Sunday, May 17, 2015

High School Revisited, Part 2

I had a lot of fun in high school but I worked hard too. As soon as I was 16 years old, I asked my mom to take me to get my driver's license and from the day I got it, I started working. My first job was at the Ponderosa Steak House in Grandview's Truman Corners. The day I was hired, my boss told me that if I did a good job, in three months he would give me a raise. I got good reviews those three months and no raise. Three more months went by and still no raise, so I went looking for another job. I found one around the corner from Ponderosa, at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). They hired me for more money than I would have received with the raise that was promised me. So I went in to give my notice and my boss was shocked that I was leaving. He asked me why and I told him about his promise for the raise. He said, "I'll give it to you now." Too late! Off to KFC I went.

That turned out to be the best job for me in high school because they would work with me and my schedule of extra curricular activities: wrestling cheerleading, choir, plays, etc. They were always very good about that and in return I worked as many hours as I could when I didn't have those things going on. I came home very greasy after every shift but it really was a good job. The hardest day? Mother's Day! We went through so much food on that day. People would be lined up out the door.

I remember when I first started at KFC, we had a regular old cash register. With that register, we had to count people's change back to them. So, when we got the fancy register, that gave the change back automatically, we thought it was pretty cool. I also learned a life lesson or two, while working there.  One was that humans are not always honest.  I got short changed on one of my shifts by a guy who was so slick. I never figured out how he did it exactly but he walked out with $20 more than he came in with. I was very careful and very suspicious after that. It didn't happen again.

My first car was a 62 Chevy 2 and I loved it! It was white and had push button gears with four doors. Perfect for my first car. When my brother Kevin got his license a year later, we started driving a teal station wagon, which is in the picture above.

Riding in the Homecoming Parade.
My senior year went by so fast. I was very busy with lots of different things and loved every minute of it. Besides working, I was in the Gold Choir, which did performances and went to competitions, was the Vice President of the Senior Class, a baseball cheerleader and was a candidate for Homecoming Queen. It was a high honor for me to be nominated and although I didn’t win, it was an exciting time and I felt blessed to be a part of the event. I got to ride in a convertible in the Homecoming parade, I got a beautiful dress made of royal blue satin with a light blue silk top, and I went to the dance with a guy I had a crush on who was a star football player. It was a Cinderella type of night. I didn’t end up dating that guy but we had fun at the dance.

From the Ruskin yearbook. (1)
I was selected to give a speech at my graduation ceremony, which had me nervous as a cat. We graduated at the RLDS Auditorium in Independence, Missouri. It was a huge auditorium, where many schools held their graduations. The graduates would all march in and sit up in the front, in an area where a choir would be. It was a great facility to have that kind of ceremony.  My speech was on the Three P’s; Performance, Perseverance and Possibilities. People said that I sounded like I was going to cry throughout the whole speech, but I didn’t. However, when the Gold Choir got up and sang the traditional graduation song, I lost it. This was it…high school life was coming to an end. The real world was about to begin.

From the Ruskin yearbook. (2)
(1) Ruskin High School, The Mirage, 1976, Kansas City, Missouri, Page 119.  
(2) Ruskin High School, The Mirage, 1976, Kansas City, Missouri, Page 201.


sage said...

Congratulations on speaking to your class--did that mean you were the valedictorian?

Terri Hatch Politi said...

No, just a class officer and number six in the class. I think there were three or four short speeches so the valedictorian and salutatorian also spoke.