Authors: Jennifer Niven
Big Hair, Big Dreams,
Big Hair, Big Dreams,
Photo credits: pp. 1, 9, 159, 206 Â© WayNet.org; pp. 17, 102, 144, 152, 226 courtesy of Jeff Shirazi; pp. 22, 41 courtesy of Jack F. McJunkin Jr.; pp. 29, 36, 45, 108, 183, 255, 264 courtesy of the Richmond High School
; pp. 46, 58, 70, 114, 131 courtesy of Penelope Niven; pp. 53, 91, 94, 120, 167, 277 courtesy of the author; p. 81 courtesy of Beth Jennings-White; p. 127 courtesy of Laura Lonigro; pp. 137, 174, 235, 293 (left), 295 (left), 299, 303, 305, 307 courtesy of Pyle Photography; p. 194 reprinted with permission from the
Richmond, Ind.; pp. 215, 238 courtesy of Aldo Lonigro; p. 248 courtesy of Olan Mills Portrait Studio; p. 272 courtesy of Rebecca Scheele; pp. 290â91 courtesy of Wahlberg Panoramic Photography; p. 293 (right) courtesy of Stephen Hunton; p. 295 (right) courtesy of Steve Kunken; pp. 297, 301 courtesy of David Geier Photography; p. 309 courtesy of John Hreno III
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Copyright Â© 2009 by Jennifer Niven
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First Gallery trade paperback edition February 2010
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Designed by Nancy Singer, Class of 1979
Illustrated by Alexandra Davis Ivey, Class of 2012
Manufactured in the United States of America
10Â Â Â 9Â Â Â 8Â Â Â 7Â Â Â 6Â Â Â 5Â Â Â 4Â Â Â 3Â Â Â 2Â Â Â 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Â Â Â The aqua net diaries : big hair, big dreams, small town / Jennifer Niven.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â p. cm.
Â Â 1. Richmond High School (Richmond, Ind.)âHistory. 2. Niven, JenniferâChildhood and youth. 3. High school studentsâIndianaâRichmondâSocial life and customs.
373.772'63âdc22Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2009017453
ISBN 978-1-4169-5920-5 (eBook)
best friend forever
In so many ways,
the story couldn't have been
written without you
And for Richmond, Indiana,
Living in a small town.
Dreaming of the great big world
And all that lies beyond â¦
â“Back Again in Richmond,”
original song by
Jennifer McJunkin & Joey Kraemer
I keep everything, and that includes every high school note I ever wrote and every note that was ever written to me (and believe me, there were
of them). If I quote a note in this book, it's an actual note from high school written during a class when I was supposed to be paying attention. I have also kept every partially written journal, every notebook, every high school drama program, sports ticket, photo, school paper, newspaper, story, poem, play, song (or any other type of creative anything I may have written), and every audiotape I ever made. Keeping these things was something I did with the intention of helping out my biographers one day, back in Indiana with my big dreams about becoming an Oscar-winning actress, international rock star, and Pulitzer Prizeâwinning writer. Little did I know how useful they would be to me when writing my own story.
Many of the names here are real. Some have been changed. Everything that happened is true as I remember it.
Richmond High School
Special times and special places
Special friends together;
The moments pass so quickly,
But the memories last forever.
âMotto, Richmond High School,
class of 1986
If you had found me in 1986, walking down the halls of Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana, and said to me, “One day, someone will pay you to write a book about your years going to school here, and people will actually want to read it once it comes out,” I would have said, “I'm
sorry, I think you have me mixed up with someone who lives in a much bigger and more interesting place. There is absolutely nothing to write about except how much I can't wait for high school to be over.” Then I would have laughed and laughed and written notes to all my very best friends (during class, of course) saying,
Can you believe this? People are crazy!
The very thing that distinguished my high school experience to me back then was that it was undistinguishable. To my teenage mind, it was dull, interminable, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. It wasn't that I didn't have fun or friends or enjoy myself, I just didn't see anything exceptional about it while I was living it. Not like my mother's experienceâshe was the one with the stories. She grew up in a charming town the size of a postage stamp in North Carolina, which was already more charming than Indiana because everybody had accents. Everyone knew everyone else and, yes, they were bored, too, but they made their own fun. In addition, she grew up in the 1950sâa decade with style and glamour. I grew up in the 1980s. We listened to Prince and Madonna and to hair bands. Our own hair was enormous. We wore parachute pants and Peter Pan boots and Swatches all the way up our arms. There was nothing charming about it.