[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…:-).
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|
|Allen, Charles||BJH||No idea what happened to Charlie.|
|Aubry, Paul||Bedford El|
|Boone, Penn Anne||GFarms El|
|Bullard, Geoffrey||Staples||Went off to private school at Choate.|
|Buttery, Betty Lou||Bedford El|
|Carrera, Marilyn||Bedford El|
|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.|
|Freeman (Ohanian), Donald||BJH||College, teaching, corporate, now living in western MA.|
|Givitosky, Sergei||Bedford El|
|Graham, Margo||Gilbert & B|
|Grecula, Ronald||Staples||Bridgeport, engineering, imprisoned on terrorism charge.|
|Hale, Alan||Staples||A fellow fiddler!|
|Hansen, John||GFarms El|
|Hinkelbein, Charles||BJH||Moved to Plattsburg, NY, in 8th grade.|
|Hyman, Michael||BJH||Graduated following post-surgery (London) makeup work.|
|Jennings, Robert||GFarms El|
|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.|
|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…?|
|Ranholm, Richard||BJH (?)|
|Reynolds, Penny||Wilton Center|
|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|
|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|
These are the best (only) photos I have to date. As soon as anyone identifies those designated “Who?”, I will update the captions.