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Thumbnail Portraits
The following passages are excerpts from an assignment in Mrs. Hurst's Junior English III class. The assignment was to write a "thumbnail portrait" on a selected classmate. Some are quite humorous, revealing and indicative of the times. Each portrait was one to two type-written pages. Although the editor has included only snippets from each portrait, what is presented is word-for-word from the orginal manuscript.
 

Mark Campbell 

Back in 1958, January 30, was when Mark was born. He was born and raised up in the community of Mexia, Texas, where he has lived all his life, except four months…..

Mark grew up to be a healthy and well-liked person. He stands about 170 pounds. He has dark green eyes with very dark black hair and likes to wear his side burns long. Because of his long side burns someone gave him the nickname of “Lambchops”.

His first nickname was “Perch” which is still going strong. But getting back to the nickname of “Lambchops”, he now uses it for his code name on his C.B. radio……..

He really loves to talk about trucks and whenever you’re around him and he acts like he’s having a fit you can bet that there is a truck around somewhere….

 

Mike Raymond

…Mike is not a far-out hippie or a country kicker, he’s one of the normal ones of the junior class of Mexia….

...Unfortunately, in Mexia, there is no dragstrip. I’m not saying Mike should be a race car driver, but I’ll have to admit, sometimes he might be pretty good at it…..Once after school, Mike went out of the side of the parking lot where the road is rocks and gravel. I think it thrilled him to fishtail on it…..Several other times we’ve heard that black Chevy coming, either by the motor going fast as it can, or by him making the corner on two wheels…. 

As always, teenagers work at some job. For as long as I can remember, Mike worked at Stop and Go 1 Drive In….

You can tell when someone enjoys something by the way they handle it. Well, Mike handles his gum, stretching it way out and then winding it up like a rope……Aside from the gum tricks, Mike is a fairly attentive student. In Biology he really enjoys dissecting things so he can throw a chunk of skin on someone…..

 

Kenneth “Mo sconi” Mathison

It was a dark day for the world, August the first, 1957. That was the day ole Kenny hit the sheet for the first time. Although it was rumored he came out with a pool cue in one hand and box of Skoal in the other, I doubt the credibility of this rumor…..

Kenneth, or Possum as he is affectionately called by his peers, or Kennypoo as one admirer calls him, is 6 feet tall, weighs 160 pounds, has brown eyes and light brown hair. He wears size 11 shoes and is pretty easy going.

After his return from Bastrop, he went to work in Pop Cannon’s pool hall as rack hound. He soon became severely poisonous at any kind of pool you wanted to shoot. When gambling was allowed he was a walking Farmer State Bank……

Some of his likes are good looking women, cold Schlitz beer, 8 ball at 5 dollars a rack, Skoal, Red Man, camping, hunting, fishing and outdoor sports…..

He severely dislikes hippies, girls who carry their noses so high that if it rained, they would drown, school and Copenhagen snuff…..

 

Possum

This year is the first real year I’ve met Possum. I knew who he was but didn’t know him personally…He has a black Falcon that is four-door. He wears western boots and a western belt. He wears blue jeans all the time that I have seen him…..

He is very friendly and every time I see him, he speaks. Wednesday night we saw him on the drag and he waved and we waved.

I guess I’d better tell you where all the kids around Mexia hang out. To get to the drag from high school you go down Ross to the signal light. If it is red you stop and if something is coming I’d advise you to stop or you will probably stop for good. Anyway, you turn right and keep going straight to the circle. Go around the circle, come back and pull in the second drive of the Dairy Queen and come out the first.  You can make a long drag by going to the Stop and Go No. 1 and turn around. Then if you don’t want to go to the circle you turn around in the Tejas Plaza, but be aware cars go every which way up there………

 

Gary Copeland

Gary Copeland is one of those people that just can’t stand to see things go as they are supposed to. There is something about him that whenever the chance comes up he’ll upset something. If there is a laugh to be had, he’ll get it…….Some of his better known stunts have been: stealing all the teacher’s chalk, writing sayings on the blackboard, blowing a whistle really loud in the hall and walking around school with a stick of incense burning in his notebook. …..

He did it better than anyone else, referring to the stunts that he pulled, because of his vast imagination. Usually he doesn’t show it, but he has probably has a higher level of intelligence than most people. He has always done well in his schoolwork. And when he mixes his intelligence with his stubbornness, there is no way you can win an argument with him…..

With the exclusion of his stubbornness, Gary is a rather likeable guy. He’s hardly ever red-necked about anything. Whenever someone asks to borrow one of his good tapes, he will hand it over no questions asked…...He’s always friendly. He likes to talk to people. So much happens to him, he never runs out of stuff to say…..

Gary’s whole lifestyle is set off from anybody else’s. Who else would leave a biscuit in his locker for the whole year? Or who else would carry a dog skull in his car? Or who else could pop his shoulder out of joint sitting in class? Nobody else but Gary and that’s why he’s always the center of everybody’s attention and the pain in everybody’s back!!!!

 

Gerry Ravnell

Gerry is a very funny person at Mexia High. He is not what you might call a wild dresser because he does not wear some of the clothes of his fellow soul brothers…..

Gerry has been in band since the sixth grade and plays tenor sax and is first chair. He has been elected band captain for next year and will be a fine captain….Whenever he is not paying attention in band, Mr. Fleming will ask him what he has just said and Gerry will tell it in a funny way and everybody will laugh…..

Gerry is also very funny in all his other classes. In homeroom he is always giving Miss Smith trouble and is always funny. He will go up there to her and talk real sweet to her and she will get mad at him and hit him……

 

Vicki Parrish

Who is the chick at the Sig II? Is it Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot? No, it’s Vicki Parrish. Vicki was born in Mexia, Texas. She lived here from first grade to second, then she moved to Indiana for one or two years. She then moved to Waco until her sixth grade year. Then she moved to Dawson for one and half years, then moved back to Mexia and has lived here ever since.

Vicki likes to kick up hades….In the seventh grade Vicki was sitting in English, the English teacher’s name was Mrs. Susan Coker, she was a really young woman, well Vicki pestered her constantly. One day I had a drum major whistle. I told Vicki it didn’t blow loud, she blew that whistle and scared that poor woman to death….

….If Vicki wants something bad enough she will work at it until she gets it and she is a dependable person. She won’t let anyone down if she is being depended on. You couldn’t call Vicki a hippie, or a redneck, she likes both types, she is just in between. She loves to wear jeans and tinny shoes…..

 

Carolyn Mack

Everybody calls her Flood, but her real name is Carolyn Mack. I have only known her for a short time. We had a problem with our height and we were always talked about because we were so tall…...Carolyn is dark-skinned with an oval face, a fine shape and a cute smile. In the morning at school she has a glow on her face that shines out to people because she is always smiling…..She likes to dance and she wants everyone to be as happy as she is. Rain, sleet or snow she is always smiling….She is a happy Junior at M.H.S and is looking forward to being a Senior next year at M.H.S. …….

 

Jan Fletcher

….Jan always has a smile on her face and cheerful “Hello!” for every person she sees. No compliment is left unsaid about a person’s appearance when she is around. And when someone else compliments her, she reveals her honest modesty by blushing lightly. And who else do you know that says, “Have a nice weekend!” or “Bye! See you tomorrow!” to every single teacher in each class….

Jan has always been popular with the boys. I can still remember when she first moved to Forest Glade and one of the boys fell in love with her. This led to a few problems with some of the girls. Even though she was only in the third grade, there was a fifth grader (Jerry) who liked her. Judy, also in the fifth grade, likes Jerry, and, for this reason, despised Jan. Judy was forever saying nasty things about Jan and trying to fight with her. One day while Jan and I were playing volleyball over by the chinning bar at recess, Judy walks up and said, “Jan, I’m really sorry for all the terrible things I’ve ever said about you and I really hope we can be friends. Can we shake on it?” Unsuspectingly, Jan smiled and agreed it was time to quit fighting. Judy grabbed Jan’s hand to shake and when she did, Jan jumped back. Judy had a buzzer in her hand. Judy laughed in her face and walked off. Jan controlled her temper and we walked off together and she quietly said, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to do.”……

 

Arnold Carter

Hey man, who’s that dude, with the small afro and the hairy sideburns? You don’t know? You know he wears those green-tinted glasses over those brown eyes. He wears his football jacket, even if it is not cold outside. You have to know, he wears the label off a Brut 33 bottle of cologne around his neck. Now you know. That’s Arnold Dewaign Carter, better known as “Pete”…..

He wears his jacket even if it is not cold because his pride is really huge. When he wears it he smiles real big and walks with dignity. With his chest out and his face up.

Arnold dresses nice some days and other days not so hot. What about the day he wore the maroon double-knit pants with two and a half inch cuffs. He had on a grey, black and white shirt of block pattern. The collar was white and so were the cuffs. To top off his apparel, had on black and maroon elevators with 2 - inch platforms and 4 inch heels with red socks……

 

L.C.

Last night I went to the show with a friend of mine. We were just sitting there watching the movie. Then all of a sudden someone yelled at us from the balcony and it was L.C. He does things like that all the time…..

One thing I didn’t know about until recently, was that he started the Red Devils. He started them last year and it’s still going strong. He’s pretty well known around Mexia High….

This friend of mine told me that when L.C. was in second grade that he used to go around galloping. He used to watch Don Mahonny and Jean Clair and was an active member of the Kitty Troopers. Another thing that he used to do all the time was ride his bike that looked just liked a motorcycle. He also carried all his stuff with him when he rode down the street. One day when he was in the beginner band, his instructor asked him where he was the day before. He said he was with Robbie. What had happened was that Robbie and he were standing on a swing, playing army and he had a stick in his hand which he threw and it hit his band instructor’s* car right in the windshield.

*Editor's Note: Joe Tom Haney

 

Robby Nolan

Robby is a real strange dude. He does things in a very odd way. But there is one thing about this dude that I noticed. He can act if he is a bad person but he is really nice and doesn’t want people to know it. He speaks to adults in a very polite way; he says Yes Mr. or Mrs. to any adult….

Robby walks as if he is going somewhere important all the time, and seems like to me he always has something on his mind…..Robby stays at home a lot, doing things like washing his car or listening to the stereo. He used to have a large afro but seems like he really got tired of all that hair and now if you notice he keeps his hair shorter than he used to.….

 

 

 

 

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