While I'm on this run of autobiographical posts, I thought I might as well upload the attached "class picture" from my sixth-grade year at McCollum Elementary School. I still have good memories of that year, which in some ways seems as though it happened yesterday. My teacher was Mrs. Whitmore, who was easily my most-sympathetic teacher to that point. The principal was Mr. Montman, who was in his first year at the school after his predecessor, Miss Morrow, retired. (My most enduring memory of Mr. Montman was from years later, when I was a senior in high school. He had been appointed to some kind of obscenity commission in Albuquerque that was tasked with determining whether the porn film Deep Throat offended community standards of decency. As he was leaving the theater, a local television news reporter asked him what he thought of the movie; his response -- something to the effect of "It was great! I thought it was the funniest thing I ever saw!" -- was rather telling, I thought.)
I could say a lot about my sixth-grade year, but I'll keep it relatively short. First, I remember I had a crush that year on Jeri Locke, which seems strange now. She was LDS, although her family was only marginally active in church when they moved to Albuquerque and went completely inactive shortly thereafter. Second, Duane Dalby was the third Mormon in the class and lived on my street, although he moved to Grand Junction, CO with his mother when his parents divorced a couple of years later. (Down the road, he and I went through the MTC at roughly the same time; he went to the Chile Santiago North mission, and we actually saw each other in Santiago a couple of times, too.) And third, I'll never forget a very funny classroom episode that happened that year. Most of the boys in the class were fairly expert at shooting spitwads; the usual delivery system was the shell of a Bic pen used as a blowgun, but one day, during "reading" time after lunch, I was experimenting with a 6" plastic ruler used as a catapult. Unfortunately, I overshot my intended target and the spitwad hit Mrs. Whitmore on the arm. (I still have a vivid mental picture of her being so startled that she practically jumped out of her chair!) She immediately got up and started grilling all the boys in the class to try to identify the culprit, but, luckily, the fact that it could have been any one of eight or nine kids gave me "plausible deniability," and I escaped punishment. (Yes...I lied.)
I can actually remember all of the kids' first names and most of their last names. Top Row: Mr. Montman, Mrs. Whitmore, John Lindsey, Toni Lopez, Mitch Magee, Kim Olson, Stan Esquibel, Dolores Trujillo. Second Row: Mary Weimer, Amy Harris, Patrick Sena, Elisa Banda. Third Row: Tom Eaker, Jeanette Vigil, David Lewis, Linda Peña, James Snider, Perri Stovall, Duane Dalby, Colleen Kimble. Fourth Row: Jeri Locke, Elizabeth Plumley, Jeff Kamin, Trina Stewart, Steve Gallegos, Cheryl MacKay. Bottom Row: Paul ____, Cella Dewey, Shawn Herringer, Laura Madrid, Clarence Montoya, me, Todd ____.