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History of Howell High School
Class of 1956

Compiled from classmatesí collective memories

by Nancy Heller Weirich June 2001

(Any omissions are due to faulty memory of the informants and the computer)

The members of the class of 1956 have lived during one of the most significant periods and events in history. We were born in the late 1930ís at the end of the Depression, started school during World War II, and were in grade school during the post-war years. Our junior and senior high years were during the 1950ís decade of growing prosperity. We graduated in the middle of the decade just previous to many world events, which changed the way of life, as we knew it.

The social and economic changes that took place during our formative years have influenced our lives in ways that cannot always be understood by the younger generations. It was a less hurried age. There were fewer complicated choices, fewer outside influences. Our grade school years were pre-TV; we had our vicarious experiences via books, radio, magazines and movies.

We came of age in our junior and senior high years during a booming economy that was considered "the best of times". However the 1950ís were not without a dark side; the Korean War, the Cold War threat of nuclear destruction, the threat of Communism and the pre-Civil rights movement.

Our values were learned from our homes, families, churches, schools, neighborhoods, businesses and our town. We had teachers in school and mentors at work who influenced us and kept us on the straight and narrow. Irresponsible behavior was not tolerated. Opportunities did not exist that are available today but jobs were available. The potential for training, additional schooling, military service and college offered us hopes and promises for a better future.

School and our class were an important part of our lives. Some friends were made for a lifetime, others for a brief time and we shared a common bond of growing up together and having similar experiences. Nearly sixty years have passed since we began school. Time has a way of erasing and blurring some memories while others are etched into our minds forever. These reminiscences from our school years may remind you of our shared past.

The brick building in which many of our classmates began their education was the Howell Public School on South Michigan Avenue. It covered a city block and was the standard design for school buildings built in the 1920ís. For communities the size of Howell the building was designed to serve the needs of the students for their entire education. The boulder on the northwest corner of the school grounds indicates this building was erected in 1920-21.

Those in our class who attended Kindergarten started in the fall of 1943. The Kindergarten room was the first floor classroom in the southeast corner of the building. Half-day sessions were held with Miss Schumann, a young dark haired teacher. Social skills were learned, numbers and reading readiness mixed with play, music and rest period on little rugs. About two dozen of our graduating class started school together in Kindergarten. Miss Schumannís career in Howell was short-lived possibly due to an episode of putting lipstick on some of the girls!

We then moved down the hall to the next two rooms for first grade. Miss Goldie Holt and Miss Hilda Crandall taught us to print our names and the alphabet on lined paper. Little tables and chairs could be moved about for reading and learning our numbers. Carol Michaels remembers Jerry Reams chasing her around the reading circle. Special things were printed on the black board with colored chalk .

Students in Mrs. Crandallís class passed as subjects of famous artists by stepping out of a picture frame. Bill Earl portrayed "Blue Boy" and Kay Johnson was Laughing Allegra in "Age of Innocence". Bobbie Barr aka Bob Niles recalls reciting a poem for the performance. "Show and Tell" was a weekly affair where things or happenings from home and farm were shared with classmates. Bill recalls his bringing his banty rooster.

There were several students with the same first names, which caused much confusion for the teacher. She devised ways of keeping them straight by using middle names or first and second names. The Bobs and Eugenes and Charleses were given "new" names for first grade!

Several fathers of students were in the war and stories of their participation made the war effort seem closer to us. Savings stamps were purchased in the classroom and after the war items were collected to put in Red Cross boxes to send overseas for the relief effort.

Second grade began in September 1945. Mrs. Sarah Maycock and Miss Nickerson(?) were our teachers.

Some school routines, images and sounds have remained in our memories. Grade school students used the southwest entrance on South Michigan Avenue.

The bell rang for school to begin, preceded by a "five minute warning bell." It was affixed to the large schoolroom clock at the front of the room. The main office controlled the bell that signaled the time for classes to begin, for recess, lunch, and the end of the school day. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited, followed by a patriotic song at the beginning of each day.

As one entered the classroom, there was a long partitioned section of the room with 2 doorways called the cloakroom. "Cloaks", a colloquial term had not been used for years, but we all knew what this area was designed for. Students had assigned hooks for coats and hats. Boot and galoshes were on the floor under your coats. There was also a place for lunches and storage.

Steam radiators provided heat for each classroom and were a perfect place for drying wet mittens.

Wooden desks with inkwells and attached seats original to the building were fixed to the floors in permanent rows in each of our grade school rooms. The desks were larger as we moved from grade to grade.

Cursive writing was practiced on lined paper with exercises in penmanship better known to us as "push and pulls", as we followed the illustrated alphabet on the long charts above the black board. Carol Michaels remembered that discipline started early; being sent out into the hall for talking to her neighbor behind her. Bill Earl brought a two-headed calf to class for show and tell.

Recess was a break in the learning activities and a chance to go outside in good weather. Before going out for recess, you got your "wraps" or coats from the cloakroom and prepared to go out. In winter, getting into snowpants, and boots was no small task. "Lining up" single or double file in an orderly fashion was a prescribed regiment. There was an order and time for each grade to go out to the playground behind the school. Some classes were coming in as others were going out. Rules prevailed and were enforced on the gravel playground depending upon the grade. A high slide, swings, teeter-totters, the dangerous merry-go-round, and monkey bars were the permanent playground equipment. Crossing the monkey bars was a rite of passage! The teacher supervised games such as Dodge Ball. Students brought other balls, jump ropes, and roller skates. Occasionally we witnessed a fight by some of the bigger boys! When the bell rang, recess was over and lining up was in order again. Waiting in line for a drink from the drinking fountain in the hallway was eagerly anticipated. A stop at the rest room before or after recess was another organized event so that all the students could be accommodated in the few facilities at the end of the hall. If weather was inclement, and the teacher decided the class was not going out side, other activities in the classroom were in order.

Another event looked forward to was having a milk break. Dunn Brothers Dairy delivered milk to the school in little glass bottles. Earlier in the week students brought their milk money of 2 cents per day, collected by the teacher as you ordered "white" or "chocolate". At milk time, caution was used in lifting the paper lid so as not to squirt milk into the air or onto an unsuspecting classmate.

By fall 1946 we were in the third grade with teachers, Mrs. Luberta Spalding and Mrs. Joy Bigelow. Arithmetic, Language, Hygiene, Science, Writing, Reading, and Spelling were subjects throughout grade school. Once Bill Earl brought a dead badger to class for his show and tell.

Other routines come to mind that continued throughout our grade school years.

The music teacher served all the grades and she came to each classroom at a scheduled time every other week or so. She had a pitch pipe to get us on tune. We learned new songs from the songbooks she brought with her. We showed off our singing ability at the Christmas program in the auditorium. Sometimes the music teacher brought a portable record player to play a recording of different kinds of music. The" Grand Canyon Suite" was one selection introduced to us.

Art activities were generally left up to the classroom teacher. These often centered around seasonal and holiday events. In the fall, picking up fallen leaves as one walked through them meant preserving them in various ways or decorating the classroom windows. Thanksgiving themes were always used and sometimes placemats were created and sent to local nursing homes. In winter, snowflakes were cut for window decorations.

Christmas season was celebrated with a live evergreen tree in each classroom. Decorations were made by the students or sometimes brought from home. Making gifts for our parents were another highlight; using recycled items such as an oatmeal box or soup can. Exchanging gifts with classmates was done by "drawing names". Bill Earl recalled that he drew Tom Kellyís name and let Tom select a knife from Gilkes and Ziska Hardware, however Billís mother vetoed this choice. Before school was out for Christmas vacation a party was held in each classroom.

Valentineís Day was an opportunity for exchanging cards with all those in your room. A decorated Valentine Box was at the front of the room where cards were dropped and then were later distributed at a party. Mothers of students provided special treats on this day.

Winter artwork continued along the seasonal theme with Lincoln and Washingtonís birthdaysí, generally copying a set pattern for the artwork was protocol. We learned to copy those two silhouettes well.

The School Nurse was another face we encountered from time to time. If you were hurt on the playground she administered first aid. If not feeling well, you might be sent to her office where she would determined if she should call your mother or if you could lie down on the cot. She also recorded our weight and height.

Lunch Hour was a full hour dictated by the bell. Those who lived in town, walked home for lunch or were picked up by a parent and driven home. Marguerite Kirby recalls running home in time to listen to the continuing saga on radio of Helen Trent. Those who lived too far to go home brought their lunch. These lunches in a brown paper sack or a metal lunch box were eaten possibly in the School Cafeteria. Some recall going to a specified room to eat their lunches and then spending the remainder of the hour on the playground, walking around town or going to a friendsí house. If it was raining or bad weather, activities were provided in a classroom. (Students had to remain outside the building leaning on, twirling over and under the black metal bars until the doors opened and the bell rang.) Sometimes a bunch of older boys hung around the bars frightening us younger kids.

Hall monitors were older students who were posted at various spots in the hallways to keep track of our "comings and goings" while out of the classroom. How they earned this job is a mystery. Another special position for some older boys was that of a Patrol Boy, whose duty was to help students cross the busy intersection of South Michigan Avenue and Washington St. The white belt they wore distinguished them from the others who crowded around the curb waiting to cross the street. Carol Michaels remembers having crushes on every Patrol Boy.

The teacher enforced discipline. Classroom rules included raising your hand to speak, not talking out of turn, no comic books, squirt guns or bubble gum in school. If she could not handle a situation, we knew that Mr. Page; the Superintendent of Schools would back her up. His reputation of disciplinarian was known by all. It was rumored that he had a razor strap and a paddle in his office that he had been known to use!

By 1947 we were in fourth grade with Mrs.Uelen Voss and Mrs.__________as our teachers.

The subjects were more difficult with multiplication, division and geography. Penmanship now included cursive writing with pen and ink. Ballpoint pens were a new invention and there was some discussion as to whether these were acceptable for us students learning to "write in ink".

Spelldowns within our class as well as with the other classes were held. Darrell Darling and Marquerite Kirby were often the winners.

A movie was sometimes a part of our classroom routine. When the large 16mm. projector was wheeled into the room and finally adjusted for sound and focus, we had our eyes and ears opened to a larger world.

Another regular occurrence was the report cards. These were issued every six weeks to report your performance and learning. When these came out, the teacher called your name and you slipped the card out of the brown envelope, peeked at the letter grades and anticipated how the card would be received at home. These cards had to be signed by your parents and returned to school within a specified time. How some students could lose these cards and never get back to school remains a mystery!

Having an assembly meant a special program in the Auditorium where each grade had an assigned seating area. The Auditorium was in the center of the building on the second floor above the Gymnasium. Some of these gatherings required admission money of five cents or more. Magicians, music programs, travelogs and speakers on a variety of subjects were recalled. Once a magician released a live bird in the Auditorium as recalled by Don Toomey. We thought it was a great diversion to get out of our usual class routines. The upper grades sat in the balcony. We would look up and wonder if we would ever be there ourselves.

Out of school activities included birthday parties, hayrides at Bill Earlís farm, picnics at the Howell City Park, Halloween parties for all the city kids at the old Recreation Center on West Grand River, ice skating on Howell lake, bike riding, playing with friends at each others homes, reading, helping at home, taking piano lessons, joining Brownies and Scout groups were recalled.

Fifth grade began in the fall of 1948 when we moved upstairs to the third floor of the school building in either Miss Norma Rischís or Mrs. Gladys Whippleís class. Classmates recall this year with fond memories of nice teachers and fun activities. Sandy Hoover recalls the class walking to Mrs. Whippleís house to watch the Inauguration of Pres. Harry Truman on her tiny screen TV.

Geography was learned by fashioning maps out of sawdust and water, as well as by studying the maps that were rolled up above the black boards. Reports were prepared and given on countries of the world. Blackboards were really black and the chalk was dusty. Felt erasers were used to remove chalk and needed to be cleaned periodically. "Pounding the erasers" on the wall next to the playground was a task some students performed who stayed after school either by choice or possibly punishment.

The Music Teacher, Miss Lay, directed an operetta that year. It was a combined fifth-sixth-grade performance. Different students performed on two different nights. Pat Sawdy, Bill Earl, Judy Bishop, Tom Kelly, Carol Michaels, Marguerite Kirby, Ann Hudson and Marshall Hill (6th grade) all had roles, which they recall. Carol can still sing her South Seas solo, Kay Johnson also remembers perfectly a song sung. Judy recalls falling out of her wooden shoes and Marguerite remembers the pink dotted Swiss dress her mother made for the performance.

In 1949, the last year of the 40ís decade, our sixth grade teachers, Miss Mildred King and Mr. Scott Mills prepared us for the new decade before going to Junior High. The curriculum called for poetry and we learned to recite lots of poems and made anthologies.

The sixth grade music curriculum called for selecting an instrument to "try out" and hopefully continue with it in Junior High. We had also earned our right to sit in the balcony for the Christmas program.

Through out our grade school years, end-of-the-year picnics, outings and trips to Potter Park in Lansing and Greenfield Village in Dearborn and Willow Run airfield were recalled. For those who attended country schools in grade school, many of their experiences were similar to students in town. The exceptions were that they attended class in a one- room school building for all grades. One teacher taught all the grades and older students might help teach younger students. Sometimes there were only two or three students in the same grade, or there might not be any students in another grade. The physical classroom settings varied with the building, often no central heat or indoor plumbing and thus having outhouses, pumps or wood stoves. Many of these schools did not have junior highs. As enrollments changed in these schools, and consolidation of school districts were mandated in Michigan circa 1953, area country schools were closed. Some surrounding townships were split between two different communities such as Howell and Fowlerville. Several of these country school students joined the class. At this time six buses were used to transport students to the Howell Public School. Staggered arrival times had to be arranged since some bus routes were so long. Areas not served by bus, had a person paid to drive students in private cars to school. By 1956, sixteen buses brought students to school. About 25 different country schools came into Howell Public School system in the early 1950ís.

Our class entered Junior High in seventh grade at the beginning of a new decade in the fall of 1950. Junior High was on the north side of the building where we used the northwest entrance. Our textbooks were purchased from the bookstore by Mr. Pageís office. A new routine of different teachers for each subject and moving from room to room was begun. Home Room at the beginning of the day and study halls through out the day were new concepts for us. A series of bells dictated our schedules. Passing in the hallways had a prescribed order and no running was allowed. Home Room was where one was assigned for the first few minutes of the school day. The homeroom teacher read daily announcements and roll call was taken. An assigned desk in the homeroom was where your books and your three-ring notebook were kept. We usually carried them around with us from class to class. English, Math, Geography, Science, P.E. (gym) and a new class called Experience were on our schedules. The Experience classes are remembered by all with stories of our new encounters with Shop, Homemaking, Art and Music by all, regardless of gender. (A book could be written about "experiences" in "Experience".)

Study hall was a large room with rows of desks monitored by a teacher at the far end of the room. This large room was also called "Session" hall. The concept was that home work was to be done in this room during the first twenty minutes of that hour. Depending upon the supervision of the Study Hall, other pranks, getting a "pass" for miscellaneous activities and committees often took precedence over studying.

The Gymnasium was a new area to us, as we were required to take P.E. classes. The "gym" was below the auditorium beneath ground level and a narrow wooden staircase accessed it. At the time it was built the facility was considered large. The girlsí shower room was on the upper level and the boys shower room on the lower level. For public events such as basketball games or dances there was a wider stairway and entrance on the south side of the building. There was a small section of folding bleachers on one side for basketball games. By the time we were in high school the gym was considered dated and cramped.

End of semester exams were either multiple choice or essay. Essay questions were written in a Blue Book purchased at Johnsonís Drug Store or at the school bookstore.

In the seventh grade we had class officers, class parties and activities. Bill Earl was Pres. of our class. One of our class sponsors was Mrs. Ruth Bergin. The HHS yearbook did not include Junior High students or our activities during those years.

In 1951 we began eighth grade where we continued subjects and routines begun in seventh grade. History was studied instead of Geography and many included music in their curriculum and were in the Band. Science class included "experiments" in the science lecture room with the elevated seating. Discussion about Evolution in science class seems to have caused some problems for the science teacher, Mr. Robinson. Our Math teacher, Mr. Jappinga had a unique form of punishment for unruly boys; a half bowling pin with holes drilled in it. Miss Betty Maltby sent Kay Johnson to the office after an incident with the hairnet and loaves of bread! Bill Earl was Pres. and Ed. Baldwin was Treas. Our class sponsors were Mr. Guy Jameson, Mr. Fred Jappinga and Miss Norma Stafford. A big event for us was when the motorcade of General of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur came through Howell on his way to Detroit. We were allowed to walk down to Grand River to watch him drive by in an open car. In addition to our social activities we had farm chores, baby-sitting, chores at home, bike riding, sports, roller-skating, ice skating on Howell Lake or frozen city rinks, parties at school, hunting, fishing, bowling, dancing, going to the Saturday matinee show, going to the Public Library, talking on the telephone for hours, listening to records, doing school homework and spending time with friends.

. We became Freshman in High school in 1952. Our class once again grew as fourteen students joined us from St. Josephís School in Howell and many students from different country schools.

We now had one hundred twenty one students in the ninth grade. Our class officers were: Oliver Allbright, Pres.; Roberta Walker, Vice Pres.; Darrell Darling, Treas. and Marguerite Kirby, Sec. Student council representatives were Sandra Hoover, Alice Wiltse, Kay Johnson and Dick Lowe.

Planning the path of our academic career called "classification" was an important decision; general studies, business-secretarial, agricultural or college prep. Sixteen credits in basic solid subjects were required for graduation. For the first time, classmates had choices of classes but we all had to take Civics and English classes. One had to keep grades up in order to participate in athletic and extra curricular activities. Report cards were still part of our academic life and attaining status on the Honor Roll was another goal.

Those Freshmen on the Varsity Football team were Bill Earl, Oliver Allbright, Charles Brigham, Tom Westmoreland and Don Toomey, Mgr.

Classmates who were on the Reserve Football team losing only one game were John Clark, Charles Brigham, Tom Westmoreland, Harold Haller, Bob Saska, Oliver Allbright, John Struble, Bill Earl, Earl Ward, Carl Seim, Ron Kennedy, Russell Smith, John McCloskey, Marley Pierson, Tim Golden, Eugene Steinacker.

Those on the Reserve Basketball team were Dick Lowe, Tom Westmoreland, John McCloskey, Ed Baldwin, Charles Brigham, Bill Earl, Harold Haller and Darrell Darling, Ken Schimmelphenneg, and John Clark, Mgr.

Cheerleaders from our class in our Freshman year were: Pat Sawdy, Jean Sweet, Kay Johnson and Carol Michaels.

The concession stand at Page Field was completed in the fall of 1952. The athletic field was completed in the spring of 1953.

Freshmen on the track team were John Clark, Bill Earl and John Struble. Golf team freshmen were Ed Baldwin and John McCloskey. Don Toomey was manager for the Baseball team.

Sports, band, clubs, church activities, parties, dating, shopping, stopping at the drug store after school for cokes or sodas were added to our out-of-class time.

The Freshman Reception was held on October 4 with Ken Klark and his dance records. A class party with square dancing was another event.

Assemblies, pep meetings, club meetings, class meetings and other school organizations were held during school hours. Class periods were shortened when these activities occurred. Assemblies were held in the auditorium with assigned are areas by class . The auditorium seated 750 persons and with the growing enrollment, balcony seating was utilized for juniors and seniors. The windows of the auditorium were painted with Christmas scenes by the art class in conjunction with the annual Christmas Choral program.

A few members of the class who were old enough for their driverís learnerís permit at age 14 could drive to school. The car culture in our world had begun. Some even "drove around town" at noon, cruising Grand River, or had girl friends they could share the front seat with, or go the drive-in movie. Howell police kept us out of too much harm by the enforced curfews hours for those under sixteen.

The lunch hour was staggered in order to accommodate the growing enrollment. The school cafeteria was located on the first floor between Mr. Pageís office and the Shop. Hot lunches were prepared in the small kitchen and the eating area doubled as the Art /Drafting Room for other hours of the day. For those who carried their lunch, they could purchase milk or other food and eat at tables set up in the hallways. Some students recalled eating in their car, others went "down town" to eat at one of the restaurants: Culvers, Eagers, The Family Restaurant, the Midget Sandwich Shop, OíLearyís, Spagnulos, or the Dime Store lunch counter. Some had an "allowance" for lunch or milk money but once in awhile Don Toomey or Bill Bugard used their money to splurge on a Hot Rod magazine or hot fudge sundae purchased at the drugstore. Student Council sponsored noon dances held in the gym.

Our principal, Mr.Krieger, known to us as T.K, enforced rules as to acceptable behavior. Our assistant principal, Mr. Christopherson (Mr. Chris) was known to look at the lighter side of the offense. Offenses were being tardy, kicked out of class, smoking in the restrooms, talking back to a teacher. Multiple offenses could land you in the office or even kicked out of school. Throwing firecrackers and climbing onto the roof also resulted in immediate action from this office as attested to by Bill Bugard. Being sent to the office meant climbing the wooden stairs to the small third floor room above the stage that served as the office.

Proper attire was expected and girls never wore jeans to school. Jeans were for out of school affairs and could be purchased at Itsellís for $4.00 The conformity of the 1950ís was in place and everyone wanted to dress and look and act alike. Bobbie socks rolled down to the ankles, longer skirts, sweaters, white bucks or saddle shoes for girls. Even the teachers had a dress code; shirts, tie and suit for the male teachers and dresses or skirts and dress shoes for the female teachers. Cheerleaders found that the dress codes prevailed for them also when they cut off their skirts to a shorter length and were sent home because they were too short. Bermuda skirts worn to school by Kay Johnson, Rosemary Richards and Nancy Heller in the junior year may have been the latest style but not at HHS! Bermuda shorts and knee socks were for out of school!

By our Sophomore year in the fall of 1953 we began to get the routines down and felt more comfortable. Class rings were ordered and big decisions were made as to design, whether it should be yellow gold, white gold, with a stone or without.

Our class officers were: Oliver Allbright, Pres.; Stephen Lovas, Vice Pres.; Carol Michaels, Sec., Harold Haller, Treas.

Student Council Representatives were: Bill Earl, Jean Sweet, Charles Brigham, and Darrell Darling.

Class sponsors: Culver Bailey, Nancy Hodges, and William Christopherson.

Moneymaking activities during this year were Christmas Cards sales. Top salesmen were Ann Hudson and Marvin Johnson. This money was saved toward our senior expenses. We sponsored the Sock Hop, where girls asked boys to the dance.

Members of the baseball team were Ron Walker, Tom Westmoreland, Harold Haller, Charles Brigham, Harold Gerhringer and Don Toomey, Mgr. Track team participants were Dick Schnackenburg, Bill Earl, John Clark, Larry Goniea, Eugene Shriver, Oliver Allbright, John Struble, John Denby and Andre Lovas, Mgr. Golf team players were John McCloskey and Tom Kelly.

Our social lives were livened up with more class members dating, having parties, driving and participating in extra curricular activities and clubs, after game dances, Rainbow Girl dances, Country Club dances, pre-game suppers, pizza and overnight pajama partiesí, going to Hopís Restaurant at Lake Chemung after a school activity, going to away football or basketball games in the Capital Circuit.

Involvement in sports and musical events became more and more important too. Being a member of ball team or participating in one of the clubs such as Y- Teens, Hi-Y, G.A.A., Youth for Christ, FFA, FHA, Science Club. The Madrigal Club was a coveted vocal group that had been in existence for 24 years by the time our classmates were selected to join it. The marching band had combined boys and girls by our high school years.

Our Junior year began in the fall of 1954 with one hundred eleven members. Class moneymaking activities, included selling candy in addition to the play and carnival. Class rings arrived.

Class Officers were: William Earl, Pres. James Murphy, and V.Pres. Joanne Smith, Sec.and, Harold Haller,Treas.

Student Council members from the class were Carol Michaels, Oliver Allbright, Ed Baldwin, Dick Lowe, Pat Sawdy and Bill Earl.

Our Junior Play was presented on November 18 & 19. It was a comedy entitled Beauty and the Beef, directed by Miss Moore. The play netted $358.00. A new Journalism class included yearbook planning and organization. The column" Green and Gold News "in the Livingston County Press was written by this group. Juniors were Oliver Allbright, Carol Michaels, Josie Soma, and Nancy Heller, and Ken Schimmelphenneg.

Class members on the Varsity Football team were Harold Haller, Stanley Warner, Tom Westmoreland, Charles Brigham, Bill Earl, John McCloskey and Ken Schimmelphenneg, Oliver Allbright, Eugene Steinacker, John Struble, Dick Lowe, Russell Smith, Earl Ward, Stan Warner, and Carl Seim. Managers were Ron Walker, Milton Welch and Don Toomey.

Cross Country members were Larry Goniea, Jim Murphy and Donald Smith, Co-Cpt.

Ellen White was Jr. class member on Homecoming Court.

Cheerleaders were Kay Johnson, Jean Sweet, Pat Sawdy and Carol Michaels.

The Winter Formal "Candy Heaven" was in December.

Basketball players were Harold Haller, Ken Schimmelphenneg, Stan Warner, Tom Westmoreland, Charles Brigham, John McCloskey and Bill Earl.

On March 25 we sponsored the Junior Carnival. John Clark and Dick Lowe were clowns.

Baseball Team members were Charles Brigham, Tom Westmoreland, Ron Walker, Ken Schimmelphenneg, Harold Haller and Milton Welch, Mgr.

John McCloskey and Tom Kelly were on the Golf team.

Track members were Jerry Reams, Jim Murphy, Harold Haller, Charles Brigham, Dick Lowe, Oliver Allbright, Stan Warner, Larry Goniea, Bill Earl and John Clark.

Our class sponsored the J-Hop, "Little Bit of Heaven" in May 1955. Open houses hosted by classmates were held before the prom.

Forensic awards were given to Stan Warner and Pat Neu.

For some students, academic class loads increased and full class schedules prevailed. Extra curricular activities and social life, participation in sports, and part-time jobs earned the minimum wage of seventy-five cents an hour all added to an already full schedule. Working on the farm for some often curtailed school activities.

Overcrowding in the Howell Public school building had been apparent for several years with post-war babies beginning school and consolidation of the country schools. These factors forced some of the grade school students to attend school in the old A& P building for half-day sessions or attend classes in the West Ward School or the former St. Joseph School building. A school bond issue was passed in July 1954 and construction of four new elementary schools were built in the north south, east and west sections of Howell. Remodeling the Howell Public School central building for use by only Junior and Senior High started in summer of 1955.

Our Senior year began in September 1955. The first challenge was to find our way around the newly remodeled building. There were many changes; individual lockers in the hallways provided us a place for coats and books and replaced hooks in the hallway. A new Library, located on second floor, was a separate room under the jurisdiction of Mrs. Jameson, Librarian. Previously the Library had closed stacks and books lined the wall of the third floor senior high Study Hall. The Science lecture room was remodeled and a new Chemistry lab was built. A new Cafeteria opened second semester located where we were in Kindergarten and first grades. Classmates, Judy Bishop and Gloria Beduhn, worked in the cafeteria. Shop, Home Economics facilities and a Superintendentís office were also new. Our classrooms with new desks were scattered throughout different areas of the whole building. Some of our classes and the new Principals office were now where we formerly had been in grade school! New seating was installed in the Auditorium.

Class officers were:

John McCloskey, Pres.;
Charles Brigham, Vice Pres.;
Nancy Heller, Sec.;
Harold Haller, Treas.;
Gerald Knight, Asst. Treas. Treas,
Class Sponsors were Mr. Jameson,
Mrs. Helm, Mr. Bailey and Mr. Weaver.
Student Council representativesí were
Pres. Bill Earl,
Jean Sweet,
Joanne Smith,
Alice Wiltse,
Tom Westmoreland,
Dick Lowe,
John McCloskey, and Oliver Allbright.

Zemper Studios took senior class pictures as well as all the others in the student body.

The football season was an exciting one and social activities mingled with the Friday night games. The highlight of the fall was the victorious football team as the Capital Circuit champions for the first time! The team coached by, Coach Fulk was scored against only once by Charlotte. The team had thirteen Seniors, co-captained by Oliver Allbright and John Mc.Closkey Other Seniors on the team were Charlie Brigham, Harold Haller, Bill Earl, Dick Lamphere, Dick Lowe, John Struble, Tom Westmoreland, Stan Warner, Russ Smith, Gene Steinacker, Carl Seim, Ron Walker and Milton Welch, Mgrs. There was much excitement as Marion Mason recalled a trip home after an away game with Holt. "Elation was indescribable" with singing, yelling all the way back to Howell. Carloads of student went to away games in individual cars and only the team rode on the team bus. Homecoming activities included two seniors, Margie Simmons, Queen and Rose Richards attendant. The Queen was crowned by "Miss Michigan", Margaret Devereaux, a Howell High School alumnus. The Homecoming dance was held in the Gymnasium.

Three seniors were on the Varsity Cheerleading squad, Kay Johnson, Carol Michaels, Capt. and Pat Sawdy. They sported new outfits suitable for Highlanders with green and gold plaid kilt, sash and caps. Carolís mother made most of the outfits.

Cross Country team members were Jim Murphy, Don Smith, Larry Goniea and Dick Schnackenburg.

The Senior Play Our Town was presented. In the fall. It was a success under the direction of Mrs. Helm. The play was about a small town where it was a good place to live and everybody loved it.

The winter formal, Holiday Hop" was held in December.

Basketball team Seniorsí were Harold Haller, Ken Schimmelpfenneg, Stan Warner, Bill Earl, John McCloskey, Tom Westmoreland and Charlie Brigham.

Magazine subscriptions were sold to help class members with Sr. class expenses. The class came within $12.00 of our $5,000 goal.

Our class and community were shocked by the death of classmate, Ed Baldwin in an auto accident at the end of Christmas Vacation. January 1956 began on a note of sadness at his funeral service.

Club activities continued throughout the year. The Sock Hop was in February and Y-teens held their annual style show.

Baseball team members were Charlie Brigham, Harold Haller, Tom Westmoreland, Ken Schimmelphenneg and Milton Welch; Mgr. Track members were Larry Goniea, Oliver Allbright and Jim Murphy. John McCloskey was the Senior on the Golf team.

We voted on class colors of royal blue & silver and the motto, The future is not in the hands of fate, but in ours."

Television was now more prelevant in our lives and in April, singer Elvis Presley was viewed with mixed feelings and awe as some friends gathered to watch his performance.

Graduation invitations were sent out, senior photos and cards were exchanged. The Torch, the school yearbook was distributed and signed. The new look of the yearbook resulted from a different approach to yearbook planning. A new publisher and new layouts included the junior high studentís photos.

The J-Hop," Deep Sea Dream" sponsored by the juniors was on May 25. Classmates held Open houses before the prom.

Seventy- seven classmates left on the long awaited Senior Trip to New York City from May 30 to June 2. We boarded Greyhound buses at the Howell for Detroit. From Detroit we traveled throughout the night with little sleep on the Pennsylvania Railroad. We had 2 days in N.Y.C and stayed at the Hotel Taft. Our whirlwind tour included sightseeing shopping, nightlife, dining and theatre. Chaperones for the trip were Mr. & Mrs. Jameson, Coach Fulk and Miss Slayter.

The Honors and Awards were presented at an assembly on the last day of school included the following classmates:

Valedictorian - Marion Mason

Salutatorian -Oliver Allbright

DAR Good Citizen - Marian Mason

Attendance Keys
Mary Lou Dunn, Charles Brigham

U of M Club Honor Trophy
Margie Simmons, William Earl

U of M. Regents-Alumni Scholarship
Marian Mason, Oliver Allbright, Kenneth Schimmelphennig

MSU Scholarship
Joanne Smith, Thomas Berry, Stephen Lovas

Eastern Michigan College Margie Simmons

Albion College Scholarship
Harold Haller, Stanley Warner

Olivet Nazarene College Scholarship Frances Story

Senior Year Perfect Attendance
First Semester;
Charles Brigham, Beverly Clawson, Marian Mason, James Murphy, Shirley Rathbun, Rosemary Richards, Margaret Simmons, Roberta Walker, Alice Wiltse, Kathleen Wonch.

Second Semester;
Betty Glenn, Russell Smith

Perfect Attendance All Year; Oliver Allbright, Janet Coddington, Mary Lou Dunn, George Hayward, Patricia Sawdy

Music Awards

Madrigal Club;-Gold Note;
Oliver Allbright, Martha Beatty Mary Lou Dunn, Marvin Johnson, Naomi Olrich, Andre Lovas, Rosemary Richards, Richard Lowe, Sally Smith, John McCloskey, Alice Wiltse, Jerry Reams, Leland Scott

Three or more years; George Hayward


Varsity Football
John McCloskey, Oliver Allbright, Co-Captains
Milton Welch, Ron Walker, Managers
Charles Brigham, Eugene Steinacker, William Earl, Carl Seim, Dick Lowe,
Tom Westmoreland, Harold Haller, Russell Smith, Dick Lamphere, John Struble,
Stanley Warner.

Varsity Basketball
John McCloskey, Bill Earl, Co-captains
Charles Brigham, Harold Haller, Ken Schimmelphenneg, Tom Westmoreland

Varsity Reserve Basketball
Richard Lowe, Stanley Warner

Varsity Baseball
Charles Brigham, Ken Schimmelpfenneg, Tom Westmoreland
Harold Haller, Captain
Milton Welch, Manager
Varsity Golf
John McCloskey

Varsity Track
Oliver Allbright, William Earl, Lawrence Goniea-Captain
Varsity Cross country
Lawrence Goniea, Jim Murphy ĖCaptain

Varsity Cheerleading
Pat Sawdy, one year on Jr. Varsity, Kay Johnson, Captain; Carol Michaels, 5th year on Varsity

Beverly Clawson, Rosemary Richards, Mary Lou Dunn, Sandy Hoover, Dorothy Conklin

Senior Week began with caps and gowns issued to us on June 8. Baccalaureate services were held at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening June 10. Rev. Johnson gave the address. Several Open houses were held before and afterwards. Final Exams were on Monday and Tuesday would determine if the diplomas would be signed! Tuesday, June 12, we entertained our parents at the Sr.-Parent Banquet at the Presbyterian Church where our Wills and Prophesies were read. On June 13 we had practice for Commencement in the Auditorium. The next morning we practiced at Page Field. Since our class was large and Auditorium space would have limited seating for graduates and families, it was decided to hold the ceremonies outdoors. However, in case of rain, we had to have alternate plans for an indoor event. On Thursday, June 14 at 8:15 P.M. the first outdoor Graduation ceremonies were held at the John S. Page Field. Threatening rain held off but the mosquitoes did not! Dr. Mohr, the speaker reminded of us the four Cís; career, community, citizenship and character. Marion Mason, Valedictorian said " it is our destiny to make the best of whatever life may offer" and she "was proud of our class, they have the character, the dignity and the determination to succeed." Oliver Allbright, Salutatorian reminded us "people now have more free time, more money, and a variety of forms of recreation but despite this, manís need for education has not lessened.". Celebrations and festivities followed. The majority of the class had been together since the beginning of high school and when we walked across the stage we left a part of our life behind us. Since that day, the class has had four reunions. In 1966 (10th), l976 (20th), 1981 (25th) 1986 (30th) and 2001 marks our 45th.

The Howell Public School building continued to serve the community for a quarter of a century longer until 1981. The school was torn down on July 27,1983. Supt. John S. Page had served the school for 35 years when we graduated. A second boulder has been added to that site commemorating the building that we knew so well.

(Editorís note: Thank you Nancy for the tremendous job you did on this project. We all appreciate the many hours of work devoted to helping us remember our past.)