Being a teenaged boy in the early 1960’s on the west side created many social opportunities.  Beginning in the late 50’s some of my closest friends were girls.  I learned early that the best way to better understand the world of girls was to have girls as friends to explain some of what was going on.  But, there were things that could not be discussed even with friends.  Like the picture of Raquel Welch in her deer skin bikini (circa 1966) affixed to the ceiling directly over my bed.

Even with all the help, girls remained a mystery.  I’ve already written about my first great love in 5th and 6th grade, the longest relationship with a girl until my marriage at 29.  There were many others along the path, some I remember and some I don’t. 

In the early years there was lots of spin the bottle and post office.  Lots of kissing and giggling and hand holding; and endless talking, on and off the phone.  


An interesting time, looking back, were the Stuyvesant High School years, 1963-1966.  An all boys school at the time, Stuyvesant did not provide any opportunities except the Hunter girls with whom we occasionally had dances.  We thought of them as nerds as they probably thought of us.  But, my social life was never better than it was in those years.

I’ve always thought that this was so because I actually had to work for it.  Many relationships came out of the Franklin School near Central Park West and 89th Street.  It was a private school but we were Stuyvesant boys.  I remember once, in a show-off moment, acting like the jerk I could be, walking down the double yellow line on 86th street from Central Park West to Columbus.  I vaguely recall parties too.

The last two years, 64-66, in high school I was also involved in United Synagogue Youth (USY) at B’nai Jeshurun.  I was chapter president although we had never belonged to this synagogue or any Conservative Jewish organization.  I was very active in USY attending weekend retreats, called kinusim, on Long Island and in Westchester as well the national convention in Washington DC where I was hung out a third story hotel window by my heals.

It was in USY that I met Roz of Harrison, NY.  She was two years younger than me and later was my date to my high school prom.  Harrison was a very wealthy community.  I attended an event at their synagogue and walked from the train station.  I learned about the concentric circles of such communities, the houses getting bigger as we (their youth advisor and I) walked outward to the wealthy part of town.  Her dad provided a limousine for prom night and a hotel room for Roz.  (The answer to your question is, nope!)

I also went to a prom on long island where the after party was on the beach.  Again, although this time I tried, the answer to your question is nope!

7 thoughts on “Girls

  1. Sequel! This story begs for a sequel, Ken! Like, so what happened between you and Roz? And how did you continue your sometimes-rewarding and sometimes-not pursuit of les femmes mystique? I want to mention again the great times of teenaged discovery we shared at camp, 1962-1965. I have only one photo of those days, with three young ladies, and what I wouldn’t give to (a) see more pix if you have ’em, and (b) track these girls down, now undoubtedly grey-haired grandmas with no recollection of either of us.


      1. Hi. One of the girls was Ellen, I think her last name was Stein, and you and I went up to her parents’ house in Yonkers once to listen to Beatles records. Another girl I don’t recall at all, but Garth doesn’t sound familiar. The last girl was Karen Klein, whom I was totally teenaged head-over-heels for. She was from Dallas, and I never did find out what she was doing up in New York for the summers, but we actually met outside of camp on a couple of occasions and corresponded until I went to college but, as these things inevitably do, it just fizzled out. I also recall two sisters we were friendly with at camp, but I won’t mention names here; you probably recall them. Just wish I had photos. As we’re now 70, those wonderful old times seem to mean more and more. I thought I had already sent you the photo, but will do so again. And as your recall seems to be better than mine, any info is appreciated.


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