Seeing that my father was employed as traveling salesman, and my mother was too much of a drunken old windbag, well, I finally got help from two teachers at the Holmes High English Department. One of the to teachers, Joann had long red hair she always kept up in a style known as the V-HIGH, which was more commonly called the Beehive because of its shape. The second of the two teachers was Veronica. Unlike Joann, Veronica whom also wore her own long raven hair up in a Beehive also had bangs. We boarded the train in Covington for Chicago where we had to change trains for Duluth. Although, the tour of the campus would take a few hours to a few days, we felt confident that I was doing the right thing. That night in our compartment in the C&O sleeping car, we made ourselves quite comfortable as we pulled out of the Covington station.
When I saw Joann removing the bobbypins from that huge
Beehive of hers' and witnessed it falling down like so, I was amazed that
Joann's hair was actually 5'FT. (60"Inches) long. I asked her, "Miss Arnzen,
I never knew you wore your hair this long. It's totally far out and groovy!!!!!"
Joann replied, "I'M glad you thank so, Edna Elizabeth", handing me an old
silver-plated Victorian looking hairbrush, "Would you care for the honor
of brushing my long red hair for me?????"
I sighed, "Certainly, Miss Godiva, I mean Arnzen, M'LADY!" I could hardly even believe it myself. Only in a children's story would women wear their hair to such lengths. Yet, as I brushed Joann's long red hair, a door opened. Veronica called out, "I'M through with the shower. Who's next?" Joann sighed, "You can finish brushing later, Edna Elizabeth. Let Veronica takeover the brushing for a while, please".
So as I took my shower in the bathroom next to our compartment,
Veronica did in fact brush Joann's hair for her. Although, one could hardly
hear what was said with the shower running, I made out whatever I could
of the conversation.
Veronica said, "You know, Joann. It's a shame that the Gibson girl couldn't have gotten her scholarship to your Alma Mater of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, or even to my Alma Mater of College of Mount Saint Joseph either".
Joann replied, "I know what you mean, but Edna Elizabeth is no ordinary girl from this year's graduating class. Besides, she's quite smart, and she plans to teach an Elementary level type of homeroom".
While steadily continuing brushing Joann's hair, Veronica asked, "I presume she'll find a nice college boy to trade vows with in a matrimonial type of way, won't she?"
Joann responded, "Oh, I feel she will, but they say the Minnesota educational system is going to improve a good deal, or at least in that one county called Itasca".
Veronica asked, "In what way, or ways?"
Joann replied, "A cousin of mine some years back married a man from Itasca County by the name of Gripe Addams".
Veronica gulped, "What kind of a name is Gripe for a spouse, especially a husband?"
Joann chuckled, "They met in care of a matrimonial agency called Hasty Marriage".
Veronica sighed, "With an agency named that, well, it sounds more like an underground railroad for folks that plan on eloping".
Joann replied, "Maybe it is, and maybe it's not. Afterall, when my cousin got married to that one Mr. Gripe Addams, well, they settled down in a nice Victorian looking mansion in the county seat called Grand Rapids".
Veronica asked, "Let me get this straight now, your cousin married this gentleman named Gripe Addams, and they settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, right?"
Joann scoffed, "Grand Rapids, yes. Only not the metropolitan city in Michigan. Too much crime and violence. They settled in the county seat of Itasca county, Minnesota which is also called Grand Rapids. Besides, Gripe has relatives just a few blocks south of where he and Myra from my mother's side of the family live at on the street called Cemetery Lane".
Veronica gulped again, "Cemetery Lane? Sounds like a neighborhood that's been condemned to me".
Joann chuckled,"Go ahead and make jokes about it, only when you see the real Cemetery Lane up close, well, then you'll change your tune". I knocked on the door calling out, "I'M finished now".
Joann said, "I'd better get my shower cap on, and while I'M getting showered, you can let Edna Elizabeth brush your long raven hair until I return from the shower".
Veronica gaulked, "Why should I let her brush my hair for me? She's just an English student of mine!"
Joann grumbled, "Only for plain old high school level English, but I'M her teacher for English Literature. So therefore, Miss Mitchell, I would recommend that you allow your student to brush your hair for you, unless you want to look for a new roommate?"
Joann was quite right. So as she went into the shower, I found myself in our compartment aboard the train brushing Veronica's very own long raven hair, which merely lacked five inches being being the same length as Joann's at the time, but at least no one bothered to count the bangs Veronica had. So as I brushed using Veronica's own Victorian type of silver-plated hairbrush, I asked, "Why are you sad, Miss Mitchell?" Veronica weeped, "Oh, I just don't know what came over me just now. In just a matter of weeks, you'll be graduating high school, and Holmes High will not exactly be the same with you gone", picking up my yearbook, "Oh, there I am on page 23 of the yearbook. The Beehive hairstyle makes me look so mature for my age, and yet I'M only 25, but so is Joann right here on page 18".
I looked at the pictures while still brushing Veronica's long hair, and said, "Well, I wouldn't think that miss Arnzen is 25, let alone you Miss Mitchell. I guess some of the new styles of hair today do make for unusual interests. For example, while I'M attending college, I'M going to let my own Auburn hair grow as long as Miss Arnzen's hair, and I'll never, ever allow to get cut off whatsoever again!" Veronica sighed,"Miss Gibson, uh, I mean Edna Elizabeth, are you seriously serious? Letting your hair get to 5'FT. in length just like Joann????? You really want to become another Lady Godiva?????" I replied, "Oh yes indeed I do!!!!! Besides, if you'll look on page 142 of the 1966 Lest We Forget yearbook, why my photo there at the top in the center has me with shoulder-length hair, which was only because my mother chopped it in a drunken rage when I was age 10, and it took its precious time growing back just to there". Veronica gasped, "I had no idea, but now you're wearing it down to a good bra-strap-length, and still growing. In fact, you now have your forehead covered with bangs totally, and most of all you're hair is now parted in the middle instead of on the side as seen in the photograph". I added, "Yes, that's quite true. I even plan to wear it longer than it is right now for my wedding day when it comes along as well as all trips to the maternity ward, too!!!!!" Then Veronica fainted, but only slightly. After a good night's rest, we changed trains at Chicago's Union Station the following morning, and we boarded the Empire Builder, a passenger train for the Great Northern R.R., and next stop was Duluth. After we had arrived, we toured a good deal of the campus of the University of Minnesota at Duluth. We were lucky however to get a hotel suite for the three of us, despite the convention of all the Shriners' temples from the greater Itasca County area meeting at the same hotel.
Ofcourse, unlike most of the run-of-the-mill shriners
conventions, this was the 35TH Annual Convention of the Grand Mystic Loyal
Order of the Nobles of the Caesaria Temple of the town of Grand Rapids,
Minnesota, USA. Eventually, we saw Joann's cousin Myra there whom with
most of the other Shriner wives were accompanying Gripe, and all the other
temple members there in Duluth. Although, Gripe himself was one of the
Nobles, the two Junior Level Potentates, whom were distant cousins to Gripe,
took a fancy to Veronica and Joann. Their names were Gleek and Glunk Addams.
Yet they had plans to go beyond being just plain old Shriners, and go higher
on up right into the order of the Masons. Eventually, after we returned
to Covington, two and a half months rolled by, and finally I graduated
with all of my friends. Tragically though, John Schmidt who we all called
Jack was unable to graduate with us due an auto accident, so we dedicated
a small space in the yearbook on page 158 for him. Others in that same
auto accident with him never survived. They were Linda Lee Elben, Randall
Lee Adams, and Leonard J. Feiler. Their remembrance spot was on page 159
of our 1966 yearbook. I guess, Linda would still be alive had I not accepted
as a gift from her, the pearl necklace seen around her neck in the photo
of her on both page 159 as well as page 140 of the 1966 Lest We Forget
yearbook of Holmes High School of Covington, Kentucky. Anyway, some of
my other friends also got accepted to U.M.D. (University of Minnesota at
Duluth) as well. Among them were, Barbara seen on the bottom left of page
137 of our high school yearbook, Margaret Ann seen on page 139 second from
the top on the far left, Loretta Mae whose photo is found on the far right
of the second row across on page 149, and finally, Marilyn located in the
fifth row across on the far right of page 153. Eventually, Joann and Veronica
both resigned from their teaching jobs at Holmes High School, and moved
to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where Joann married Gleek and Glunk wound up
married to Veronica that very year. Within the year the followed, Joann
and Veronica each had a baby boy. Oh they still kept their hair long, and
do so to this day. I eventually married into that same family named Addams
myself on Saturday May 5TH, 1973. I married Gripe's nephew Gleep, Barbara
in the same ceremony married another nephew of Gripe's named Glope, Margaret
Ann married the nephew Juan Peron Addams (named for the infamous one time
leader of Argentina), Loretta Mae married the nephew named William Bligh
Addams (named for Captain Bligh who was set adrift in a lifeboat from the
H.M.S. Bounty), and Marilyn married Gripe's nephew Tom "Stonewall" Jackson
Addams named for Marilyn's ancestor whom fought with the Confederacy, which
left our good friend Lettie whom married Gripe's nephew named Clutch Addams.
A most amazing wedding ceremony, even for America. Six couples, the grooms
being clean-cut American boys from a rather somewhat eccentric looking
family, and the brides all practically had hair so long that it almost
reached the floor of the church itself. Eventually, Gripe's rather older
cousin Gomez Addams kind of summed it up the best seeing as how he let
us have the reception in his home at 0001 Cemetery Lane, "Our grooms may
remain almost the same, but the brides of the Addams family will always
have long hair!"