söndag 2 april 2017

The happy hunting grounds?

And so I turned 13 and our town was bestoved with it's first Burger bar - Whimpys.
This was 1977 and the most exotic I had tasted was the Spring Rolls that they served in the hot dog stand.   My cousin took me to a Pizza restaurant and so that year was absolutely filled with gastronomic pleasures.  
Three blocks from my old school was my new, here I was now to spend three more years. 
This was a rather large school but that is not the way I remember it.
 I think I was in 7G,  our classteacher was Ingrid, she was absolutely the best you could have.  She supported me, being something of an outsider, not that popular, just one parent,  only child. I smelled of smoke every day since my mother was a heavy smoker and our apartment was brown all over.  But I didn't smoke myself, everyone else did though and in the schoolyard there was special areas, marked with white, where you could smoke.  Nobody saw anything strange in that, but as the years passed the campaigns against smoking was getting more and more highpitched. In 1978 came the poll about nuclear power plants, I was against it, marching, protesting and wearing pins that annoyed my cousin a lot. Nobody ever listens to me so the plants were built and we still have no place for the waste.....Harrisburg happened and the reports started to come from Sellafield, but well, here it was!!!

The school was a mixture of students from the blocks around as well as the outskirts. The students from the outer areas took the bus in every day and had to fight off the city kids.
Another thing that was new to me was the students from Yugoslavia and Hungary. New first names like Bela and Muhamed was heard in the corridors, and that was  rather exciting. Most of them had no difficulties with the language, perhaps a bit with the culture.
I had learned by then, that my father, although never known to me, had been from Hungary, coming to Sweden in 1957 like many others. Somehow that gave me a sense of connection.

The school was built in the 1950's and had several different buildings. It was to me a frightening and huge place. Me and Eva were separated in to different classes and didn't stay friends for so long.  I got a couple of other friends, girls that just like me didn't fit in among the popular and glamorous. 
Among the teachers I had some favourites, there was f.i Sven that gave us all his knowlege of history and religion, and Ulf Kyhlsten that was a very clever and rather excentric music teacher.  We had Chemistry and Physics in well equipped classrooms, in many subjects, like language, I took french....., maths, art and crafts, we were mixed with other classes.
My all time crush during these years was Klas, a short, athletic, kind and extremely cute boy with curly black hair ( again, fancy that!) with an accent from the northern parts of Sweden.
I never spoke to him but kept track on him.  

These years I spent a lot of time walking. In my sparetime I walked a lot, I had done a lot of walking before that and now I extended my area.  Sometimes together with my new friends but they didn't like walking much.  Our town was filled with outdoor scenes, especially in the summertime of course, Theatres, musicals, sing-along-events and musical competitions, concerts, everything that was for free I walked in to.  Those were the years of Star Wars and Greese.  I had come across Queen, as I wrote in the last post, and also Sparks, a very very odd american group of two brothers, Ron and Russel. They were on tv, we had a man called Julius in Malmoe, he arranged all the concerts and some musical competitions as well, he also had a tv show called the Disco roof. He invited both Sparks and Lionel Ritchie . 
The Sparks, Ron by the piano. They wrote the song in the title " Happy hunting ground".
On the open air scenes I could listen to some of the finest in the swedish music business, and theatrical talents of the less famous kind but still very good. I am grateful for those years. 

I loved the artclasses, the music classes and history. French was working rather well.
I wasn't popular, rather the opposite so every day I got in early to be able to sit in peace before bullying began, by words and sometimes very physical like being pushed into walls, cupboards and so. I was told that I was fat and ugly. I suppose I was.
So it was me, Catharina and Susanne, we spent most time together, in the spare time too.
Close to the school was a small bakery, we went there when we had money. I didn't have money very often.  
In my own neighbourhood I avoided my old schoolmates as much as I could, except for Regina and Liselotte, they were nice to be with.
Liselottes father was a magician, she actually took up the trade after him, I don't know if she is still working with it. 
My skills was drawing and music, when I look at the sketches from those days they were not so bad. Better than me was however Muhamed and Francois, the little frenchman that now had grown up.  He became a well known artist in my hometown and in the country.  Muhamed was tall and rather dashing, he was very good with pens and colours.  
Maths was my nightmare, it wasn't getting better with the teacher called Thunder, a huge man that loved to totally surround the female students when they asked for help, or not.
Headmaster looked a lot like Strickland in Back to the Future. He was walking with tight steps and a very strictly tighed fly to go with the white shirt. We called him The Fly, but his name was actually Seved. None of us knew him very well.  He wasn't that kind of man. He was a devoted headmaster, he lived til he was 90. 
This is Pildammsteatern, a magical place !!!!

At two occasions we left school to have some practise. The best I had was two weeks on the largest newspaper. There I got to know another Eva, her father worked at the newspaper. We became very good friends and I still have an entire shoe box filled with letters from her. I even spent some time in her summer house and visited her often. The two weeks at the newspaper convinced me that I should become a journalist so when next schoolperiod was to begin I had it all planned. Never turned out that way, but you have to dream!
I also had a week in a kindergarten close to school, I can tell you I had no urge to return to that place........Eva followed me with great enthusiasm on my walking tours to the open air theaters, we had a great time!

Last year I was transferred occasionnaly to another class, they were students in the real sense of the word. And so there was silence and a very nice friendship emerging from that class. 
Strangely enough, my own classmates turned to me the last few months before examinationday and wanted me to join them.  Perhaps it was because I was the first to cut off my waist long hair and get a perm.  More girls followed and I was accepted and invited. Soon everyone would be having high hair and broad shoulders on their jackets....and pastell....I never attended any reunion parties but today I try to keep track by social medias, one gets nostalgic!!

Most of the buildings in Pildammsparken where from the Baltic Exhibition in 1914.  The park was built around two large ponds, dug out by the prisoners of the city jail.

This is Moriskan, built 1902 and also the place for many a musical event!!! The park is called The peoples park, Malmoe is by tradition a workers community, socialdemocrates and unions.

This the theatre filled to the brim, not my picture this, I borrowed it from internet!!

The last day I wanted to speak to Klas but I dared not. So I wrote him a love letter. I kept it in my pocket for a couple of days. Only time I had ever looked him in the eye was once a year when we had dancing on the schedule, you know, line and squaredance. A chance to hold hands and perhaps smile . I was extremely shy. I think he was too.

The last day passed, we left school with our grades in an envelope and he walked to his bus stop, he lived outside town. I rushed up, took the letter and pressed it in his hand together with two lollipops(???). I said, in a casual tone: Hey, this is for you!  and then I left in a hurry.
My grades was rather good, I was a good student, no running out at night.
During that last year we saw trouble coming, teachers cars were wrecked, fights took place, the corridors were dirty and spotted with tobacco. 

I left that school with a sigh of relief - ahead of my was a summer that I would spend in a kennel in the country side. They had taken me in as an extra hand and I lived in their house. In my bed there was also room for three or four dogs, at home I had one as well.  Summer was good, the family was rather nice and I learned a lot about breeding and taking care of dogs. Those where terriers and one other kind. 

I had applied for two or three schools, I had now turned 16. My cousin wanted me to graduate from HIS school, a fancy one in the very centre of the city but I got in to another one, close to the church I have been telling you about. That is another chapter.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Gosh, two blogs, I don't know how you manage it. Will this blog be your memoirs online or will it replace your other blog?

  2. Hello !
    No, Suem, this second blog was for longer stories and fiction stories, but I notice that not so many find their way in here!!! The stories here are mostly true or almost fictive. The schoolposts are however all true. There are things that I am not totally ready to be honest about but that needs to be written, so therefor some are part fiction. Memoirs? No,who would even bother to read? But, yes, small glimpses of my life. Actually, I have written some glimpses on the first blog too....hm, I never were very good at keeping strict to protocol!!!

  3. Found you at last. My computer skills are non-existent.
    What a fascinating story, whether or not it is fact or fiction.
    I will read more as it appears.
    Love the photos too.

    1. Ray!!! You are here, how very very nice!! Yes, this is actually all true, just like the rest of the schoolday stories. The rest is partly true and partly fiction or totally true and totally fiction.....oh dear, that didn't make it clearer?!! Glad you liked it, please read the others too.