Most days I woke up late, made a big breakfast – usually an omelet – then, set off on my bike to Mt. Hood Community College where I spent the day at the pool. They had two olympic-sized pools. One inside and one outside.
This is Oregon. The saying is you don’t tan in Oregon, you rust. I always went to the outside pool, unless it was closed for some reason.
I made a big breakfast because I didn’t have money for snacks. This is middle-school and high school. I left Oregon my sophomore year.
I am pretty sure the pool was free for some reason. Student maybe. I spent the whole day there until I rode my bike home. I am not sure it would still take 45 minutes from my house to the college now.
This is Oregon. They have bike lanes there. This was the eighties and they had bike lanes. Florida is so far behind.
Unfortunately for me, we left before the Light Rail opened. We should have stayed. I could have taken the Light Rail to Portland.
I would come home from the pool with the smell of chlorine clearing my nose. I loved the exercise, the outdoors, the freedom of my bike.
When in middle school, they had the greatest lunch program that just started. They had a salad bar. I piled my plate with everything on the bar – high. And, I ate it all as I laughed and made all my class-mates laugh with me at lunch. I was the thinnest I had been except for now. It has probably gone out of fashion or trend salad bars, but as a kid you need to eat food. I love vegetables.
No one monitored how much food I had on my plate. If I had too many garbanzo beans, cottage cheese, lettuce, spinach, three-bean salad, and so on. It is my favorite all-time school lunch. The salad bar.
Now, in 9th grade I took a class at Mt. Hood Community College for high school credit. I took a mime class. I had been in productions at MHCC. I was in Amadeus. Plus, I saw productions there. I saw Chorus Line there. It’s a proper theater.
One assignment was to go on stage and mime an activity, then the next person did the same thing as the person previous, then added something. Then, the next person did the same as the previous persons, added something, and so on.
When I did this exercise, the feedback from my teacher was I did it wrong. I did not do as the person previous had done it in the exact same location on stage as the person. I did the previous person’s mime, but I did it where the light was the best on stage. Hardly bad feedback. This is how I understood that feedback, Cherith you did the mime exactly the same, however you improved upon it instinctually.
Cut to Florida years later. I went to Ruth Eckerd Hall and saw Marcel Marceau. Inches from the stage. With craned-neck as I looked up at the stage, I got the experience of learning something I never expected. I was so close I could see the lines and wrinkles in his face through the make-up. He was fantastic.
This was still the eighties when the Pierrot clown were so trendy and popular. Mime and Pierrot’s are out of fashion now. However, what amazed me most of all at Marcel Marceau was his breathing. He did not exhale at the expected movement. I don’t know how he did it. It was fascinating to me.
He died shortly after I got to see him.
I wish I could have written this better, however I am tired and off to bed, three loads of laundry later.