I went to Charles Evans Hughes Junior High in Woodland Hills, California. It was a two-company town: Your parent(s) either worked in aerospace or entertainment. And since entertainment employs children, we had a few child actors at school.
  1. Maureen McCormick was a year ahead of me, so I didn't know her beyond seeing her around.
  2. She wasn't at school very often, and when she was, she kept to her small circle of friends.
  3. I particularly remember seeing her rushing down a pathway with two girls close on each side of her. Maureen had her books held tight to her chest, and I felt sad because she seemed uncomfortable or upset.
  4. The only gossipy thing I ever heard about her was that her school photo was not going to be published in our yearbook because her manager told her it wasn't a good idea.
    A fair number of girls were offended by this, and for days whispered about it on the patio during lunch and nutrition (morning break to the rest of the world!). It may not have been true, but you won't find her photo in The Statesman. The manager would have been right, however. My husband went to school with Steven Seagal, and years later, letters offering to buy yearbooks were received by his classmates. (Trying to keep up the facade of a mysterious past, I presume.)
  5. We had actors' kids, cameramen's kids, singers' kids, radio personalities' kids. From the other industry, we had rocket scientists' kids, physicists' kids, and top secret lab researchists' kids (that was me!). We also had kids who grew up to be actors and singers and concert pianists and radio/TV sportscasters.
    The woman in the center of Roman Polanski's sexual assault case went to Hughes. I highly recommend her book, The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. (Her name is Samantha Geimer.)
  6. Hughes Junior High is somewhat famous on its own, being used as a location for three movies:
  7. The Karate Kid
  8. Summer School
  9. And, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
    Sadly, it's no longer a junior high, which explains its unkempt looks. It was lush and pristine when I was there. Our cafeteria was amazing! Ask any LAUSD kid about cafeteria coffee cake, and watch as a blissful, dreamlike expression overtakes their face. Occasionally, I'll catch a glimpse of my school in a TV episode or commercial. (My locker was in that last bank, top row, five lockers in from the furthest end.)
  10. If you go to the movies with me, you WILL stay through the credits. It's important to see the names of those who worked hard to make the movie (or TV show), and I watch for names of kids I knew, just like I watched for their parents' names.