The Colley Papers

I was recently made aware of an internet forum created for folks who graduated from Dunbar High School, in Dunbar, WV.  It's my alma mater, so I checked out the site.  And, for whatever reason, I felt an urge to create chaos...

Brenda Colley was the name I used, and the conversations "she" had are reprinted below. 

Please note that Norma Crum was a teacher at our school, and was practically a saint -- which is why I chose her.  She was/is nothing like I portrayed her.  I have also concealed the identity of the participants here; I don't want to embarrass anyone, I was just screwing around on a couple of slow days at work.


: I won't be coming to the reunion. You all treated me like I didn't exist during high school, so screw it. Your loss.

S: Who is this?? Gee Brenda, people change over the years. I'm friends with people now that I never spoke to in school and the close friends I had back then I never even speak to. I live here in Dunbar still and never see anyone hardly. I'm sorry you feel that way.

Hope I never did anything to offend you. If I did I'm very sorry. Maybe we could talk about it. People do change, especially after 20 years.

Brenda: Who is this?! Isn't that just typical? Twenty years ago this kind of abuse would've sent me to my room for 48 hours of uncontrollable sobbing and late-night poetry composition, but I'm bigger than that now. Thanks to the counseling, none of you can hurt me anymore.

B: Hey guys! What is up with Brenda? Did you have a Brenda in your class....or is someone playing tricks on you? True though, we try to teach our kids that everything they say or do to others has a ripple effect, and stays with them a long time after they themselves may have forgotten. Easier to see when you are an adult, though. I certainly hope that in my youth I didn't leave those kinds of hurts with anyone, but it is always possible, I guess.

S: How in the world can you be hurt when we didn't go to school with a Brenda Colley. So what was your maiden name? Or how about your real name? What is the abuse you are enduring here??? Either fess up or knock it off. Better yet, grow up!! We're not in high school anymore!!

T: I may be wrong, but this brenda did not go to school with us. I think she may need counseling though!!!!

R: I checked my yearbook for 1982 and I found no Brenda Colley, nor any Brendas in your class! Either this person has your class mixed up with another or they're not using their real name! I know how it feels to be picked on, but I didn't hold any grudges (especially after 20 years!)

Brenda: Let me see if I get this straight. You people ignored me all through school, now you're insulting me and calling me a joke -- and you're demanding an explanation from ME? I think it's you who have some explaining to do. I'm the victim here; I'm the one who spent the last twenty years in therapy, denied for two decades the joy of physical love and spicy foods. But that's OK, I'll play along...

Here's one for you, S: It happened on October 17, 1978 in the second floor bathroom of the Junior High between fifth and sixth periods. Do these words ring a bell, S? "Brenda Colley, you're a sow...Brenda Colley pees like a cow...Mooo!!" That alone probably cost me $1000 in doctor's fees. To this day I can't void my bladder without breaking out in a cold sweat.

There's more. Lots more.

S: Sorry Brenda,

That does not ring a bell and you may be confusing me with someone else. I never treated anyone that way. How could I. I couldn't have gone through an airport the way I was. Glasses, braces, greasy hair. Sorry, that wasn't me in that bathroom. But if it makes you feel any better, please refresh our memories a little more. I don't believe you have the right class or school.

If so, tell us a little about us if you think you know us.

T: I didn't move to dunbar until the 9th grade. I don't recall ever hearing your name by anyone. Did you stay in Dunbar or did you move away, if so what year did you move?

What kind of issues happened to you? Where they actually that bad? (Was it mental abuse or physical abuse as well?)

I truly am concerned for you if you had those types of problems. It sounds like to me that you still have a lot of issues and concerns. Maybe if you would address the issues here with the people involved that hurt you (it would help resolve the issues). Just like with the comment you made about S (she doesn't recall hurting you or even remembers you). If the people that were involved talked with you about it (it would make you feel better). And S did apologize as well.

Brenda: Norma Crum once called me a bag of crap.

G: Wait a minute. Did you say Oct.17, 1978? I remember that day. I was in the third stall over. All was quiet until Brenda came in and proceeded to fill the air with the thunderous sounds of a voiding bladder. The combination of your incessant grunting and unearthly flatulence left me so scarred that I too, had to pursue therapy. I think it is you, Brenda, who owes me a few doctors' fees.

H: I feel so sorry for you Gwen if that is your true response to what happened. I hope you raise your children better than that. I am sorry to say that I know you. Brenda as you know time does not heal all wounds

TV: I dont remember a Norma Crum in Jr high or even high school.

T: norma crum was the teacher in high school. She was the business teacher, accounting etc.

She was also involved with the pep team and usually took tickets at the football games

T: We have had a brenda, now a harry want happened to Sally?

S: Harry, Sally, Brenda!!! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm checking myself into Highland tomorrow! I need therapy after this day of posts!!

Now no one can remember Mrs. Crum????

Pour me, pour me, pour me another shot of whiskey, bartender hit me one more time!!!

I have been a nervous wreck trying to figure out who this Brenda bimbo is!!

Yikes, I've finally lost it folks!!! I knew these hot flashes were coming a little too soon!!


H: I have no idea who Brenda is but I am Harry. I went to DJ and DH. I graduated with all of you in 82. What was our motto..."Went through in 82" NO, "Gone through in 82" No, it was "Comming Through in 82" now that sounds right. I think I still have the shirt. Now if you look and don't find a Harry your not crazy, it is short for something. I was called something different and no this is not a game. I just choose not to let the full story come out to quick. Well its late and I have to Fly to Kidal, Mali. Mali is a country in Africa. Be back in a couple of days hope to read some good messages. PS. I fly for the USAF.

Brenda: Well, this just keeps getting sadder and sadder. I thought I might be able to come here and we could discuss, like a group of adults, the sustained brutality and cruelty that I've been subjected to for years and years and years at the hands of the Class of 82, but nobody seems to be interested. This Harry person is obviously a phony, concocted by an amateur comedian to mock me and my problems. Gwen's message is more cruel mocking, and now I just read a message where I'm referred to as a "bimbo." That's just wonderful. I told my counselor that it would be fruitless to try to gain closure through this group, but he insisted. My goal of spicy foods by 2005 is nothing but a pipedream.

C: Hey Brenda,

I too, do not recognize your name. However, in response to the alleged comment made to you by Mrs. Crum -- I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU!!! I have never known Mrs. Crum to be nasty to ANYONE.

Why don't you let us all know who you REALLY are and then maybe we CAN talk about this like adults. I also go to therapy for something that happened to me as a child and I do believe it is important to face your "fears" but in order for YOU to do that then I think you need to be honest and let us all know your real name. If Brenda Colley is your real name, then I apologize for not recognizing it -- however, I was not very popular in high school and don't recall everyone that I attended with. I was ignored and not included by some people that we went to school with however, I don't see the need to be nasty about it now. We have all grown up (hopefully) and I'm sure that we have all changed in some ways.

I do not post messages often but I do enjoy reading what everyone else posts. If you don't want to come clean and let us know who you are then I don't feel that you have the right to come on here and attack anyone.

Take care and I hope you have a better day.

G: Brenda,

After that disgusting display in '78, I think you would do well to stay away from spicy food.

B: You guys have been having your share of odd posts lately. I am thinking Harry and Brenda are actually one in the same. Anyway, I looked at my old yearbook, too, and didn't see any Brenda's in your class in Jr. high or high school. She used the name Norma Crum, but someone had mentioned Mrs. Crum on here she could have pulled that from another post. (I rememeber Mrs. Crum, S!) She will have to get a little more specific with names and personalities to have any believability, I think.

Brenda: You don't think you were popular in high school, C? You were the flippin' Princess of Monaco compared to me. I went to Ford Elementary, Dunbar Junior High, and Dunbar High (through 11th grade), and nobody here seems to remember me. I can't eat chili and I've never experienced the joy of sexual congress because of the abuse I've endured.

As for Mrs. Crum causing you to seek out long-term therapy...well, I'd be lying if I said I was surprised. Hardly a week goes by that I don't wake up screaming after having a nightmare involving Mrs. Crum laughing maniacally and chasing me down a darkened corridor with a long-arm stapler raised above her head. One time I had wite-out all over my hands after one of these horrifying nightmares. I swear it's true. Somebody should start a support group.

S: Oh please!!!!  Sexual congress???? Are you now or have you ever been an intern somewhere???

I remember you now Brenda!! It was May 15, 1981 at our junior prom. You were crowned the Prom Queen and upon accepting you were doused in chicken blood. So sorry about that. I still have rope burns on my hands trying to hold that bucket steady!!

C: I never said anything about having to go to therapy due to anything that Mrs. Crum did. She was a wonderful teacher and person. She was a big influence in my life and she always made me feel that she truly believed in me.

I do NOT believe that Mrs. Crum did anything to you either. I think before you post on here again - you need to tell us all who you really are. You have NO right to come on here and attack innocent people. If someone actually did something to you then you need to deal with that person one-on-one.....not through this forum.

If your problems are as great as you say they are, then maybe you should take your therapy a little farther -- maybe inpatient therapy. And BTW, what is your deal with eating chili anyway??

Next time, before you put words into my mouth -- make sure you are reading my post correctly.

J: I wasn't very popular in school but was known by alot of people. I also made a point to be friends with alot of people. I do not remember a Brenda and I did look through all the yearbooks. I think this is someone's ideal of a immature joke that is not funny! And they are helping you all catch up with our post!

Brenda: There's no call for rudeness.

C: I just had to put my 2 cents in also, me and my sister were not popular at all and like Cindy we were excluded from groups, teased a lot, but I never felt the need to go to therapy about it, a lot of it wasnt our fault so you live and learn, I enjoyed the many friendships that I did have and enjoy talking to everyone on the boards, so I think you should find another board to harass.
Maybe you just dont have anything better to do and as for your comment about rudeness, you have been the rudest on these posts so far.

Brenda: Well, that's all well and good, but what about the fact that I can no longer tolerate Indian food and other spicy dishes, such as chili?

C: Well, if you ask me I think its a personal problem.
I think you should seek a medical diagnosis for your problem

CK: Maybe you should see a specialist??

Hey are the weakest link.....Good Bye!!

C: Ha ha ha ha ha ha, good one Cindy, I couldnt have come up with a better one myself.

Brenda: OK, I've been doing some thinking, and I have a proposal for you folks. If I provide the reunion committee with a short list of people I'd like to see banned from attending, I may agree to stop by the first night of the reunion for a few minutes. It wouldn't be a long list, maybe 20 or 25 names. Anyway, talk it over amongst yourselves. I have a session with Dr. Tayback this afternoon, so I'll be gone for awhile. Let me know when I get back, and I'll start drafting the list.

S: I think the aversion to spicy food may also be caused by age. I just had cucumbers for lunch and I'm about to DIE!!! Just get some antacids and Beeno!! We are getting up there you know!

Go ahead and submit your list and we'll see what we can do. We may not be able to find everyone anyway. By the way, I think I know who you REALLY are.

You've had us all going, but I think you've told on yourself!!! HA HA!! Email me privately or I'm going to expose you on here.

M: This is turning into a mystery

Brenda: I had a very good session with Dr. Tayback today. He said I may be able to start on cinnamon in the fall of 2002, and work my way up to the more powerful spices from there. This is a major breakthrough! My goal of chili by 2005 may not be out of reach!

Anyway, I'll start putting together that list tonight. It shouldn't be anymore than 30 to 35 people, so it's no big deal. I'll just need assurance that none of the people listed will be at the reunion, and I may stop by for a few minutes. Thanks for the cooperation. Maybe we can all be friends after all.

S: Hey Bubba

That was pretty good about the Survivor thing. The tribe has spoken!!! Brenda, I have challenged you to email me personally if you have a problem with me. I do know who you are now!!! My computer classes are starting to pay off after all. Anyway, on a more serious note. Let's get back to the reason this website was originated, which I believe was to correspond with fellow classmates who we all remember and exist, and our class is in the process of planning a reunion.

Contrary to crap that may or may not have happened over 20 years ago, we are going to have a class reunion and we are accepting ideas and suggestions from everyone as to where and what they would like to have for the reunion.

The people who visit this site are exchanging memories and current events that happen in their lives and that is what it is all about. Nothing more, nothing less.

We are a group of friends that are getting reacquainted and catching up on old times. Some of us weren't very close in school, but I think I have the capability to get along with anyone and if people cannot be civil on this website, it has come to my attention that actions will be taken to remove persons who are being disruptive.

I also feel that we all like practical jokes, but this was has gone too far and is quite childish, my comments included. That is all I have to say for now.

T: ok, no joking here. i would have to pull out a yearbook and see, but wasn't there a brenda in the special ed class. she had short brown hair and she always wore a jacket?

M: I looked in the year book for the special ed class. No Brenda there.

B: Mike, do you have any ideas about the true identity of Brenda or Harry? Our class ('83) thinks this is hilarious!

Brenda: Is 87 too many?

Brenda: Hello. My name is Pauline Rayburn-Colley. I'm Brenda's mother. I thought I should inform you all that Brenda had another one of her episodes last night, and has been hospitalized for observation. Of course this is nothing new for her but I wanted to let you all know, since you'd all grown so close of late. Her doctors have already said they can't allow her to return to this forum in the future, so there's a good chance you won't hear from her again. But I wanted you to be aware that she genuinely cherishes her friendships, and has talked about you all for decades.

Now I need to ask for a little help, if I may. Through experience I've learned that whenever she takes one of her spells, it's wise to attempt to write down as much of Brenda's incoherent ramblings as possible. Sometimes it helps the doctors pinpoint the source of her agitation. Following is what I recorded last night, before being struck in the temple with a large block of pepper jack cheese and blacking out. If any of you can provide clues as to what any of this means, it could help immensely. I apologize if some of the spelling is a little off, but I did the best I could under the circumstances.

Normal crumbs.
I'm no bag of crap sister.
Your stapler doesn't frighten me.
Family fun center meanies.
I called frogger next Kevin Taylor.
Floyd Phillips jumped on my sack lunch.
Robsen, Virginia.
Vote with your heart vote Leon.
Sounds of life burn burn.
Gordon row fine.
Seldon A. Brown.
Kevin Cronin fine.
Johnny branner hit me with a pear.
Pee like a cow.
I'll go to my grave loving you, Steven Wilkinsen.
To my grave.
I'll never get to Chile.

Any help would be appreciated. Write me at Brenda's address:

Thank you.

B: What the $#&!@?  What is up with that?! Since this is whole Brenda thing is obviously a prank, please reveal her identity to us. Someone has a very creative mind!

CK: I have no idea who Brenda really is -- but I do believe it is just that, a prank. Nobody could be that messed up from anything that the "Class of '82" did. Good God -- hit in the head with a block of cheese - lmao!!

I am just gonna sit back and watch this one unfold.

S: Maybe our mystery person is not such a mystery after all. It is of course getting interesting, but they probably have run out of things to say. I think I lived REALLY close to them at one time. Am I getting warmer Ms. Colley???????


At that point everything switched from the public forum to angry personal e-mails.  I was stupid to list Brenda's address; I probably could've kept the discussion going for a good while longer.  But you live and learn.  At some point, I sent out the picture below of Brenda, and I learned through my network of spies that it was widely circulated among classmates.  After I started ignoring their complaints and began asking instead if they could fix me up with Kelsey Grammer, TV's Frasier, I stopped receiving e-mails and it died off.  I never revealed my true identity.

Brenda Colley, Dunbar High School, Class of 1982