Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Class of '73 (Hall of Fame)

I have wanted to tell this story for months but I wanted to wait until it all came together. It's a long one, so hang in there. Hope you enjoy hearing about it as much as I enjoyed living it!  :o)

Early last summer I began scouting my local antiques shops for sports equipment. I wanted to find items that were old, worn, used- because they have the most character. In between days of searching I came across a magazine article which showed an old megaphone. It was so cool!  I knew my chances of finding one were slim (and all the ones on ebay were either cheap or way out of my price range). I continued my frequent trips to the antiques mall in search of other 'artifacts'. I found all sorts of fun things; and old hockey stick, ice skates, old metal roller skates, lots of baseballs, a couple old bats, and some tennis raquets.

I had pretty much given up hope of finding a megaphone when I walked into the store one day and there was one sitting in the very first booth. I checked the price and put it right back down. It was way too steep for me. I tried to wander through the store looking for other items but I just couldn't stay away from that megaphone. Besides, I knew I wouldn't ever find another one. I decided to take it to the counter and see if there was anything they would do on the price. As I picked it up I noticed the inside. Someone had written in black marker 'Head cheerleader- and don't you forget it!' There was also a name- Wendy Olsen. For some reason I knew I couldn't leave the store without it. I was given a tiny discount and left the store quickly so I wouldn't feel any buyers remorse.

 You can see the megaphone in my booth picture from market. It's in the bottom right corner with a '73 on it.
(Sorry for the picture quality. I lost all my photos and this was the only one I had- from my phone)

I went to lunch a few days later and talked with Shannon. She had been to the antiques mall and saw the megaphone and wondered if I had bought it. I told her and Terry about the writing inside and how awesome I thought it was. There was story there, somewhere. Terry mentioned that her husband had graduated from the same school (Provo High School) that same year and said she'd have to ask him about 'Wendy'. 

I went home and thought about the megaphone over the next few days. It may seem sillly to some, but I thought of how much I would've wanted to share that megaphone with my kids and their kids had it been mine. I had to try and find this Wendy girl and give it back to her. I was too impatient to wait to hear from Terry so I decided to do a little digging on the internet. My first search brought me to the class website. I was quickly able to locate Wendy's name and clicked on the link to send an email. I started writing the email and stopped. It's kind of hard to word an email- "Um, I just bought this megaphone...is it yours?" I went back to the website and realized there was also a snail-mail link. I gasped out loud when I saw it was in texas. A quick google maps search and I found out it was less than an hour outside of Houston- the very town I would be visiting for market!

Picture taken from PHS c/o 73 website

I know it's crazy, but I just felt so connected. It's funny because as soon as I saw the inscription it immediately took me back to my high school days. I wasn't even a cheerleader but for some reason I could relate to this person. It wasn't until I checked the websites yearbook pictures that I was brought back to reality. I wasn't even born when this girl graduated high school!  This made it even more important for me to contact her. (She's the second from the left on the bottom row)

I sent an email and kicked myself afterward for feeling like a dork. But a day later I had a reply. She didn't remember the inscription but said she'd always wondered what happened to those megaphones. We decided that after market, while I was still in Houston, we would meet for lunch and I would give her the megaphone. (I still needed it for my booth display, of course! :o)  But as luck would have it- she was visiting Utah the week I was in Houston!

We exchanged information about eachother. I told her about quilting, patterns and fabric. She then told me a little about herself. She married her high school sweetheart- Gifford Nielsen. They went to college at BYU where he played football. He then went on to play for the NFL on the Houston Oilers (which was what brought them to Houston). How cool is that!

We continued to correspond via email but missed our chance to connect again during Thanksgiving. She still has children in the area and visits quite frequently. This Christmas break was going to be our next chance but with all the hustle and bustle, again it was hard to connect. Fearing that another opportunity wouldn't come for some time we decided to just meet really quick at a gas station to connect.

Picture taken from PHS c/o 73 website

Wendy is gorgeous!  I hope when I'm her age I look that good. She was so kind and cute! As she read the inscription she made some comment about teenagers and how they think. I told her I was so glad it was there because that's exactly what drew me to it. We hugged and parted ways.

And that's it.

Wendy Olsen- Head Cheerleader and don't you forget it! Has her megaphone once again. And I have, what I think, is one pretty cool story! :o)


The Wheelers said...

great story!

Sarah PingsAndNeedles said...

Brilliant story ... lovely life moment :)

Jenny said...

yes, a great story! i love when things just work out!

Miss Holly said...

That is the best!!! Wow!! Well done you for all your hard work , perseverance and generosity!!! That is a real pay it forward story!!!

goletagirlwendy said...

That is a great story. Thank you for sharing it.

Happy New Year!

BunkHouseQuilts said...

You certainly do have a cool story! Love it and thanks for sharing.

Cindy Sharp said...

That is indeed a cool story.

You must not be a "crazy old lady" if you were not yet born in 1973. Perhaps it is something you aspire too? Personally I aim to grow older but not grow up....too much.

onlymehere said...

That's really a cool story! I actually even remember Gifford Nielsen. My husband was a big fan. I graduated in the late 70s so I'm pretty ancient and this was during my teenager years too. Thanks for sharing this story! I bet she loves her megaphone and her kids do too now.

Andy said...

What a great story!

Ella said...

That is a really cool story!!! I love it!!!

Lucy | Charm About You said...

That is so brilliant! How fun to have found her and given it back. I love all the sporting memorabilia and the stall looks amazing :)

Yvonne said...

What a great story. Isn't it great how people come together sometimes? You know I can tell a story about that.......

Anonymous said...

What a cool story. That is such an awesome megaphone. What a treasure that was once lost and is now found.