Blog 33 September 5, 2014

Seven weeks! From August 7th to September 18th, 1954—that is seven weeks—the number one song played on juke boxes, by disc jockeys, and sold in the stores was “Sh-Boom” by the Crewcuts. Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, and Eddie Fisher also had number one hits over the course of the year.

Top movies: The five highest grossing movies in 1954 surprised me:

  • White Christmas (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Kirk Douglas, James Mason)
  • Rear Window (James Stewart & Grace Kelly)
  • Demetrius & the Gladiators (Victor Mature, Anne Bancroft, Ernest Borgnine)
  • The Caine Mutiny (Humphrey Bogart, Fred McMurray)

If you want to see the top twenty films and the gross sales, go to Wikipedia at

Class Day: Who can remember the Class Day on one of our very last days of school before graduation? Bob Blake sent me a program he found tucked away in his Monticello. I am inserting the four pages below and posing some questions. I vaguely remember the program, and others do as well, because several people have remembered a dance by Aleen Smith, Connie Mayes, and Shirley France. Here is, in all its mimeographed glory:




Can anyone answer any of these questions?

· How did one get on the program?

· Why did Bill Crocker give the invocation and Shirley Inselman the benediction, even though Paul Medley is listed as the class chaplain? I would guess that Shirley sand The Lord’s Prayer.

· What was the class gift that Jack Davis presented on our behalf? We had a senior gift committee of five people (see last page of program)

· Did Joe Coreth write the class poem? If not, who did, and why did Joe recite it? Does anyone have a copy of it? (Maybe I should ask, does anyone care?)

· Who were scholarship recipients? I was not one of them.

Finally, look at the last page, which is good for a chuckle.

  • What did the courtesy committee do? Really?
  • Were we all card carrying members of the class? Did it take five people to design the card or sign them or pass them out or check to make sure we were legal attending the prom or what?

Well, I am poking a bit of fun, as I am sure all of that was important to us back in the day. I vaguely remember going to the Olmos Theater to see some inspiring class movie about a singer with broken legs. Quite honestly, my preference would have been Marilyn Monroe or a John Wayne oater.

I do hope someone will shed some light on the questions above and add some of your own.

Sad to note: A friend from the class of ’55 recently passed me some news about Gary Valentine. Gary lives in Australia and suffers from severe dementia. The tales told were distressing. Remember how well Gary could sing? I knew Gary from elementary school on. Rumor had it that Gary’s father was the emcee on the nationally broadcast radio show, Dr. I.Q.  Or he may have been Dr. I.Q. I don’t know that was ever confirmed.

And closing with a couple of photos:


Bill Hundley, Fritzie Connally, Larry Byrd, John Patmore


Louise Dobbins, Mary Helen Bass, Janet Walker  (aka Rawlings, Bell, and Mathes)



4 thoughts on “Blog 33 September 5, 2014

  1. Jeanine Kliefoth Price

    I loved all the pictures and the info about what was happening in the “Best of Years”. I know you are spending soooo much time and work to compile all of this, but it also must be a lot of fun. I wish I lived closer to help you. Now one little fact has been driving me crazy. What was the name of the band that played at most of our dances? I can still see them, and never thought I would forget their name. They always played “Good Night, Sweetheart” at the end of the dance. Oh, such sweet memories!!!

    1. jeffclassof54 Post author

      I recall two bands that played at most of the dances. The first was Larry Herman. Larry later owned a night club that he called The Roaring Twenties. In our time, I believe that was Shadowland. Anyone remember that? We considered having our 30th reunion there but opted for elsewhere. The Roaring Twenties closed when Larry Herman died not too many years ago. It later burned down.

      The other band I recall was L. D. Harris ( think those were his initials). He and his band were black and a lot more jazzy than Larry Herman. L. D. may played the trumpet and I sort of recall that he had a hook for one of his hands. Does anyone remember?

  2. Jack Davis

    Hi Jack and all.I have absolutely no recall of Class Day or the gift I(we) presented.Maybe if I start remembering it would be a sign of ALZ.On the other hand I also do not remember if a bunch of us tripped the light fantastic with suds at the Market Place? Cheers,Jack Davis


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