the times

Notes from our high school years

Thanks, Cecile for going through issues of School Daze!

Freshman year 1957-58
The class started the year with 17 members. Bill Garner moved to Idaho Springs, Colorado, and Max McClarey moved to King City. Later in the year Georgetta Mitchell came from Easton to join our class, and Charlie Gordon returned.

Officers were: Don Carrel, president; Ronnie Young, vice president; and Linda Schnitker, secretary-treasurer. Mr. Copeland was chosen sponsor. Other teachers were Mr. Ceglenski, Mr. Mollenkopf, Mr. Merkle, Mrs. Graham and  Mrs. Hall. 

Our initiation party held August 30, compliments of the senior class who did our makeup.  Our sponsor, Mr. Copeland, had to make a speech on "Why I like the senior Class better than the freshman class."  We also had a softball tournament and refreshments.

President Don Carrel called the first meeting of the freshman class to order the fourth period, September 23. He opened the discussion with questions about a float for the homecoming parade. The idea that was chosen was the slogan "Skunk'em Star."

quartetIn February freshmen undertook a major project, a rummage sale. Several accompanied the gathered valuables to South 4th Street in St. Joe, ready to bring in the lot. Total profit from this marvelous undertaking amounted to $16.40 and several hilarious experiences: A rather large woman approached Mr. Copeland, head of the lingerie department, inquiring about a size 42C bra. A super salesman, Mr. Copeland suggested, "We don't have a 42, but perhaps we could splice two 32's together!" We did well financially our freshman year also making $20.88 on a bake sale, $50 from card sales and earning $63.55 on Work Day. Total: $150.83.

Several boys played football, and Junior scored at least one touchdown.  USHS was the 1957 Platte Valley Champion, winning eight and loosing zero.  Linda lettered on the varsity girls basketball team and was high scorer in several games.  Busy in the music department as well as sports, we also managed to frequent the gossip columns.  Honor students were Linda Schnitker, Cecil Coats, Marilyn Stabe, Alice Campbell and Don Carrel. 

Sophomore year 1958-59
Marilyn Stabe moved to Savannah during the summer, and Pat Gass moved from Casper, Wyoming, maintaining our numbers at 16. The end of January Jim Custer joined our ranks from Maysville.

We chose our sponsor and class officers the same as the preceding year. New teachers were Keith Christie and Richard Willis.  Kenneth Smith became school custodian

One of our first fall projects was a class party. Committees and class members went all out decorating our socks for the "Sock Hop." Robert Anderson won best sock.  Next came homecoming. The theme of our float was "Rocket to Victory!" At a cost of $11.16, the float featured a silver rocket ship flanked by four girls riding on the wagon – all was not in vain because it won honorable mention. Sophomores sponsored the St. Pat's all-school party. Our last class party of the year was a wiener roast May 4 at the kind invitation of Mr. Copeland on his land near King City.

Although team records weren't too good, sophomores contributed to the cause during the basketball season. Wayne Shores was high point man for the boys' team, and Linda high point for the girls' team. Letters went to Ron Young, Wayne Shores, Yvonne Wogan and Linda Schnitker for the girls. Linda maintained a 20-point average in basketball and was chosen for the Sophomore Pilgrimage to Jefferson City. Football lettermen were Robert Anderson, Wayne Shores and Ronnie Young. 

This appeared in the January issue of School Daze:
S - solemn - Mary Ann
O - outstanding - Linda
P - precious - Robert
H - haphazard - Charlie
O - original - Ron Y
M - merry - Alice
R - romantic - Don C
E - exceptional - Cecil

Junior year 1959-60
Patty O'Neal returned from a two-year hiatus at King City, and Jim Custer transferred to Savannah still giving us 17 members.

Richard Willis sponsored our class. Ron and Don switched positions this year, making Ron president and Don vice president. We entrusted Charlie Gordon with our important records, documents and funds. Linda Schnitker was elected student council vice president, making four juniors on the council.

In September Wayne Shores provided a tractor and wagon for a hayride, and Georgetta Mitchell invited us to her home for refreshments.  In October we ordered class rings and all the things needed for graduation to be delivered to us the next September.  We had to fork out a $5 deposit. We had another smashing success with our homecoming float, "Trojan Bar-B-Q," again earning consolation. Ron Young was a homecoming king attendant. We put out the December issue of School Daze
Don, Neal, Gary, Charlie, Junior, Wayne and Ron lettered in football. Ron was voted most valuable player and captain of the next year's team. Linda was honored for being tops in smarts and basketball.  She scored 1184 points in three years for an average of 27 points per game.  Junior was PVC track champion with a record 20' 5 ½" in the broad jump. Guard and forward Yvonne Wogan again lettered in basketball. Ron, Junior and Wayne lettered, with Ron and Wayne leading scoring with 307 and 306 points respectively. These two were named to the Platte Valley all-conference team. The expertise of Ron, Don C, Charlie and Linda was put to use coaching grade schoolers in basketball against Helena.

A spring Sweetheart Ball saw Ron Young being crowned king with queen Katherine Beattie '62. Pat Gass was a queen attendant.

Our junior play was Finders Creepers, a three-act mystery comedy, was presented April 22 to a good crowd netting us $89.50. The story centered around two boys, Hercules Nelson (Gary Keys) and Wilbur Maxwell (Junior), visiting Hercules’ Uncle Bob, an undertaker, entailing pretty ‘stiff’ action. Mr. Willis was director, and Mrs. Graham assisted with makeup.  Wayne Shores was set director,  Don Carrel stage manager and Patty O’Neal prompter and costume manager. Gary Keys won the only dramatics award presented.

Alice, Don C., Cecile, Pat G. and Linda attended the Scholastic Banquet.

Among gossip: Gary Keys was enjoying Sunday rides to Clarksdale; Pat Gass and Neal Wilcoxson fit quite well into a Mercury.

Senior year 160-61
Entering the last lap, we lost Alice Campbell to Fairfax, leaving a graduating class of 16.

Phil Maher was sponsor, Junior Gallinger president, Gary Keys vice president and Pat Gass secretary-treasurer. Don Carrel headed the student council, with Ron Young secretary treasurer.

We made a big deal out of receiving our senior rings September 13.  It was awesome realizing that 1961 showed up the same upside down.

Our float, "Bowl'em Over," fell down, er, through for the homecoming parade. Junior was homecoming king, while Linda and Ron were attendants.

Don Carrel and Ron Young were chosen for the Platte Valley Conference all-star football team. Junior, Gary, Robert, Don S., Wayne, Charlie and Neal took part in the 6-4 season. Basketball was more successful as the boys took the Platte Valley Conference championship with 10-0 in conference play and 18-7 overall. Ron, Wayne, Junior, Gary, Robert and Don boost Union Star to the championship and second in the regional, ending a long King City victory drought. Linda, Ron and Wayne claimed all-conference basketball honors.  The girls were 9-11 for the season, but Linda scored 374 points, ending with 1,563 in four years.  In track Junior Gallinger received individual honors at several meets. 

lovateersWe had primary responsibility for publishing School Daze, winning awards never before claimed:  A I (excellent) rating at the annual state school paper contest judged at the University of Missouri and a I (excellent) at the national contest judged at Columbia University in New York City. (Most likely it was because of the dazzling photography and sense of humor shown at left.)  Linda and Cecile were co-editors.  Don, Cecile, Linda, Yvonne and Gary received I and II ratings for articles submitted to the state contest.  The paper was printed at the Tri-County News office in King City  (Cecile now lives in this building).

English IV also included our senior play, A Rocket in His Pocket, a three-act farce-comedy, presented November 18 to a large crowd. Staged at a high school out west, it was the story of a newly minted teacher   discovering that very little of what a teacher needs to know is ever taught in college and that teachers really do earn their salaries.  English instructor Mr. Agnew (Ron), finds Blue Rimrock high school quite a place until he meets the ferocious principal, Mrs. Matchett (Cecile), who is also the football coach.  Other problems he faces include a school-girl crush on him and a love affair with Miss Chisle (Pat Gass) who talks like a textbook and looks about as glamorous. It ended with five couples – get this – in lip-locking embraces.

We also were the second class to complete the hazardous speech course, with everyone giving every speech. Ron Young won the DeKalb County Soil District speaking contest with "When the Soil is Gone, Man Must Go" (prize a $25 savings bond).

Gary, Ron and Don entered a one-act play contest with Sky Fodder  directed by Maurice Wheeler and presented at Union Star and Maryville.  At Maryville it received a III rating, but one judge thought it deserved a I rating.

Cecile Coats entered the Good Citizen contest sponsored by Daughters of the American Revolution.  She did not win any money, but did get her picture in the paper and received a certificate. Linda was embarrassed to win the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award – a heart-shaped pin with the slogan, “Home is where the heart is.”

Seniors winning the honor of attending the scholastic banquet April 14 were Don Carrel, Cecile Coats, Mary Ann Laun, Linda Schnitker and Yvonne Wogan. At graduation Linda was named valedictorian and Cecile, salutatorian.

The seniors chose black and blue - no, orchid and silver - as class colors. The class flower was the orchid, surely making the class of '61 the classiest class, class-wise, to out-class any class past! We may not have been the top graduating class at Union Star, but we did win recognition in many areas. Most us were also involved in music–chorus, girls glee club, band and ensembles winnng quite a few I and II ratings at local, district and state music contests.  We have Mary Ruth Hall our beloved (and sometimes controversial) music instructor to thank.  She did an excellent job bringing out talent. 

Our last act of climbing on the bus was for our senior trip to Rockaway Beach in south Missouri.  We had a great time and learned much more about the friends we went to school with for so many years.  Everyone has his/her story to tell.  (Cecile threw her love letters from Arkansas away years ago and doesn't even remember his name.)

Grade school history culled from School Daze

Our stories | the times | pictures | 50th reunion recap | contact