LeRaysville Alumni Banquet to be held Saturday
Did you know that, in LeRaysville High School, the FFA used to have its own basketball team?
Or folks used to call Olyn Chaffee Jr. "Jun Bug?"
Or the Class of 1948, in its history article, admitted: "We certainly don't know how that cabbage got on Mr. Bartoo's porch and that dead cat in Miss Tuttle's auto?"
Or that class had a grand total of 13 students? Or the Class of '53 - just nine?
You might want to study up on these facts and more, for the annual LeRaysville Alumni Banquet this Saturday. If you attended that town's high school (you don't have to be a graduate) you probably got an invitation, and your friends would love to see you.
The banquet will start at 12:30 p.m. in the LeRaysville Community Hall. The day includes a roast beef dinner by the LeRaysville firefighters, a short business meeting, and music by Jim and Marie Parks of Towanda. (Jim is a Northeast graduate, and Marie is a former Northeast Bradford English teacher.)
The Class of '53, celebrating the 60th anniversary of its graduation, will be honored. Class member Doris Morgan Huegel will lead a question-and-answer segment on good 'ole LHS. See? You really need to study.
Olynda Chaffee Smith, one of the banquet organizers and a member of that 60-year class, hopes for a good turnout. "We will recognize everyone that comes," she notes.
LeRaysville High School closed in 1955, when it consolidated with other area schools and formed Northeast Bradford High School. No one has graduated from LHS in nearly 60 years.
Still, there are many grads from back then who get banquet invitations. "I think they send out well over 200," Olynda reports. Some don't live in the area or can't come for other reasons, so the average attendance is about 60.
If you got an invitation but didn't make a reservation...it's OK. You can come anyway. Dinner is $8.50 per person and you can bring guests. Also, feel free to bring any LHS memorabilia you'd like to show others.
At banquets, Olynda says she enjoys "probably the getting together of the members of the class." It's a social time.
But right now - it's study time! So get a pencil and paper. Here are tidbits from yearbooks:
- Who were the teachers? In 1951, they were: Marian Brink, Lillian Woodburn, Maxine Jones, Ethel Webb, Thelma Bartoo, Doris Antisdel, Jacob Hennip, Mary Lou Fitzgerald, Loretta Briggs, Robert Sweeney, Mary Edith Davis, Robert Lent, Minnie Leljedal, Florence Webb and Ward Taylor (principal). They taught not just the high school but also the elementary grades, in the same building.
- The Class of '51 had 14 members. One page lists their likes and so on. Here we learn all about Dick Clink: likes, women; dislikes, clocks; favorite saying: "Gee's"; favorite song, "Lovesick Blues"; and hobby, flirting. And Joe "Moose" Karpauitz? Likes, "women wrestling" (It's unclear whether there should have been a comma between those words.); dislikes, math; saying, "Now let me tell you something"; favorite song, "The Thing"; hobby, coon hunting.
Other songs of the day the class liked were: "Helena Polka," "Rag Mop," "Tennessee Waltz," "Mule Train," "Goodnight Irene," "Daddy's Little Girl," "Vagabond Shoes," ""Shoo! Fly!" "Clancy Lowered the Boom," "In My Merry Oldsmobile," "Safety," and "Super Suds."
- Speaking of the Class of '53 ... a commencement program lists the grads that year: Romeyn Carr, Alta Chaffee, Olynda Chaffee, Dean Coleman, Jean Dutton, Patricia Kittell, Doris Morgan, James Nealy and John Tinney.
- 1948 was the first time LHS had its yearbook, the "Lesonian." It had a bright blue cover showing designs of books and lightning bolts. The yearbook staff dedicated it to Dr. Fayette Lane Inslee, a former school director and school physician who also served as LeRaysville's doctor for almost 50 years. Yearbook editors were: chief, Beverly Chaffee; assistant, LaVerne Howe; news, Ruth Hammerly; social, Anna Michnich; sports, Stanley Ford and Iola Karpauitz; ads, Moyle Edsell and Bryce Lee; and club, Blanche Bennett. Beverly, Anna and Marjory Wilkins were typists.
- The back of that yearbook had a collection of photos. We see two girls riding a horse, a young woman standing near the LeRaysville bank, a girl on a parked motorcycle and what looks like a scene from a play (students standing around a boy and girl ... sitting in chairs with towels on their heads). And boys playing baseball on what today is the firemen's ballfield. And young women in bobby socks on a snowy sidewalk. A teacher in a living room chair. Someone in rolled-up jeans bending over, giving a good ... uh ... posterior view. A girl in a '40s bathing suit and bathing cap standing on a dock, towel slung over her shoulder, and drinking - presumably - from a soda bottle. Two girls hugging, cheek to cheek and looking at the camera. Just because they were friends.
- The FFA and FHA had a successful year in 1954-55. Lois Eastman was awarded the State Homemaker Degree, and Develle Eastabrook, Eugene Milnes and John Richard Upham received the State FFA Degree. James Davis, a sophomore, played in the National FFA Band in Kansas City; Olin Brown, Ronald Rockefeller, John Cowles and Harlan Williams sang in the State FFA Chorus; John R. Upham, Eugene and James played in the State FFA Band; and Ronald, Harlan, John Cowles and Eugene sang during the FFA activities week program at State College, Pa. Janine Lott was crowned queen at the Harvest Ball.
- The 1955 May queen and king were Mary Conklin and Gayle Moore. There they sit, on Page 46, wearing crowns and surrounded by attendants in long, puffy skirts and holding bouquets with shiny ribbons.
- And finally, in the back of that 1955, and final, LHS yearbook is a list of alumni. It begins in 1896, with Mrs. Mae Cook Kendegs, at that time the oldest living graduate.
As the pages turn, the years roll. Hundreds of names, years and addresses march down the columns. You have 1916, Mabel Morgan Alderson; 1920, Ferne Crawford Frantz, Edna Hutchinson; 1928, Frederick Moore, Gertrude Cole Chaffee; 1936, Rulison Green; 1941, Mary Howland Hutchings, Esther Howe Haynes. Right through Carlton LeTourneau in 1954. From LeRaysville, Rome, Owego, Nichols, Neath, New Milford, Warren Center, Philadelphia, Towanda, Binghamton.
You can almost hear the cheering at basketball games. The scuff-scuff of chalk on blackboard. The ringing of a school bell. The laughter, chatter and clink of silverware at banquets as friends gather and remember the old days and catch up on the new.
They'll do that again, the remembering and catching up, on Saturday. If you're an LHS-ian, you'd better go. And study up.