Dear Classmates:††† from Ted Elden after GWHS Reunion Oct 04

 

Iím sorry you missed it - a real hoot at the recent reunion.

I think everyone had a grand time.

Getting together again, sort of brings us back to a time of innocence & excitement,our formularize years;

those special friends, relations, circumstances, and great events.

 

Ah what delightful memories I have of all, from Jr. High school & beyond.

 

I remember Cunningham & I working at Top O Rock construction, tearing down that old house, tying the rope to the walks, and when it fell, it pulled Bill fast & far like a bow & arrow, talking about Feynmanís Lectures on Physics, camping & spelunking with you !I remember going to the beach with him.We often felt itchy from the sand, so took showers at the free beach showers.Where did we stay ?Did we just drive to beach & back for 1 day.Both of us felt funny taking time off, vacation, we preferred to work or study, I think.

 

Nate Casto's & Judy Mohler's family had a camp or cabin up the Elk River.Once while there, Dave Bock challenged me to box.He beat me to a pulp, but finally quit, Ďcause I would not give up.Iíd never boxed before, had no idea how to do it, but would not quit trying, although Dave was beating me repeatedly.Dave was a champion boxer of some reknown. I guess that my friendship with Dean Leak got me into this elite group with Nate Casto & Dave Bock.

 

I remember an 11th grade party at my Dadís office.I had a Sony stereo tape player / recorder.I was so enchanted by the thoughts & words of friends like Dean Leake, and Nate Casto, who I thought were wise & philosophical.I had the Sony playing music on one channel and recording their conversation on another.I did not want to miss a thing that they were saying. I have long lost that tape, fear not.Nor do I have any idea of what they said.

 

In college once, I visited Nate Casto at Univ. of PA and met the most beautiful girl who Nate was dating.She greeted me at the door to their apartment in Nateís (I think) blue jeans.Man, I was amazed that people / couples shared clothes.That was probably before Iíd ever directly spoken to a girl. / woman.I do remember taking her out into the night into the street.I turned the headlights of my Triumph Spitfire across the road and got her to pose for a couple of silhouettes.Slender face, aquiline nose, lovely straight blonde hair.I photoed her in b & w.These were the first photos I remember that I took of any design, or startling interest of a woman.

 

 

I remember my fascination in talking with Judy Mohler, who I called from prep school, and on whose porch, I often visited.

She was my best friend in those years. 12th grade ?

I knew how smart she was, and I appreciated her spending time with me,

Iíve always be a non-conformist, and probably a lost cause to most.

 

Ah reminiscing.I remember several of us had Honda Cycles, you, Dave Bock, Mike Chaney & I.Did we ever ride together ?What do you remember of your time on your cycle ?

I remember riding over to Chaneyís & Bockís home.

 

I remember going with Bock to Camp Sea Gull.

He sort of insisted that I write letters to my sweetheart Kathleen Bond.

We sailed, motor boated, rifle shooting, bow & arrow & much more down there.I guess we even got over to Camp Seafarer where the girls were, but I donít remember much of that.

 

John Adams Jr. High:†† Sitting by Chaney in biology class.

In that class only, we had lab tables and independent chairs.

The other classes had chair attached to a little desk before you.

Our bio class met right after lunch.You & I were in the class early.We took all the chairs and put them on the other side of the desks, so they faced the back of the room.When students and eventually the teacher came, all just sat in their chairs, facing the back of the room.No one moved their chairs nor did the teacher say or do anything.I think that our chairs, yours and mine only, still faced the front of the room, only our chairs, making it obvious to me that we did the deed, as we were the only ones unaffected.Still amazing that none, or few took action to correct our misdeed.The whole period most sat facing the back of the room, in backward facing chairs.Sure some twisted their heads around to see the instructor.You & I just sat there trying not to laugh.What a prank!

 

I remember pitching pennies in Jr. HS.I was friends and or fond of Kathleen Bond.I was good at pitching pennies towards a wall.Closes coin won all the coins.Others threw at the wall and the coins bounced back.Iíd roll mine gently to the wall, it would hit the wall and fall down nearest the wall.Iíd win.Kathleen was my bankerIíd go to school with a penny or two, and gamble with others Ďtil I made $ 1.28.I gave all I had to Kathleen, I think I told her to buy a ring, sort of a gesture that I liked her and she could put that big cash win into a stone or more likely a cracker jack ring.

 

I used to spend the night at your home, watching horror movies.I remember me, & Frank Thomas blowing bubble down into that red liquid barometer that you had, and then it would spit back on you.Youíd ask people to hit down on a paper where you hid a thumb tack beneath it.Mean ! !I remember double dating with you, and how I admired Dudley Underhill, who would not speak to me, Ďcause she was older.

Randy Williams, the wrestler, sorry for his untimely death.

Where is / what happened to Bobby Sessler.Days at GWHS.

 

I once drove in my parents VW Volks Wagon to Babcock St. Park to spend night in tent with male companions.

Chaney, Leake, Bill Cunningham, Tim Alderson ?

We were spooked by noises in night while we were in wilderness.

Also camped out in field with Cunningham once.

Bill & I explored caves near Lewisburg in Greenbrier Co.

How dangerous, interesting, adventurous. We took ropes, candles, flashlights.

We were really prepared for a sport totally new to us.

 

Dean Leake once rode on back of my cycle.A dog cut us off, and we tumbled thru the air to the hard pavement, and got scabs & bruises.Later Dean showed some one (a parent ?) and told of our mishap. I pulled Dean aside, and told him to say we have fallen down, NOT MOTOR CYCLE accident, else Iíd loss the cycle from my parentsí approval.

Dean and the gang would always tell me when I came home from prep school.

Peggy Douglas is not dating anyone, call her.

Ms. Douglas was very clear with me, then & now.

Ted, I donít EVER want to go out with you.

But I still called her.†† I think our station in life is established early and never changes.

 

7th - 8thgrade.I had an infatuation with Sally Kreps.Dean Leake stole her away.Women, people, relationships need time together.

That is a concept that I resist even today.

 

I think that Sandy Rose use to hang around at Deanís Ė So I had a friendship with him & Frank Thomas, another of Deanís friends.

Dean was sort of the center of the social scene Ė great diplomat, even back then.

††††††††††† Iím the eternal adventurer, Dave Bock is always the king.About the 7th grade or so, I had a bicycle, and I guess with all my energy, I use to ride.So one day, I guess I rode over to Dave Bockís home, and got Dave out on his bike.Already it was a pretty big trip to Daveís home.That was a mile or so from my home to our Ft. Hill Elem. school, then near a mile to Daveís home.I took, running beside me, my loyal cocker spaniel, Brownie.

††††††††††† So I guess I persuaded Dave to go with me over to So. Hills.Dave, of course knew and was admired by the So. Hills girls, but I, like Marco Polo, or Columbus, I knew how to figure out a route to get there.I am sure that Dave never rode his bike far and or to So. Hills before.Actually neither had I.

††††††††††† So I led Dave & my dog across the hills, down Stricker Rd., though the great deep, rural, wooded canyon, Hickory Road, and back up to the top of south hills.I guess that we landed near Oakmont Rd. and soon found either the persons and or the homes of Robin Greybill, Sally Kreps, Ö I donít even remember names.I am sure we actually found some people that we knew over there.Dave probably talked with them.I probably just walked around nervously, anxious to bike more and or make return trip home.When I finally got back, I do remember that my dog lay on my front porch for at least a day or so, exhausted.I think I remember that we biked about 40 miles on the odometer on my bicycle.Maybe it was only 20, but I think it might have been 40 miles.It was the whole day of a Saturday.I guess I was cruel, lacking thought to take my dog along, but at the beginning, and through the trip, Brownie seemed anxious to run with us and he was the adventurer too.

††††††††††† Now at age 16, or grade 10+, I remember I had bought a Honda 50cc Motorcycle, like the one Dave had.My cycle would not go 50 mph, as the book said it would and / or Daveís bike would.So Dave & I went together down on MacCorkle Ave., the expressway, and ran our cycles wide open.I donít know if Daveís was faster or not, but I think that even after running for a while, I never got my cycle up faster than 48 mph.

††††††††††† Now the kicker was this.We were just trying to see if something was wrong with my cycle by comparing the performance.Somehow Daveís mother got 2nd hand reports, and called my mother, so when I got home, my parents were mad & stern with me, that Iíd been racing my cycle with Dave Bock.I think that I showed them a different perspective and they accepted it.But I feared how strick and critical Daveí mother must be with him.

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Dear Tim:††

 

Great to see you again.I hope you had a grad time as did others.

With Tim, I remember Jack Hogsett & his family, folks, Jill, Ann, and Scotty.I remember Mathew Gravely, Jimmy McClaurghty?Ė where is he.George Zaharis, who moved to Fl to care for his Dad.

 

I remember riding to school with you guys.

I remember once when I was at summer camp, someone,Hogsett, Nate Bowles ?, did some vandalism to some tractors on the new dirt road behind Lovels or behind yours & the Gayís home.

 

Many got into trouble and had to pay a fee.Someone use to set M 80s in the mail boxes and blow them up.I think the FBI came to check on that.I remember sleigh riding down Churchill Dr.Evanwood was too steep & dangerous.I remember playing whiffle ball at the base of Evanwood & Churchill Circle.I remember some one, Jimmy, or brother, starting the grass behind you home on fire.Big event.I remember days spent at Pine Tree Forest or Fort behind your home.I loved to go there with friends and or my dogs.Behind my home was Rocking Tree Fort, where there was a big rock over a tiny littlie, almost creek.Hours spent there.

Dad built a little cabin behind our home where Iíd stay out all night.Did you ever come own there and stay out with me & my dogs in our cabins.I had a dog names Tim.Did I name him after you ?you always use to get up early Sunday morning and do your paper route.Iíd come along some time.I wanted that route but you had it for yeas.

 

I remember visiting with you, Tim, and Nate Bowles, Connie Stevenson across form Nateís home.One time Connieís Dad came out and thought we were chasing Connie, and he picked me up and beat me in the face.I was terrified and ran.I never went up there any more.

The Dodds had horses, that I rode.

Annette Lambert was beautiful girl in neighborhood.

You & Chip Woodson were my best friends.

Also George Zaharis, Raymond Bowling & brothersĖ great runner,


Dear Nate:

 

Sorry you missed our big reunion. About 120 together at the Governorís Mansion.Tim Alderson was one of many who came.

 

With Tim, I remember Jack Hogsett & his family, folks, Jill, Ann, and Scotty.I remember Mathew Gravely, Jimmy McClaurghty?Ė where is he.George Zaharis, who moved to Fl to care for his Dad.

 

I remember riding to school with you guys.

I remember once when I was at summer camp, someone,Hogsett, Nate Bowles ?, did some vandalism to some tractors on the new dirt road behind Lovels or behind yours & the Gayís home.

 

Many got into trouble and had to pay a fee.Someone use to set M 80s in the mail boxes and blow them up.I think the FBI came to check on that.I remember sleigh riding down Churchill Dr.Evanwood was too steep & dangerous.I remember playing whiffle ball at the base of Evanwood & Churchill Circle.I remember some one, Jimmy, or brother, starting the grass behind you home on fire.Big event.I remember days spent at Pine Tree Forest or Fort behind your home.I loved to go there with friends and or my dogs.Behind my home was Rocking Tree Fort, where there was a big rock over a tiny littlie, almost creek.Hours spent there.

Dad built a little cabin behind our home where Iíd stay out all night.Did you ever come own there and stay out with me & my dogs in our cabins.I had a dog names Tim.Did I name him after you ?you always use to get up early Sunday morning and do your paper route.Iíd come along some time.I wanted that route but you had it for yeas.

 

I remember visiting with Tim, and Nate Bowles Connie Stevens across form Nateís home.One time Connieís Dad came out and thought we were chasing Connie, and he picked me up and beat me in the face.I was terrified and ran.I never went up there any more.

The Dodds had horses, that I rode.

Annette Lambert was beautiful girl in neighborhood.

You & Chip Woodson were my best friends.

Also George Zaharis, Raymond Bowling & brothersĖ great runner,


I remember going to cotillion dances.What was that ?Dad dressed me with a bow tie, 7th grade ?Some wise guy (Dean Leake ?) pulled my tie undone when I arrived at the dance, so I spent the evening in the boys room, Ďcause I sure didnít know how to tie a bow tie, and no one else did either.I think this formative event was the reason that I never actually learned how to make contact with, have conversation and or dance with girls !!!Ted in hiding, spending the dancing evening in the boyís room.Now I effectively hide behind my camera, rather than have real involvement, conversation with people.

 

Iím up about 6 am this morning.I hope, pray this to be effective day.Good Morning to you.

 

Ted Elden

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Ted Elden -

Little Rock Studio - c/o 2 Ramu Road, Charleston, West Virginia

tel 304 344 233524/7www.abodia.com

 

Here is a name Ė Florence Cabel Green, Atlanta GA.Now why didnít she come ?Was she a friend of yours ?She use to live on the end of Louden Heights Circle, didnít she ?Did she go to prep school ?I donít know or remember her well, but once she was sick and I went to her home to visit / cheer her up.She lay in a bed in pajamas, I guess, and I talked or visited her briefly.Iíd never been in a girls bedroom before and or talked to a girl in a bed in pajamas.I was spooked.This would have been 11th grade or later, as I probably drove over there, even on my motor cycle.Funny memories I have.That is all I remember of her.

 

Than there was Ellen Lively.At the time of my prep school years, Iíd entered the world of literature & poetry.I thought you could write down thoughts and feelings and share them personally with another and I guess I thought that might build and or form a relationship.Actually, I have no idea what I thought, but I do think that I wrote long, deeply personal letters to Ellen.Did I explore feelings for her ?I donít know.But I spent many hours writing them. Ah, how puberty drives young men.

 

Now my real love was Betsy Yeardley,

how infamous to date her, she was a year younger !!

We stuck a great cord in discussing Oriental philosophies.

Betsy married near or after college years, then died a few years later.I visited her often at her parents home in Charleston. As she approached her final coma.We never spoke of death, only of our friendship.Yes, I guess this was the 2nd girl I visited in her bedroom, sick, in her pajamas.My life is so filled with startling revelations.

 

I remember wrestling at 10th grade at Charleston High School.  Maybe I wrestled at 133 lbs. Randy Williams, Dave Bock, Dean Leake, also wrestlers.

 

I learned to walk on my hands, and I could walk the full length of the gym on my hands, but invariably someone like David Shuman would come along near the end and knock me down.

 

I remember my first year at John Adams Junior HS.  The older kids (big deal 1 year older) they would hit me in the arm just to be mean.  But I'd hit them back.  Now I was little guy and they were big. They'd hit me hard and I'd hit hard too but I did not have much punch. The funny thing was that they quit picking on me. As I have learned in life, if you resist your oppressors, they just quit, they don't want to bother with any one who resists, they just want unquestioned power.

 

Several of us went off to prep school at different grade levels:

Me Ted Elden, Charlie Pugh, Tom McJunkin, Sandy Rose, Rick Jones ?

 

Were our parent more wealthy, or more focused on our education ? My sister told me to go to prep school to get to good college. I tried for MIT, Harvard, Yale, but got into Carnegie Mellon Univ. in Pittsburgh.  That worked out fine. I was going to be nuclear physicist, but studied architecture, then later became photographer, importer and computer guru.

 

My Dad, the architect, took me and my sister to Europe several times (3 ?) while I was in school, to see the architecture and European culture with the Charleston Daily Mail Showplane.  Since my friends did not go, they did not want me to talk of the trip, so I have largely forgotten what I saw as none let me discuss it.

 

I always wanted to go out west, to the mountains, Colorado, Arizona, California, which I have since done.

 

I went to Colorado Outward Bounds (Survival) School/ Camp one summer.  Great adventures climbing mountains, repelling (later Seneca Rocks) and learning how to walk a tight rope, and tie a rope with the flick of the wrist with one hand.  I did a survival hike, 3 days into the wilderness of W. Va. before that trip, so I already had the confidence and endurance to survive on my own, probably that has effected many of my life's decisions.