16 Things About Me At 16

Tell us all about the person you were at sixteenPittsburgh Lesbian

  1. I turned 16 in October 1986, my junior year in high school.
  2. My father taught me to drive and purchased a second vehicle so I could take my mother places. The deal was that I could use it as much as I wanted as long as I always drove her where she needed to go (or did the errands.) That vehicle was a blue Chevy Astrovan which we had for about 8 years.
  3. I had a PT job at Century III Mall working on the maintenance team in the Food Court.
  4. I was struggling in Chem II and barely keeping up in Trigonometry. They were both very hard classes.
  5. Pre-AP Literature really baffled me. Loved the books, but puzzled by instructions to “Write a 500 word essay” then be reprimanded when I started counting words. Why give me a word limit and then tell me not to count? No one ever really explained that to me. Morality literature made me sort of thankful my family was Catholic as opposed to one of those strict Protestant faiths. LOL.
  6. Several of my close female friends were in relationships so I was a bit adrift socially.
  7. For some reason, I had a pair of floral print jeans that I think I bought at Fashion Bug. I wore them with a pink sweater. And probably a fake gold necklace. Sigh.
  8. I joined the track team and actually lettered. For effort and attitude, not actual running skills.
  9. I was “required” to switch from clarinet to mellophone in the marching band. I learned how to read bass clef, but I was absolutely horrible. So was everyone else who was forced to do this. We wallowed together.
  10. Eugene Monahan spoke to my Pre-AP literature class about a college education at Marymount University. I spoke with him afterwards and he told me I could probably get a full ride (I did) and that was pretty much the extent of my college search. DC seemed far enough away, but not too far away.
  11. One of my favorite things to do with friends was see movies at the old-school moviehouses such as they were – the Whitehall Twin, the Eastland $1 Theater, the Bethel Park Cinema, etc.
  12. On Saturday mornings, I would drive to the Carnegie Library in Homestead and explore “classics” – I remember reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” and just being captivated by the entire thing. I plowed through dozens of books (mostly white male European authors at that time.)
  13. I was pretty lonely even though I knew a lot of people.
  14. I hated riding the bus. My childhood friend Sherry “assigned” me a seat – switching back and forth between her and Diane something. I never thought to challenge her presumption because I was grateful to have a seat. It was a brutal place on that bus. I’m pretty sure this was the year our driver was a pothead who wanted to be friends with everyone, not actually keep us safe.
  15. I remember Budd Dwyer. I don’t know why I saw that – maybe I was home from school? But I saw it and was profoundly horrified. I was vaguely aware of the “news” – my mother watched the noon, 5 PM and 6 PM news every day and read 3 newspapers, but didn’t really talk about it with us. Still, I remember things like political scandals and Robert Bork’s nomination. I didn’t know what it meant. But I was vaguely conscious of it happening.
  16. My best friend was a gay college student and neighbor of mine. I had no clue about LGBTQ anything. No idea about Barney Frank coming out, no idea about the AIDS quilt, no awareness at all. I did know that John and my other gay friend Keith were treated very badly and that I found that objectionable, not just because they were my friends. I could see no reason to be concerned with the fact that they were gay.

That was my 16th year in 1986 and 1987.

It was not this

It was not this

When I was sixteen, I did have personal care supplies, essentials like soap and toothpaste and “real” essentials to my sixteen year old self – hairspray, gel, mousse, nail polish, nail polish remover, body sprays from Hills Department Store, etc. You know – the essentials. Unfortunately, thousands of our neighbors do not have reliable access to these items. That’s where “Cathy’s Closet” comes into play – a personal care product closet much like a food pantry at the GLCC.

Will you make a modest donation of $10 or $25 to get this project off the ground?

Cathy's Closet
Click to Donate to Cathy’s Closet via Crowdrise