With the 2014/15 school year just beginning it made me think back to my own school days which began in 1944. At six years of age I had no interest in girls and that continued until I was approximately eleven years old. Even then my transition into the world of sexual thoughts and interests in girls was still a very slow progression. In the 1950’s sex was a word unspoken by adults and we young hormones were left to our own interpretations with only the help of National Geographic. The latter was the only magazine available in those days in which one might find African native girls/women topless. Such a daring magazine, one that must always be kept hidden from parents. How the world has changed since those Innocent school days of old. It seems today the young school goers know more about sex than I ever did. As for school dress today, (uniform/fashion) girls leave little to the imagination. Which is perhaps sad in a way because when I was a boy imagination was exciting. Anyway its all changed now and I doubt its for the better. Let me share my memories of growing into puberty in the 1950’s
At the tender age of eleven whilst completing my last weeks attending Elementary School a curious change came over me. Up until that point in my young life I hated girls, or at least did not like or trusted them. It seemed when I got into trouble at school or at home a girl was always behind it. But now with the first strange feelings of puberty entering my life girls were taking on a new meaning for me. You may say that was a normal progression of growing, and you’d be right except this was at the dawn of the 1950’s. The word SEX was non-existent,certainly in the small world in which I lived. Such things were never mentioned at home by parents or in school by our exalted teachers. Understanding these feelings of arousal every time a girls skirt blow up to reveal her knickers would remain a mystery. In those far off days if I was to ask about sex I’d be told,”you don’t need to know about that until you marry. Wow!!! I wasn’t even going steady back then, would I have to wait until my twenties for such enlightenment. You might laugh but by the time I reached my early twenties my sexual knowledge was still rudimentary at best. But lets get back to the 1950’s school systems. By now I was in secondary school where we shared home room classes with girls. We had separate gym classes, girls went to domestic science (cooking) while boys went to woodwork class. We had separate playgrounds at opposite ends of the school. I qualified to wear long pants on my twelfth birthday and having a girl friend became a requirement if one was to receive respect from male class mates. I had a girl friend in my home room class, her name was Lorna. Calling her a girl friend might be a bit of a stretch in terms of romance. We never dated, never kissed and sex was only in ones imagination. We made eyes at each other and passed notes in class, we sat together whenever the opportunity arose,which wasn’t often. We were daring young lovers eh! One very popular practice in the school was to have an autograph book, and indeed just about every one had one. These books were not for collecting signatures from famous people such as movie stars, footballers or singers. No, the aim was to have girls ask to sign your book, it rarely happen but was very exciting when it did. In those days in English class we had to learn and memorize famous poems by writers such as Keats,Tennyson and Longfellow. I Had trouble memorizing them in school so its no surprise I have retained little memory of the poems now. Today I doubt I could recite more than a line or two of from some of the better known poems. However what Lorna wrote in my autograph book I have never forgotten. When we had the opportunity to sign a girls book we attempted to create an impressive, sweet and dashing poem to go along with our signature. Most of our poems lacked any originality, usually beginning “Rose are Red Violets are Blue” etc etc. But what Lorna wrote in my book was the talk of the boys in my class for weeks. My status as a skilled lover rose to great heights for a day or two. She wrote this very daring and provocative verse.
I love you much I love you mighty
I wish your pajamas were next to my nightie
Now don’t be mistaken and don’t be misled
I mean on the clothesline not in bed.
How strange after more than sixty years later I still recall the unforgettable and daring words of that sweet young girl, Lorna. Of course I have no idea where she might be today but often wonder if she too remembers her poem? ——-No sex please we are too Innocent.
Wonderful times! God Bless and keep reading