American School Foundation of Guadalajara

"Momentos que no vuelvan nunca mas . . . ."

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This is a new feature of the ASG Homepage.  We would like to receive letters from all of you who have fond (or not so fond) "recuerdos" of Guadalajara and your days at the American School.  In this section we hope to publish letters about what you remember and miss most about your ASG days.  We take it upon ourselves to record the "historical" events of the American School and to preserve them for future generations (sounds ambitious).  Please make sure you send those historically important and not-so-imporant events!  Address your letters and comments to "Wonder Years" and send them to Webmaster.

Letter from Peggy McWood and Carol Manning:

Sand Blast the Trip to End All Trips...

Many years ago, in a land far away to some, the Junior and Senior Classes of 1977 embarked (or "embussed") on a class trip to San Blas.  Many things occurred which shall never be printed on the world wide net, but that which we can share, follows. Names are withheld to protect the innocent and guilty.

So, we took over an entire (small) hotel.  Room assignments were immediately re-assigned to accommodate those who did not want to discriminate because of gender.

One room, with three guys in it, had an altercation involving a jock strap and cowboy boots.

One group enjoyed midnight swims.

Snacks for some students included Viejo Vergel and penguinos - health food of the '70s.

But, the stories we can share are these:

Four of us decided to go to the little, secluded island, just off shore.  Three girls and a tall, brave, male.  We paid a fisherman two pesos to ferry us to the island, and were assured by him that he would come back later to pick us up.

So, off we walked on this lonely island, without a soul on it.  When suddenly, we were dive-bombed by a thousand angry, large, birds - just like the movie "The Birds" - but these guys were not acting.

We looked to the fearless male for protection, but had to look down to find him, as he was huddled at our feet, as we fought of the killer birds.  Needless to say, the fisherman could not get back soon enough for us...

Our other excursion was up a creek - really... Through a mangrove, in the jungle, up a large river, on canoes.  The river was created by a spring which flowed to the sea.  The only problem with this idyllic swimming area was that it was infested with caimanes (caimanes are small alligators).  Luckily they did not like young gringo meat... .  Even those that were marinated, which many were.

Thanks to this eventful trip, (much of which is not disclosed here) the practice of class trips was cancelled... .  Ah, but we had fun, and the trips went out in a burst of glory!

Letter from Laurie White:

THE SWING INCIDENT -- The swing incident took place at one of Kay Arthur's "Saints Anonymous" retreats when I was in 10th or 11th grade. No matter how you felt about Kay -- and there seem to have been many and varied reactions! -- the retreats were a blast! The place we went for retreats was about an hour west of Guad out the highway that ran in front of Chris and Connie's house (Camino Reál?). There was a huge covered porch where we ate our meals and sat around and talked and played "Spoon."

Across from the porch was a HUGE old tree. Someone in ages past had tied rope up for a primitive swing. The seat was very high off the ground. I had to put my arms way above my head in order to reach the seat/bar, then hook my legs over the bar and hoist myself up. (A lovely view, I'm sure!) The seat was around 6+ feet off the ground! I was on the seat, and Mark was swinging it. It was a lot of fun except he swung it higher and higher. It was getting a little scary. I begged him to stop ( kinda half serious, half joking around, but I really was scared). Finally, the ancient rope broke! I landed flat on my back on the hard-packed dirt below. I was knocked unconscious and the air was knocked from my lungs. I was having a hard time breathing. When I came to seconds (minutes??) later, my head hurt so much I thought it would explode.

My best friend, Karen Wolf ( I would like to say I did NOT play musical chairs with my best friends -- they kept going back to the States and I had to start over the next year), went with me to the hospital. It was one of the nicest things anyone ever did for me. She gave up most of that day at the 2-day retreat. Her presence meant a lot to me. My head hurt so much, I thought I was going to die, and I was scared, and the only other person in the (bouncy, jouncy, brain-shaking) carryall truck was the adult driving it. Karen held my bloody head in her lap all the way back to Guad. She kept telling me I was going to be OK. It took over an hour to get to the hospital, where they shaved a 2-3inch circle on the back of my head and put in several stitches. I'd cracked my skull and had a concussion. They wouldn't give me anything for the excruciating pain, because they wanted me to stay awake, for fear I might go into a coma if I went to sleep. They took me home and relayed the doctor's instructions that I be awakened every hour and my pupils checked to see if there was any sign of brain damage. (Only now do I realize how hard this must have been on my parents!)

I was in agony so my mom finally called Dr. Baggett (Mrs. Baggett's husband) in the middle of the night. He came over and gave me a prescription painkiller (didn't help one bit!) and he said it was OK to sleep 2 hours at a stretch. I was so upset about missing the retreat that I bullied my parents into taking me back for the tail end of it. (Pretty stupid; I felt awful. But there was something to be said for being the center of attention!) That was when I heard the rest of the story. After the swing broke and I was not breathing, Mark thought he had killed me. Poor Mark! Aside from the pain, I'm sure this experience was much worse for him than for me! And hey, Marky Poo, thanks for helping to provide one of my most memorable high school experiences! It's great to be back in touch with you!

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