by Mrs. Ekaterina Cooper of Morehead, Kentucky, USA.

added on 31/10/2010

Call me, Jackie. Short for Jacqueline. This is a story from the year I graduated high school in 1969.

GARY RAY being an average clean-cut American boy was hard at work as usual driving his father's 1966 Dodge pickup truck to deliver groceries for his father's business, namely FRYMAN'S MARKET. His father told him that it was the only way for him to keep his brand new 1968 FORD MUSTANG FASTBACK, which was special ordered from HARDEBECK FORD SALES. The only reason GARY RAY wanted this kind of car was because of the fact he'd seen it in "BULLITT" starring Steve McQueen. That car had AM-FM/8-Track, 4-Speed Manual Transmission, Bucket seats, Custom mag wheels, Goodyear tires, and instead of the usual 289 under the hood, it had a 460 V-8, which would find most of its popularity under the hood of the 1974-76 Ford Gran Torino of the 1970S TV show "STARSKY & HUTCH". Gary Ray's girlfriend Carol Ann had made the Debuteens list in both her junior and senior years of high school at Holmes High.
Debuteens is just a word for teenaged based debutantes.

At the beginning of the 1968-69 school year, Carol Ann whom had spent the last seven years re-growing her hair was lucky so far to have a most average looking 60'S length for a girl her age. Although, the yearbooks were not quite scheduled for printing just yet, in Carol Ann's photo on page 106, her long raven hair was parted on her left side, and while the tips were kind of twisted outwards into the formation of curls, well, had they been left to just hang there loose, the sides would have come right down to her brastrap, and the back of it would have been right about halfway between brastrap-length and navel-length. By navel-length, means to her belly button.

Desperately, Carol Ann wanted to grow her hair to her thighs, or even her knees, let alone her ankles. Her friend KATHLEEN FAY already had her very own long raven hair down to her hips, and still growing when Class Picture Week had rolled around. Even Carol Ann's cousin Victoria Lynn whom was known as Vickey wanted to grow her hair to possibly the same length and/or lengths, which Carol Ann also had in mind only lacked 1"Inch of having her then shoulder-length raven hair parted in the middle for continuous growth. Still, Carol Ann dreamed of the wedding date, which both she and Gary Ray were secretly saving up for. Their plan was quite simple really, set aside certain large size type pickle jars and fill them with so much cash that it would be uncanny. One of the empty pickle jars was labeled: Camper fund. Another read: Pickup Truck fund. The third jar was listed as: House Payment fund. Still, Gary Ray wanted to keep his Mustang, and Carol Ann agreed so long as she had a pickup truck for things like the trips to the supermarkets, seeing as how too many families in America by now mostly owned station wagons. Besides, between them, both Gary Ray & Carol Ann had saved enough for at least 3/8'S of the full price of a brand new 1969 Ford pickup truck. By now the house payment jar was almost overflowing, and the camper fund had also reached the 3/8'S mark as well. One Saturday afternoon, as Gary Ray was delivering groceries too the Gray residence, while waiting on his tip from Mrs. Gray, her daughter Rose Marie, a close friend to Carol Ann, asked, "How's the lucky groom, today?" Gary Ray said, "Shh! Not so loud.

If your mom hears and tells my dad, I'M as good as cooked right now. Besides, that date is set for Saturday July 26TH, 1969!" Rose Marie whispered, "OK, I get it. Now you just have to let Carol Ann know that I'll be there as a bridesmaid for her, Beehive hairdo and all". Rose Marie did refer to the hairstyle wore in her photo from class picture week on page 107 of the 1969 Lest We Forget yearbook. Rose Marie's own raven, or rather ebony hair when let down came to her waist, for a teenage girl of an African-American based family. Meanwhile, in the Covington branch of Gimbel's, Carol Ann was doing some shopping with her friend Rosetta, another African-American teenage girl attending Holmes High, and graduating with the class of 1969. As they glanced about the wedding dresses and soforth, Carol Ann said, "I think I'll try one on to see how I look in it, and since Gary Ray can't see me in it prior to the wedding itself, well, I'll have a photo taken so he can see. Afterall, seeing me in the wedding gown in the flesh is bad luck, but at least the bad luck don't cover photos, now does it?" Rosetta sighed, "Go for it, girl! Afterall, maybe when you have your first baby, well, you'll probably have a hip-length braid like mine as well, providing you don't count the bangs, if any". Carol Ann added, "you can keep your bangs, Rosetta. I don't plan on any bangs. Yet, whereas for a hip-length braid, well, that I may have after I marry Gary Ray!" So with the wedding gown tried on, and a photo snapped, the rest seemed like smooth sailing. The months throughout that school year seemed to fly by normally, but unfortunately for most of the girls attending Holmes High's graduating class of 1969, their classmate Holli Schmidt had gone in for the infamous 1"Inch, or less length which was popularized by Mia Farrow just a few years earlier. Not too many of the girls in the graduating class liked it, especially when Holli became the 1968 Homecoming Queen. As it turned out later after the graduation ceremonies, an investigation of the utmost of secrecy turned up that Mr. Schmidt had bought the Homecoming Queen title for Holli with the Schmidt money they had from his tobacco warehouse, but what was done was done. Anyway, Gary Ray got a gift from his Aunt and Uncle in Duluth. A check for $50,000.00, which would help him and Carol Ann have their dream wedding, and enough funds left over to leave Kentucky for Minnesota. Carol Ann's fraternal twin brother Larry sighed, "Sis, I know you and Gary Ray feel that you're both of age for marriage, but it is quite a serious thing, you know". So throwing up her hands, Carol Ann replied, "Larry Allen Frakes! Watch what you say, or I won't toss the bouquet to Lindy Carol Franxman, but rather I'll toss it to Gail Jean!" Carol Ann was quite serious when she made that one remark. So as Larry drove off in his '63 Corvette, Sherry whom had moved to Covington from Louisiana with her family after the 1965 holiday season came up to the front door, and found Carol Ann crying.
Sherry asked, "Why are y'all cryin', Cherie?" Having heard the Cajun accent, Carol Ann looked up, and said, "Well, it was bad enough as you know that Holli Schmidt had to cheat me, let alone many other girls out of the crown for Homecoming Queen with help from her Dad's money, but now Larry is complaining because of my wedding plans for July". Sherry sighed, "I know, why if'n we was back down on the bayou, why I'd use some voodoo to make Holli's hair grow so long long that everytime she even tried cuttin' it, why it just grow back each time! Besides, Lindy Carol is a nice girl. Much nicer Holli ever will be. Someday after I get out of college with a degree and all, well, I'll take up voodoo, but only as a research type of hobby, and nothin' else. By the way, do you think I'd look good as a kind of a long haired voodoo priestess?" Carol Ann replied, "I'll bet the life of Vonna Elva Weaver you'll be!" Holli may have been the girl in Holmes High with which to have bad blood between yourself and her, which only made Vonna the second worst when it came to bad blood. Sherry may have been quite serious when she talked to Carol Ann, but that still remained yet to be determined. Meanwhile, back at Fryman's Market, Gary Ray was on a break between grocery deliveries. His pal Chet Leach whom was employed at the market as both a box-boy and restocker of the shelves was with him. Gary Ray said,
"Yeah, Chet. When I get married to Carol Ann, she's going to keep house, and mind the children while I bring home the bacon by repairing diesel locomotives". Chet replied,
"You got a good plan worked out, only I wish I had a similar plan for myself and Peggy Jean". Chet wasn't joking. Chet did his best in courting Peggy jean as a young gentleman would in this time period, but Peggy Jean's mother was determined to stop the courtship.
Keeping Peggy Jean's hair to what she called a proper didn't seem to discourage Chet none in the least.

Even trying to get Peggy Jean transferred to another school didn't work since the transfer deadline had already passed by. Yet, Peggy Jean was determined to regrow her hair in spite of her mother's warnings to keep it chopped. Still, if it was to come down to eloping, well, then Chet and Peggy Jean would have to do so. For now, the 1968 Holiday season came and went, and graduation was the next step before the vows of matrimony. Fortunately, Carol Ann's hair had grown to her waist in time for Thanksgiving. Those curls she had during class picture week had since faded out, and now with her hair officially parted in the middle for good, well, Carol Ann was looking more like a long haired bride than ever before. Yet, it wasn't just the growth, but the thickening as well that increased. By New Year's Eve, Carol Ann's hair had reached her hips in length. Her good friend Mary Elizabeth with the tall looking Beehive hairdo in the photo on page 113 of the 1969 Lest We Forget yearbook said, "My have you've been growing that hair of yours, girl. Any longer and you'll be competition with Sharon Lynn!!!!!" Now Sharon Lynn was a transfer student from Hughes High a few good blocks from Holmes. Hughes had gotten a new principal during the summer vacation of 1968, and this new principal made a rule against students, especially girls with extremely long looking hair. So to avoid contact with scissors, let alone being suspended, Sharon Lynn transferred to Holmes High just in time for class picture week when she showed off a most truly marvelous Beehive with bangs as seen in her student portrait photo on page 114 of the 1969 Lest We Forget yearbook. Not counting the bangs, Sharon Lynn's long red hair did in fact reach 5'FT. (60"Inches) in length totally. Carol Ann's best friend since the 5TH Grade, Benita Alice was proud of her very own long, flowing raven hair of 5'FT. in length. Benita stood 5'FT 5"Inches tall in bare feet alone. Carol Ann towered over Benita by four whole inches in bare feet.
Benita sighed happily, "Oh, Carol Ann! You have such long pretty hair!!!!! Please, promise that you will never cut it off?" So Carol Ann replied, "Oh, I plan keep on wearing it long so that my children can brag on my vanity".

Another friend named Diana Faye said, "Why, Carol Ann! You're just within inches of being thigh-length! How much longer do you have to grow it?????" Carol Ann added, "Well, I know for a fact that Gary Ray likes me with it long, and I intend to keep it long, even if it means defying anyone who thinks I may be overdue for a hacking of anykind". Soon graduation came and went, and Carol Ann and Gary Ray resumed their wedding plans. By now, they'd not only bought the camper, but even with a few more payments to go on the pickup, well, they were almost ready, even though still considered as too young by most, yet the path to their true was one of tough going, and also defiance of their parents. So on the date in question, Carol Ann's hair had reached her thighs. She came up the aisle unescorted without anyone to give her away like some brides. First the minister asked Gary Ray if he would take Carol Ann as his wedded wife, and Gary Ray replied, "I do". Then asking Carol Ann if she wanted Gary Ray as her lawfully wedded husband, she replied, "I do". Then it was onto the old line of "With this ring, I thee wed". Then the minister asked the question of "If anyone here in amongst these witnesses can show why they may not join in wedlock, let them speak now, or else hereafter, always, and forever, hold their peace?" Since no one spoke up, well, they were pronounced man and wife.

Then onto the reception. With all the usual speeches, and regards of happiness, well, it seemed to flash by fast.
Then Carol Ann was ready to toss her bouquet, and Kathleen Fay was the lucky girl to catch it. Kathleen Fay whose own raven hair now reached her knees said, "Now I can also go through life feeling happy!" Then Gary Ray had to toss the garter, and Kathleen Fay's own fiancee Edgar caught that, and said, "I guess we'll be next, Sweetheart!" Ofcourse, their wedding was not to take place until Saturday August 23RD, 1969. Somehow, even though none of the other guests at the wedding knew it, Chet and Peggy Jean had stowed away in the camper. For they were eloping with help from Carol Ann and Gary Ray. So Gary Ray held the door to the driver's side of the cab of the pickup truck, and helped Carol Ann inside. Chet left his 1969 Oldsmobile 442 with a friend and fellow classmate named Don Mills. Chet trusted Don, and would later either return or send away for his Olds 442. Also, the Vietnam war claimed some of the young men from the class of 1969 such as Timmy Allen Mains,
David Allen Furnish, J. Bertram Payne, Robert Allen Young,II., and Dennis Ray Williams, more or less?
A year passed by and then Carol Ann realized that she was going to become a mother with a child of her very own.
Ofcourse, when they realized that the baby was overdue, Carol Ann spent a few days in the hospital before delivering her son Duncan Fryman on Wednesday October 21ST, 1970 at 1:11 P.M.

Now later as she sat up in her hospital bed and Nurse Pierce handed the baby to her, Carol Ann said, "He's such a wonderful baby boy! In a few days, we'll be home with your father, but now it's feeding time". So with that, Carol Ann went ahead and then she just went on with having to breast feed little Duncan from her right side breast, and knowing that Gary Ray had been working a lot of overtime hours to get his maternity bonus, and now having earned it, well, Gary Ray spent the night alone at home, even though he did watch a late night movie on TV with a bag of Doritos nacho cheese corn chips, and two six-packs of Old Heidelberg Beer watching Bela Lugosi in his 1941 B-movie, "THE DEVIL BAT". Soon with Carol Ann and their new baby boy home, well, Gary Ray could now concentrate more on his work over at Allied Rail Rebuilders, and Carol Ann would take care of the baby as well as her now, more or less, ankle-length looking hair. 

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