I Remember It Well!, Part II
Return Of A Native Daughter-Revenge Is Sooooo Sweet Indeed!
In June 1968, I finally graduated Hillcraft School and had a four year scholarship to Broadcrest Academy, the top college preparatory school for girls in Collingswoods. That summer, I decided to work as a typist at the local supermarket to alleviate my parents' financial burdens. Based upon my work performance and academic reputation, I was also given quasi-bookkeeping duties. My salary from this summer job was nothing to sneeze at- I had enough money for my books and other needs!
In the fall of 1968, I attended Broadcrest Academy. Some of my elementary school friends, including Belinda Jones, also attended the school. However, most could not because of its prohibitively expensive tuition. Some attended the less expensive private and parochial high schools in the area while others attended public schools.
Here is the bad news! Surprise! Surprise! Much to my lament, Karolyn Buhl and her satanic cohorts attended the school. Of course, Karolyn was not on scholarship- she was not smart enough! Her parents also contributed to the academy and her tuition was paid!
High school was a continuance of the mean girl culture which was prevalent at Hillcraft School but the culture was more insidious and covert! Karolyn was again the undisputed leader of the school. In addition to that, she was also the student council president for three years in a row.
Karolyn was considered popular and the leader of the "A" crowd. The "A" crowd was a group which consisted of debutantes, so-called beauty queens, models, and cheerleaders. Besides being the student council president, Karolyn was the head cheerleader of a group of very clannish and snobby cheerleaders. She was totally in her element.
The "A" crowd was considered the most wealthy, fashion conscious, and beautiful girls at the school. They were surrounded by the halo affect i.e. whatever they do was considered right in the eyes of most teachers and the administration. The "A" crowd was given carte blanche in bitchiness towards those who they considered to be "inferior" and "declasse".
Despite the elite social status of the "A" crowd, they were not as academically prodigious as the "C" crowd, the crowd I supposedly was a part of. The "A" crowd was slated into the "B" and "C" classes. These classes were not the advanced classes. The "B" class taught intermediate level academic courses while the "C" class taught regular academic core courses with a few commercial courses such as typing and clerical/secretarial studies. Karolyn was in the "C" class.
I was in the "A" class which taught mostly advanced level academic courses in addition to many college level courses! Academically, I sailed through high school. By the time I reached 10th grade, my teachers recommended that I should apply for early admission to the college and/or university of my choice! However, I elected not to graduate Broadcrest early. Instead, I continued to take courses at a nearby university.
As I have stated before, I was not in the popular group at school. In fact, I did not even date! I was extremely busy with my studies. It was my intention to graduate near or at the top of my class and to attend an Ivy League university. I did not know what I wanted to be at this point.
My parents expressed how intensely proud they were of me. I totally dismissed it! My other siblings were also high academic achievers and attended top colleges or Ivy League universities! My parents gushed how smart and prodigious I was! My neighbors informed my parents that I would too make them very proud!
Oh the other hand, Karolyn was developing a somewhat bad reputation, especially with the opposite gender. It was rumored and whispered that Karolyn was the "p" and "s" word. I remember each time there was a school dance or related event, boys would often crowd around Karolyn. However, those boys did not consider her highly-in fact, they snickered when they discussed her. They only wanted her for one quick dalliance!
There were girls at the school who stayed away from Karolyn because of her dubious reputation. She was furthermore known as a relationship wrecker. She would habitually steal other girls' boyfriends and/or beaus. There was even talk that she would surreptitiously cut class to go with much older men! This was common knowledge in Collingswoods.
Once at a school boating party, Karolyn was caught in a flagrant indiscretion with a boy of a prestigious military academy. Karolyn was given no quarter this time and was suspended for three weeks. Karolyn explained to her angry father this was nothing but mistaken evidence which he believed! However, her mother KNEW better! Her mother knew about Karolyn shenanigans and reputation for quite awhile!
Mrs. Buhl elected to take matters in her own hands. First, she corporally disciplined Karolyn with a belt and then grounded her for two months! She subsequently warned her daughter if similiar occurrences keep happening, she would be shipped to a strict Catholic boarding schoo in France! When she mentioned this prospect to her daughter, the latter's face become ashen with fear!
Karolyn decided to lay low for a while! However, it was not her intent to be her parents' good little girl. She intended to do as she wished, forget about the consequences! Her reputation become worse and worse as she progressed in high school.
The teachers and administrators started to tire of Karolyn. She lost her golden halo and became quite a tarnished person. There was a new administrator at Broadcrest Academy, Dr. Wilcox, was a no-nonsense Black woman. Dr. Wilcox was installed at the academy in 1970. As the adminstrator of the school, Dr. Wilcox wanted a clean house so she fired many of the teachers under the old administration.
Dr. Wilcox did not care about how supported and contributed to the school. Under the administration and leadership of Dr. Wilcox, no type of bullying and other egregious behavior would be tolerated. She implemented the policy regarding misbehavior-three strikes and you are permanently expelled from the school. In addition to being expelled, the offending student would have documentation regarding this behavior which is considered a permanent record.
Dr. Wilcox, who came from a poor sharecropping family, believe in total meritocracy. All students were to be treated equally regardless of socioeconomic status. The only thing important is a students' character and academic acumen.
Dr. Wilcox' s arrival marked the end of the hegemony of the "A" crowd and many of the unsaid privileges of the rich students at the school. To Dr. Wilcox, poor, middle class, and rich students were treated equally. Many of the wealthier parents believed that their daughters should have special privileges because of their monetary contributions. Dr. Wilcox maintained that their monetary contributions were inconsequential and each student WILL be treated alike. She further added that if they do not like it, TAKE their daughters out of the school; however, there are very few EXCELLENT academies in the area! The faces of the parents became ashen and they acquiesced to the demands of Dr. Wilcox!
Dr. Wilcox and her teaching and administrative staff took the academy into a new era. Broadcraft Academy was a much better center of learning since she took over. Karolyn Buhl and her cohorts continued to misbehave and to surreptitiously bully students considered to be the outgroup. This incident was reported to Dr. Wilcox who documented the incident and suspended the students upon expulsion.
Several of the student body came forward to testify. Dr. Wilcox and her next in charge, Dr. Fazio conducted a thorough investigation and the evidence revealed that the instigators were Karolyn Buhl, Elizabeth Cannon, Charlotte Howes, Grace MacNish, and Carlyle Hunnicut. They were brought into Dr. Wilcox's office. Dr. Wilcox asserted that their actions were egregious in nature. She further asserted that their callous actions caused two students to have a nervous breakdown and three other students to be hospitalized!
Dr. Wilcox stated that it was decided by the school administration to PERMANENTLY expel all five students. She further explained that in addition to the permanent expulsion, there was to be a paper trail on them which would be considered a permanent record! When Karolyn heard about the expulsion, she asked Dr. Wilcox if she was serious. She further stated to Dr. Wilcox if she knew who she was! Dr. Wilcox just looked askance at her, asking her and the other cohorts to leave the school. She further added that their parents would be notified of the expulsion! All of the five girls started to get hysterical and to cry!
The latter part of my high school life was ecstastic. Besides my academic life, I volunteered at a nearby hospital to read to children with cancer. I also did art work with sick children. As a result of my work, I received an award for outstanding neighbhorhood service! Dr. Wilcox and I become more than adminstrator-student, we become lifelong friends!
I graduated from Broadcrest Academy in June 1972, second in my class with special mention in Mathematics and Science! It was my intention to major in science with the ultimate goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in science! Oh, how I digress. I won a scholarship to Yale University where I studied pre-law. I eventually attended Yale Law School in 1975. I subsequently moved to New York and worked as a corporate lawyer until 1980 when I decided that I needed a change of pace and moved to California!
Why California of all places? I wanted a change of environment- a warmer environment! I was interested in working with Hollywood powermakers and with my corporate background, I was a tie-in for the position of power attorney. I subsequently worked with an agent and subsequently, I had enough high powered clientele to establish my own independent business.
To say, I am doing fantastic is quite an understatement. I am living the life I have fantasied about decades earlier. I have brought my parents a house in Florida and they will never have any type of economic worries again. My siblings also are doing quite well- all of them are either high powered professional or highly successful entrepeneurs!
I am still single. Quite happily though. Of course, I had quite a few liasions and was asked to marry thrice. I declined as I am not the marrying kind. Even though I am now in my forties, people have remarked to me that I look as if I am in my late twenties. Some even say that I look like a young Natalie Wood.
Regarding my returning to Collingswoods, I noticed that the area has changed. It has now merged into Hollingsworth, a bigger and adjacent town. The outer periphery is no longer for the wealthy- it is now upper middle to regular middle income! The upper left area is no longer lower middle and upper lower income- this area is now inhibited by young professionals and artists. The upper left area no longer exists as it is now absorbed into the middle section.
Many of the old residents have moved away. The daughter of the Buhl's maid (her name is Emily) gleefully informed me that Karolyn Buhl has died. Emily has informed me when Karolyn was expelled from school, her parents threw her out of their home. Her father tersely stated to her in German that she was a disgrace to the family and a whore, adding that she was never to set foot in their house ever again.
Emily explained that Karolyn with no place to go ended up in a section on the north side of Chicago as a call girl. She worked independently as a call girl in a specifed duplex until a proprietor, with a connection to the Russian mafia, took her under his tutelage. This prorietor, a Georgian, was not a person to be trifled with. If this proprietor was a snake, he would be a taipan. Even though this proprietor had a quiet and soft demeanor, he was extremely dangerous and was not one to confront!
Karolyn did not learn! One night, the proprietor discovered that she intended to quit her job and move to Carson City, Nevada to work as an independent call girl in a brothel. She almost made it. However, on a deserted street in Reno, a hitwoman, who the proprietor hired, discovered, drugged, beat, and subsequently shot and buried her in the desert! Emily further revealed that all of Karolyn's cohorts came to one disastrous end or another!
I have lost touch with many of my school friends. Then I saw Belinda Jones. I have not seen her in ages! She informed me that she is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company located in Chicago. She is currently married with two children, both girls. I was so glad to see her. Belinda told me that our friends from what she have heard are doing quite well! I am so glad. When I told Belinda the dismal outcome of Karolyn and her friends, she told me that karma is a bitch-what goes around definitely comes around!