realistic. It surprised me that it worked out as well as it did. One of those learning moments :)

  8. There must be an unwritten rule that every town has its own "Path," not just for pedestrian shortcuts but rites of passage. Obviously there was a lot of creativity blossoming there (even amidst all that smoke), as your mural demonstrates!

  9. You are quite right about boys at that age, they most likely lacked the nerve. But idiots? I was one of them, not on the Path, but still... No way! Anyway I think it was much smarter to start asking yourself. Why are only boys suppose to do it? (Hopefully it's changed these days).

  10. Well I'm not saying that girls aren't idiots, or that I wasn't idiotic myself. I'm pretty sure I implied that :) Hey, live and learn. I've done my share of asking first.

    I like your connection of rite of passage to the Path Michele. Thanks for the comments!