You and your Reputation

You and Your reputation - and there was proof.

It’s 1962 – You’re Thirteen – You Live In L.A. – You Have A Reputation – You’re A Great Kisser – You Have Proof.

You and your Reputation
You and Your reputation – and there was proof.

KFWB – Bill Ballance Show – December 1, 1962 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Of course you remember – you have proof. One of your friends got his first Brownie camera – he ran all over school, taking pictures. Almost burned through a whole roll of film before he saw you and your girlfriend at Recess. She saw him pointing the camera in your direction and in less than a split second she grabbed you and put you in a lip-lock.

Immortalized – forever. You made the school newspaper – you made the yearbook. You were named Best Kisser in 7th Grade. You got notes, you got phone numbers – you got invites to birthday parties – you got long smoldering stares in every class but PE. Guys were jealous – but they wanted what you had so they were nice to you.

Overnight you became a Sex Symbol – you’d spend hours in front of the bathroom mirror, working on your pompadour, practicing moves and perfecting your deep “come-hither” gaze.

Every weekend you’d hound your parents for an advance on your allowance so you could buy clothes. You discovered clothes, especially cool clothes. Cool clothes were crucial if you were to maintain your status. Lucky for you, you started shaving only a few months earlier. Now you can douse yourself in Aqua Velva – the picture was starting to become clear.

Cuban Heels, Mister Guy shirts, Dobie Gillis sleeves, Pendeltons, jeans that fit so you didn’t need to roll cuffs up to your knees. You were a regular at Sy Devore’s on Vine Street. You were well into the year 2000 before you could pay your folks back, but this was important – this was your future – you had a reputation and you had to maintain it.

You had arrived – and to think, only a year earlier you had no idea – about anything. You were still a kid – you did kid things – you had kid thoughts – you wore kid clothes.

Your thoughts are getting complicated and they are accompanied by “strange and interesting feelings”. The wiring in your brain seems to have a mind of its own.

Everything is heading in the perfect direction – except . . .

Your voice just started cracking and it sounds like a cartoon – and one morning you woke up to a face full of pimples.

Overnight you’ve gone from “Best Kisser” to “Pizza Face”. And your reputation? Well . . .

Life can be cruel and being thirteen is no picnic, at least for a while.

But you do have your radio – and for the next 45 minutes you can dive into KFWB and the sounds of Bill Ballance to fill that void – or at least take your mind off the battle raging on your face.




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