TRAVEL BUG TALES: WHEN SEEING MY NAME IN PRINT WASN’T SO COOL
Yes Fellow Lakesiders, be very afraid. I still have it – the mission tour pub. If anyone thinks social media is harsh, you obviously haven’t heard of slambooks and pubs. The mission tour pub was pretty mild compared to other versions I experienced, but there was still a sting attached.
What was a slambook?
Before social media gave teen-aged cruelty a digital voice, it still managed to be pretty loud. Slambooks were usually composition books or folders passed around a group and each page had the name of someone written at the top. As the book was passed around, everyone would write their “anonymous” comments or gossip about each person on the pages. There were several ways to belittle people. You could let someone know they were in the book without showing it to them, let them see the hateful, petty, spiteful “truths” told about them or worst of all, let them know they’d been left out of the book all together. Pretty awful, huh?
There were also more officially recognized pamphlets called pubs. These were printed, rather than handwritten and the worst elements had been culled out by someone in authority. Were I to dig through the box in my attic labeled “memorabilia,” I could probably locate my Senior Pub from Bryan Adams. I can’t remember if I made it into that venerable publication or not, but the mission tour pub certainly cut me down to size, as did the mentions and not-mentions in those awful slambooks.
Mission Tour Pub
Well, in an effort to not to have a slambook passed around the bus, someone decided we’d have an “official” pub and suggestions for it could be given to the “pub staff” – you know who you are! A week or so later the pub pictured above came out. I’m sure it had been thoroughly vetted by the church staff, but we teens were giddy about it.
Most of the mentions about me referred to my loquaciousness. Perhaps that was the impetus for my speech-to-entertain, “My Life as a Compulsive Bigmouth.” If so, thanks for the inspiration. Readers will remember a few weeks ago I told about my late night road trip to Galveston in a red convertible and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Later, I made a living with my chatter and now I am talking in print. But that’s the view backwards. I’m afraid I didn’t think it was so helpful back in the day.
I Beg to Differ
The other cut suggested that my greatest desire was “to date,” which of course suggested that I didn’t. Just for the record, to my dad’s chagrin, I had beaus hanging out on my front porch within the first few weeks of my entry into high school. I’d even gone to the senior prom as a sophomore, which my parents had really struggled with. (Back then sophomore year was the first in senior high, because junior high included 9th grade.) I wasn’t dating any of the church guys, yet, but I was dating.
So dating was not the real issue. I have a strong feeling that some adult editing had deleted the “Lenny Loud” portion of that comment, because to say I really wanted to date Lenny Loud would have been a very true statement. In due time, Lenny and I did see Killing Me Softly together in his little blue Opel GT at the local drive-in, but no love connection was made. A week or so later Lenny let me know that God didn’t want him going out with me any more. That was probably very true, but not what my teen-aged heart wanted to hear.
What the Pub Staff Didn’t Know
In spite of the fact that they thought they knew everything, there were episodes that passed the notice of the pub staff. In fact, right after the midriff baring event of my last Travel Bug Tales, I nearly got sent back to Dallas because of Lenny Loud, but that didn’t make it to the pub. So come along next week and learn the details of that hidden scandal.