May seemed to rush right by with Ronnie and I seeing each other every day. Now it was June. I remember sitting in the audience at Ronnie’s graduation with his Mom. I never cry at these sort of things but I was sure his Mom would so I brought a few tissues. His Mom grew teary eyed at the very start. It didn’t really hit me until two girls from the graduating class sang “Against All Odds”. As much as I wanted to keep it together for his Mom I just couldn’t hold back the tears. After the first few words were sung she and I looked at each other then we hugged and cried our eyes out. The verse that really killed us was “ And you coming back to me is against the odds and that's what I've got to face.” When the song was over she said “Don’t tell him I cried.” I said “I wont tell if you don’t.” After the ceremony we took pictures of Ronnie and his buddies in their caps and gowns. He and his parents insisted that I get in a few as well and I gladly took my place beside him as he wrapped his arms around me.
His little sister MaryAnn took the opportunity to tattle on his Mom and I “They cried like big balling babies.” His Mom and I looked at each other and laughed. Ok, so we didn’t tell on each other but our secret was out. He put his arms around both of us and gave us a great big squeeze. Then told us what silly girls we were which made all of us laugh.
The very last day of school we received our year books. How on earth can you have 50 of your very bestest-friends-ever sign your year book on the very last day of school? A half day at that? Many of the students were either on vacation or decided the last day was not worth going. In my view, Ronnie was at work and I was off for the day. Might as well see a few people for the last time before summer. Ok, I didn’t have 50 bestest-friends but I did like to see the looks on some peoples faces when I asked them to sign my year book. “Really? You want ME to sign your year book?! Oh! Sign mine too! Mine too!” It surprised me a great deal. Why would they be so ecstatic about signing my year book? I was just another girl they knew in school and they were always nice to me. Their reaction worried me. Was I in some way unkind to them during the school year?
Apparently I was nice to everyone. It didn’t matter to me what “clique” they belonged to, what their parents’ financial situation was or who liked or disliked them. Everyone was equal in my eyes as long as they were being nice. If they weren’t being nice I would tell them…and they would laugh at how “cute” I was. Since the beginning of my freshman year guys not only carried my books to class for me they carried me as well. I was a tiny bit of a thing so it was easily managed. Of course the faculty did not approve of this so it became sort of a game. Who could manage to get me all the way to my class without a faculty member insisting that I be put down. Immediately. I didn’t always have knowledge of who or when it was going to happen. I would be walking down the hall and suddenly swept off my feet, literally, by some guy. Sometimes I knew them and sometimes it was sort of an introduction. This was a good way to get on my guy pal list. Even though I would not date anyone from my own high school, my very lovely friends had no such rule. My guy pals could date one of my awesome friends but if it didn’t work out…ok when it didn’t work out they were not only minus one fabulous girl friend…they were usually out of the guy pal club too, depending on the manner of the breakup.
I didn’t see myself as one of the “popular kids” but I found out later that I was well liked by many. My sister still laughs at me to this day when I say “I wasn’t popular in high school.”
I reserved a whole page in the front of my year book for Ronnie. This is what he wrote.
It wasn’t perfect composition but I treasured it and read it over and over again.
“I know this page says reserved but I think it might be for me. So I’ll write from the bottom so nobody will notice it. I hope you can read this! Do you know that it will be almost 3 months since I met you. It surely doesn’t seem that long. These past three months have been some of the best in my life, and I mean it too. I hope the ARMY does not cause a problem for us. I mean I’ll understand if you want to cool things off while I’m in the ARMY because you probably would want to have fun with your friends and stuff like that. I know I’ll be busy so you don’t have to worry about me. I really hope though that we can make it through the army because you are very special to me and I think I might need you to help me through the ARMY. I know I can trust you while I’m away but I will sure miss you alot! It will be tough but I think our love for each will help us though the whole thing. You are a very special person to me, I LOVE YOU!!! I had fun in Ocean City but It just wasn’t complete without you there to share it with me. I thought about you every day, even when I was talking to other girls. But I had my friends there to help me through the whole thing. I better stop now and ask you if I can write here or not. I finish this later. O.K! Be back in a flash. Look on page 72, that’s my babe, and no one else’s! Well, I’m back to write more. I will be spreading myself out a lot over the summer between You, my friends, and hopefully a Job. This is my last summer before I go into the ARMY (only 2 ½ months) so I will be trying to spend as much time with you and my friends as possible. I hope you will understand it when I go over to Matt’s or do something with my friends, but I will still see you every day and hopefully go some places with you like the Falls, Mountains or just down to Lake Forest to walk through the mall. It’s hard for me because I want to be with you a lot before I go into the ARMY, but I also want to be with my friends some of the time. Hey you’re a senior now and you should be having fun with your friends also. Just don’t get into trouble, O.K.! This is going to be a tough summer for me so I hope you will bear with me so we can get through it with no problems. I want you to have fun next year in school like I did this year. Maybe I’ll be able to take some leave and come home for Prom and the Homecoming. Well your, here so I got to go. Stay sweet and lovable!!
LOVE YA ALWAYS! Ronnie Leadore ‘85 #7 WHS”
What’s on page 72? Here, a look at me back in high school.
Hey, don’t rag on my hair. Everyone who was anyone had “feathered” hair in my high school. When I look at this picture I see an average happy girl, nothing fantastic or extraordinary. I was not hot or sexy. I didn’t think I was the type guys would fight over or fall apart over. Just the girl next door. Apparently, I didn’t see what guys saw.