Savannah High School Days

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Back to my lazy habit of combinding two Live Journal entries.

A voice from my Savannah childhood

It was a surprise when one of my web pages, The Unimportance of Being Southern, got a reply from someone I went to Shuman Jr. High with. Googleís mighty power can never be underestimated. My hasty attempt to bridge the decades follows.

Glenn Kersy writes (3/27/2003):

I have to admitt that at the time you knew me (age 12 to approx 16) I probably had some rascist tendencies and ideation. But look at the time, place and who my parent's were. I don't think the term "racist" apply to me today. In fact I hardly resemble the confused little boy you knew so many years ago.

When I typed this page I hadn't anticipated Google's power to let us discover what has been written of us on the web. Never hit me that Glenn himself might wander this way. Probably no one worthy of breathing is who they were when they were long ago, particularly in their youth. Sex aside, growing beyond, perhaps above your young self, prisoner that he or she was of their context, is one of the supreme pleasures of moving into the dreadful status of being an adult.

I canít help but marvel with disgust at my young self, sometimes made brave by the powers conferred by misanthropy and megalomania, more often timid and fearful. My succeeding selves have each stepped on the graves of their predecessors.

In additon you also add homophobic and and antisemetic to the list of things that I an also NOT (as I have recently converted to Judaism).

I couldnít find what I said. (And discovered that Atomz index of Edifying Spectacle shows pages that havenít existed for a couple of years.) I think Glenn was one of the people I shared my discovery of my love of young men.

Words are failing me. Iíd like to be able to say I donít resent whatever he said to me thirty years ago. But I donít want to make it seem that I feel the man of today need feel any blame for the youth of long ago.

Maybe this is an acceptable summary: back then there were few people I hung out with. Whether the shorter list was those who wanted to know me or those I wanted to know canít be recovered. Glenn was a member of a tiny group that I spent time with.

Kind of neat to hear from him after all the years.

Invincible arrogance at Savannah High School

A few days ago I posted a note about a friend from long ago that found me through my website. His second email was a big surprise.

It is not often in a man's life that he has opportunity to offer an appology for transgression he committed as an adolescent. I do owe you a tremendous appology. I truly thought of you as a friend when we were in the 7th and 8th grades. I enjoyed your company as we shared so many interest (COMIC BOOKS and a sincere dislike for the social order in our school are 2 that come to mind). However even as I was a social misfit, and never popular with the right people, I was willing to join in when others would torment and tease you. For this I sincerlely ask your forgiviness. I could make excuses for this behavior, citing youthful indescretion ,but I knew even then it was wrong.

Oddly enough I donít remember people tormenting or teasing me. I remember exactly one attempt to humiliate me in high school. On the bus home from school one day the most beautiful girl in school asked if she could sit in my lap. I was reading. I dimly knew something was askew and looked up at her with contempt and said no (nothing special about the contempt, it was my habitual response to almost everybody and everything).

I was so deeply embedded in my own world that I was off the bus and home before I realized that she and I guess a group of her friends had tried to hurt, to humiliate me. I realized Iíd gotten the best of the exchange and put it out of mind.

At some point I became .the Ďweird kidí in a school of about three thousand students.

Dimly I recollect that Savannah High Schoolís head counselor tried to sort me out. Ha! By high school I was equally enraptured by comic books, theoretical physics, Samuel Johnson and Friedrich Nietzsche. (Essentially the things did much to shape my mind, hence my life.) My politics, as it were, consisted of believing the only thing to do with the human race was execute most of it to trim it down into a manageable size that could be subjected to a proper conditioning program. The counselor not finding any common ground gave up and had my parents sent me to a psychologist who referred me to a psychiatrist.

I had to have attracted huge amounts of derision. I forget if Iíve ever shared this. One of my science teachers hated his students. So he arranged for me to give lectures to his classes explaining that I was from another planet and was there to judge them. (Later he had me hid in a storage room and make weird noises while his classes took their midterms.)

Never, not once did I ever wonder what the other students thought about me. Some years after high school I thought back was simply astounded. More socialized if only by sex and the beginning of tolerance my earlier self seemed a marvel. Iím not apt to worry about what folks think of me. But the invincible arrogance of my adolescence wouldíve been a deadly thing to carry with me into my adult life.

Whatever grandiose vision I may have had of myself back then couldíve only made for a miserable life.

Comments

I was just looking for some info my SHS since this is my senior year (thank goodness) and my friend Jeremy told me to take a look at your interesting blog. ^_^ I have a question man, did SHS have newspaper back then, I want to start a website for it and I’m a bit annoyed that it doesn’t have any media outside the yearbook.

i went to shuman jr high in 1969 to 71 and am looking for anyone who knew me at that time

I was there then. I knew a Marvin but mostly didn’t know anybody’s last name.

I was at SHS from 1971 - 1973. I don’t know if we knew each other. At the time I was really into orthodox Judaism and in the ‘73 year book was falsely quoted as calling myself “Super Jew.” Young, self righteous kid that I was I went to Mr. Johnson (School vice principle) and demanded a retraction. All I got was a refund and now regret not having that annual.

We lived across the street on Washington Ave. My brother was president of the Sr. Class when the time capsule was buried and he never had it dug up as he was suppose to do 20 years later. I heard it was dug up and had leaked and everything in it was ruined.

I went to summer school after my Jr. year and graduated early. I was in the drama club (we did a horrible play called ‘It’s in the Stars’ or something like it.) and first girl in the drafting club. I was also on the newspaper staff.

I just heard that Mr. Griner, the band director died last month.

I’ve been married for almost 25 years, have 2 children, a son and daughter and numerous pets. I am a breast cancer survivor, advocate for the mentally ill, abused and neglected children, and my entire family are suckers for any stray animal we come across. I’ve lived in NYC, Baltimore, Atlanta, back to NY and for the last 14 years, North Carolina. My daughter has the same personality quirks I had, and my experience helped me raise her to be a really neat kid! Rather than trying to change her to fit into society, I helped her develop her own self, which has turned out to be an artist (actually went to SCAD for 2 quarters), actress and happily quirky.

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. Oh well. I found you blog when I did a search on SHS to try and get my transcripts, I’m actually going back to school!

Jean (Jeannie Fields) Holstein

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Please share your feelings about Savannah High School Days.
Thanks,
Richard

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