Respectfully crooning the ballad of JAL (at, near. and around Penn Center Academy)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/08/05 13:35 +00:00, original URI: http://www.siao2.com/2015/08/05/8770668856267196959.aspx


For the record, this blog post has more to do with playing Ms. Pac-Man

than JAL....

I'm just saying....

I was the white suburban punk who moved to a high school where I came in with enough credits to graduate at the school just walking in, while working as a nanny for room and board and hanging out at Penn. Just killing time at Sophie's playing Ms. Pac=Man with the gang....

She and I had one thing in common: we both had secrets that nobody else knew. So I told her the one thing I had told no one else (exactly why I was actually in Philly) and she told me one of her secrets that I'm not going to tell you now because it's none of your damn business....

We formed a bond of sorts, which we told nobody else about. Just a private chuckle.

We never went out and were never romantically involved, but people picked up on our oddball connection that we never explained.

When I moved out of 4310 Osage to my apartment on the 2nd floor @ 42nd & Walnut, I was woken up and accosted one night by a bearded teacher who everyone liked but I had no classes with and three students who I didn't know who all assumed I was harboring her -- she had just gone missing, which I didn't know until they woke me up to accuse me of harboring a fugitive (her).

Weird, to say the least. I think that teacher glared at me  for a while afterwards....

Anyway....

One story she liked that I couldn't take credit for myself since I got it from a placemat from a local semi famous bar that I showed her to help prove they'd let me in due to mistaking me for a Penn student (much harder, I'm told now). It said:

When President Gerald Ford came to the University of Pennsylvania to give a commencement address, he noted: "There are 16 institutions of higher learning at the University of Pennsylvania. 17 if you count Smokey Joe's."

It got a chuckle from her (in retrospect she was probably just being polite), and it got a big laugh as the ultimate inside joke to those who knew about this famous Pennstitution, Smokey Joe's. If you ever lived in Philly, you'll get it.

I just realized that I never ended taking her ther, though I have to apologize for that -- no slight was intended. Circumstances took her away before I had the chance to. Sorry about that....

In summary, this blog post is about

• a lady I was *just* friends with,

• a teacher who I was never in a class with who didn't believe that I was *just* friends with her or that I wasn't actually living with her and hiding her from everyone in my spare time, and

• an implicit assumption by some of my friends at Penn Center Academy that her and I were involved romantically anyway, even in some cases to this day!

Just to make sure she was alive and okay, some time ago I ,made sure she was alive and okay. At this point, she is living in an entirely different state though we have long since lost touch. The concerned bearded teacher has passed away, and there is no reason to tell the story at all, except I kinda wanted to tell it and to say that I wish JAL well....

Do you know what I mean?

dedicated to my friend JAL....


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referenced by

2015/08/14 Sonata For Solo Viola

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