1965 Graduation Party

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965From what I read in the paper, today’s graduation parties cost more than wedding did back in our day. Here are photos from the all-night graduation party held at the Arena Building for the Class of 1965.

It’s my blog, so I’ll cheat a little and post a photo of MY date for the night: the future Lila Perry Steinhoff, at right. She gained points because she didn’t try to put a funny hat on my head like Margaret Ritter is doing to John Ueleke.

Harold Payne, never absent or tardy

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965The caption on the Youth Page on June 12, 1965, said “Harold Payne, the only member of the class to go four years to Central High without missing a day or being tardy reached his breaking point at the all-night senior party last week.”

Peggy Estes looks at Girardot

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965“Classmate Miss Peggy Estes keep semi-awake by gazing at the class yearbook.”

Called an all-night binge

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965The Missourian story called the party an “all-night binge.” I’d hate to hear what they’d call today’s extravaganzas. I’ll set the official Missourian story in italics.

Central High School graduating seniors, treated to an all-night binge by their parents, danced their way from last Thursday night after graduation to breakfast at 4 Friday morning.

Danced through the night

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965Most of them danced through the entire night, according to Mrs. Gale Heise, one of the head chairmen for the affair. An annual event, this year’s party was the biggest ever. And, according to Mrs. Heise, the seniors can thank all the parents for their complete cooperation.

Door prizes sparked the dull moments when the band took a break. Local merchants donated 125 items for prizes. And a grand prize, a portable television, which Lee Dahringer won, was purchased with money donated by parents. Fifteen prizes, including the big one, were given out just before breakfast.

Made a beeline for Arena Building

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965Two bands were hired for the evening – the Goldtones, which played for the first half of the evening, and Willies Band [the microfilm was sketchy here, but that’s what it looked like] which played until the wee hours.

The graduates, some with underclassmen as dates – made a beeline for the Arena Building as soon as the graduation ceremonies were over. The underclassmen were allowed to stay until 1 Friday morning. Then they left and the seniors were given a half hour to run home to change into sports clothes for the remainder of the party. [I was given a little more leeway since I had to go home to process the photos for the paper.]

Food was plentiful

 

Class of 1965 Graduation Party at Arena Building - Missourian 06-12-1965Food was plentiful and free. Parents did the decorating, which followed a Mardi Gras theme. [The rest of the paragraph couldn’t be read.]

Some of the graduates dozed off for awhile, but the dance floor, said Mrs. Heise, was still pretty full at 4.

Head chairmen for the party were Mr. and Mrs. Heise, Senator and Mrs. Albert Spradling, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Knehans and Mr. and Mrs. Charles House.

Graduation Party photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the side to move through the gallery.

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.

Personalized Subway Art

We’ve picked up a new advertiser, Ken McMahan, who is an award-winning graphics designer and who just happens to be married to Jane Rudert, Central High School Class of 1966 and a buddy of Wife Lila.That’s Ken and Jane with with their granddaughters Averi and Arielle. The buildings in the background are downtown Sarasota, Fla.

Click on his ad on the page or follow this link to see his custom work.

Ken grew up in St. Louis and attended Southeast Missouri State College for about a semester. He marched with the Golden Eagles (played sousaphone); spent some time in the Florida Keys; married Jane; moved to the Vermont / Canada border; had Son Zachary; founded and was Creative Director of First Impressions, an advertising and graphics design firm in the Northeast in 1978, and semi-retired to Siesta Key on Florida’s west coast in 1997.

You can tell that Ken is a laconic guy who spits out facts in a Joe Friday fashion.

His First Impressions company worked with a wide variety of national and regional clients and hundreds of small businesses and individuals. It wracked up an impressive list of awards, including Best in Class in Financial World Annual Award competition 11 straight years; winner in the National Restaurant Association’s Great Menu contest; winner in the National Packaging Association’s International Letterhead Design contest, and picked up Best of Show in the Advertising Federation of the Suncoast.  He’s done some cool stuff.

 I remember Jane as Tiger Editor-in-Chief

I knew Jane as editor of The Tiger. Here’s a shot I took of the staff for the 1966 Girardot. Left to right, Claudia Modder, Mary Baker, Don Call, Jane Rudert, Nanci Cagann, Prudy Irvin and Gail Tibbles. First semester editor-in-chief was Jane Rudert, and serving as Co-Editors second semester were Claudia Modder and Nanci Cagann.

Jane wrote she met Ken when she was sitting on a picnic table in Capaha Park with the “7 Teens,” a folksinging group she was part of. The other members of the group were Vivian Walton, Gwen Beaudean, Cheryl Welter, Mary Tenkhoff (all CHS ’66) and Pam Beard and Carole Walton (both CHS ’67).

“We had a brief career playing a few gigs, including the talent show at Central in 1966, mostly just having fun in matching flowered suits.” She doesn’t think there are any photos to the “7 Teens” in existence.

Bob Wolfenkoehler’s Morris Minor

“Anyway, we are sitting around in Capaha Park waiting for something or someone to happen, and here comes Bob Wolfenkohler, CHS ’66, in his tiny Morris Minor with a lot of new friends from the Golden Eagles Band Camp stuffed inside. They were all very flirty except for Ken, who went and stood aloofly against a tree. Being that opposites attract, he was the antisocial renegade of my dreams, and the rest is history, as they say. We got married in Sarasota in 1968 (after I discovered he was not 22 years old as his driver’s license maintained, but only 19 years old!)

“Before he left SEMO, his favorite pastime was walking around campus with his shirttail untucked (those were definitely different days), always hoping President Mark Scully would spot him and give him grief over it, which happened fairly often; I guess this was one of Ken’s first attempts at “questioning authority,” and he actually hasn’t stopped since.”

See if you can spot Ken

“He does, however, swear that he had nothing to do with the water balloon tossing from the Marquette Hotel upper floors (where he lived – they housed some freshman boys there that year due to overcrowded dorms, can you imagine?) down on the 1966 Homecoming Parade.”

[Can you spot him in this photo I took of the 1966 Homecoming parade.]

 Beach Bum Prophesy comes true

The May 26, 1966, Tiger contained a class prophesy compiled by Barbara Hobbs and Linda Stone: “LOOK OUT for that garbage truck (driven by Shiela Blackwell and Mike Herron), they’re probably in a hurry to get down to the big party on the beach given by beach bums Margaret Ritter, Jane Rudert, Lila Perry, Elizabeth Ridings, and Allene Phillips.”

The Class of 1961’s reunion bulletin in 1991 said that Jane and Ken “made their dream come true with a place in Florida to get away from this cold Northern weather whenever possible!” Lila Perry Steinhoff was living in West Palm Beach, Fla, and Margaret Ritter Ueleke had logged beach time in Hawaii and South Carolina.

Jane is working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a Medical Transcription Editor. Son Zak lives in Colorado with his wife Desiree and their daughters, Arielle and Averi.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.