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Non-Graduate Classmates

[Click any image to enlarge.]

As I studied the photos of our graduating classes (elementary and junior high—see bottom of page), I was amazed at the number of classmates who did not—for various reasons—wind up graduating with us in June of 1955.

According to the list in the Staples commencement program, there were 161 of us that night belting out “When You Walk Through A Storm”. (Please take a well-deserved bow, John O’Hanion. It was pretty uplifting as I recall.)

After studying these photos I was able to identify 63 classmates not on the graduation list! Amazing! Plus another 18 from Saugatuck Elementary, 12 from Gilbert & Bennett, 3 from Bedford Elementary and another 17 or so from our 9th grade photo whom I could not identify either.

We’re talking 113 or more classmates who went elsewhere before high school graduation—62% of the size of our graduating class. Amazing! A school-age lesson in demographic entropy

Now, I am not deliberately ignoring the 800-lb. “Who cares!?” in the middle of the chat room here. I can just hear Don and Vinny now: “Who but the demented cares about such ancient history, Clifford…!? Get a life!”

Yes, indeed. Perhaps I should get a life.


We do have this here website: staples55.com. We do have these photos from our reunions and the yearbook and from classmate memorabilia from way back when. What should be done with them…? Anything?

Well, maybe nothing should be done with them. Maybe they should continue gathering dust in the attic.

On the other hand maybe it’s good to have a kind of online scrapbook of our early school days—including those who moved on before high school graduation. Once upon a time we did go to Bedford, Saugatuck, Greens Farms, Weston and Wilton elementary schools… We did go on (a majority of us) to Horace C. Hurlbutt and Bedford junior high schools. And then most of us moved on to Staples.

I’m thinking of a scene from that the movie, Shawshank Redemption, where Brooks—finding himself released from prison after decades behind bars and failing miserably at fitting into his new lifestyle as a free man—makes a final affirmation of his existence by carving his name in an overhead beam in the halfway house room where he’d been consigned:

“Brooks was here!”

And then he hanged himself.

Maybe collecting and displaying this little history of our lives is a way of affirming our existence (without the extreme of the rope around the neck thing…).

We wuz here, too!

(Besides all of which it gives me the opportunity to keep my HTML skills somewhat alive…:-).

Non-graduate list…

So here is my list of “non-grads” in the table below in alpha order by last (school) name. Referring to the captions in the class photos on this page, please help me identify those labeled “Who?”. In addition—if you think of any others not in the photos, please send me their names, as well (and photos, if you have any). Note: The “School” column designates the Westport school the classmate last attended.

Lost Along the Way, Class of 1955
Name Last School Remarks
Allen, Charles BJH No idea what happened to Charlie.
Aubry, Paul Bedford El
Beaudry, Joan Hurlbutt
Boone, Penn Anne GFarms El
Buddy, Mason BJH
Buggle, Fintan Staples
Bullard, Geoffrey Staples Went off to private school at Choate.
Buttery, Betty Lou Bedford El
Carrera, Marilyn Bedford El
Caselnova, Martin BJH
Chisholm, Ronald GFarms El “Chappie”. Priesthood following school?
Cohn, Arlene BJH Left after 7th grade, I believe… :-(
Colley, Brenda BJH Transferred to Darien middle school (sigh…).
Cummings, John Staples Repeated 11th grade. Killed raking leaves by DWI.
Daskam, Marion Staples Repeated 11th grade. Killed raking leaves by DWI.
Dooling, Eugene Staples “Beans”. Last we heard, living in Montana.
Duffy, Audrey GFarms El
Edwards, William Staples US Navy?
Farr, Terry Gilbert & B
Feeny, Hubert Staples Locally with US Post Office. Now deceased.
Finnegan, Richard BJH Theater production company, NYC.
Frawley, Robert BJH
Freeman (Ohanian), Donald BJH College, teaching, corporate, now living in western MA.
Giordano, Dorothy Staples
Garlick, Clifford Staples
Givitosky, Sergei Bedford El
Goodsell, Tracy Staples
Graham, Margo Gilbert & B
Grecula, Ronald Staples Bridgeport, engineering, imprisoned on terrorism charge.
Hale, Alan Staples A fellow fiddler!
Handley, Kenneth Hurlbutt
Hansen, John GFarms El
Hinkelbein, Charles BJH Moved to Plattsburg, NY, in 8th grade.
Hotchkiss, Alan BJH
Hyman, Michael BJH Graduated following post-surgery (London) makeup work.
Jennings, Robert GFarms El
Johnson, Barbara Hurlbutt
Kaestens, William Gilbert & B
Lawson, Sandra Staples Not on commencement list…?
Malkin, Gary Staples Not on commencement list like brother George…? Married Judy Schacte.
Mann, Roy GFarms El
Marquis, Paul Bedford El
Masiello, Richard Staples Trade school?, Army, Masiello Bus Co., Westport. Now deceased.
McKenna, Janet GFarms El
McKeon, John GFarms El
Meguire, Terry Staples Graduated from Frankurt American School, Germany.
Mills, Dicky Bedford El Lived briefly on Clinton Ave.
Morgan, Thomas Bedford El
Mumma, Russell Staples Not on commencement list…? Music promotion career.
Nazzaro, John BJH
Norris, Sophia Bedford El “Dutchie”. Greenwich private school in 7th grade.
O’Sullivan, Stephen Staples Not on commencement list…?
Palmer, Richard Staples Not on commencement list…?
Pendergast, Peter Staples
Perry, Vincent Staples
Ranholm, Richard BJH (?)
Reynolds, Penny Wilton Center
Robinson, Richard Hurlbutt
Sadtler, Mary Field Staples Moved to Fairfield.
Schacte, Judy Staples Not on commencement list…? Married Gary Malkin.
Scott, Charles GFarms El
Sepper, Duane GFarms El
Simmons, Terry BJH
Sprague, Frank Bedford El
Strachan, John Bedford El
Swanson, Caddy Staples Note comment, below.
Taylor, Taylor GFarms El
Tuach, William Saugatuck El
Theleen, Carol GFarms El “Nonee”. Moved to Louisville, KY… :-( Teacher.
Van Duesen, Wallace Hurlbutt
Weigel, Mary Gilbert & B
Willette, Patricia GFarms El
Yost, William GFarms El

Graduation photos…

These are the best (only) photos I have to date. As soon as anyone identifies those designated “Who?”, I will update the captions.

Greens Farms Elementary, Class of 1949…

[Clifford] Greens Farms Elementary class of 1949.

Saugatuck Elementary, Class of 1949…

[Saviano] Saugatuck Elementary class of 1949.

Bedford Junior High, Class of 1952…

[Basta] Bedford Junior High class of 1952.