Eye to Eye, Let’s Dance

by Alden Cole on January 23, 2015 · 1 comment

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown (1945- )

2GrandDamesWP1962: Here’s lookin’ at ya’, eye to eye. Fourteen full frontal pencil drawings on 8-1/2″ x 11″ bond paper, from junior and senior years in high school, all looking directly at you the viewer. Reviewing them recently as a series I was surprised to note how the heads just kept getting bigger and bigger as time passed and I kept drawing larger figures, crowding the periphery of the paper in all directions, heads virtually bursting through the top of the paper, hands and feet disappearing off the edges.

3BallDressesWPPutting a number of the figures in long gowns and evening dresses that emphasize the verticality of the figure without too much attention to the feet made the drawing easier.
3ShortDressesWPThe preponderance of evening wear and party dresses also indicate a blossoming fascination with activities that were verboten in real life – like dancing.
3CostumesWPProhibited from attending such activities that were considered normal social situations for most of my fellow classmates, I created my own fantasy world in which I could dance the night away.
3PartyDressesWPThrough the magic of drawing I participated in those teen rituals that were a normal part of growing up for my school friends, but were part of a world inaccessible to me.
Meanwhile back in the real world of high school, a few pictures to jog the memory and amuse my old high school friends who have been following this series. First up, a photo from a rehearsal for a senior play that never happened – Let’s Dance. Anyone remember why the ‘authorities’ cancelled the play before we had a chance to perform?

ScienceClub60WPOne of the bastions of maleness among Thornton’s extra-curricular activities was the Science Club, of which I was not a member, nevertheless many friends were. At left is a photo of club membership in 1960.
ScienceClub61WPThe following year three of my sister classmates integrated the club during our junior year, as seen at left, an act not without repercussions. To counteract such an affront to the male psyche, during our senior year a number of my male classmates formed PISANK – the Peripheral Information Society for the Advancement of Non-specialized Knowledge – an extra-curricular club for boys only; evidenced by the photo, boys will be boys.

1962PISANK:WPDespite the fact that PISANK never won official school administration approval, the group’s picture made it into the yearbook anyway, hidden away at the back of the Tripod among the advertisements. Nevertheless the memory of the group’s significance and impact lives on. Somehow, Tom Brady, the original guiding genius in forming the short-lived organization, didn’t make it into the photograph. Cheers to all you guys!

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Bill Harrison January 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

PISANK — Ah yes, we were the muckraking alternative to the official school newspaper, “The Marooner.” Tom Brady may not have been in the picture but I’m fairly sure he was among the group of us called down to the headmaster’s office to be told to disband immediately to avoid dire consequences! So much for underground sniping! Did any of you guys ever make it into the CIA?


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