JT's Blog

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Skeet

Delroy “Skeet” Seldomridge

Delroy “Skeet” Seldomridge

Another high school classmate died a few days ago.

Delroy Seldomridge was nearly universally known as “Skeet”, a nickname he acquired early in life. “Nearly universally” because his teachers seemed to insist on calling him by his un-nickname.

Most of my memories of Skeet date back to our early years in Richland, before we started attending the consolidated Eastern Lebanon County High School (Elco) in 1962 in 8th grade.

Skeet’s senior year pic

And mostly I recall generalities, not much in the way of specific anecdotes. Skeet and I lived two half blocks apart in those days, and our mothers, both named Arlene, had competing beauty shops. Well, Richland supported four churches, so it could easily support two beauty shops. (Actually, I think there were four. But I digress.)

His mother was also a Cub Scout den mother for awhile, and Mondays after school we'd go to his house for crafts or whatever the activity was that week.

Skeet and I attended the same church and Sunday school (we were on opposite sides of a discussion of envy on one occasion), often went to movies at the Neptune Theater (for some reason I recall Skeet saying “There’s Dogpatch!” during the opening moments of “Li’l Abner”), enjoyed the fireworks and other festivities at the annual carnivals in July.

We commiserated with each other over Nixon's loss in the 1960 presidential election, both of us being 11-year-old Republicans in those days.

Skeet’s message to me on the back of his senior class pic

Skeet was quick-witted. In 7th grade English class he often tried Mr. Paine’s patience, while delighting the rest of us. (Another oddly specific memory: For some reason Mr. Paine used Skeet as an example for “corpulent” and “obese”, and I can still hear Skeet yelling out “I ain’t fat!” from the back of the classroom. Why do memories like that stick with us?)

Later on, once we started attending Elco high school, we’d often be waiting for the bus discussing the previous night's episode of “The Outer Limits”.

Of course, once he started dating Stephanie Wartluft, I didn’t see that much of him anymore. And we no longer lived two half blocks apart, my family having moved to South Race Street in 1964.

Skeet and Steph at the Valentine's Day dance 1967

Graduation night in June 1967, and it was a long night as the parents of the senior class arranged an all-night party for us, was the last time I saw Skeet.

But he married his high school sweetheart and they had just celebrated their 47th anniversary a few days before he passed.

Good-bye, Skeet. I’m just sorry I won’t get to give you a hard time anymore.