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  Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1972 Reply  |   Post Message  |   Message List
03/01/07     Jeff Belcher  (1976)      jrb@lee-mcshane.com
My next topic area is one that I think about from time-to-time, especially with a 16 year old daughter. My question and/or topic is as follows: How do you compare today's climate that our children grow up in with the climate we grew up insofar as drugs, alcohol and sex is concerned. This may be a bit probing and excuse me if it is a little over the edge. However, I do find myself thinking about the old days in M'Ville and quite frankly, how wild I thought it was. Maybe it was only me and the heathens I hung around, I don't know (actually, I loved all my heathen friends).

My take on it is as follows - I think, at least when I was in high school in Martinsville, it could "not" under any circumstances, been a more wild and more wide open environment. I can comment more later. What do you think?
03/01/07     Anne Causey  (1972)      Adcinsc@aol.com
Hmmmmmmmmmm . . . let's see. My brother is the one who told me about this board, and my Dad knows about this board . . . so do I dare admit anything???? LOL Actually, my memories of Martinsville is one that is kinda' wild. There have been many times I have to shake my head and know it was only by the grace of God I'm still around. Did a lot of foolish things . . . wished I could undo 90% of them. But yeah - Martinsville was wild, especially for a "dry" county (at least back in our day).
03/02/07     Jeff Belcher  (1976)      jrb@lee-mcshane.com
Hello Anne:

I agree, no specifics (it is too ugly). With that being said, I can honestly say that I don't know what a lot of parents were thinking about in those days. Drinking and drugs were "rampant." I am not a reformed nutcase or anything, as I had a good time and still look back on my days with pretty good thoughts, even though, like you, I put myself in many dangerous situations. Very luck I guess and I surely do not want my kid following in her wacky dad's footsteps so far as that is concerned.
03/02/07     Anne Causey  (1972)      Adcinsc@aol.com
Hey Jeff -

I can relate to that last sentence. When my youngest was 15, my husband was in the hospital for about a month (on and off). So I was driving back and forth between Myrtle Beach (where we lived) and MUSC in Charleston. Trying to keep an eye on the kids, while being there for my husband.

When he finally got home, my brother in law was in our driveway and my husband said, "Uh-oh. Somethings' wrong." And sure enough - my youngest had gotten into trouble at school. Someone had a joint and my son had just "touched" it, versus ratting out his friends. He was suspended.

So I asked my BIL where he was, 'cause I planned on ripping into him, but by the time I got to his room, I saw so much fear on that kid's face. So through tears, I asked him what happened and he said, "Someone passed it to me, and I thought it was a cigarette." I told him he would be back in school the next day because I could take him to our doctor's and get a drug test, and give it to the school. I'm getting my purse together, getting my husband settled, and wondering why this kid isn't moving. Because he was lying to me - DUH!!!!! I must have burnt more brain cells than I thought!

All I can say is . . . the crap that is out there now - it's some potent stuff. Looking back . . . there were all the obvious signs. I guess I was so wrapped up in my husband being ill, my responsibilities at our church, etc. - I simply wasn't paying closer attention. I always thought my kids wouldn't be able to get by with it, because I would know what signs to look for. Dang - that sure slipped by me!

Like you - I didn't want mine to go down some of the same roads I did. But you know something . . . no one could have talked me outta' it . . . so at some point, I just had to "let go, and let God". I can't tell you how hard that was!

03/05/07     Jeff Belcher  (1976)      jrb@lee-mcshane.com
Hello Anne:

I hope you did not take my word "what were parents thinking" to close to the heart. We can only do our best and can't catch everything (I don't want to know what I have missed!). Anyway, I think you are right in your assumptions, etc.

What I remember was the hard drinking and in public mind you. I can remember being down at the spillway at Lake Lanier and people were drinking like they were "going to the electric chair." Nothing barred. I thank goodness not that we did not get hurt or at least not as many that could have. With this being said, I would be lying if I said I did not have some fun times, although extremely reckless, like a lot of others were.

Take care
03/06/07     Anne Causey  (1972)      Adcinsc@aol.com
Hi Jeff -

No, I didn't take it "too close to heart". Just sharing how I handled it (or didn't handle it LOL), when I began to reap what I sowed.

But yes . . . looking back, it was wild. But I'm not so sure Martinsville was an isolated "make love, not war, pass the joint" town. I think it was more of our generation. My Lord, what were we thinking????

It seems like in the early 70's, all hell burst loose! What was once considered wrong by everyone, regardless of which side of town one was brought up on - early sex, drinking, drugs, etc. had become a "anything goes". If only one or two people in the entire town had experimented, well, that's a horse of a different color.

But dang . . . it was like the town (i.e. "kids") went crazy.

I'll write more later . . . my cable gets knocking me off line.
03/15/07     a heathen friend;-)  (1973)      russherring@comcast.net
Hey Jeff...excellent topic. Yes, we were pretty crazy 'back in the day' and of course there are some of us heathens that have lived to tell about it and a few who didn't or else wish they hadn't. Not to be flip, but that's just the way it is where substance abuse is concerned. Kids gettin' trashed on a regular basis absolutely occurs in the present day, at least here in good ole central VA. There was an Albemarle County couple who did some prison time a couple of years ago for furnishing kegs of beer to their teenage daughter and her friends at a post-prom party. There is certainly much more awareness now of the teenage sex/drug/alcohol thing and a lot more focus in the media. Back then, who knew or even thought about the risks? At that age, immortality is a given. One factor I believe we may have had in our favor (and a few other posters have stated this) was that, in our area at least, there did not seem to be so much polarization between the different racial and socio-economic classes (haves vs have-nots). Of course, nobody cares what side of town you are from when you have the best sh--, right? LOL. When you look at the history of the 70's and especially the 60's, racial harmony was definitely not the norm. Man, I avoided this for weeks and now I can't stop writing, but I need to go pick up my son from his friend's house and lock him in his room till he's 30. LOL. As Spock said, Live Long and Prosper. Coach Ivey, RIP.
03/16/07     Jeffrey Belcher  (1976)      jrb@lee-mcshane.com
Hello Mr. Herring:

Yessir, you definitely qualify as a heathen friend and as I said in my initial message, I liked my heathen buddies.

I guess it was a different time them and awareness was not one of the big issues of the day. However, I still believe the Ville was wide open, even more than other places. I have talked to my wife and other people in our age range from different parts of the country. While some of them can relate, most of them think I grew up in Heathen Ville. I tell them I did and I liked it.

It is funny you replied to this e-mail. Somebody sent me a picuture yesterday of Eddie Van Halen entering some type of rehab. I got to tell you, he looked like a cracked out witch. It was sad. However, everytime I think of Van Halen I think of your brother Steve. I was parked at the spillway one night and I heard this boom box absolutely blasting out some music I had never heard. It was your brother, sitting on the picnic table, jamming to one of the first Van Halen releases. I always think of that when I hear VH.

Anyway, we have been lucky "so far" and I hope it remains that way. I hope you and yours are doing just great. I am living up in Fredericksburg, working in DC (manage a law firm if you can imagine that), I have been married for 103 years (LOL) and have a 16 year old daughter.

If you see any of the old Heathens or even "non-Heathens," tell them I said hello.

Later on bro.

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