SME Cheerleading and Carolyn Howard: the Sue Sylvester archetype

by admin

Howie Returning with the Spirit Stick, Summer Camp 2006


Coach Carolyn "Howie" Returning with the Spirit Stick, Summer Camp in Marshall, MO,2007

“Cheerleaders’ Travel Pays off; New Cheers learned at camp” by Britt Alexander, photo credits assumed.

WWCD? Another great woman, What Would Carolyn Do?
Jane Lynch had to have shadowed Carolyn Howard, the virgin Queen of the female worker bees of Shawnee Mission East for decades. Carolyn was our gym teacher, and ruled over the women and the women’s country club sports, swim team, tennis team, cheerleading, heralders and pep club. She counted the homecoming votes, she counted the balls, she tallied the grades, and gave us 5 minutes to peel off that wet lancer blue spandex swimwear before the bell rang for our next class. More about her old school fashion in  the JV Cheerleaders, but you get her idea, very Betty Grable. Or was that ruching actually just the indentations in our flesh to girdle in our most socially prized teenage assets?

All my sister Gina’s friends turned out to vote for me as a sophomore, so I was one of the two sophs that made JV with Kathy Kindred and that commenced the relationship with Carolyn (see Kathy:  The Sophs on JV with Sr. Bad attitudes). She gave me a B that semester in gym but not knowing who I was up against, I questioned the numbers that got passed on via my sister.

“Sophomores who make JV don’t get straight As.”

She ended up changing the grade which I lived to regret.

The Sophomore Cheerleaders, 1975, Carolyn below.

The Sophomore Cheerleaders, 1975, Carolyn below.

Carolyn was very pretty and had a great sense of humor.  And most of all, she was brutal….5:30 am summer practices before work at the Village Pool at 7…the herkies and hamstrings and but always with a heart of warm iron.

Herkies at sunset...on our Kansas beach...

She always stuck with us no matter how spastic we were, the last girl on the tennis ladder (me) still got to play even if she hadn’t mastered her loser’s mindset as she went into the match.  She kept me on, when I petered out after one week of swim practice and intense chlorine, giving Marthe, a great swimmer, and me, the quitter, the coveted jobs as swim team managers who passed out the Vitamin C. My hair has not yet recovered from the humidity.

Paula Graves and Sandy Clingan, Scott's sister. Junior McCall's, in McCall's Magazine. 1968.

Carolyn Howard saved her old tennis balls to give to my mother, Ginny Graves, for puppets in her art classes. Here is a published picture of one of these puppets in McCall’s by Sandy Clingan, Scott’s sister, with cropped partial Paula Graves burlap drawing and mention to prove I was once a famous artist. So back to Sandy’s, it had a green cone-shaped dress and was on a stick. Here’s my dad’s drawing to give you the idea of the function of the tennis ball.

A Ginny Graves-Carolyon Howard joint creation.

I just wanted to highlight Carolyn’s contributions to the Children’s Art World of Kansas City. from Ginny Graves Discover Stuff.

Carolyn Howard had two pets, Pam Hanslip and Julie Hise.  Julie was miss all pro sports and this woman worked her @s$ off as she still does in her own career that’s something like boot camp I think.  Julie Stram cornered me and Kathy (the two who had traditionally been in head cheerleader slot) and Julie about our stated credentials for the coveted position of Head Cheerleader. Julie won hands down, the first to the thrones demoted to the choir.  Kathy and I compared our answers, but we’ve never actually cornered Julie at a reunion to see what she said to get the job, maybe we’ll have to do that next time.

Paula in her letter jacket pre-letters at a particular SME Cheer Party with Kathy, rosy glow from that tasty '78 Marsala, compliments of Graves cooking wine cellar frigidaire.

Julie did pick up on part of the problem right away our sr. year when she jumped us for having a bad attitude at summer camp, and by the way she was more grueling than Carolyn.  It didn’t stop from first bottle of cold duck, port, or whatever was available from the Graves or Kindred cellars for toddies in the SMSouth parking lot ’til we brought down the girls of ’78 in a sr-squad pre-wrestling drinking violation when she was out-of-town. For that, Howie benched us for the Shawnee Mission South Game our Sr. Year, just the Seniors, so the Juniors on JV got to cheer.

This is what mostly what Kathy and I contributed to the guys as cheermaidens, good gossip.

a Shawnee Mission East Cheerleader Jumping Jill puppet

Drawings for Carolyn in her lancer blue tracksuit with her warrior women, Jumping Jack Puppeteer Design, by Dean Graves.

And a final heirloom photo of the Carolyn Howard in Sweatsuit jumping Jack doll puppet, construction artist Paula Graves.  But of course, Howie was really the puppetmaster until we toughened up and learned our own strings to guide through us through the she-life.  And by the way, I earned letters in three sports at Shawnee Mission East; cheerleading, swim team manager, and debate.  And I’m proud of it.








71 comments on “SME Cheerleading and Carolyn Howard: the Sue Sylvester archetype

    • Lisa,
      I’m swamped, can’t get to my curly hair post yet. Are you and Tim going to the Flint Hills Symphony? I have only one ticket, gave other to a Frenchman, wrangled a deal just last week, had to bring up my Master’s Thesis in Volland to get it, kind of a lot of work. Please email me if you’re going so I can find some people I know.

  • Loved the post. I’m doing research on the “cheerleader archetype” (which I possess) and this came up in my google search. Don’t know your people but can relate to your experiences. Live in Iowa now, but used to live in KC on the Missouri side (graduated from the now-defunct Hickman Mills High School in 1983), and then another “connection” to your post, I lived in and married a guy from Marshall, MO. I’m guessing the picture was from cheer camp at Missouri Valley College. 😉

    • Oh, Jo, I hope you will share with us your finds. Carolyn really did control our lives but was so unlike a cheerleader in my mind. It does make me wonder what she was like as a young girl. I always thought that she favored the athletic girls (jocks). But then got involved with cheerleading, sweetheart queen, and pep club as she felt these more “soft” women (ha! the bitches?!) who embodied traditional women stereotypes as man-cheering-princesses, needed some good ass-whuppin’ to get us all ready for Womanhood.

      She really kept everyone humble. And, fostered women working together as a team. So that we would always be reminded of which team we were on. Go girls! Go women! Go Mothers, Daughters, Grandmothers, Sisters! And, of course, love men and all they bring to the table! 🙂

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      I also appreciate the ‘theme or plugin’ as I am just getting into this level of self-management of what was a site that really needed little managing at all until the last few years. I’ve had a few experiences trying to find assistance with this with a “real, local, person” as well as online and while it’s not in this exact area, I am being a little “slow” to jump in and have hope in next person offering services due to often being left having written a check, but with issues that they either couldn’t or never intended to resolve as I do think there are numerous factors as to why it’s so hard lately (at least for me). I want to assume that it’s not that I’m getting scammed, but that there are larger network security issues that are both beyond my control but that I must really “need to know” only on a “need to know” basis. Instead, I’m using this time to better educate myself about wordpress and numerous related issues.

      I’m sorry this isn’t helpful to you with the viewing of my website/blog on iphone 4s, but your comment has “registered” with me and will be documented for when I get my head back into “tech”. It’s (my focus) in the ibook Prairie Pug now, and hopefully that will be available in Apple Store within a few weeks or sooner. And, the site may soon even have some kind of URL up, though it’s a wireframe so I”m not sure what you will experience. I think it will be simpler as its initial design was for responsive (iOS) unlike Or, I can at least say when it’s sold as ebook (or whoever distributes the book) that it works on “XXX” devices so I don’t waste your time with quirky/glitchy technology. Thank you for the heads up!

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  • 하지만 우리나라 사람들만 업/다운을 할만한 자료(한국어로
    된 자료)들은 엄청난 속도를 자랑한다.

    보통 회선의 한계 최고 속도까지 나온다. 여러모로 꾸준히 사용 유저들도 증가하고 사이트도
    늘고 있지만, 아직까지는 웹하드에 밀리는 추세.

    검색기 등 유틸을 활용해 웹하드를 대신하려는 듯 보이나 각각의 사이트에만 검색기가 적용되기 때문에 효과는 보이지 않고
    있다. 더욱이 웹하드 사이트는 50개가 넘고, 쿠폰 수 만 포인트가 널려있다는 이유도 있지만.

    그러나 2017년 현재 토렌트 사이트들은 무료라는 장점을
    내세워 그 점유율을 상당히 올린 상태다. 한국 같은 경우 시드유지를 하는
    사람들이 있긴 있으나 거의 대부분은 불법 공유 혐의로 경찰서에 끌려갈까봐 다운 받아놓고 리스트에서 삭제 해 놓는 게
    보통인데, 이를 Hit And Run 이라고 부른다.
    간단하게 말하면 먹튀, 비공개 토렌트 사이트에서는 비매너로 간주하므로
    했다간 바로 밴을 당할 수 있는 행위다.

    하긴 속도가 느려지고 전력소모도 심해지는데 누가 켜겠냐 그런 문제가 있기는 해도 공유가 시작된 지 한 달 정도까지는 다운로드 받는데 문제는 없다.
    그 이상 넘어가면 대부분 시드 하나 없는 불량
    토렌트가 되거나 피어조차 없는 망한 토렌트가 되기 일쑤.하지만 바이두 토렌트라면 어떨까?
    참고로 불법 다운로드는 형사 처벌 대상이
    아니지만, 불법 업로드는 형사 처벌 대상이 되어서 불법 공유를
    한 저작물 토렌트를 다운받기만 해도 경찰서에 끌려갈
    수 있다. 이는 업로드와 다운로드가 동시에
    이루어지는 토렌트의 특성 때문이다.

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