The Tragedy of the Lollipop Girl Gang of 1976
Brad Rogers was a reporter who wanted to know more about a tragedy that occurred in the Alief School District so long ago. It was known as "The Tragedy of the Lollipop Girl Gang of 1976."
Alief is located in Houston TX.
Brad sat down at a cafeteria with Brenda Rhodes.
"Mrs. Rhodes good evening I'm so glad you agreed to do this interview with me since you were part of what was a small legend."
Brenda responded "well definitely a small legend. One day all five of us had large lollipops in our hands. Then we decided to be really silly at the time and we all walked out of my garage in a straight line and sang the lollipop song by the Chordettes."
"When we got to the park which was across the street we all fell down laughing. We were all nine years old at the time. Well an elderly couple the Hodges noticed and they came up to us. They said they thought it was so cute that we did that. We explained to them that we all happened to have lollipops and we decided to just do it."
Brad was giggling but he went on to ask "okay so this little performance you all decided to do just to be funny would become a once a day thing or just at certain times?"
Brenda answered "well we agreed to do it again for Mister Hodges next week because he had a birthday coming up next week. He's the one who gave us the nickname "The Lollipop Gang" and he said he was happy to see us as a non-delinquent gang as he put it since gangs were starting to rise up at the time."
Brad commented "1976 hardly would strike anyone as a year of gang activity."
Brenda said "well yes but it sure wasn't the super peachy clean 1950's when we formed the Lollipop Girl Gang and sang that 1950s hit."
Brad said "good point and so how many times did you all do this routine until the tragedy happened?"
Brenda answered "the second time was the last time and that was the next week on the day of Mister Hodges Birthday."
"On that day Gale North, Tanya Mack, Ellen York, and Amanda Howser all took our places in line. Amanda was in the lead. We walked out we all yelled 'happy birthday' and started singing the song and as we got into the street Amanda tripped over a rock and went flying on the side road that ran parallel with the street we were on. A delivery van ran her over but hit the break so the truck crashed into a nice new car that someone just bought the day before. Amanda was pronounced dead at the scene."
Brad said "oh that must have been traumatic for all you girls."
Brenda said "oh yes and both Mister and Mrs. Hodges started crying. Over the years I'd severed ties with the other three girls."
Brad went on to say "it must have been so sad that something cute ended with such tragedy."
Brenda replied "yes and Mister Hodges felt guilty for years."
Brad asked "what about the owner of that car that was damaged? I'll bet he was upset."
Brenda answered "it was a she and she had been visiting from Austin. She was devastated when she saw her car and the truck driver explaining to the police how he managed to hit Amanda oh she just screamed and cried. It was horrifying to everyone to see Amanda lying dead in the street."
That was the tale of tragedy which happened so long ago but those who lived to see it shall never forget.