Friday, June 8, 2012

We are the Class of '47

It's that time of year again - high school graduation time!  I remember mine like it was yesterday - actually, I don't remember much of it except the glorious realization that I was finally DONE.  I loved college, despised high school.  For the most part.

My high school was John Hughes-esque.  I grew up in an affluent suburb of Green Bay, WI, but we were not affluent ourselves.  It was all so very "Pretty in Pink", except for the punk-like clothing and getting kicked out of gym class (incidentally, this movie came out the year I graduated).  :D

But I digress!  This post is about the Class of '47, not the Class of '86!

Take a look at these programs - they're 65 years old this year.  They're very nicely printed for the time!  Another cool thing about the fact that they're from 1947 is that some of the graduates are already WWII vets, who probably went into the Merchant Marines when they were 16 and are finally matriculating with their own high school.  Some of those guys could've been in their twenties!

Maybe it's just me being middle-aged, but it seems like high school graduation meant a lot more back in the day.  Students seemed to know more, teachers seemed more like college professors, the whole attitude seemed more...important. It also seems like less ridiculousness or "silliness" was tolerated and students were expected to WORK.   I wish I had a time machine and could see for myself - maybe I'm wrong.  One thing's for sure - they spoke and wrote better, at least in the yearbooks.

Okay, back to the ephemera - it doesn't end with the programs!  I should tell you at this point that all of the items in this post are from one packet that I bought at one of my wonderful estate sales - for $1.25.  Yep, a buck twenty-five for ALL of it!

Another item included is this wonderful photo!  Alas, it's just a photocopy (darn) but it's great nevertheless.  That's another thing that strikes me as different - the kids seems so much more adult-looking, don't they?  In a way, maybe they were - in our current culture, kids aren't really expected to 'grow up' now until they're 30; back then (which is my Grammie's time), you either went to college or you got to work.  Many of these kids got married right away!  And they didn't even "have to"!  :D

This last piece is a little bittersweet - the 40th reunion program for the same class.  I wonder if they're going to have a 65th reunion this year?  Sadly, I wonder how many of the class remain?  They'd be 83 now.  I hope they do - I would love to be in the room and listen to their collective stories of their lifetimes.  I'm sure I could write a book about all their experiences.


  1. Cool stuff! I have a 1942 diploma and commencement program from Rosendale Union High School (in WI) that I found in a box of papers from a garage sale. I was going to see if the Rosendale Historical Society would want it, and if not then I would use it for a collage.

    1. That's a great idea, Kristi! I'll bet they'd love it! :D