Brett Rants

Rich Central High School
The ID Page

It was several lifetimes ago.
I am no longer the same person.
And I am quite sure, it is no longer the same place.

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High School IDs

I graduated in 1983, so the Student ID Card on the left is from my Junior Year and the one on the right my Senior Year. I did not keep or retain either of my Freshman or Sophomore IDs... nor can I remember if we even had IDs in Middle School (7th & 8th Grade). But I do know we did not use such things in Grade School (Kindergarten through 6th Grade). Those being the three schools I attended prior to College.

Since this page is about my High School IDs (and little else, outside of a rather long-winded aside concerning certain structural aspects of the town in which I grew up), I'm simply going to go through them-there IDs, listing off the different items one-by-one. Thus, I shall start by reiterating that Rich Central High School was the name of my High School: a name that was worth some degree of cache later in life. Folks would ask me where I went to High School. I'd say, "Rich Central." And since they'd never heard of it, I'd tell them it was in "Chicago." And between "Central" and "Chicago", they'd quickly jump to the conclusion I'd attended some rough and tumble inner city place. At which point, I'd explain that Olympia Fields was a far southern suburb of Chicago. And then, they'd wonder why I didn't say that in the first place. So, I'd explain that since we were (invariably) in California, Wyoming, or Nevada and not Illinois, it was unlikely they'd ever heard of Olympia Fields, so what was the point of starting with that little bit of trivia?

As far as I could tell, there wasn't.

In the end, Rich Central was a very suburban Institution... complete with integrated busing and the works.

The next remarkable item on The IDs is the name of the town: Olympia Fields. Olympia Fields was (to the best of my knowledge, as I am no historian; but then, it did seem to be the general consensus that the town [or rather village] was) spun off from a Country Club. At one time (I am led to believe), The Olympia Fields Country Club (better known as The Country Club [or just The Club] to everyone living in Olympia Fields) marked the end of the train line (Illinois Central or IC). Eh, it probably wasn't. But it may have been as far as The Weekend Country Club Express (if there ever was such a thing) went, letting frolickers off for a day of putting on the greens. Later (after the war, one can only assume), The Country Club started selling land (great big tracks of it) and houses sprouted up. There was the good side (I presume, as that's where I lived) with more expensive houses and the other (older) side, where the schools resided. I may return to this last point in a while. But it should serve instructive to known that straight through the middle of town (or what otherwise would have been the middle of town) ran a major rail line: an imposing barrier consisting of upwards of six tracks on a raised ten-to-twenty foot berm that was protected by a cyclone fence topped with barbed wire all of which was further encased, buffered, and/or set back by a substantial swath of Country Club, undeveloped land, and/or wild ungroomed forest. One simply did not cross the tracks. And in fact, the only way to get from one side of Olympia Fields to the other was down the main arterial roads that bordered the town (so, basically, one had to exit the town to get from one side to the other) or there was a single pedestrian turnstile gate at The Train Station, which was enclosed by The Country Club (i.e. Private Property) on one side, while the other side opened onto The Post Office, which otherwise was (almost) in the middle of nowhere, being situated at the end of a long access road (well, to a kid it was a long access road) that made it's way through a short field of corn. Suffice to say, I never walked to Elementary School (not once) and never learned the route (like, ever) even though the school only lay a mile or two from the house where I grew up, you know, as the crow flies.

In fact, things were so close, I started walking to High School in my Junior or Senior Year, as that was more convenient than waiting for the bus. And Arcadia Elementary School was at least a half a mile closer than the Rich Central Campus. But by High School, we had become members of The Club... and I'd learned how to climb fences, outrun security guards, and in general behave like a juvenile delinquent.

A Rambling Unstructured Aside that a more focused writer would likely delete wholesale, but which I shall leave for your bemusement... and/or to simply skip over.

Hmm, I could probably do a much bigger section on the defects of Olympia Fields (in The Post Vietnam Era) vis-a-vie my childhood recollections. But a short list will have to suffice:
Eh, maybe I should just make a map, instead.

Nope. I'm not going to do that either. So, maybe, I should just reiterate that the town, which was a small town to begin with, was split in half by an impenetrable barrier and leave it at that.

Well, maybe, I will mention (in an offhand manner, perhaps to be broached again at a later time) that the name Olympia Fields has always reminded me of The Fields of Elysium. And although there are some obvious correlations, there are some obvious differences, as well.

And now, I will continue the survey of the IDs, which is what this page is presumably about.

81-82: Junior Year.
82-83: Senior Year

Paufler, Brett H.: That's my name. Don't wear it out.

As a bit of an aside, I will note that I never had much of a nickname.

I was called Poof Ball a time or two at Summer Camp. But the name never stuck.

For a few hours one morning on a Church Retreat, I was called English Major, because I knew what an Adverb was. But once again, both I and the nickname were soon forgotten.

And one time, a friend wrote Brett Q Public (and/or Brett Q Paufler) on one of my papers, informing me the Q stood for Quasimodo. But I did not understand the reference and rather liked the way the name sounded; thus, starting my fascination with the Letter Q and using Qauzy (spelled au, not ua) as a personal call sign. But it's not like anyone called me Q, Qauzy, or Quasimodo ever again.

And finally, although I used a fake name a time or two whilst hitch-hiking and have used loads of pseudonyms while writing, neither of those use cases are properly referred to as nicknames.

830-261 would be my Student Number... a number of which I was wholly and entirely unaware. The 830 part (obviously) corresponds to 1983: my expected year of graduation. While the 260 (no doubt) corresponded numerically to my alphabetical placement among the incoming freshmen (and/or out of a graduating class of 343 students). Depending on classroom size, that means 10-15 Classes were being taught per Grade Level at any one time. And since teachers got one of the six periods per day off, that means there were (likely, quite possibly) somewhere between 60 and 75 teachers employed at Rich Central High School during my tenure, with perhaps 100 Total Employees on Site at any one time. But then, this is just a guess, being more of a mathematical exercise than anything else.

Pictures! I like the one on the right (Senior Year) much better. I'm tanner. And I'm wearing a bandanna. Ironically, bandannas and all other forms of headgear were forbidden Senior Year in an effort to curtail expressions of gangland affiliation. But it did not work, as such programs never do.

In other news, I was asked by a friend in Sixth Grade (or so), if I wanted to start a gang. But there was little point. And I had little interest in "Beating Up Other Kids." Though, in another bit of irony, one of the few fights I ever got into took place at more-or-less (or not at all) the same time. So, maybe, the friend had a better sense of the social climate than I did.

In either case (and even with a psuedo-gang presence in High School), gangs were not a real part of my existence. I never interacted with anyone wearing colors, as they did not live in my neighbourhood nor were they in many {most, almost all} of my classes. I mean, sure. We had busing. But we also had a Track System. And I was Advanced Honours College Track, which is not exactly were the posers (fake gangland wannabes, which is all we had) tended to congregate.

I paid (or rather, my parents paid) an Activity Fee my Freshman Year. But as I did not use any of the perks (not a once), that was that.

F W S may or may not have corresponded to Football, Wrestling, Swimming. But I have no idea. Maybe, to get on a bus for an away game, a punch was required.

Further, that 1-14 was likely for Basketball... or was it Football? Clearly, I have no idea.

I did not go to a single Sporting Event my entire High School Career... nor dance. Oh, I probably should have... or not. Sports still sound boring... as does dancing. But I would have liked to be more social and such things are likely important to the Upwardly Socially Concious Classman.

We were The Rich Central Olympians. And that guy in the lower left is Mr Olympia or some such nonsense.

More interesting, The Red Dot (if marked by a Heart Shaped Punch) indicated one had a Smoking Pass (i.e. one's parents had signed a form granting the student permission to smoke); and as such, the ne'er-do-well could light up in The Smoking Lounge, which was a painted square near The Cafeteria Entrance. I need do little to prove The Stupidity of My Elders beyond pointing out that My High School had a Smoking Lounge... in which one could openly smoke if they were proactive enough to obtain a Heart Shaped Punch of the appropriate size, as available from nearly any quality craft store.

On the right ID (Senior Year), there is some slight discoloration. This is where the snap from my wallet hit the photo. The same thing would happen to my first few Driver's Licenses.

Finally, on the back of each ID (not shown, as I failed to scan the backside before disposing of these IDs years ago) in big black permanent marker was the number of the only Bus Route I was allowed to board. I can see the rationale from a crowd control (and/or liability) perspective. But it did make socializing with kids from other neighbourhoods that much harder: there being a big difference (a doubling of the distance, in fact) between walking home from some distant neighbourhood to walking there-and-back in a single afternoon. On the other hand, I still don't know where certain neighbourhoods were/are located. Country Club Hills? Beacon Hill? Not a clue. I mean, I was willing to walk to the mall; and thus, put in significant leg work. But I can see the logic in If you can't get there, you can't get there and leaving it at that.


I think that about covers my High School IDs.

Originally, I was intending to make this a Mega Wall of Text. But I don't like editing long rants. And I think I can do this just as easily as a grouping of smaller entries.

Them be my IDs.

Next time (assuming I ever get to it), let's talk about Academic Social Clubs, Mathletes, and the like, shall we?

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If I had to do it over, I would cut my hair (and/or never grow it out), cutting it myself if I had to. Having long hair did me no favours. Well, I mean, it did. But they were not the sort of favours I value at this remove.

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