More Childhood, Adolescence; Rice Lake (1971-1981)

1971 (Third Grade, age 8)

In my third grade class picture, (that’s me in the front row, far right) I am wearing glasses and curled up hair. I see Gretchen (behind me and to the left) had bangs even shorter than mine!

1973 (Fifth Grade, age 10)

On the first day of school in fifth grade I wore pants I sewed myself (my mother made the top), and am shown here next to the giant treble clef sign on the front of our house. Yes, our family really liked to sing.

Me, at age 10, wearing an outfit I sewed myself, including the hat!

1974 (Sixth Grade, age 11)

Me with Pete, Jeff and our new puppy, Maggie.

I attended a two-week Guitar Clinic for two summers, taught by Don Ruedy, far left, a very talented musician and artist. I learned a lot of John Denver songs, as I recall.

As a young budding poet, I left myself room to grow.

1975 (Seventh Grade, age 12)

My parents, standing in front of our house in Rice Lake. At this point, Dad would have completed the first of five trips through treatment for alcoholism.

Three original Willard P. Huggins poems, by Jill Loree, née Thompson.

1976 (Eighth Grade, age 13)

I was confirmed in the Lutheran church after two years of Saturday morning catechism classes and much memorization. Dry as toast, that was.

I started middle school not realizing that grades actually mattered to anyone, and finished feeling good about my progress (except in Phy Ed, the oddly hard class to get an A in because nobody gave it much thought.)

As an eighth grade cheerleader, I was often the base for the smaller, lighter girls to stand on.

My teacher and I were both surprised when I got one of the top math scores to join this elite team. And then we won the competition against 12 other schools!

In my first musical, Bye Bye Birdie, I was a cheerleader in the chorus. Yep, straight out of central casting.

Our mom gives a perm to either Pete or Jeff. Could have been either one of them, or my dad. It was a good look, back in the day.

View more from Part Two (continued)

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