October 29, 2010

The creation of the first Division Avenue High yearbook in 1960

By Dewain Lanfear, 1960

There are a couple of ways to think about the 1960 yearbook, which has been discussed previously in this blog. One could tell of its significance (nostalgia) or its location (lost long ago). No one has chosen to talk about its creation. Pages 144 and 145 of the first yearbook from DAHS has pictures of the staff that got the whole thing going. The group picture of the staff is at the top of this page. Somehow, I missed the photo shoot.

What I remember most was that we nearly missed every deadline for the production of that book, a habit I didn't break until my 40s. Anyway, Neal Manly, Karen Balos, Connie Drakos, Russ Green, Larry Bory, John General, Ellen Rees your blogger- in-chief Frank Barning and others who have the right to feel slighted that I didn't remember to list them, worked long hours the night before pages were due to put the book together. We had no model to go by and pretty much made it up as we went along. Working on the yearbook was a great excuse to miss the occasional class, but the real work was done in panic mode usually at Connie's house. Clearly it was a task worth doing.

I was editor in chief. Russ and Larry did finance (got the ads), Frank was sports editor. Other jobs were parceled out, but I have no clue who did what. Lots of people that I mentioned did a heck of a job laying out the pages and typing the captions (activities) for everyone. Also, all the underclass students had to be identified. It was a group effort, but 50 years later we know how much it was worth.

I still have my copy and I look through it once in a while to remember people and events from that time. Who knew the things that would happen, the friends we would never see again, the ones we would never lose, the way the internet would allow us to reconnect, with Frank's help. When you look at our faces in that book, who could guess the things we would accomplish, the places we would go. There was a lot of anxiety in those years, there has been much since, but except for my family, I've never been with a group that meant more to me than you all.

I have acquaintances from college, memories from the Army, colleagues from work, and former students whom I'll never forget, but none of them mean as much as the class of '60. And that's the truth. The turnout at our reunion was amazing and the satellite reunions in Vegas last April and the Key West gathering this coming February are examples of how we have stayed together.

Merrill Clark 1962: Bob Sharkey, in 1962, was truly the best dressed of our class but did not win the award. Bob worked at a men's clothing store and I think every penny he made went into buying clothes.

Dewain Lanfear wrote that he was witness to the validity of voting for the different categories, but in the case of my class, I don't remember a vote. I only remember that there were a number of questionable "winners", myself included. Tony Pace - most athletic? What about Gary Parker? Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Inasmuch as all this is history and shouldn't matter to anyone, my guess is that everything done in high school was not exactly "kosher".

Lynn Smith Dos Santos 1965: Regarding the subject of yearbooks, mine is very dear to me because I was the Copy Editor for it. In that job, somehow I got two yearbooks, one with my name engraved on the cover and the one I paid for. In 1992, I met my current husband Larry Dos Santos (Class of '64) and he also has his yearbook. I lost my college yearbook several moves ago but our DAHS yearbooks are one of our treasures in our home.

Arnie Galeota 1961: I still have my yearbook. It's kind of beat up with the 14 different times I've moved since 1993 but I have it. To me it's my memories of a fantastic time in my life, ones that I hate to let go of. It's true we can't live in the past or dwell on it either, but our lives consist of memories and those were some of the best for me.

I didn't realize then how good life really was, but I do now. A few comments made to me by a few teachers were to study harder. I guess they had the insight to know how uninterested I was in the academic portion of a school day and they tried to give me a heads up. I should have listened.

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