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          “Try outs for the ninth grade play will be held today.  If you are interested in a part, see me in the gym.” Mr. Mahoney said.
          The announcement intrigued me.  Later in the day, I made my way to the gym.
          “Miss Williams, why don’t you try out for the part of Miss Spinster?”
          I wrinkled my nose in distaste.
          “That is a cameo part Miss Williams and I’m confident you could put a lot into the character.”

          The curtain rose on the “Jury was Hung” to a packed audience of Hotchkiss students and parents.
          As “Miss Spinster” I flirted with the foreman of the jury throughout the production.  Finally my finale scene arrived and I threw caution to the wind playing it to the hilt.  My swept up hair bun swayed as I flew across the stage in hot pursuit of the foreman (alias George Wilson). Throwing my arms around him I planted a loud kiss on his made-up cheek. “Oh Mr. Wren, you are just toooo cute for words!” I squealed.
          The audience roared and I loved every minute of it.
          “I have never laughed so hard in all my life,” Agnes said after the play.
“You were terrific,” complimented Diana.
          The click of ninth grade girls surrounded me and gave me approval of my performance.
       The all school picnic was held on the last Friday of the school year. When the coach called for participants in the pie-eating contest I decided to give it a try.  The contestants were lined up behind a wooden table, covered with large napkins and told to keep their hands behind their backs.  My pie was crème, which was fine with me.
“Get set! Start eating!
My face hit the crème filling.  It was hard to keep my hands behind my back and only eat with my mouth.
The onlookers cheered from the sidelines.  My face tried to cover the whole pie and swallow without chewing.  Finally the coach blew his whistle.  One of the boys at the end of the table had finished his pie. I looked at the other pie eaters and we broke into laughter.  All faces were covered with cherry or crème pie filling.
I ran to the outdoor water spicket and began washing the sticky crème from my face, eyebrows and hair.  The group of ninth grade girls joined me.
“We were rooting for you Gloria,” Agnes laughed.
“Well, as you can see...I tried,” I laughed back, as I took my fingers and worked some glued crème off my eyebrows.
“Come on Gloria, let’s get a hot dog and a coke,” Diana invited with a bright smile.
The circle of girls opened and I walked along joining in their chatter and giggles.  I would never think of this group of girls as a “click” again, for no longer would I be an outsider.  They became my friends. The walls had come down.  I belonged.

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Hotchkiss Colorado....the girls who became my friends....taken at the High School