1966 Senior Prom

This is prom season, so it was timely that I stumbled across a sleeve marked “Lila Prom With Her Friends.” That would make it the Class of 1966 Senior Prom. Linda Stone was the Prom Queen.

Where’s this girl’s date?

When you look at the gallery, you’ll see that all over the other girls have dates. Lila Perry (eventually Steinhoff) had a date. It was me, but I was taking pictures, so she’s solo. She’s spent most of our lives together apart like that.

I have to tell a prom story to show what a terrific person she was. Lila was Class of ’66. I was a senior, Class of 1965. We had been dating a few months, so it would have been natural that I ask her to my senior prom. Instead, I went to her and said that I had heard through the grapevine that a mutual friend of ours who was a senior – we’ll call her Suzy Q – wasn’t going to be asked to the prom by her on-again, off again boyfriend – we’ll call him Charlie Cad. “Would it be OK with you if I ask Suzy to the prom. I really hate that she wouldn’t be able to attend her senior prom. We’ll still have your senior prom next year.”

Well, that was pretty presumptuous on my part in several ways. It takes a lot of nerve to ask your girlfriend for permission to take another girl to something as big as the Senior Prom. It was also a stretch to be making plans for a dance a whole year away after pulling such a stunt.

She didn’t even hesitate. She told me to take Suzy Q to the prom. That’s when I knew I had a keeper if I hadn’t realized it earlier.

Linda got to sit on the throne

Linda got the crown and a chance to sit on the throne, but I got to take the real queen home. [I survived taking another girl to my senior prom, but I may not survive printing the picture of Wife Lila. She said she hated her hairdo.]

Photo gallery of the 1966 Senior Prom

I put names on a few faces, but I can’t swear that they’re right. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

12 Replies to “1966 Senior Prom”

  1. Thanks for digging those up. I had never seen them. I see some other names to add to the list: Brad Brune escorting me across the floor and John Hoffman giving me his arm to ‘ascend the throne’. In the first picture I think that is Carol Masterson with Andy Pemberton having their picture taken by ?. Tell Lila I hated my hair, too. I thought my ears looked too big. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have been a little more forgiving and less vain. Too much to ask of me at 18. I do remember that many people worked long hours to transform that gym and create a look of satins and silks. I remember my parents dressed up in their finest and stood next to me for several pics after the crowning. My mom designed the dress and made it of wildly colorful orange and red chantung silk with a train of matching sheer silk off the shoulders. She was very creative and encouraged me to be different. Our daughter, Lindsay Stone Schrimsher, played dress-up in that one for years in the early ’90s untill it was in shreds. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Tell Lila she was beautiful! I cannot believe she would let you take someone else to your prom. You do not know how lucky you are to be alive. LOL! Most girls would have told you where the door was. Man, that had to be a low blow for Lila!

  3. What a lovely story to illuminate Lila’s good heart — and yours as well, to realize Susy Q would miss her senior prom if not for a thoughtful pal. Well done you two!

  4. I remember it like yesterday…oh wait, I was not there! I went to the State Track meet in Columbia that same weekend. I did help after track practice to hang crape paper in the gym to transform it into a fairy wonderland. I even fixed up my steady and later first wife, Pat Latham with a date for the prom, Robert Hileman. Robert was not running that year so it was perfect!
    So I helped decorate, did not show up, fixed up my steady date with a date for the prom, paid for her flowers (Hileman would not do that, he was doing me a favor, but was not crazy) and ran in Track meet 150 miles away. Life can be a little strange at times.
    I was awe struck by the beautiful ladies, and you know, they are STILL beautiful.

    1. Terry is being modest. If I remember correctly, he won the 880 at that state track meet, an outstanding accomplishment.

      I had qualified for the state tournament as the 4th best member of a 4 man relay team that barely qualified anyway. Then I got injured. Track Coach Hargen’s asked if I would like to go to the senior prom instead. If so, he would take Dave Phillips to states in my place as a reward for Dave’s efforts that season. (Dave was an excellent 2 miler, but they did not compete the 2 mile at states at that time.) I was pleased to accept. That’s how I got into pix #4. Thanks to Linda for pointing that out, I might have overlooked it!

      The ladies are all beautiful. The guys? Well…you know…OK…pretty much…OK.

      Thanks again, Ken.

  5. Beautiful ladies with wonderful hearts. I remember going to the Prom late because Don had a SEMO final exam to finish before he picked me up. Congrats to the gentlemen competing in the track meet.

  6. I remember 2 things about the Senior Prom: Mr Houschober (SP?) getting on us in Metals & Welding class because Bill Bishop had hurt his leg and was in a brace putting us decorations in the gym. He couldn’t understand why we weren’t doing it too. My excuse was no body asked me and I was too dumb to volunteer, not a good excuse but that’s all I got. Funny how those things stick in your mind for 40 years. Number 2 was: Otis Caussy, Jerry Mullins and I going to the Prom in a Model A roadster with our white Tuxes on and no dates. We were quite a sight going down Broadway. We didn’t stay long being without dates. So we did what any high school Senior would do, we picked up Don Jacobs somewhere, brought some beer illegally and got drunk out in the country. We had a good time as I remember.

  7. It was an honor (and a pleasure) to escort Queen Linda to her throne. I recall that placing the crown was a challenge!

  8. I co-chaired the decorating for the 1966 prom…hours spent making paper flowers for weeks before, then creating lattice out of adding machine paper. Ah, those were the days. Fell asleep, hair, makeup, dress and all waiting for date Ken Trowndidge, like Don, to finish up SEMO exam. Next day Vicky Rusler and I hauled the borrowed garden furniture and funeral grass back to their proper homes, getting blisters on our hands from driving a brand new pick up from her dad’s agency that hadn’t been yet prepped. Good memories!

  9. I remember the prom, but I don’t remember being at the prom! The passage of time is weird that way, I guess. And Lila, we all seem to have had the same basic two hairdos, either teased and flipped like yours, or like mine with teased and sprayed curls on top of my head. (Or like Linda Stone, a combination of the two styles.) You looked great, and I thought I did too, of course.

  10. Oh Jane, you are so right about the hair. I had never been to a hair salon in my life before that day. The beautician thought that’s what I needed and I didn’t have the nerve to tell her it was too much, too high and that I hated my ears (still do). To my great embarrassment I learned years later that you are supposed to tip a hair dresser. Nobody ever told me that! John, I remember the pain of placing that crown in my rat’s nest on top of my head. Gail, I know everyone invested hours and much creative thinking into that venue. It was wonderful/magical. Terry, I finally got to dance with you in your tux 40+ years later at the reunion! Andy, I remember you vividlly to this day. Jane N, I think of you often. You are in my heart.

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