As captain of the Houston High School football team it was my chore to crown the homecoming queen who happened to be Susan Akins, the girlfriend of Roy Rastorfer, another guy on the team.  Having suffered a cracked rib in a previous game, I was not supposed to play in the homecoming game and thought that it would be improper for me to crown the queen if I did not dress out to play.  So I suggested that maybe Roy could crown the queen since we were all pretty sure his girlfriend Susan would be elected homecoming queen.


Well since I was rather awkward and shy around girls, the word got out that I was afraid of kissing a girl in front of the entire county at the homecoming football game.  This got entirely out of hand.  It got so bad that Principle Millman stopped me in the hall at school in front of everybody and said, "Mike, you are captain of the football team and you are going to crown the homecoming queen.  If you don't want to kiss her, that's fine.  You can shake her hand, but you are going to crown her!"  Now I was totally humiliated.  Here I was arguably one of the toughest guys in the entire school and yet now I had the reputation of being afraid of kissing a girl.  I was determined to do this and told the coach that I was going to dress out to play.


The coach kept all the players in the locker room during homecoming festivities to concentrate on the game and only the co-captain, Bob Shelton, and I jogged out to perform our homecoming chores.  On our way out there Bob said, "Mike, I swear I'll kill you if you shake her hand!"  I assured Bob that I would kiss her. Bob and I were standing in front of the crowd flanked by cheerleaders with the four homecoming queen candidates facing us.  Mr.Hardin was on the PA and announced that Susan was the homecoming queen and asked her to step forward. The crown was on a pillow being held by Connie Ragain, the cheerleader standing next to me.  Well this was show time and I was determined to do this right.  I took the crown and placed it on Susan's head.  I held her shoulders as I bent down, turned my head and pressed my lips to hers.  A few seconds later I backed off and assumed my position next to Connie and Bob thinking I had pulled it off without a hitch.


But Mr. Hardin over the PA said to me with the entire county listening, "Mike, you did your usual good job, but we didn't get a picture of any of that, so let me walk you through it all again."  A photographer jumped out of the crowd with a camera and flash.  Mr. Hardin then said, "Now we know you already crowned her but just pretend like you are crowning her for the picture."  So I did.  "And now the kiss."  I held Susan's shoulders again, bent down and turned my head and pressed my lips to hers again.  A few seconds later I again assumed my position between Connie and Bob thinking well at last this thing is over.  But something was terribly wrong.  Everyone was laughing, including Mr. Hardin over the PA.  Mr. Hardin finally gained his composure and said to me with the entire county listening, "Mike, you again did your usual good job, but the flash didn't work.  You'll have to kiss her again!"  So I did it all again, only this time I wanted to make sure I saw the flash so I did not close my eyes as my lips met Susan's lips and I lingered with my lips pressed to hers a little longer to make sure the photographer got the picture.  By this time the chemistry between Susan and I began to kick in.  Sparks were flying, electricity was flowing, the earth stood still.  It almost got romantic.  I will never forget this.



Houston Missouri High School
1966 Football Season

                             Houston 6     Waynesville 18
                             Houston 7     Cabool 6
                             Houston 12     Mtn. Grove 20
                             Houston 42     Buffalo 6
                             Houston 21     West Plains 7
                             Houston 34     Ava 6
                             Houston 34     Willow Springs 8 (H)
                             Houston 34     Mtn. View 12
                             Houston 66     Thayer 6
                             Houston 22     Salem 6



The above is an excerpt from Chapter 10 of Roubidoux, true tales of the Huckleberry Finn type adventures of a boy who journeys from delinquency in California to Southern culture in the Missouri Ozarks. Although told through the eyes of a twelve year old who never grows old, much of the real life adventure is emotionally timeless with appeal to all ages. Brutally honest at times but never off colored. An excerpt from Chapter 1 may be found here. The book may be ordered here.

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