Saturday, May 27, 2023

1960s Yearbook Photo Subjects Swear They're Actually Students

The people below all claim they were high school seniors in the 1960s when these yearbook photos were taken.

The question is: Should we believe them?

Louise Ulrich was a tutor and a cafeteria helper in high school, but swears that's the closest she ever came to actually being on the faculty. "Although one time," she admits, "and I've never told anyone this before -- I was asked to the Spring Formal by the janitor. But I had the good sense to turn him down. Never trust a man who holds all the keys."

Dan Givens laughs when asked if he was a student in this photo. "Of course I was a student. If I'd been a teacher, why, who'd have filled the vital role of class clown?"

Beth Jameson was the star of the girls' track team, swim team, and basketball team, so it's no wonder people tried to accuse her of being too old to play. Says Beth: "The coaches from our rival school sent spies over to my house, trying to get some dirt on me. I sicced my dogs on 'em. One of my finest high school memories. Well, that and winning the state championship."


Jimmy Kenmore laughs when you suggest he might have been a teacher, not a student, when this photo was taken. "To tell you the truth, I was as smart as, if not smarter than all the teachers," says he. "In a game of mind prowess, I could've bested any of them." In a game of humility, on the other hand....

Doug Ellis bristles when he gets asked how old he was in this photo. "I was an early bloomer, that's all! I was 6-foot-4 by the time I was 13. I got made fun of constantly. And all you're doing right now is taking me back to a very dark place, which I really don't appreciate."

Geraldine Swift had an illustrious career on the school's stage, playing everything from Aunt Eller in Oklahoma to Sister Margaretta in The Sound Of Music. "I know I looked a bit older than the other kids at the time," she says, "But the joke's on them -- because I still look like this today! Not bad for 75, wouldn't you say?"

Shirley Ambrose (nee Taylor) swears this is, in fact, a picture of her in high school. "I've been called an old soul before, but to suggest I wasn't a teenager in this photo? Absurd! Look at that angelic, wrinkle-less face! LOOK AT IT!" 

Jerry Saunders chuckles at the idea that he could've been an adult in this picture. "I was seventeen, still with the hope that someday I would grow into my ears the way my mother promised I would. Well, guess what, mom? Turns out that's not the way things work."

Janet Baynard concedes that her glasses here may have looked quite swanky, but "they were really just cheap metal. And my parents paid for them, of course. I never could have afforded to buy my own. I made thirty cents an hour babysitting back then. Or was it an afternoon? All I remember is the thirty cents part."

"I eventually became a grandfather," says Max Portonomy. "Let's see, there's Michael... Riley...  Emmalynn... Gracelynn... Lakelynn... Summerlynn... and I think I might be forgetting one of the -lynns. But when this photo was taken, I was not a grandfather yet. I was just eighteen."

Roy Boyd may be smiling in this photo, but rumor has it he grows quite contentious when questioned about his age. "Look, just because I looked like a time travelling soldier from the Boxer Rebellion does NOT mean I actually was one."

Mary Sylvan (nee Hunsworth) sighs when she looks at this photo. "I think about those days and I can still smell the Noxzema mingled with the smoke pouring from the teachers' lounge. I can hear the lockers slamming, the tennis shoes squeaking against the newly-shellacked gym floor, the chalk shrieking against the chalkboards. What a time to be seventeen."

If you ask Michael Carmody about his age in this photo, he'll threaten to march down to the bank and get his birth certificate out of his safe deposit box and prove to you that he was 18 when this photo was taken. When you ask him which bank that is, be becomes eerily silent.

Chuck Freedmont, bless his soul, died in Vietnam in 1970, but his gravestone gives us all the evidence we need: he was but 17 in this photo.
Thank you for your service, Chuck. 

Kathy Carlton (nee Parker) has one thing to say about those who suggest she wasn't actually a student in this photo: "Are you suggesting I was faculty? I HATED high school! After I left that place, I never looked back. To think some people actually choose to go back there... it's astonishing!" 

"Of course I was a student in this picture," says Judith Grout. "Not that anyone at that school will actually remember me. I was only there for two weeks." Why only two weeks? "Look, I don't ask you painful questions about your past, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't ask me any about mine."


Francine Yarbor insists she was only seventeen in this photo, but admits that "one time I did cover for the Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Edwards, when she suddenly became ill. I had her sit down in a chair in the corner and I took over the lesson. I could make a mean bolognese sauce in those days."

"Yes, of course I was a teenager in this picture," says Martin Smith. "I've always been a teenager. Why, who wants to know?"

Larry Kirke insists he was a teenager in this photo, but "I'm well aware I looked like an adult. And don't think I didn't use that to my advantage. I used to bully the underclassmen something awful. Gave 'em detention all the time. It was all in good fun, though. Heh heh. No hard feelings, I hope!"

Ed Bunner later became a math teacher, "But when this photo was taken, I was just a seventeen-year-old boy, stressing out over how to ask Susan Birney to the homecoming dance. By the time I got up the nerve to ask her, she'd already agreed to go with Dan Stetzler. I'll never live that down."


Harold Casterson swears that the subject in this photo was only seventeen, but he can't be quite as sure the subject is, in fact, Harold Casterson. "My triplet brothers and I were always switching places and trying to mix other people up. But sometimes it backfired and sometimes they mixed us up. I'm 99% certain this picture is actually of Gerald."

Jeanie Elmore (nee McKinley) says she was "exactly eighteen years old" when this photo was taken. "I remember because it was my birthday. I was excited because Gary -- he later became my husband, you know -- was going to take me out that evening. Sometimes we'd drive up to Patterson's Hill and park and watch the sunset. And don't you get any ideas about what went on up there. First of all, I was a lady, and he was a gentleman. Why, we didn't even kiss until our eighth or ninth date. Lord knows why I'm telling you all this."


    Susan Graham (nee Clifford) has only this to say: "Of course I was a student. Most teachers would, I assume, have had enough sense not to try to cut their own bangs the day before Picture Day."

"All right, so I was almost nineteen in this photo," admits Bill Watkins, Jr. "I had to repeat the first grade so I was one of the older seniors. But there's no shame in that. In fact, I was the envy of all my friends when I got my driver's license freshman year. Of course, my parents hardly ever let me borrow the car, so it was all pretty pointless."

    Bonnie Drake (nee Kirkwood) spent a lot of time with teachers when she was in high school, but she insists she wasn't one of them. "I was in the Future Secretary Training Program and I helped out in the library all four years of high school," says Bonnie. "I also volunteered after school, clapping erasers. Oh, and on weekends, I would wash the principal's car. He was very particular about that car."

Paul Hendricks admits he was "a rather imposing fella" at the age of 18. "I did break a few jaws and knock out a few lights," he says. "But it was all in good fun. Could I have gotten away with that as a teacher, could I? I mean, maybe, back then, come to think of it...."


Recalls Frank Bradower: "I lived in one of the roughly 12 U.S. states that -- in those days -- had a drinking age of 21. Did I always respect that law? No, I did not. Did I sometimes pretend to be 21 and buy beer for my friends? Yes, I did. Uh... we're past the statute of limitations on all that, right? Did I just incriminate myself? But yeah... I was I was eighteen in this photo. And probably very hungover."

Marjorie Chalmers says she once set a bunch of frogs loose in the bio lab out of protest. "And then, wouldn't you know it, 15-odd years later, that kid in E.T. does the exact same thing, and that movie becomes the highest grossing moving of the entire year! And did I even get my name in the credits? Did that director ever return my calls? No on BOTH counts!"


Donna Leeman (nee Pierce) died under mysterious circumstances in 1984, but her children have been able to uncover her original birth certificate, and they insist the dates prove she was, in fact, a mere 17 in this photo. "We may never know how or why mom ended up under that vending machine," says her son, Dennis. "but we prefer to think of her happier days... like in high school... which, now that I think about it... well, never mind."

Joan Ross (nee Tompkins) says: "Believe it or not, I was actually only sixteen in this photo. I skipped second grade. I was a bright little thing. I was actually invited to be the subject in several scientific studies. I looked at at ever so many inkblots." Study invitations may have abounded, but party invitations from her fellow peers were far and few between, were they not? "Yes," admits Joan, "no one liked me. Mother says they were just jealous."


Joe Meyers admits he may have committed the sin of mixing opposing patterns in his outfit choices, but lie about his age? "Never!"

Sharon Hall (nee Fencer) looks back on this photo fondly. "Ah, the mid-60s! What a lovely time to be a teen. It was right before people began burning everything. You know, draft cards... bras.... well, it was mostly just those two things... although we all knew at least one neighbor who fell asleep holding a cigarette and burned down their house. Those were the days."


Jerry Small thinks he has all the proof he needs that he was only seventeen here. "This was taken my senior year, the year I met my future wife, Janice. She was also seventeen. We've always been the same age. So unless you're suggesting that she's a liar... in which case, I've got a knuckle sandwich right here for ya."

Thomas Beverson admits he's told a few white lies about his age over the years, but why shouldn't he? "Oh, of course I never tell anyone my exact age... currently I tell people I'm forty-nine. I've been using that one for about ten years. It's a good age. Don't I look it? I do, don't I? You want to know my secret? I'll tell you... One word: moisturizer. It makes all the difference. You may quote me."

Says the now-seventysomething subject of this photo: "That was me all right. Patricia Johnstone. Seventeen-and-a-half. Miserable as all get-out. But boy howdy, look at me now! I go by Uneartha Jewell, now. I own two AirBnBs, and I have four kids, eleven grandkids, and a whole passel of poodles. And if you ever commit murder anywhere in the vicinity of Glendale, Arizona, just give me a call and I'll hook you up with the best defense lawyer in town. That's a promise."

Nancy Keenley (nee Sorensen) was mistaken for a teacher more than once while in high school. "She eventually started using that to her advantage," her daughter, Kim, tells us. "She started spending 4th period in the teacher's lounge, puffing away on Camels. At least we had a few good years together. Rest in peace, Mom."  

"I know I looked young," says Marilyn Cambridge (nee Rotthauser): "But what I would give to have the face of a teenager and the mind of an intellectual in her 30s forever. Not any younger than 30, mind you, because nobody's very smart before they're 30... and then by 40 your begin to lose your brain functions, as everyone knows. 35 is the perfect age. Which I'm totally NOT in this picture, I swear."  

So those are our yearbook subjects who all insist they were teenagers in their photos.

Now what if I told you...

Six of these people were lying?

Yes, it's true. Six of the above were actually teachers, not students.

But which six? Can you guess?

Write down your six guesses and then come back.

Highlight over the text below for the answers...

The teachers' first names all start with the letter M.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Glossy Time Capsules #37: Guide For The Bride - Fall, 1956

 Glossy Time Capsules #37

Guide For The Bride

Fall, 1956

Price: 50 cents

All right, dime store Audrey Hepburn, tell me... was being a bride in 1956 something to envy?

Or should I thank my lucky stars I wasn't one?

Actually, I have a more pressing question...

How did prospective brides...

...ever manage make a decision...

... about silverware?


But yeah, half of this magazine is ads trying to sell the soon-to-be-wed couple household items. And without a Target Gift Registry to be had, there were plenty of personal decisions to be made about...

 Small appliances...


(All this can be yours IF the Price Is Right!)

Cookware and kitchenware...

And in order to have a perfect wedding night of holding hands, a good mattress is a must....

The average age for marriage in the U.S. in the 1950s was 23 for men and 20 for women, which almost accounts for the way this magazine assumes women don't know how to do basic tasks, such as organizing a closet...

having a job...

...home decorating...

... throwing a party...

....and, most challenging of all, going grocery shopping...

Of course, this magazine had plenty of advice to give on the wedding itself, including ads for, and information about, wedding dresses...

(I hope then-7-year-old Vera Wang was getting some serious inspiration from these pages.)

This magazine offered some pointers on what a wedding ceremony should look like...

And the magazine's advertisers definitely wanted you to pick (and pay for) a particular honeymoon destination...


No, wait... Miami Beach.


Nope... still Miami Beach.


... yay, not Miami Beach!

In fact, it looks like Pennsylvania was trying to be a serious contender in the honeymoon game...

Meanwhile, back when Cuba was a viable option...

Oooh, Scotland...?

Nope. Miami Beach strikes again.

Curse you, Miami Beach!

Hey, let's check out some NEAT THINGS YOU SHOULD BUY!

Well, that's about it. But if this has inspired you to start planning your own wedding ceremony and/or run screaming, my job here is done.

For more glossy time capsules, click here!