Wednesday, October 05, 2016

High School Classmates - 1957 - Lifelong Memories

How good is your memory?  I have this uncanny ability to remember names of folks that I know.  

I was reminded of this recently when I posted this photo of my sophomore class taken in 957.  After all these year I think I can identify everyone person in this photo.  

Now let's see.  I will start with the first row left from right:

Pat Weber, Anne Yerkes, Jackie Schmidt, Elsie Strock, Mary Jane Sabellico, Judy Wagner, Frances Wilkenson, Patty Zittle, Betty Lou Woodward, Virginia Walters, Bonnie Walton, Linda Smith, Jean Timmerman

There!  I got the whole first row.  I also remember all there personalities.  Who liked me, who I liked and who I didn't know that well.  My late friend Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau used to mock me for "living in the past."  I liked Wayne but he was wrong in his observation of me and my propensity to remember my past.  We are who we are today because of our past. Both the good and bad experiences and people.  We learn from the past.  

Now for the second row.  Notice that the first row was all girls.  This WAS back in the Fifties when the guys were always told to stand in the back, especially the case with me being so tall.  I think these days schools are more egalitarian in the way they treat and respect their students. One thing I have never forgotten from school days was that I was always in the back of the room and any group setting.  From first grade on we were seated alphabetically and since my last name begins is a "T" I was in the back.  I truly believe that this "you can't sit at the lunch counter" syndrome affected my self confidence.  My good friend Bill B., who was short and always sat up front was and is a very confident person, even to this day.  While I put up a good front, I never completely got rid of my lack of self confidence. 

Now let's get to that second row:

Polly Weber (who is the twin of Pat Weber in the first row), Anne Williamson, Cookie Seibert, Su Su Serafino, Judy Scarborough (who is a neighbor of mine now here in southern Delaware), Gracie Styer (who was good friend of mine in grade school, I never knew what happened to her), Jean Szell, Duer Smedley, Lou Wilkerson (who I got into a fist fight with - 9th grade), Don Smith (who I had the hots for), Kenny Van Lew (who I also got into a fight with - 7th grade and who died in combat in Viet Nam), Francis Trego, Olin Siever.

Hey!  I got the whole second row!!!  I'm impressed with myself.  Damn I'm good.
Yes, I'm complimenting myself.

Here we go with the third row:

Bob Zynn, Jack Swarner, Donald Yanascoli (who I also had a crush on), Bob Watts, Blaine Stong, me (believe it or not I had too much hair), Don "Buddy" White who was our championship quarterback, Henry "Champ" Stehman, Denny Williams (another crush of mine), Terry Stimson, Alan Wilson, Harry Styer, Bill White

There!  I did it!  Looking at this picture I'm reminded at how all the girls wore dresses.  Many of them with crinolines, I remember the rustle of those crinolines when the girls would seat themselves on the wooden chairs in our classrooms.

The guys who wore short sleeve shirts would roll the short sleeves up.  Why?  Where the short sleeves too long?  No, it was just the "thing" to do.

By the way, my very first real date (at the Soph Hop) was the girl third from the right in the first row.  Her name was Bonnie Walton. She of the sweater and plaid skirt.  The next time I saw here was at our 35th Class Reunion.  Guess what?  She was a lesbian.  Looking at this photo now I guess I could have figured that out when we went to the Soph Hop.  Not that I was trying to make out with her, or any girl.  I guess sub consciously I wanted a "safe" date, which is what I got.

Bonnie Walton - 1959
Bonnie and me at our 50th class reunion 2009

Ah memories.  


Linda said...

That was quite a feat of memory. I could not do that, but there were 188 or us.

Travel said...

I have spent the greater part of 40 years trying to forget high school - and most (not all) of the people involved in that adventure.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a memory! 1957, I was a year old. Good times :)


Ron said...

Oh my David, was it really that bad? I guess I was lucky.

WARPed said...

So Lou Wilkerson is the black dude? I hope your long reach kept your face out of harm's way!

Hard to tell, but Don looks kind of cute.

And I *still* see old dudes with their short sleeves rolled up...I always thought it was a redneck thing.

I had a good time in HS and at my 40th reunion.



Jon said...

You have an incredible memory, Ron. And how ironic that you dated a lesbian. It must have been some kind of quirky fate. I sometimes have trouble remembering the surnames of friends in high school. Fortunately I still have my senior yearbook to refresh my memory.

Ironically, I can still remember the names of ALL the kids in my first grade class! It was a small class - only about 12 students - but I'm amazed that I can still recall them.

Ur-spo said...

Happily most of my memories before college have been wiped out.

Ron said...

Not mine. My high school days are very clear even to this day. However, my college (four years night school three nights a week) are almost wiped out. Probably because I worked all day and went to classes directly after work. Didn't form any social contacts like I did in high school. However, my college still sends me literature. Means nothing to me because I don't remember anyone from my college days except my friend Rich who also went to night school with me.

Larry Meredith said...


I have always been terrible remembering names and am getting worse. I could remember faces, but names, not so much. I've had a lot of those moments of having someone come up, who obviously knows me, where I try desperately to put a name to the face. I was reading a letter that talked about a number of people I worked with in 1968-69 and drawing a blank at the names.