My Painful Feelings of My High School Class of 1972

And a good time was had by "some"

Teens of "the elite" groups of my class were always friendly and cordial to each other. And that was it.
Teens of "the elite" groups of my class were always friendly and cordial to each other. And that was it. | Source
My junior and senior proms were jokes. I never went to them. But "the elite groups" who always got to plan both proms, always the same upper-class kids, were quick to ask for our money, the outcast students' money
My junior and senior proms were jokes. I never went to them. But "the elite groups" who always got to plan both proms, always the same upper-class kids, were quick to ask for our money, the outcast students' money | Source

Hello to all members of

My graduating Class of 1972 - Hamilton High School, Hamilton, AL.

Oh we funned, fought, cried, lied, died, and crawled from 1960 through 1972 and for what? A better life? Yeah, for some. Not me. Oh, please. Do not insult me with your old and overly-used phrases, "You had as much of a chance as we did," and this oldie-but-a-goodie, "You were as good as anyone else," for dear classmates, I grew weary of these easy cop-out responses before we graduated. And cringed to die when I heard after 1972.

Me, and those like me, had as much chance as a virgin in a man's prison to succeed when we were the outcasts, dregs, and lepers, who "you," the privileged few, got the favors and teacher's winks, while we scrubbed, scratched and groveled just to get into class.

Am I exaggerating? No. Not a syllable, for I have talked with those just like me who were actually cheated, no, robbed of any chance "we" had of ever making anything good out of our lives.

So good for you, the "elite" members of the Class of 1972, Hamilton High School, in Hamilton, Alabama were personal-politics run wild and coffers are full. And tramps like my friends and I simply look on from the sidelines

1972 graduation

The passageway to (my) slow death

Source

Graduation - why not just stick a dagger in my back

Kisses and teary-eye’d lies, we hold our hearts and say goodbye

One walks leaving the talk and Judas’ love so real.

Our learning is done and to life we run—hoping one race we’ve won.


* Photos used in this hub are not of the actual people referred to as "the class of '72," but photos to only represent my subject/KA

Hamilton High School (Hamilton, Al.) today

Source
Ahh, yes. "That" tearful moment of farewell when "Miss Elite, Staight A;s" says goodbye for "elite" mommy to go to college that of course she went on a full-scholarship for being so bright.
Ahh, yes. "That" tearful moment of farewell when "Miss Elite, Staight A;s" says goodbye for "elite" mommy to go to college that of course she went on a full-scholarship for being so bright. | Source
Even when a few wayward members of my class, "the elite groups" got drunk at proms and vomited, it was all overlooked by teachers.
Even when a few wayward members of my class, "the elite groups" got drunk at proms and vomited, it was all overlooked by teachers. | Source
More "elite group" teen talk--talking about "their" lifes and how they will miss their own kind.
More "elite group" teen talk--talking about "their" lifes and how they will miss their own kind. | Source

Someday I knew my true feelings would come out

Young souls staggering innocence dark

Drooling byes to free breeze, sleeping sprees and staring like the lark.

Bowing at masters old and used—struggling, cuddling, wings abused

Sand, hand-in-hand, naïve to hear dead man.


Lyrically obsolete we gaze at feet, eating the street--yearning for meat so pure

Bond in bond we started with one, two, and a hundred and or so

Came death, born thief, and we grew on grief as cloudy changes blow.

Singing cobweb’s song so true, born to you, we are fools for blue.


Sheepish we kiss and laughter amiss—daring her heart to repeat

Shade of love, a few bloody doves walking with no direction to see.

Sheepish we kiss the wind so amiss and wish our allies our songs

Some crawl in mud to scatter their blood and we chant a foolish rhyme.


Oh laughing cursed be time and us just a dime to feed, breed our slime

Forget the vows just a rusted plow and “she” is only my ghost.

We lost most and died to boast a hundred or a hundred or two

Five, maybe six, they died for a fix and me? I never did see.


Young souls staggered in carnal so dark

Stuttering their byes to freedom, unions and marks.

Bowing and laughing at masters old book—struggling, blood puddling so pure.

Dust in hand, hand-in-hand, wise to steering endured.

This is where they ended: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor

Source

This is how some left

Source

So here we die and thousands we lie—knowing our blood was done

Clutching the soul, doing the role hoping it ends in this hole.

A sudden black bag a nameless nametag and peace is never at ease.

Say what you must for I am but dust—helmet, gun just rust.



And this was "their" lives

starting from the year 1960, first grade and ending in the year 1972. I emphasized "their" in my headline for it was "their" 12 years, not mine. And certainly not the handful of friends I had who were just like me.

And with life's sometimes magical changes you would (in faith) think that "these elite groups" would have changed since high school graduation in 1972 uhtil 2014. No. Not a hair. They are still strutting around in designer shirts, shoes, BMW's and homes that if they were auctioned-off would feed a hundred homeless families for months.

Change? Never. Not for the "elite" whom I suffered their persecutions for 12 long years in my own personal "high school purgatory." Not them.

They and their kind will always find someone to cast-out so their secure little worlds built of wealth and conceit will never be troubled.

More by this Author


Comments 19 comments

RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

Hi Kenneth,

I'm a tad older than you, graduated in 1964. A lot of my classmates went off to war and while many came home, there were some who didn't and it was very sad. You seem to have stayed in one high school for your four years judging from your writings in this hub. I think you were fortunate that way because I went to four different high schools in four different states who all had different teaching methods - if they had any at all.

I enjoyed your rhyme, you have a gift there. And I enjoyed the videos as they brought back some memories for me too.

I'm glad to follow you and from the volume of hubs you have, I have a lot of catching up to do. lol Shared, voted across the board :)

Rachael


CarolineVABC profile image

CarolineVABC 2 years ago from Castaic

Dear Kenneth,

I truly enjoyed reading your hub! It is such a thought-provoking hub and as if I lived my high school life all over again! I believe it does not matter which era a person graduates in, we all experience the same kind of feelings. Of course, as you have stated in your article, the "elite few" just get away with murder! Their faults are overlooked due to their social status or outstanding achievement, and sometimes, even both! The rest of us? Aren't so fortunate:-).

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and talent, Kenneth! Keep writing. God bless you and yours!


mgt28 profile image

mgt28 2 years ago

Ken, your keen observation of social circumstances is good. Your courage to point it out can only be commended. It was illustrated when you pointed out that the 'upper-class kids' were quick to ask money from the outcast! This is a sad fact of life, and it seems to be universal, but only you Ken have the wit and courage to write it. Genius.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

As Caroline said, your hub reaches out to all eras. I didn't graduate until the early 80s, but I saw and experienced much of what you wrote. I had to put up with the elite who's parents were doctors, lawyers, etc looking down on me and my friends because our father's worked in the steel mills. Maybe the years after high school have changed because I did witness many of those elite fall from their pedestals. I don't celebrate that fact, but it did happen. What I've discovered is that those of us on the lower rungs of life are often happier people. I hope you've found that real happiness because it and love are the only two things which can survive the test of time.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

There is a scathing quality to your language which drives home so any varied emotions at the levels of loss experienced by war veterans, from their very lives to their own levels of professional loss when it came to getting jobs back home, to the feeling of being cast offs, to uneven levels of success in the corporate world, and opportunities lost. It's true, humor is often grounded in deep pain and there is some genius involved in transforming it into a way that makes others laugh. But I like your serious articles (like this one) very much, because at some point humor becomes flippant. I appreciate seeing this side of you. Let me add that having the ability to merge the two, to make a person laugh and yet feel such deeply valid, universal experiences of loss, drives a message straight to the heart and mind of the reader. I will enjoy watching as your writing continues to evolve.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Curious how differently we remember graduating in 1972.

That was an era when where you lived made a dramatic difference to how you viewed the world. California r was different. I thought it was my New England cousins that were different.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Rachel,

Four high schools? Wow! You must have a treasure trove of experiences that you have not shared yet. Am I right?

Even after high school, I held onto the small ray of hope that "some" of these upper-groups would genuinely like me.

I compare my hopes for that with a vanishing of a puff of smoke.

Thanks for your insightful comment.

And great friendship.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Good evening, Caroline,

I appreciate your warm comments about this time in my life. Painful? Yes. But I guess with enough writing it is like a venom being drained from a snake bite.

That is about as close as I can get to an intelligent analogy.

Thanks for your comment.

Keneneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, mgt28,

Thanks, from the heart, for your nice comments. They cheer me up as every time that you comment on my works.

You are a great friend and follower. I want my hubs to be worth your while.

Sincerely,

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Dear Sheila,

"Thank you," is not enough, but right now, it's all I have. I mean it. I never expected this many comments on a hub that I though would be hidden in HP.

Wow. Thanks, Sheila.

I wish you a happy and productive week.

Your friend, Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, grandoldlady,

I am constantly-amazed with the usage of such phrasings you use in your comments. You must have such a high IQ. Right? I am indeed, thankful to you for your comments. They, like you, will never be forgotten.

Peace.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Ahhh, thanks, tirelesstraveler,

Such a good friend. And you graduated in 1972??? Wow. What a year, eh?

And it was for me a painful juncture from going to high school to real life and failing to be accepted at various levels of socialism which my high school was like. Socialism in every respect.

Come back and visit with me again.

Kenneth


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

Kenneth, I am so sorry that you still feel this way about your classmates after all these years. I think my brother might relate to you. I was not one of the elites. I certainly was not voted “most likely to succeed”, but I set out to show them, and I did! I am the one whose byline they’ve seen; I’m the one they heard on network radio, plus a few other measures of my success. Bragging, yeah, why not? I feel welcome among all of them now. I leave high school reunions thinking to myself I guess I showed you. But you know what -- I sincerely love 99% of them. I hope you can do the same. Your writing is a tool. Use it to become the envy of your classmates.


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Hi, MizBejabbers,

Thank you so much for the encouragement. I needed it. God bless you for this comment.

As for my reunions, I have attended two and nothing was different--elite groups right and left ONLY talking to other elites while one or two outcasts, me included, stood off to ourselves and WERE NOT greeted or acknowledged as members of this class.

And at the last one, the 40th, I never attended and glad I didn't. I hate to be ugly, crass, and cold-hearted, but why should I love or care about these self-servers when they could care less about me?

In short, if one of them were, and they will one day, go to meet Jesus, I don't expect to shed one tear for them.

That's me in the most-honest reply I can give. Yes, I have struggled, prayed about this, and confessed my own character flaws to God numerous times, but the scars are still there.

I ask that YOU seek God on my behalf. These bitter feelings consume me some days.

I love you as my friend and follower.

Kenneth


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

I´m sorry about how you feel towards your high school class. I graduated high school in 1977. I was not the "elite" student just the normal one who was not invited to any party held by the students. Maybe I was so boring and quiet. Years later when I got married and live in Germany, I became so interesting to them that I got invitations for every years reunion. I accepted and went to the reunion every time I´m in my home country. And you know what? My high school classmates (poor or rich) and I are friends for years now, and we enjoyed life and laugh a lot every time we bond. We appreciate the time we are together.

Thanks for sharing your life with us. God bless you.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

Kenneth, you reminded me of a funny story. Every time we have a senior class reunion, a guy shows up and none of us remember him from school. He calls us all by name and recounts personal anecdotes that he couldn’t have gotten from our yearbooks. He’s just an average looking Joe, a little on the heavy side, but he dances with all us “girls” and makes us feel special. He says he’s married but never brings his wife because she is in their home state and doesn’t want to travel. He doesn’t try to pick anyone up. He usually leaves before midnight because he is flying out in the morning, and we all sit around and discuss the fact that we can’t remember him. We laugh about how much fun he seems to be having and how much fun we had with him. The first time he came, we were a little bewildered, but in the years past, we have come to love him.

He didn’t attend the last reunion a couple of years ago and now we are concerned that he may be ill or have died. This is a true story about my high school class.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

MixBejabbers,

That is a sad and happy story. I admire this guy for what he did. Unfortunately, I am not like him. And in the reunions that my class "has" had that I didn't attend, NO ONE called or wrote to see why I never went.

You see why my class is so good at hurting feelings so much that even years after "Hades High School," they still know how to keep them hurt.

Thanks for the uplifting story.

Love you,

K.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia

I never attended any of my class reunions, although I remember high school vividly. I'm actually sorry I didn't attend. I really lost track of time, in a way.

I had two best friends. One moved to Alaska and I heard she was the victim of domestic violence in her second marriage. The other, I simply don't know where she landed after she went off to college. High school was so many different things for so many different people and yes, we live in the same skin we did then.

You have such a gift with words. Thanks for sharing with us.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Cyndi10,

Thank you for the sweet comment. I am sorry for those circumstances with your two best friends.

And thanks for your saying had a gift of words, but I think the same about you.

Thanks, Cyndi10, and have a peaceful week.

Kenneth, your friend

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