Monday, May 28, 2012

Most Likely & Graduation 1967

Graduation May 1967

Yesterday, May 26th, 2012 was the annual Chelsea, Oklahoma Alumni Celebration and Banquet and also 45 years since my class passed through those ivory green high school graduation doors.  My thoughts turn to reflections of those blissful hopeful days not so long ago.  Life was much simpler then. Boys were boys and girls were girls and opposites married, the way I feel the Creator intended. Now that being said this isn’t a sermon, but just a remembrance of the way it was and what I liked about it.

That last year of high school in the fall, our senior class elected the “Ten Most Likely”. The categories included:
“Best Athlete“: Ruth Schwaesdall & Robert Garis, deceased 2 years now after teaching Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska. Rob was short like me, about 5’4”, but a phenomenal football player in high school. We both went to college at Oklahoma State. He was a frat rat (in a fraternity) and I was a GDI, but when he needed a date that first year, he would often give me a call. After that destiny called and we went our own way.
“Best Figure & Physique”: Janice Cowan & Tom Rue, needless to say, not me.
“Most Active”: Jack Stinnett, also deceased 2 years, retired as a pipe fitter, and Barbara Axley, a nightclub singer and comedian for several years in Oklahoma so I heard.
"Most Humorous": Jack Stinnett & Barbara Axley, incidentally I was runner up in this category.
"Most Dependable": Ronda Hunt & George Baker. George also lives here in Southcentral Alaska since 1976 and has adopted several children through the state.
"Best Citizen": Ronda Hunt & Robert Garis
"Best All-Around": Ann Jennings & Mike Morrison
"Best Dressed":  Roy Best & Patty & Becky Sears, twins and daughter of our high school science teacher that my boyfriend Wayne once tried to punch in the face, another story for another memoir. In this category I again was runner up, only  because I learned to sew.
"Best Personalities":  Patsy Carmack & Leon Bible: 

Last but not least “Most Likely to Succeed“:   Mary Phillips (me) & John Hunt.  Rhonda (“best citizen and most dependable”) and John Hunt got married while still in high school but eventually divorced. John went into tribal law in Tulsa and was quite successful and approximately 10 years ago retired to Hawaii with his second wife and family of many years. I moved to Alaska in ‘78, became a a Jack of all trades, master of none and am still quite happy here since it is rarely hot. Now I know most of my classmates must think John is the greater success since he wound up living in Hawaii but I have to say living in Hawaii is my worse nightmare. I don‘t even want to visit there. The only thing of interest In Hawaii is the fond memories of my old “most likely to succeed” classmate John who help me get my high school nickname, Mickey, long before he got married. When I found out the other “most likely to succeed” John in Hawaii was going to forgo the reunion this year I decided that I would skip it too. Especially since one could not bring their spouse unless it is their 50 reunion. Fortunately this archaic rule was changed by a vote of 155 for to 58 opposed last night. Maybe now  Joe and I will go next year when my first serious ex boyfriend Wayne Treadway that happens to live in Sitka, Alaska,  (800 miles south of Anchorage) has his 45th reunion. I want to find out once and for all, why he took a swing at our Mr. Science teacher other than to get kicked out of school for a week to hunt and fish.

With graduation in 1967 came awards and accolades. I was Salutatorian, an academic title given, in the United States, Philippines, and Canada, to the second highest graduate of the entire graduating class, all 59 of us. The class started out with 69 of us, but due to unforeseen pregnancies before the days of birth control it dwindled down to 59. We were Chelsea‘s largest graduating class at that time. It was a disappointment not to be Valedictorian but I realized the person that was, took no classes that were not easy As and had moved into Chelsea during her senior year. It seemed she, as many other young women classmates, aspired to be nothing more than a secretary and housewife. This was another worse case senario, like that of living in Hawaii. Eventually I discovered not everyone wants a college education as bad as I did then; and as my Mom, Bobbie Jean use to say it, would be a boring world if we were all alike.

Me, Becky Sears & Valdictorian without her rope?

Dr.  Frank Hester presenting me my diploma.

Wayne and my Aunt Bootsie at my graduation.

As class Salutatorian I was requested to participate in the commencement and give a speech. The best part of my speech was that it was short, a page and a half double spaced. I still have 3 type written copies of it that traveled across country with me in 1979, 12 years later. Part of that speech from 45 years ago follows below.

“As you all know before long we shall be out of school, away from home and before a critical and appraising audience--the world. The pen still behind our ear, the ink stains on our fingers, and innocence in our eyes we shall find ourselves surrounded by a vast amount of different ideas and morals. Then will come the trial. But the goals that you hold high in your mind and the morals that you believe in--this you should build your life by, live by, and this you will become.
There is one last thing I’d like to add to my speech; it is a saying that I feel holds some excellent advice. “yesterday is already a dream, tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and tomorrow a vision of hope.” (May 1967)


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