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It’s September 1966 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – School: New Semester – New Classes – Old Dress Codes

A new Semester – And some teachers still don’t like you.

– Frank Terry – KHJ – September 7,1966 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

It must be that you’re getting older. Summer lasted a century when you were a kid – you were almost looking forward to going back to school – but that was 5th grade. One class – one teacher – same 20 kids. You had your seat, you had one set of books – life was simple.

Six years later – Summer is a nanosecond. You barely have time to brush your teeth. One day you’re heading to the beach and the next you’re heading back to a new semester. The only thing that drags on forever are classes – you’ve never seen a clock move so slow – and the mountain of books you have to lug around – and passing period. And that one teacher.

The one teacher in your entire school who hates you. You don’t know why he hates you – you’ve never had a conversation with him – never said anything about him. But Mr.Berk hates you – hates you with a passion. He hands you stink-eye every time you see him in the hall.

He’s your Drivers Ed teacher. You have to get past him in order to get your driver’s license. You need your driver’s license – your uncle promised to give you his 1956 Plymouth Station Wagon when you got one. He looks like he’ll flunk you out of spite. You just don’t know why.

You’re sitting behind the wheel of your Pretend Studebaker with the rest of the class when a tap shows up on your shoulder. Stink Eye tells you the Boys VP wants to see you. First words you’ve heard him directed at you ever and they are strange ones.

You find out soon enough that it’s all about your hair. Your hair that is barely over your collar and halfway covering your ears. Your hair that is getting you suspended until you visit a barber and come back not looking “like you’re going on Ed Sullivan”.

When you trudge back to school the next day you are greeted by a beaming Vice-Principal. Worse – you are greeted by a grinning Stink-Eye who now falls over himself in friendliness.

Little do they know with a new semester War has been declared.

And while you’re trying to make sense out of the L.A. City Schools System’s Dress Code and current fashions, there’s always KHJ to get your mind off things and Frank Terry does very well with that, especially this September 7th in 1966.

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