Big Paulie's Stuff
SpartanburgHigh.com (Not the official site)
Home (you are here)
Got to thinking about it, I built this site using MS Frontpage 2000 back in 1999. Some of the material predates that and was posted on another site I created in 1996. That was near the dawn of the WWW, don'cha know. Everything under the sun has its season, and the time has come to pull the plug....
Me, in a B & B in New Orleans. You can tell I'm awake because my mouth is closed and I'm not drooling.
Me, as I look today. Or the way I would look if I looked the same way I did forty* years ago... forty-five years ago. Don't start busting my chops over little details.
*Pay attention, I got a beef with you people. This site has been up for way over a decade, and the paragraph above was posted probably sometime in 2002. I had misspelled the word "forty" twice, and in all that time, not one of you mentioned that to me. I do care about those little details, and I'm capable of learning. Next time, let me be the first to know when I make a mistake. I'd do the same for you. - PMC, Feb 13, 2013.
Okay, a recent photo. Still not smiling, but please notice how much smaller my ears have become.
My last address in Spartanburg was Highland Court Apartments, a place we stayed for a number of years until I left for collich.
In an apartment next door lived a retired teacher,
Miss Mary Beebe. She was 85 when she passed on in early 1964.
She was also the late
Beebe's great aunt, and an interesting character.
She liked a cigarette on occasion, and she enjoyed good
conversation. Not with me,
of course, but with Mother and her friends.
Miss Beebe and I did have an
arrangement where every Saturday I'd fetch her groceries for the coming
week. I had a standing order for one pork chop, one-quarter pound
of twice-ground beef, one potato, one apple, etc.
For providing that service, I was paid the princely sum of
twenty-five cents, which even
in those days was not a princely sum.
I did a good job and could account for every penny spent. Once, however, I did have to refigure everything several times while sitting at her kitchen table. But I found my mistake. Rest assured, it was a harrowing experience, and the old dear would not have had it any other way.
Before Miss Beebe was hauled off to
a nursing home, she gave me
a curious, framed print done in art-nouveau style.
It was a picture of a young woman in a swing, with improbable
bubbles drifting over from distant mountains.
That's a poor description, but maybe you get the idea.
I wish they had not done that.
When I was a boy, I liked girls. A lot. I mean, when I was five years old, I'd have fantasies about them, and at the time I wasn't even aware of anatomical differences.
First there was Jo Ann.
Saw her from a distance picking cotton in a field outside Wheeler,
Mississippi. She was
screen-actress pretty, but she was 13 or 14 and I was only five.
Precocious, but only five.
Then there was Kathy in Valley
Stream, New York. I was
from out of town, and she was determined to protect me from my own naiveté, which was nice.
We'd both just turned six, we were good friends, and that
Greenville, SC, early 1953.
Elaine. She of the
dark hair and blue eyes -- physical traits we shared.
We both had a crush on her, something else we shared.
For my part, alas, it was not to be, since the teacher changed
our seating assignments.
Then there was Nancy, who was five
when I was six. Way too young for me, but she was a good kid.
Next, Dianne. She liked Nimrod -- was gonna marry him and make babies. Believe me when I tell you, I really, really didn't care. I knew Nimrod, and you can only have kind feelings for a kid saddled with that name. Anyhoo, as an added annoyance, Dianne lived with her parents directly next door to us . Her mother, who dipped snuff like there was no tomorrow, wanted to know where her daughter was at every moment. Even then I understood. I could tolerate Dianne, but she was an airhead.
From those early years, the girl who stands out in my memory is Ann. Ann, whose last name I've now forgotten. She appeared sometime in the spring of '53.
I discovered her five houses down on my street there in Greenville, and she could run as fast as any little girl I ever knew. Gee, she was fast. She was my age, fun to be around, bright, with curly, light-brown hair, and a maturity way beyond her years. She had no flaws. None. Even now, sixty years later, I feel a sense of completeness when I think of her.She was there one day, gone the next. "Mom's calling," she'd said. Bless their hearts, somebody's mom was always calling.
By the fall of 1954, Mother and I had moved to Spartanburg....