Mr. Rick Thuma: “This was way back in between 1958 and 1960; the world was a much different place… Middle School, a lot of it was the same as it is now, you took the same kind of subjects, you took your math, your took your science…but the world was much different we didn’t have the technology that you guys have today, we actually had to go to libraries and check out encyclopedias and do research out of books and things like.”
Thuma: “…You're asking me to remember back many many years ago…well the most interesting thing was that I was in an accelerated program and was never an eighth grader. Middle school to me was called Junior High School and it was seventh, eighth, and ninth grade and I actually did seventh and eighth in the first year and eighth and ninth in second year. So I technically was never an eighth grader, I was in what was called seven SP… and nine SP… so I think the funniest thing now since I’ve had so many eighth grade students over the years here at Mesa, that’s my punishment for never having been an eighth grader in Middle School, now I have to deal with eighth graders all the time…”
Thuma: “I do remember… there were people in my Middle School that would hustle other people for money, bullies… I was the manipulator, I would go to them and say hey you want a dime, I would give them money so the next day somebody would come over and shove me and they want money and I would have three people behind me saying don’t mess with him. So you could actually say I bought protection.”
Thuman: “In Middle School, my favorite teacher, I can honestly not remember his name, happened to be my English teacher and I will never forget we had to write an essay… and it was supposed to be an essay on the greatest living American and everybody wrote their essay on whoever was president at the time or whoever was the famous astronaut at the time. I wrote my essay about my father, and to this day I can remember I got that essay back *tears up* A+, It wasn’t the greatest essay ever, but when he handed it to me he said I would’ve written about the same person… It still brings tears to my eyes to this day.”
Thuma: “Well, some of it hasn’t, my favorite food when I was going to Middle School was White Castle hamburgers but we didn’t buy them, we didn’t get them frozen in the market, we had a White Castle hamburger place on the corner, well almost on every corner. There was pizza… the spring ups of McDonalds had not come up yet… I could actually get 6 burgers and a coke for 50 cents for lunch, fresh... six hamburgers and a soda for 50 cents was a pretty decent deal…”
Thuma: “Not much… Baby Ruths and Snickers bars, but I will tell you one thing I’ve noticed is to keep the price the same they had to make the candy bars smaller, but they charge you they same thing… “
Makena: Who was you first girlfriend?
Thuma: “Her name was Carrie Ann Glick. It was in high school and I heartbroken when her family moved to Texas and cried.”
Makena: What about Prom?
Thuma: “I had a date to prom… with Barbara Jean Cannon… [she] was Catholic and I am not Catholic, I am a Protestant … the day before the Prom she called me up and said I have to break our date for the Prom, I said why and she said her mother’s priest told her that she will be sent to Purgatory if she kept going out with a Protestant… so her mother said she can’t go to the Prom with me… I did go to my Prom with my cousin Rosemary because I already had a corsage and I already had the tuxedo we went to the Basin Street East afterwards… we watched a band called Benny Goodman and he had a new singer in the band, nobody had ever heard of and her name was Barbara Streisand.”
Interview By: Makena Seal