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A Blast From The Past (Early 1976)

Updated on February 5, 2015

Memories of my senior year in high school

Wow! Here is a taped conversation that brings back memories of high school days in El Salvador. Susie Stewart was our fellow MK in El Salvador and attended MK school through part of eighth grade. However, after her father died her mother moved the family to El Paso, Texas, where Susie attended high school. We exchanged letters during those years and even exchanged audio tapes. They also visited El Salvador one summer. This is a tape that Susie sent to us. Evidence suggests that Susie recorded her part of the tape on Jan. 7, 1976. I taped over part of her talking probably some time in April. I am not sure why René never taped her response to Susie's comments and the tape was never mailed back to her as it is still in our possession. It seems that we will need to mail this back to Susie to avoid getting frozen in time. I cannot imagine who else might have heard this tape. Perhaps René would know more about that.

Side 1: Candi Calkins

Well hi there, Suz, how are ya?

Well my sister, my crazy sister, finally forced me into making this tape. I mean, she's been pestering me all day long. Umm, Well, I've got about six weeks of classes left and man they are hard. I have to do three term papers. That's going to be, you know, pretty hard because I have to research them and all, you know, three different subjects to research on, and I've got to hand in one the Friday after I get back from vacation. I haven't even started on it. I've got another one I have to hand in, two others I have to hand in probably about the 25th of May. That's my last day of classes, you know. Brother, is that going to be hectic. I'm going to get murdered or something. But anyway. ?So worse?, I got murdered. Someone has to do all that work, huh? And besides I'm going to move soon. I have to do two issues of the newspaper, one the regular and one the senior issue. I'm a senior so I have to work on it hard, you know? Your mother just called the other day, yesterday, about that Estes Park thing. It sounds really neat. I'm sure hoping we get to go because it sounds really... I remember you guys talking about it when I saw you that last summer. You said you went to some concerts with everything on at Estes Park, sounded really neat.

So things are really winding up for me now. I've got my class ring. It's 14, no , yes, 14 carat gold and it's got engraving on it of the national emblem of El Salvador, the school emblem. It's got my initials, the year I graduate and my name is engraved inside. It's really neat. I guess I will show it to you when I get to Estes Park.

Candi Calkins' high school graduation

Candi Calkins' high school graduation
Candi Calkins' high school graduation

How things are

And, let me see, the tape you sent to us, you know, this tape here, man, we really had a hard time. You must have really had a cold because we couldn't even understand what you were talking about. We put it on this tape recorder and we put a speaker into it and we turned it up as loud as we could trying to figure out what those funny sounds meant. You really must have a hard time.

You've probably been told that the Davenports are here. Yes, they're staying with us. Umm. They've got a little girl named Debbie. She's really cute. She's two months old. She's a really doll. You haven't seen the Smeyas yet, have you? They have a little baby that's five months old. And them, you know, they're going to be really good friends. Not really. I'm just kidding. And umm. But that's good for them, though. They have somebody their own age. And umm.

Well, Timmy's the same kid as ever, you know. He's still the same, always got a big imagination and he's really cute. Yeah! They say David's six-foot-two so, Wow! He's really going to make a sensation at the American School when he gets here. You know, Bobby's going to the American School next year, too, and Bruce Bell and Cindy Bell. So is Lori Reese. I suppose you know Lori Reese is queen and she has herself a couple of boyfriends. They just don't know about each other, of course. Neither of them know about the other guy.

And, let me see, let me see, oh boy. I remember I told you about Carl and everything in that letter. Umm, well you know he sent her his picture. She has it on her dresser, you know, propped up in plain view so that whenever she goes into the room all she has to do is look at the dresser and her long lost love. Ooooh! Will be looking back at her and all that kind of thing.

Explorer's Guide El Salvador: A Great Destination (Explorer's Great Destinations)
Explorer's Guide El Salvador: A Great Destination (Explorer's Great Destinations)

El Salvador is the country where I lived for eight years and where I graduated from high school.


Leaving El Salvador

Now I can't believe there's only two months left. Whew! It's going to go really fast because see I get out the 25th of May and that week I have final exams, then on June 4th I graduate. And then to the States. A week after of course because René has to do her final exams. I'm lucky I get out early. Ha ha!. In fact, I have two weeks in there where I don't even have to go to school or anything because I've already finished while René still has to go to school and finish her final exams. Poor thing, ha ha! But mine are going to be a lot harder than hers. Hee! Everything is getting really pushed on you now. Everything you know just falling on your head, you know, feel like you're being sunk or something. Ahh! But I can hardly wait until I get through with school although I don't know if I can hardly wait to get out of here because I'd rather stay. You know, it's just kind of strange leaving for good.

Market,San Salvador,El Salvador,Street Vendors,stones
Market,San Salvador,El Salvador,Street Vendors,stones

There are many things to see in El Salvador for those adventurous enough to visit. I remember many scenes like the one depicted.


Calkins Family Farewell

Calkins Family Farewell
Calkins Family Farewell

College plans

I hear you guys are going to CBC next year. Maybe I will see you because I'm trying to get into Evangel and I hope. I don't know if I'm going to have enough money or not. I'm going to try to get scholarships and stuff and probably I'll have to work my way through of course. They say they have this work/study thing at Evangel where you can work at the same time that you're going to school. They give you a job there so that you know you can just pay with that job and it's probably a lot easier than going on your own to find a job because, Yuk! It would be kind of hard.

I'm applying to take this test, you know. It's called College Level Examination Program and it's where you take a test. Depending on the score you get, if you get over 50 percent you don't have to take that course in college. You just skip it which is neat and you just get the credit by the test. You don't have to take the course. I hope I pass. Oh ohhoo.

Side 1: Susie Stewart

Cough! Cough

Make sure you do a lot of stuff with the young people down there in your last few days because when you leave that life, man, ohh, it hurts, it hurts, it really does, but feel yourself up with tortillas and pupusas and jocotes and maranones y yuca y panes con pavo, green mangos, los cocos, las piñas, papaya, pues, algo, no tanto, arroz y frijoles y un queso blanco que se compra allí en el centro, entiendas, y este en, bueno, tu sabes, compre eso tambien. Y...

Salvadoran food

Salvadoran food
Salvadoran food

Susie's Mexico

Oh, yeah, there's 45 students in the college that I go to. It's like an institute like, you know, the Bible institute, and, except there's fewer. That's pretty good. But you know I was thinking about going to the, the instituto biblico, the Antioch one here in Mexico, but since I don't know homiletica y todas esas cosas, teologia y todo, no lo queria tomar porque no lo pudiera entender. Por eso estoy aprendiendo el lenguaje Mexicana, ha ha, me entiendes. Es que el lenguaje aqua­ en Mexico es algo, pues, tu sabes, me entiendes. Heh heh! Bien feo y bien repido. Hablan bien rapido. Tu sabes. He he he. Ay no! Oh, uh, I'm reading my notes as I go along, you know, so that I, well anyway.

Umm, oh yeah, I've told you must of what is on here. Umm. This institute, the people are so nice. They are so lovable. There's no young guys, unfortunately, but that's life. I guess the Lord did it that way so that I wouldn't get too anxious yet.

Oh yeah, there was one guy. There was one guy, John Davenport. Not related to Davenports but his mother had cancer so he had to leave the third day I think. So. .. An he is kind of cute, you know. He's real quiet but, you know, I could pull him out of that. Ha! And there was, there's a Mexican from L.A., you know, he went to L.A. to work, and he came back and was studying. He's a Nazareno, a Nazarene, and he's real short so, you know, boo hoo on that.

So there's not much more I can say. What would you like me to say? Oh, maybe I should answer part of your letter, Candi. Uh, let's see, oh dear. There's something I have to read to you. It's from Candi's letter, Rene. It's to Rene. Candi, you can go hide in a hill. You'll die. Rene will die. Your sister is going to kill you.

The Beautiful Bible

There is also a little romance that got started out of that trip. This is between Rene and Carl Tillery who is a nice enough guy and not too bad looking. He was in Rene's small group, he and another girl named Charlotte. The whole week they could hardly stay apart. Saturday was the first day and by Sunday it was common knowledge that they really like each other a lot. Charlene had a blast flirting with every guy she knew. You know Charlene, don't you? Well, if that group had stayed one more day Carl probably would have ended up declarándose to Rene. Rene just got her first letter from Carl which turned out to be one of the most beautiful (Bibles) any of us have ever seen. It is real leather with India paper, pages lined with gold and the whole bit. It even has her name engraved on the cover. He really is serious, I think, to send her that for her first letter or rather gift.

What is this, Rene? Good grief! I'd like to see the leather and the India paper and what's written on the India paper. No, I am teasing. It must be nice. Yes, it must.

Oh, I'm so glad. That is really neat about the group coming down and witnessing and stuff. I'm glad y'all enjoyed it, too.

I guess you all, according to this, ya'll see them a lot, the, Conchi and Tono, huh?

Wow! Is that all you got for Christmas is a ping pong table? I mean, that's a lot, believe me, but, I mean, did you get any clothes or anything. I'm glad you got your purse. Did you get that for Christmas or did Aunt Lois give you that right when you got there? Well, it seems, well, I don't know. Never mind about paying for it. Because I sent it because I wanted to give it to you. That's why I sent it to you so just cool it.

Umm, they have, you know, I got it at the market down there. It's nice. When y'all come I'll take you through it. It's, you know, it's a Mexican market. When y'all come, oh, please please stay here for ages and ages.

Listen, I got, I don't have a double bed anymore so, you know, we can switch off beds. I mean switch, you know, take turns sleeping on the bed and on the floor, you know, or we can all three sleep on the single bed. Heh heh! You know, we'll end up probably by the fireplace but we'll have fun, huh? Remember when I was down there and we had the two beds together? Oh, it was funny. It was. It was fun, though. I enjoyed it. I can't wait to go back. When will I go back? Oh, I want to so badly. It seems like I was there so long ago but yet it was only a summer ago. No, it's almost been two years. I cannot believe. I would love to go down and just, you know, be with all the kids and work in the institute or something.

How is everybody? You never have written and told me how Sa and, you know, Saiºl, Saiºl, you know, Saiºl Quezada? Este... I can't believe Max is a deacon. How do.. How do they elect or whatever? Did someone nominate him or is he doing what Jeremias was doing? What is it?

Side 2: Susie Stewart

Huh, no Huh-lo! I was just doing what René went, hello hello! No, let's see, it would be, who says that?, hello. Anyway ...

Oh! Oh! Well, I was saying on that, well, I will say what I was saying, umm, explain to me all that stuff, you know, about how you get deacon and stuff like that. I was, I talked for about ten minutes, ten minutes, and this stupid thing wasn't even going. What a dummie. I feel so foolish, you know that? But I didn't have to tell you. It just makes me look twice as foolish.

Uh, Sam got a new car, a yellow Gremlin. It's real nice. Three speed. But anyway, it's real nice. When I get a car, though, I'm going to get a Toyota, I think. Yeah! A Selica. Have you seen a Selica? Beautiful. Beautiful. Oh yeah! I got a desk today for my room. It's pretty nice. It goes with my furniture so when I get married and have kids, ha ha, I'll pass it down to them.

Ah, what I was ... uh... . I don't want to say because of ... what I was saying because I think the Lord did that purposely so that I wouldn't say that so I won't tell you.


You know my prims, I don't know if I told you I had prims but anyway I have prims and they're the age group below, you know, missionettes, OK, and I teach them and they are so sweet. I teach them on Wednesday nights so whenever you think of me on Wednesday night pray for me. With studies and all, you know, it's kind of hard, you know. You've got to get your lesson. You've got to get a craft to do, you know, so just pray for me.

I will tell you what I got for Christmas if I can remember. I got a necklace from Gary Miller. That's Kathy's brother. And, uh, see we chose names because there were 18 of us here so we had to kind of, cough cough, and uh, and I got a choker from Vivian and Jolie, earrings from Vivian and Jolie, uh, let's see, I'm trying to look around in my room to see. Oh, I got a Clairol hair setter. It's real nice. It's ... Uh, You can use it three different ways, mist, regular ... Three ways? Mist? Oh, yeah! Mist with water or mist with Clairol conditioner or regular. It's real nice, you know. You can use it when you come. You are welcome to use anything I have if I have anything. No, just joking.

What else did I get? I got, uh huh, I can't think of anything. I must have gotten something besides that. Oh, yeah, I got a camera case for my camera, you know, from Sam and I got some Windsong from Sam. Marcia gave me some perfume. That's her regular thing, Faberge, you know. That's what she gives every year. Ha ha ha!

But, let's see, I got, uh, what did I get? Oh, I got a, have you seen those things like a ... , it's like a ... piece of silver at the bottom, then little wires coming, and then at the tip of the wire is like a butterfly or, you know, something, a bird or something. Well mine has butterflies on it that David and Kathy gave me that and it just kind of sways in the wind, you know. It's real nice. And uh, I think that's all I got. Oh yeah! Mickey and Becky gave me a pair of earrings. They've got, they have little hearts, you know. They're kind of cute, I mean I like them. They're red and silver I think, silver colored and green. They're real nice. I wear them quite often.

And I, let's see ... uh, umm ... You can tell I'm running out of things to say. I can't think.

No really I ... oh yeah! oh yeah! Do I have time? Yeah!

Miss Peggy, she's my head sponsor and she has prims. Well, her daughter is my spo... is my girl, one of my girls. She is a prim in other words. And we went shopping one day, Peggy and I did, for the girls' Christmas presents, you know, because we gave them all Christmas presents and it was the cutest thing. I walked into one of the stores and here was this dog. He was, uh, I think a wiener is what you call them. A wiener. He was kind of, you know, sitting. No, he wasn't sitting. He was laying. He was laying down but with his head up like, like uh like uh uh... what? What is that? You know, or something, except his ears are down, his eyes are... are droopy, and I told Peggy, I said, "Oh, I love that so much. He looks ... He looks just like my... me on Wednesday nights." And so, anyway, she gave me that. Her daughter and her gave me that. Heh heh, and it's real cute. Heh heh. I'm sure you're real interested in the things that I got for Christmas.

Oh, and Jeanie, uh, paints, you know, my leader at one time, uh, she paints, our CA leader rather, and she painted me a picture and gave that to me for picture. And I got a desk, I told you that. But I just got that today, which is, let's see, today is the seventh, so... seventh? Yes, seventh. Tomorrow is the eighth. Isn't that neat? This is leap year... year. Pretty good, huh?

Well, mother went to Houston and I'll be going in March I think, I hope, yeah I will be, I'll be going in March and, uh, to see Bonita. She claps her hands and she waves goodbye and she's a doll, don't you know? heh heh, I'm prejudiced, too.

Oh, I got a lamp, too, for Christmas. Not really for Christmas... Well it is for Christmas and it isn't, you know. It was given to me ahead of time. Oh, how much time do I have?

Uh, I'm fixing supper tonight. Mother's gone, you know, and Sam is having Janie over and he bought some steaks so we are having barbecued steaks and potato and some corn and some tossed salad with avocado in it and rolls and then ice cream with chocolate cake. And I haven't eaten all day so I'm hungry just thinking about it and talking about it.

Oh oh I'm so excited. I don't know why. I just wish I could go to El Salvador with this tape. Oh, that would be so neat. Oooh. Oh dear, uh... Excuse me while I yawn. Uh...

We are having a sweetheart banquet again this year but, uh, I don't know who is going to get sweetheart this year. There's nobody, uh, to get it. Not very nice, is it? It seems... No really, our group has changed drastically and, uh, it's kind of gone downhill for me. For some kids it's gone uphill. For some it's gone downhill and I'm one of the some that it's gone downhill. But the Lord is blessing me in other areas so I don't have to worry about, you know, that.

Well, anyway, I have to speak in two Sundays I think. I spoke three Sundays ago or two Sundays... three Sundays ago and I have to speak in two Sundays I think and I'm talking about the mouth and, uh, you know, different aspects of the mouth, you know, how it can be, how it can be by nature, like, you know, if you're not thinking of the Lord and, or, or if you're not walking with the Lord, uh, your mouth can spit out some bad things like cussing or, you know, uh, just different things like that. And then, then you have, uh, confession, confessing, and that's by the grace of God. Then you have proud things. And then you have, uh, proud things, too.

Well, anyway, it goes back and forth like that, you know. And, let's see, I don't know, it's alright. Anyway, that's what I'm talking about next... and then... uh... three Sundays after that I'm going to talk on... on the light, the light of the world and how... how God relates to light, you know, L-i-g-h-t, and how God the L, Capital L... -i-g-h-t, you know what I mean.

Anyway, if you want to come hear me I would be glad for you to. You are invited to stay at my house at 9213 Shaver. Call maybe 20 minutes ahead of time so that I can clean the house, ha, and, uh, you can eat here. You could, uh, or rather dine here. You could sleep here. You could just share our home and, uh, we'd be delighted to have you. So please come and join us next week at the, uh, no, cough cough.

Have you seen the program SWAT? That is a good program. I like it. That's probably one of my favorites right now. That, well, the Waltons has always been my favorite. And, uh, what else? I like police stories, you know. I don't like the FBI or Streets of San Francisco. That's too wild for me, uh huh. I'm kind of, you know... I like SWAT. I like, uh, what is... police stories. I like the Mod Squad. Yeah, yeah!

Uh, well... This tape better almost be finished. I hope so. Ha ha ha. I've been here almost an hour, but, uh...

But, uh, if you want you can send a tape. I'd like to hear y'all, you know, before you come. Ha ha ha. But anyway, what was on this tape before, in case you hear a background that doesn't sound right, it was... we have a studio in our house now, ha, in Sam's room, ha ha, against the wall, ha, making his room his bed. Anyway, no not really. Anyway, it's kind of... it's not really an... a studio. It's just kind of temporary right now and, uh, two men have a radio program on Sunday morning, 15 minutes, and they come and... on Saturdays and record and they've been.... They experimented on this tape.

I had to draw that because I had more to say. How about that? So um, I cut, you know, some things that weren't really important and I'm going to tell you about this group that I'm trying out for. It's called Charity. And Sam and Janie and I are going to try out and, um, Janie... Janie's an alto, Sammy's a bass, I'm a soprano, so we're going to try out and, uh, Lord willing we'll be in a group called Charity. Well, we're going to change the name. There's two basses, one drum and one piano, and it's really nice. Pray... Pray that it will work out. I hope it does because I really want to sing for the Lord. I really do.

Tell me how uh... tell me how, uh Sharon Lee, uh, is and... and if you can get any pictures in, some pictures, uh. We need... uh.... We only got, you know, that... that card, a card saying that she was born and how many pounds she... But, uh, I'd like to, you know, see a picture of her if you get a chance to take a picture. Uh...

That'd be... uh... That would be funny if Smeyas'... uh, what's his name? Smeyas' boy? I don't know his name... and, uh, Sharon Lee got together. Huh? That would be pretty cute.

I need to sign off. Y'all take it easy and be good. Don't do anything I wouldn't do and René, you watch it girl. Just watch it. Bye.

Here, and, uh, it's time for me to say... (End of tape)

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