A LOVELY DAY
Patti Braun Campbell
Tang the energy breakfast drink, with
rich natural flavor and
more vitamin C than orange juice.…
for space men and earth families.
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce,
special orders don’t upset us,
all we ask is that you let us serve it your way.
Mr. Whipple, Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.
And we can’t forget the countless spills Rosie
wiped up with Bounty the Quicker Picker Upper.
Popular jingles played continuously in our heads, as musicians: Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye and many more sang on our transistor radios with a message in the music about the turbulent social climate.
…You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone…
for the times they are a changing. Bob Dylan
Or Marvin Gaye’s, What’s Going On.
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today…
Yes, the world was changing.
Never to find out—how many licks does
it take to get to a Tootsie roll center?
These lighthearted commercials we sang with and laughed
at gave us a break from the era historians called the most turbulent decade of the century. Defined by the growing opposition to the escalating Vietnam War. Make Love not war slogans were everywhere. African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and women fighting for an equal place in this society—took to the streets. The Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King marched peacefully with dignity and determination, despite being hosed, tear-gassed and handcuffed.
Fruits from the protest labor won hard-earned victories that
opened up network television and corporate doors for minorities
and women in the 1970s.
Now that we’ve started a new decade in 2020, the times are a changing again as Frankford’s Class of 1970 get ready to celebrate their 50th Reunion in this Covid-19 era, mindful of CDC safe practices.
As a result, the reunion has been moved to Saturday, November 27, 2021 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the FOP, Lodge #50, 11630 Caroline Rd., in Philadelphia. Tickets are $50. You’ll enjoy a tasty buffet, beer & wine, D.J. entertainment and Frankford swag to purchase. Make checks/money orders payable to: Fox Real Estate, c/o Denise Emery Jessel, P.O. Box 425, Ocean City, NJ 08226. Please include your email, so you can get a receipt.
A WRINKLE IN TIME CAN STILL BE FINE
Let’s take a cue from Doc and Marty and jet back to the past, but not yet in carsthat drive themselves. Who needs a DeLorean when you can hop in a VW Beetle and go back 53 years to September 1967.
Wow, that was a bumpy ride. But we made it. Look, there’s Pattie Braun starting her sophomore year at Frankford High School.
F-A.Com: What was it like attending Frankford
in the late 1960s?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: The decade began in an uplifting way. We had a new, young president— President Kennedy. But then he was assassinated. The Vietnam War geared up, the draft started and your friends had to go to war. Then, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. That’s when school became very important during this turmoil.
WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER OR FALL...
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND
F-A.Com: Who inspired you at Frankford?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: All of my teachers were interested and fully involved in their students’ success. They made sure we got a great education. Especially, Mr. Folina, my business law teacher. He was a great mentor. Mr. De Gregoria was also a great mentor and a positive influence on many kids. He could tell if you were down in the dumps. He always had something nice to say.
Some teachers would talk with us about the Vietnam War, to make sure twe were okay. They helped us get through this difficult time. Drugs became an issue in high schools and college campuses throughout the country. At Frankford, you had your hippy kids and conservative kids and sometimes there was pushback. It was a tough time for a lot of kids.
WE LEFT OUR MARK ON THIS PLANET
Patti & Grandson, Liam
F-A,Com: What was the school culture like? Did Frankford students participate in protests?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL : During 1969-1970, there was a dress code at Frankford. We had to wear skirts and dresses and couldn’t wear pants. Some tried to wear pants and were suspended. And others tried to wear jeans and black jeans and were suspended. The counter-culture was going on and growing in popularity every day. Kids fought the establishment. There were protests against Vietnam war across the country. Frankford had a few protests.
They were turbulent times for sure. But we also made a difference. We had the first Earth Day at Frankford. We got out at 1:30, went to Fairmount Park and had a big Earth Day Celebration.”
The first Earth Day was born on April 22, 1970. It gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet.
In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.
However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health. (Earth Day.org)
DANCING GAVE US A FUN ESCAPE
F-A.Com: What was your outlet from the unrest?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: Dancing on the weekends. We met kids from all over the city, dancing at Boulevard Dance on Friday night, between Tyson and Cottman from 7-11 p.m., then on Saturday night, also from 7-11 p.m.—we danced at St. Matthew’s—and on Sunday afternoon, went to Wagner Ballroom, dancing for the Geator with the Heater, Jerry Blavat from 1-5 p.m.
This is what you did on the weekends during high school. Then you went off to college or work. Sure, there was a lot of turmoil, but it was also a fun time. Women were just starting to attend college.
F-A.Com: Where did you grow up?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: I grew up in Lawndale, between Lawncrest and Burholme. It was almost like growing up in the suburbs, since Cheltenham Township was at the end of my street. I married in 1973 and gave birth to my son in 1974. I have a son, two daughters and five grandchildren—three boys and two girls. My oldest grandson is a sophomore at Temple University.
F-A.Com: What advice would you give today’s students?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: Enjoy your high school years and get as much out of school as you can. Whatever life hands you, just roll with the punches. Don’t take it as a setback. Everyone’s got their own story. If everybody put their story in a hat—you may say, I’m taking mine back. There’s always a more heartfelt story that make you appreciate what you have.
A FRIEND IS A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Keep your friends from high school. A lot of my Frankford friends are still my friends today. You shared the same experience. You lived in the same time period. I would also tell today’s students to enjoy their education. You only get one shot. Get as much out of it as you can. And look at our Pioneer award winners and others who
have made it.
You don’t have to be a lawyer. A lot of alumni have gone into the trades. If you have an inclination for carpentry—go for it.
F-A.COM: What is your favorite quote or song in high school?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: Bill Withers, A Lovely Day.
F-A.COM: And finally, why should new Frankford graduates join our alumni association?
PATTIE BRAUN CAMPBELL: You can keep in touch with classmates, meet alumni and broaden your experiences.