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Remember when page for the Grand Rapids High School Class of 1961 40th Reunion


Close your eyes for a second..and go back in time..
back to Hopscotch, Butterscotch, Doubledutch, Jacks, Kickball,Dodgeball, Hula Hoops, Mary Janes and Captain May I. Remember...Double-Dog-Dare-Ya

Do you remember when Mom was at home when the kids got home from school?

When nobody in Grand Rapids owned a purebred dog?

When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus?

When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny?

When all of your male teachers wore neckties, and female teachers had their hair done and wore high heels?

When nobody wore jeans to school. . . good ol GRHS rules?

When all the girls had ugly gym uniforms?

When your mom wore a pair nylons with seams up the back?

When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped without asking, all for free, every time, and, you didn't pay for air, and, you got trading stamps glasses and dishes to boot?

When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum in class?

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot?

When the school banquets were in the cafeteria?

When we danced to 45' the noon dances in the old Junior High Gym?

Do you know that we were the last class to walk the hall of that old building...

When girls wore fluffy pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time and some of us were allowed to stay out till 12 p.m.

Back before bombings, aids, herpes,semi automatics...before SEGA, Playstation 2 or Super Nintendo..way back..

When it took 5 minutes for the TV to warm up, every channel had snow and you had to turn it off when a storm came?

When you wanted to be in the back seat with a the Pine Tree Drive-in?

When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car. . . to cruise, peel out, lay rubber?

When we went steady and the girls wore a class ring with wrapped dental floss or yarn coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger?

When we crowded around in a circle for the "after school fight" then running when the teacher came?

When no one ever asked where the car keys were 'cause they were always in the ignition?

When the doors to your house were never locked, and you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key?

Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a..."?

Remember playing baseball with no adults to help us with the rules?
Back then, baseball was not a psychological group learning experience-it was just a game.

Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?

With all our progress...don't you just wish...just could slip back in time and savor the slower pace...and share it with the children of the 80's and 90's?...

Can you still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger,The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk as well as the sound of a real lawn mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, tree houses, baseball games, bowling and going to the lake for a swim.. and eating Kool-Aid powder?

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited at home?

We were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, or gangs. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their love was greater than the threat.

I'm talking about hide and go seek at dusk, red light, green light, kick the can, playing kickball & dodgeball until your porch light came on. And "Captain May I"? Red Rover, hula hoops, roller skating to music, running through the sprinkler . . . And . . . Catching lightning bugs in a jar; your first day of school; bedtime prayers and goodnight kisses; climbing trees; a million mosquito bites and sticky fingers; jumping on the bed; pillow fights; running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard your stomach hurt; being tired from playing; your first crush . . remember that?

I'm not finished yet . . . Kool-aid was the drink of summer; toting your friends on your handle bars; wearing your new shoes on the first day of school and class field trips.

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!" There's nothing like the good old days. They were good then, and they're good now when we think about them.

I want to go back to the time when . . . Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" and mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "DO OVER!" "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest; money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly; catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening; and it wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30 minute ads for action figures. War was a card game. Being old referred to anyone over 20 and the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better; it was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the county fair; getting a foot of snow was a dream come true; abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"; spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles; the worst embarrassment was being picked last for the team; water balloons were the ultimate weapon; Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle; Taking drugs meant orange-flovored chewable aspirin; and older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

Didn't that feel good?
Can you sit back and say, Yeah, I remember the 57 Chevy!

What are your thoughts and memories right now..
Go to "comments" and share a memory with your classmates.

There was never a class like the class of 61!!

It was the best of times and we were the best!!
It's been great hasn't it!
May the party never end!!

Don't forget to take the Reunion Test.


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Last Modified December 30, 2002