THIS IS OUR LIFE
… And there we were – all with glistening smiles hiding the frustration and anxiety that we felt inside. You see, it was our first day of school. After a while we relaxed, though, because we started having fun – something we have done for about 12 years now. It happened this way:
In one of the few quiet moments, Don Wykes spied a poor, defenseless mouse plodding across the room. It had apparently come from under the door of Miss Law’s locker, and was making tracks for the coat lockers. But poor mousey never reached his destination. Because Don let out a war whoop that might scare Geronimo himself, and started out in hot pursuit. Alas, poor mouse was pounced on after a mad scramble, because by that time, every boy in the first grade had joined in the chase. Amid squeals of horror from the girls – and Miss Law – a solemn procession of boys, headed by Don, went into the rest room and disposed of the mouse – and things haven’t quieted down since!
We gave a program that year about Holland. For the first time in our young lives, the girls "got to" wear make-up (the boys "had to")! In fact, the same powder puff was used on everyone! A week later everyone came down with the pink-eye! That was in the good ole days when we could afford to miss school, so we took advantage of our vacation.
Nicknames started that year as Donald Dock Wykes became – you guessed it – "Donald Duck"!
That fascinating thing called love visited our first grade. Outstanding couples were: Beth Pierce and Chet May, Lila Sprague and Johnny Lawrence, and Alan Kubik and Geraldine Hess. Later in the year we were fortunate to have a triangle as Alfred Lowe and Alan Kubik battled for the attention of Karen Marks. Ah! Love!
John Ryland, do you recall the day you told the class a "funny joke" you’d heard – which turned out to be a very shady story? Of course, we all went home and told our parents. We couldn’t understand why they were all so shocked! Anyway, we learned a good lesson, didn’t we, John? "Never repeat something unless you know what it means!"
We were sorry to leave Miss Law, but as we were ignorant of the situation like all first graders, we were looking forward to the second grade and more school. We were wise in one respect, though, because we knew we would have more fun, and we did!
September, 1946, rolled around and, looking all bight eyed and bushy-tailed, we embarked on our second-grade career with Miss Fitch, who didn’t know what she was getting into!
Lola Murrison and Judie Mattingly joined us. Lola made quite a name for herself as the toughest kid in the class. Even the boys were afraid of her. She was known on several occasions to grab one of the boys, sit on them, and pound their heads on the side walk.
On one particularly hair raising morning, Miss Fitch threatened to spank Don, who promptly set up a howl and declared that he was going home to tell his daddy. He got as far as the football field before he decided to return and forgive Miss Fitch.
It must have been that curly black hair that captured the hearts of the little girls and teachers alike. Anyway, Don got tired of all the attention he was receiving and gave himself a hair cut, which wasn’t too flattering, since he only left a few sprigs of hair on his scalp. But alas, the curls grew in just as gorgeious as ever, to the huge disgust of our lady-killer!
By the time we reached the third grade we were really feeling our oats. Mrs. McCoy was our teacher and we were joined by Bobby Cink and Judy Kollmorgen.
At recess the boys used to ride on each others shoulders and stage fights for the benefit of the girls. John Ryland was doing fine until he teamed up with Gary Watson. The load was too much for "Little Judge" who received a broken collar bone for his efforts.
Mrs. McCoy hit on the idea of operating a Post Office and General Store to teach us how to write letters and make change. For a while all went well, but the Post Office soon closed because of the amount of love letters in circulation.
In December, amid much weeping and wailing, Beth Pierce left us for Independence, Kansas.
This year was highlighted by the program we presented in February. The theme was "Everybody Has a Laughing Place," taken from one of the Uncle Remes stories. The program consisted of the following numbers – a piano solo by Dwain Jenista, a scarf dance by Phyllis Jackson, a reading "The Lilac Tree" by Lola Murrison, a spectacular roller skating act by Don Wykes, Helen Lister, Alan Kubik, and Vivan Maxwell, a tap dance by Chet May and Donnie Harbison, a hat box dance by Diana Perry, who popped up out of a huge hat box on stage and almost knocked it over getting out of it, an orchestral selection from the bandstand of Rodney Cook and his musical cookies, and Sibyl Ingle and Peggy Tharpe sang "The Best Things in Life are Free". For the Grand Finale, the class lustily sang "When you Rode a Bicycle" while Gary Gosnell careened around the stage on his bike.
The only mishap of the program occurred when Bobby Cink sat down on all the records 5 minutes before curtain time. Mrs. McCoy hastily secured a record of "Dance Ballerina, Dance" which was used for four numbers and the show went on!
In the 4th grade, Miss Bonnie Clark was our teacher and among those who joined us were Jane Peters and Carl Houchin.
As usual, Don Wykes was teacher’s pet. It seemed that we had to write reports about travel. Don decided he didn’t want to write one, so he told Miss Clark that he couldn’t think of anything to write, and she consented to help him write it. As it turned out, she wrote it for him and he got an A. Some people have all the luck, don’t they Don?
Two little girls weren’t as lucky as Don. Not hardly a day passed that you didn’t see Lola and Diana sitting out in the hall on two little chairs, paying the consequences of talking too much. It didn’t seem to bother them much, though, or they wouldn’t have been out there every day.
One day Alan Kubik came into his own by carving "Merry Christmas" on his desk in the middle of May. Mr. Branson promptly expelled him from school until he had the desk top refinished.
It cetainly wasn’t John Ryland’s fault Governor Dewey lost the presidential election! This was a crushing blow to John, after the campaign he had conducted.
This was the year that music-lovers thrilled to the strains of our own Tonnette Band. Anchors Aweigh was our most-performed number. But as, Chet May just couldn’t master it, so he had to write a theme as punishment!
We had two teachers our fifth grade year; Mrs. Shearer and Miss Lawrence took her place.
Because Miss Lawrence’s name was Irene, we thought it very fitting to sing "Good-Night Irene" to her. This would make her angry and she would lecture to us about obeying the teacher. After the sermon, Alfred would solemnly rise and pass his hat up and down the rows, and place the "Collection" of gum wrappers, spit balls, and tacks on her desk.
Kay and Chet spent an uneasy hour in the office because he pulled her pigtails and she, in turn, whacked him soundly with her Geography book. They sat on two little chairs in the office as a horrible example to all who passed by.
This was the year Lola broke her wrist. Mr. Branson, our health teacher, decided to demonstrate to the class how to bandage a broken wrist. Later, when Lola went to the doctor, he had an awful time getting the bandage off and wanted to know who had done it!!
We were on a strict honor system this year. If we taled without being called on, we were expected to put a check mark beside our name on the board. This seemed to work fine and Miss Lawrence thought we were very honest. What she didn’t know was that at recess a few marks were always erased by a few of us who decided we would rather be dishonest than have to stay in after school and copy a page out of the dictionary!!
Our sixth grade year we really made the most of being the big wheels of the grade school, which caused head-aches for Miss Patton.
The girls enjoyed the distinction of being the first women on safety patrol. This, of course, was a disgrace to the boys, who were teased by the 7th grade boys. They said they didn’t have girls on the patrol when they were in grade school. To get even, during a snow storm one day, Carl, Alfred, Don, and Chet filled the girl’s raincoat pockets with ice water. Loretta and Judie didn’t discover it until they got out on their shift and shoved their mittened hands deep into their pockets!!! This enraged the girls, who were sneezing and coughing for days afterwards! Alfred got kicked off the patrol because he always picked on the little boys!
Some of the hottest romances this year were Sibyl and Carl, Lola and Floyd Pryor, Diana and Don, and Judie and Alfred.
Our class decided that a grade school student Council should be organized. John Ryland and Diana Perry ran for President. After a hot campaign, John won by one vote. It seems that he voted for himself after persuading Diana to vote for him, too.
Alan Kubik gave a Halloween party this year in his barn. After everyone arrived, we guessed who was who. The only character no one knew was a little old lady who turned out to be a complete stranger, Alan’s friend, Jerome Niebaum. During the course of the evening, someone hit Jerome with a hammer and knocked him out. I wonder what his first impression of us was?
On Valentines Day we each had a valentine mail-box attached to our desk. Alfred bought a box of chocolates for Judie. He sneaked in during recess to deliver it, but her mailbox was too small, so he left it for our mailman to deliver. Imagine his dismay when he was selected mailman and had to give it to her in front of everyone!
In our seventh year we experienced one of the biggest thrills of our young lives when we moved to the high school building. The first morning, however, we marched in the auditorium and sat down in the senior seats. Imagine our embarrassment when Mr. Terrell told us to sit in the balcony, while the whole school died laughing!
This year we got to elect our first class officers. Our president was the old politician himself – John Ryland. Other officers were Sibyl Ingle, vice-president; Don Wykes, secretary-treasurer; and Diana Perry and Alfred Lowe represented us in student council.
The highlight of the year was the Jr. Hi. Operatta "KING KO-KO" a hilarious farce concerning the adventure of a group of Americans when their plane crashes on a south sea island. Who will ever forget Alfred’s immortal role as "O, No"? Miss Charlottee Smith, our music teacher, was the director. She couldn’t keep order very well, so she enlisted the aid of George Hutchens. He was supposed to stay backstage and keep us quiet, but he made more noise than we did! Incidentally, this was the last Jr. Hi. Operatta at CHS. I wonder why - - - ?
We were the big wheels in Jr. Hi. Our eighth grade year. Mrs. Ancell was our teacher and we welcomed Geraldine Hess, Jim Bolte, and Beth Pierce.
Class officers this year were Alfred Lowe, president; Lloyd Reeves, vice-president; and Don Wykes, secretary-treasurer. Don served us in this capacity for several years, because before each election he would get up and beg the class not to make him be secretary again. So, he was always elected! Sibyl Ingle and John Ryland were student council representatives.
Judie Mattingly, Lola Murrison, and Sibyl Ingle were Jr. Hi. cheerleaders. Although we are now famous as the class that has never experienced a football loss in high schoool, our eighth grade season wasn’t quite as brilliant --- with 5 losses and no wins.
Sibyl Ingle was our football queen candidate and Mary Bobek and Chet May were Jr. Hi. annual king and queen candidates.
We had quite a social whirl this year with three class parties. Two were skating parties and the other was a Christmas party at the IOOF hall. For this occasion, Chet, Don and Carl astounded us by baking an angel food cake, which was really delicious, although we were a bit afraid to try it.
This year there were several hot romances – Lola and Don, Sibyl and Richard Self, Diana and Chet and Beth and Alan. Duane Nulik made a play for Loretta, but somehow, it didn’t last long, did it, Loretta?
Our freshman year we greeted alarge number of county kids and some from out of town. Among them were: Phyllis Buresh, John Dillard, Bob Grimm, James Hajek, Beth Hardesty, Geraldine Hess, Wayne Johnson, Clifford Johnson, Judy Kollmorgen, Herb Lacey, Arlene Larson, Larry Lee, Marilyn Lungren, [Jerome Niebaum], Marilyn Nulik, Jane Peters, and Ralph Wedman.
Sibyl Ingle was class president, Diana Perry was vice-president and as usual Don Wykes was secretary-treasurer. Lola Murrison and Richard Self represented us in student council. When Richard left Max Merritt was elected to take his place. Our football queen candidate was Jane Peters. Lola Murrison and John Dillard were the annual royalty candidates.
Carl bought his famous little green and yellow chevy roadster this year. It was christened "Ella" and sported more dash-board gadgets than any other car in town. One Sunday afternoon, Lola, who was just learning to drive, begged Carl to let her drive Ella. He didn’t trust her too much so he let her steer while he operated the foot controls. They took off with 10 or 15 passengers down a deserted country road at a good clip until they approached a flock of unfortunate chickens. Too late! Two old roasters never knew what hit ‘em.
The big mush crush this year was Beth Pierce and Alan Kubik. One day, soon after he started driving, Kubik was touring around town with Beth in the front seat. He must not have seen the truck coming from the west, because moments later he was examining what used to be a good Dodge. Better watch that one-arm driving, Kube!!
Of course, none of us will ever forget Mr. Martin’s 4th hour Algebra class. On certain days, when the subject got too dry for us, we would have contests to see who could guess the most correct number of distances between different cities. Mr. Martin always awarded the winners a Bluejay eversharp from the office safe. That class was really a riot, wasn’t it, Mr. Martin?
Our class officers our sophomore year were president, John Dillard; vice-president, Jerome Niebaum; and secretary-treasurer, Lloyd Reeves.
We elected Chet May and Jane Peters as our representatives to Student council and Mr. And Mrs. Roger Clay were our sponsors.
The class of ’57 was not the "Forgotten Sophomores" for long! Our candidate, Diana Perry, was football queen for 1955. Max Merritt and Sibyl Ingle were candidates for the Annual King and Queen. Lola Murrison was elected cheerleader.
Early in the year, Alan Kubik broke his ankle playing soccer in physical education. John Ryland must have had something in mind when he and Alan tangled that day for soon afterwards, John was seen working in Cornell’s Drug Store.
Another casualty this year was Max Merritt, who, in trying to impress Lola Murrison with his bravery, fell out of a swing and broke his wrist. It seemed the trick worked, for Lola and Max started going together soon afterwards.
Remember when Don Wykes, Beth Hardesty, Jane Peters, Chet May, Arlene Larson and others stayed in after school a half-hour each night for two weeks for trying to hold their own "private picnic" during one of our class parties? This was also the year that we attempted to hold a hay-rack ride in the school bus, which was highly successful.
Picking roses was a favorite pastime this year until La Rae Foster fell through a cellar door at one of Lola Murrison’s slumber-less parties. Remember La Rae, always look before you leap!
To round out the year’s activities, several members of the class served as waiters and waitresses at the Jr.-Sr. banquet. We all looked forward to next year when we would be BIG juniors.
In September of 1955, we entered our Junior year. Class officers this year were Jerome Niebaum, Alfred Lowe, Marilyn Lungren and Beth Hardesty. Our class sponsors were Mrs. Nispel and Mr. Hopkins.
Our football queen candiate was Lola Murrison and our annual king and queen candidates were Chet May and Jane Peters. This year John Dillard became vice-president of student council, and our class representatives were Max Merritt and Diana Perry. Sibyl Ingle was president of pep club.
New "junior steadies" this year were: Don Wykes and Sibyl Ingle, and Jim Bolte and Beth Hardesty. Still together for the second year were: Max and Lola, and Carl and Judy. Love bloomed forth in all its splendor for Bob Grimm and Geraldine Hess.
This was a busy year for the "class of ‘57". First came our magazine sale. Our next order business was to select and purchase our class rings. In December we presented our Junior Play, "A Dance With Our Miss Brooks." The cast was headed by Marilyn Lungren as Miss Brooks and was directed by Helen Knowles.
Diana Perry won the local Federated Clubs Citizenship Essay contest. She then won 1st place in 5th District and 3rd place in the State Contest.
In April of 1956, after many weeks of hard work, we presented our beautiful banquet, "Rhapsody In Blue."
Speaking of the banquet, it seems the Wellington police did not approve of the private part held in Wellington Park by Dwain and Alan and their dates.
Waving good-by to the "class of ‘56" we were now ready to enter our own Senior year and the last lap of our journey toward graduation.
In September 1956, we began the last year of our journey. This year our class officers were Chet May, president; Marilyn Lungren, vice-president; Jane Peters, secretary; and Diana Perry, treasurer. John Dillard was president of Student Council and Diana Perry was secretary. Our representatives were Lola Murrison and Max Merritt. Marilyn Lungren served as president of FHA. Loretta Ehlers led Kayettes, Jane Peters headed Pep Club, Alfred Lowe was president of Kays, La Rae Foster and Alfred Lowe were editors of the "Bluejay" and the band had a successful year with Sibyl Ingle as President. Congratulations for jobs well-done kids! Mr. Penner and Miss Durgan were our class spopnsors.
Our first big event this year was when we won the football queen contest with Beth Hardesty as our queen.
Perhaps the proudest and happiest height of our high school career was the Medicine Lodge football game. It marked the end of four years without a single defeat, one of the finest records in the state. Congratulations, boys, and special congratulations to Alfred Lowe who was elected All-State Gridman.
Another highlight of our senior year was when we won the annual contest with John Ryland as king and Marilyn Lungren as queen.
Perhaps the biggest night of all was when we all came forth with our talent for "Senior Talent Night." Our "candy-cuties" were the cutest ever. Chet May also made quite a hit as a "little lost boy".
Mr. Penner had one of the roughest times yet in constitution. John Ryland always kept us informed of the latest news. Sports news, that is. Some how that just wasn’t what Mr. Penner had in mind.
On April 26, the junior class feted us with a very beautiful banquet, "Under the Sea." We elected Larry Struble and Carole Massey as king and queen.
We believe that we have the largest Twelve Year Club ever to graduate here. Those who are sill with us from the first grade are Sibyl Ingle, Diana Perry, Kay Ingram, Loretta Ehlers, Phyllis Jackson, John Ryland, Don Wykes, Alfred Lowe, Chet May, Pat Fellingham, LaRae Foster, Lila Sprague, Rodney Cook, Dwain Jenista, and Alan Kubik.
On Friday morning, May 10th, 37 seniors and sponsors left by chartered bus on their senior trip to Kansas City. We saw the Ford plant, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Cinerama. Although we were drooping after the 24-hour jaunt, we agreed it was great fun.
A solemn and memorable occasion was Baccalaureate Service held Sunday evening, May 12th. Reverend Bill Reed of the First Baptist Church was speaker.
Many seniors took out for parts unknown on Monday, May 13th. You guessed it ----- Senior Skip Day. A bang-up time was reported!
We enjoyed a lot of laughs and shed a few tears at our Senior Assembly on Tuesday, May 14th. We will always remember that day as our last appearance in CHS.