Ilion High School

1950 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1950"


The day was bright and sunny outside, but as the Junior Class filed into their American History room, a cloud of darkness seemed to cover them. This cloud was one of anticipation, no matter how hard they studied there was always something that they weren't quite sure of.

Yesterday's assignment had been a queer one, very queer. They were to cover the History of the Class of 1950, so they didn't quite know what to expect. Suddenly the classroom door closed, and the questions began.

Ruth Gordon

Miss Ruth "Goosie" Gordon

American History Teacher

This photograph of Miss Gordon was not part of the original Class History and was added, to this web page, for illustration



"All right, you in the front seat, tell me two important events, in order, in the Freshman year of the Class of '50," asked Miss Gordon.

As the student began racking his brain for events, it came to him that the Class of '50 was the first one to have a Freshman Frolic. They had it on St. Patrick's Day and for entertainment they had dancing, cards and a Truth and Consequences program. The committees were rather hard to remember but he knew that Bob Getman was the chairman.It was becoming clearer to the student now and he remembered that the Class of '50 had started a Freshman paper, with Fran Sanders, Sylvia Reed and Jean Nelson promoting it. This soon became dissolved when the Golden Quill told them that they could have Freshman reporters and put their news in that.

"Now we all know that the Class of 1950 were very good in athletics so somebody name me the letter men."

About four boys raised their hands, so Miss Gordon immediately called on a boy in the back row who was trying to hide behind his schoolmate ahead of him.

"Aah-a,ah I think Joe Joy got one in track."

"Well, name me some more now."

"I don't know," came the meek answer.

"Alright, write them out. Now, who can name the rest? 0.K., you tell me."

"Ken Miller and Alvin Bluett are the other two and they both got them in track."

"Now name me the Freshman cheerleaders."

As a girl rattled them off; Margaret Wagner, Leigh McDonald, Frances Sanders, Anne Daz, Shirley Weller, Lois Bunce, and JoAnn Wilson, she also remembered that they were the first Fresh cheerleaders in the High School.

"Alright I want to know the score of the class games between the Freshmen and Sophomores."

There was a long pause, which seemed like hours, before someone finally shouted the answer, "Freshmen 26, Sophomores 28.

"0. K. I want to know who got in the Junior Honor Society in the Freshman year."

Nobody seemed to know, and the whole class had to write that one out.

"Well it's certain that none of you were ever on. They were -- now get this - Margaret Wagner, Jane Russell, JoAnn Wilson, Marian Dashner, Anne Daz, Bill Best, and Alan Momberger.

The Freshman year was a foggy one and the Juniors were glad that they had covered it and were bracing themselves for the review of the Sophomore year of the Class of 1950.




The Sophomore year was a little clearer but not a very eventful one for the Class of '50.In answer to the first question of who were the officers, they recalled that Joe joy was elected president; Bob Getman, vice-president; Sylvia Reed, secretary, and JoAnn Wilson, treasurer. Joe Durkin, a homeroom officer, had been elected secretary of the Senate. That was also the year Miss Schmidt became class advisor.

Suddenly they were disturbed in their reminiscing by, "Tell me all about the Sophomore Soiree and the management of it, you with your hand waving all over."

"Well, they gave three dancing lessons in advance so the boys would be sure to know how to dance. They also had a very good program, with different acts for their own amusement."

"Who was the master of ceremonies?"

"Well, it was John Wedemeyer."

"You just write that out and next time don't fall out of your seat waving your arm unless you know what you're talking about. It was Bill Goff."

"There were more lettermen in the Sophomore year so you over there with the letter sweater-name them."

As the lettermen, Jack Gollegly and Ken Miller, football; Jack Gollegly and Babe Lang, basketball; and Joe Durkin and Babe Lang, baseball, had their names told, it was also brought to mind that the Sophomores had a pretty good basketball team, as they won the Sophomore-Freshman class game by 41-24. They were cheered to victory by the same cheerleaders as they had in their Freshman year.

"The Honor Society was enlarged by what members?"

Someone in the rear rapidly repeated the names, Sylvia Reed, Maxine Smith, Mary Alice Mosher, and Jean Nelson, which relieved some nervous people who were having an inner struggle to remember them.

So ended the Sophomore year of the Class of '50. They were a little older, wiser, and also larger, with four new members, Kitty Colliton, Don O'Bryan, Phil Palmer and Gloria Primmar.




In answer to the first question about the officers in the junior year of the Class of '50; Jim Schaepe was elected president; Joe Durkin, vice-president; Babe Lang, secretary, and Phyllis Palmer, treasurer. In the Senate, Al Momberger was elected vice-president.

"I want one of you cheerleaders to tell me who got picked on the J.V. cheerleading squad last year."

"The Lucky Seven that were chosen were Jane Russell, Sylvia Reed, Marian Dashner, Margaret Wagner, Frances Sanders, JoAnn Wilson, and Leigh McDonald. They had a good football team to cheer for and a very good basketball team. At the end of the basketball season, when the Juniors played the Seniors, they and the team blackened up and called themselves the "Junior Jigaboos." They played a fast game and won by one point.

"You, looking at the clock there, tell me all about the junior Variety Show."

The clock-watcher, temporarily startled, couldn't answer, so he had to sit that night and watch the clock for three quarters of an hour.

Someone else saved the rest of the class by telling about the Variety Show. Flo and Joe, the main characters, got a free trip to these different places: New York, Dogpatch, Spain, Sweden, Russia, and Dixie.

"Last year was the first year I took anyone to New York to the Herald Tribune Youth Forum, now tell me who went."

A girl in the middle aisle mumbled Margaret Wagner, Jane Russell, and Marian Dashner. She also said that they had to give talks in assembly about their trip.

"The Class of '50 had many honors, someone name me a few."

The class began thinking and they recalled that in the American Legion contest Albert Eddy won first prize, Joe Edwards second prize, and John Fay third prize.

In the VFW contest, JoAnn Foisy won first prize, Herb Stark won second prize, and Edwin Welsh won third prize.

Five Juniors had been added to the Senior Honor Society; these were Margaret Wagner, Jane Russell, Mary Alice Mosher, Sylvia Reed, and Alan Momberger.

Besides these honors Barbara Brown was selected to attend Girls' State and Bob Getman, Alan Momberger, Jim Schaepe and Richard LeFever attended Boys' State.

"Now kids, I want to know what they did different in the junior year."

Everybody thought and thought but they couldn't remember what happened.

"Well, you see, kids, they picked the cheerleaders that spring instead of the following fall. As you know, they picked the same seven and Jane Russell as head cheerleader."

"We always have some big lettermen each year, one of you so-called athletes name them to me."

"They were: Football-Durkin, Gollegly, Hanley, Joy, Lang, Manion, Miller, Pierce; Baseball-Conway, Duffy, Durkin, Gerber, Kidder, Lang, Pierce, Berlew, mgr,; Track -Andrews, Joy, Manion, Miller, Nunneker, Schaepe, Shafer, Getman, mgr.; Basketball-Conway, Gollegley, Lang.

"Well who else? You spend enough time in sports trying to get out of sitting, think you'd know it was Abeling in bowling, and Momberger, Callahan and Shafer in swimming. Now tell me all about Class Night and the different acts."

Someone bravely volunteered the answer. The Junior Class had a fine send-off for the Senior Class of '49. They based their theme on the '49ers of the Gold Rush period. There were two scenes, the first one of the covered wagon train, the second one took place in the Gold Nugget, the town tavern.

So closed the junior year. They had two new members, Joe Duffy and Ray Byrnes, a larger treasury, and they were much wiser in years, as they had gone forth from the American History class.




The period was near closing but they still had to cover the Class of '50 Senior year. Many of the pupils were hoping that the buzzer would ring before class was finished but as everybody knows, there is always time for a few more questions.The questions began to fly thick and fast. In answer to the first question about class officers, it was recalled that it was the first time in High School that there had ever been a third party outside the traditional Gold and Brown party candidates. They put up Tom Davis for president and Joe Edwards for vice-president, these both won their respective offices. Phyllis Palmer, non-member, won the office of treasurer and Leona Powers received the office of secretary.

"As usual they had a Tri-City play-you there, looking cross-eyed at the board-tell me the name and what seniors were in it."

As soon as he had focused his eyes he gave the name as "Everything Nice," and the seniors in it, who were Georgette Dayton, Ann Bechard, Mary Ann Vayo and Edwin Welsh.

"I want one of you cheerleaders to tell me how the Varsity Cheerleaders raised money for their uniforms."

"They raised money by having a dessert card party and by holding two football record dances. They were very lucky to be cheering for such a good football team, which only lost two games, one to Whitesboro and the other to Herkimer, the old rival."

"Some of you big officials on the Golden 9, Will tell me who puts this newspaper out."

"Sylvia Reed is the editor," came the reply.

"Marian Dashner and Mary Alice Mosher are managing editor and business manager respectively. The Quill received the "All New York" rating, highest there is, and also put out the first Literary Magazine the school has had.

"Alright-you back there-tell me the name of the Senior play and who was in it."

"A-ah, it was called 'Riddle Me Riches' and the leading characters were Tom Davis and Georgette Dayton. Aah I forgot the rest."

"Well you wouldn't be so dumb if you didn't hang around in the poolroom or play pin-ball machines all the time, you'd know the answers then. Some one else tell me the other characters."

Someone supplied the answer: Frank Manion, Carol Hathaway, Chuck Squires, Bill Best, Anne Daz, Joe Edwards, Betty Gorton, Jim Smith, Maxine Smith, Dorothy Riesel, Ray Burns, Mary Ann Vayo, Bill Goff, Phyllis Palmer, Glen Denton, Mary Fay, and Leona Powers was the student director.

"I'd like to know how the basketball season was."

They recalled that the basketball season was a very good one, in which we were tied with Frankfort for first place in the M.V.1. League. We also played two other Class B games, Herkimer at Hamilton College, in which we won by one point, 58 to .57, and Holland Patent at Proctor, in which we lost by 52 to 39.

"Tell me what happened at the Senior Party."

"They had very much fun square dancing, which was a popular pastime. They also had cider and donuts which completed the party."

"Now, I'd like to know all about the Senior honors in the Class of '50, from one of you Honor Society students.

"One of the students began to name the long list of honors. In the Veterans of Foreign Wars essay contest, Barbara Brown won first prize, Joe Edwards won second prize and the third prize went to Charles Welsh. Jane Russell won second prize in the American Legion county oratorical contest and also attended a youth panel in Syracuse with Alan Momberger on "What I think I should know for Home and Family living.

"New members in the Honor Society were: Barbara Brown, Bill Best, Phyllis Palmer, JoAnn Wilson, Anne Daz, Leigh McDonald and Marian Dashner.The Senior Class was slightly larger with one new member, Barbara Mielcarski, and they seemed much older and more sophisticated than they were four years ago. Many of them act as though they would be glad to get out of school, while others seem to dread it. Even though the Class of '50 will be graduating this June, we are sure that they will be remembered. So ended class with the sound of the buzzer, and the relieved sighs of the junior class.


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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2022