November 20, 2011

Once was lost, but now is found: my 51-year old Division Avenue High School diploma

Almost all of us have moved a few if not many times in our lives. For me, it has been six times since I left my family's home on Levittown's Hyacinth Road in the mid 1960s.

Therefore, my 1960 Division Avenue High School diploma has been packed and unpacked that many times. While moving from San Diego to Las Vegas in 2005, I thought that the diploma had been safely tucked away. But maybe it had been inadvertently tossed with a few thousand pounds of stuff that we trashed. Why pay a moving van company to ship items that you no longer care about? But it was not like me to dump such a precious memory.

Last week, I was going through some old file folders and found two particularly interesting items, including the diploma. The other was a receipt dated March 31, 1928 from the Excelsior Stables on Adelphi Street in Brooklyn. My grandfather owned a company that sold dairy products, mostly butter and eggs.

To transport his goods, Grandpa Barning had trucks as well as wagons pulled by horses. I suspect that by 1928, many of the horses had been replaced with motorized vehicles. However, the receipt was for boarding one horse, $42.50 for a month. I had stumbled upon the receipt in his attic in Forest Hills, NY when I was about eight-years old, in 1950. I have no idea why I saved it, but now it is a treasure, a photo of which will be posted in my Ancestry.Com account.

Concerning the Division Avenue diploma, I wonder if many others who graduated in the 1960s still have theirs. With all the moves we make in a lifetime, it would be a miracle if many have survived. Surprisingly fewer than you might imagine still have their yearbooks.

If the Levittown Historical Society is interested, my diploma from Division's first graduating class will be donated to them.


Anonymous said...


I have my DAHS'62 Diploma, my yearbook and my "cuts" (tank top) from Varisity track, but have lost my U of MD degree.

Jack Jacobsen, "62

Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

I think I burned mine!!! Not really- those were the report cards!! I know I have seen in somewhere over the last decade or so... must hunt it down when I have nothing else to do...maybe in another 50 years or so! But I do have my Varsity Cheer Award! Kept the important stuff!