Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Last Frontier
February 23, 1983 Wednesday 32 days to Alaska
"Today I went to school and I have 4 pages in math plus a lot of other stuff. I went to Helen's house and saw her dog named Toy. He is a toy poodle (black). When I got home I gave Muffin a shower and blow-dried her. She is so soft and fluffy. Well I must go, bye Ophelia. Your Friend, Jennifer."
Muffin was a miniature black poodle (which is bigger than a toy poodle). Jennifer doesn't remember Helen or Toy.
February 24, 1983 Thursday 31 days to Alaska
"Today it rained. I had a lot of homework. Tomorrow I'm going to get my hair cut short ahhhhh. Muffin still looks cute. I gotta go so bye Ophelia. Your Friend, Jennifer."
February 25, 1983 Friday 30 days to Alaska
"My hair looks great. I think I'll have dad take a picture of it. Lara and I went to the library. I checked out two books about horses. We are taking physical fitness in school. I am doing great. Tomorrow I am going to help out at Carol's. Well I gotta go so, bye Ophelia."
Jennifer's new hair cut! A few days later she would win three more ribbons for her wall!
Physical fitness was not P.E. It was part of the Presidential Fitness Program for America. It was a series of athletic tests to determine and improve your personal level of fitness. P.E. involved more hand-eye coordination and team sports--not Jennifer's strong point.
Jennifer was proud to learn that she was strong when it came to managing her own, albeit small, body. She could do endless sit-ups, lots of push-ups, a decent amount of pull-ups (for a girl), run fast, jump far and out hang most of her peers on the bars. While she was proud of herself, she didn't appreciate her skills too much because it was so easy for her. Instead, she wondered what was wrong with the kids who struggled. Jennifer won the Presidential Physical Fitness Award multiple times.
February 26, 1983 Saturday 29 days to Alaska
"Today I cleaned David's saddle and gave him a bath. I hate Kacy's mother. She treats us like we don't know anything about horses or David. She acts like David is mean and kicks and bites. She has a lot to learn. I am spending the night at Carol's. I am nervous about the show. I can't wait until I move. Well I gotta go so bye Ophelia. Your Tired Friend, Jennifer. P.S. I love you."
I think Kacy's mom was afraid of Carol's big, thoroughbred, David! Kacy and Jennifer shared David at the horse show the next day. Jennifer was already bent out of shape over having to share David in the first place. He was a lesson horse and Jennifer did not own him. But if possession is 9 tenths of the law, then he was 9 tenths hers! Everyone in the barn knew that she and David shared a special bond!
February 27, 1983 Sunday 28 days to Alaska
"The horse show is really fun. David is doing great. I got a first place in Hunter under Saddle, a fourth place in 12 and over English Equitation and fifth place in Hunter Hack. I also got two Reserves. All my classes were very big. I was in five classes and I got three ribbons and two reserves. My jumping wasn't too good this time. Well I must go but I'll write tomorrow so bye Ophelia. Your Three Ribbon Friend, Jennifer. P.S. Now I have ten ribbons."
This was Jennifer's last horse show on David. Her dad, her brother, Muffin, her friends, her school, California sunshine and now David--Jennifer's losses to the Last Frontier are mounting...
Jennifer and David!
February 28, 1983 Monday 27 days to Alaska
"Today I stayed home because I had a cold. It was dad's idea. I watched M.A.S.H. It was a special because they are going off the air. I gotta go so bye Ophelia. Your Sick Friend, Jennifer."
M.A.S.H. was one of Jennifer's favorite shows. The dark humor delighted her. The drama gripped her. The cast charmed her. More than the Brady Bunch or Eight is Enough--this was her TV family.
The last episode of M.A.S.H. was the most watched television episode in history with 125 million viewers! The show lasted eleven years. The instrumental theme song was "Suicide is Painless".
It's living that's hard.
1972-February 28, 1983
What were your favorite TV shows as a kid? Why? What connected you to them?