On that September day in 1945, as most of us were starting off on our first day of school, World War II was finally over. Harry Truman was President, Minimim Wage was 40 cents per hour, gas 21 cents a gallon, a car sold for $1,250, a stamp was 3cents and a house sold for $10,131.00. The population of Lockhart at that time was 5,018. Our parents had been children in the Great Depression; we were the children of World War II with most everyone’s family having someone serving in that war. As small as we were, we can remember rationing, Gold Star pennants hanging in doorways, bubble gum being a rarity and making do with what you had.
Our lives were simple, no TV, no computers, no microwaves, no play stations, no cell phones. How did we ever manage? Well, we played marbles, jumped rope, played hop scotch, traded comic books, skated with skates that had a key, rode bikes, played football and baseball, hide and go seek and went to the movies at the Baker Theater. We rode the range with Roy Rogers and Dale, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, and Johnny McBrown. We laughed with the Three Stooges, Bowery Boys and Abbott and Costello. Radio was king and we had Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly, Red Skelton, Bob Hope The Inner Sanctum (remember the creaking door) and Sky King . Songs like Zip A Dee DooDah, Buttons and Bows, Too Young, Cry, Don't fence me in, and Swinging on a Star were being played. We had Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and all the wonderful things that we experienced when we were grade school students.
In 1951, we started growing up. We were in Jr. High..As we started 7th grade. A car cost $1,850, gas 27 cents, minimum wage 75 cents. Lockhart's population had grown to 5,573. Our President was Harry S. Truman. Top movies that year: High Noon, Come back little Sheba, Singing in the Rain, Moulin Rouge, Viva Zapata, The Bad and the Beautiful.
We begin falling in love and going to boy/girl dances. Top songs that year ... Blue Tango, You belong to Me, Why don't you believe me, Wheel of Fortune, Tell me Why and Tenderly.
We were in Jr. High band and started learning how to play the various instruments from a band director called ... Mr. Hooper ... and we wore the famous white coverall uniforms. We had cheerleaders, majorettes, pep squad and a football team called the Midgets. TV became big in our lives and we watched shows such as Texaco Star Theatre, Arthur Godfreys Talent Scouts, Your show of shows, Perry Como Show, Your Hit Parade, Jack Benny and I Love Lucy .. all in living Black and White.
In 1952, we started 8th grade ... Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne of England. Roman Holiday, House of Wax, Beast from 20,000 Fanthoms, Shane, and the Wild One were top movies that year. Our top songs that year: That's Amore; You , You, You; Rags to Riches; Till I waltz again with you; Song from Moulin Rouge; Don't let the stars get in your eyes. Many of us were in the Fesicade that year. Slumber parties are popular for the girls. We are anxious to be Freshmen ......
In the year of 1953, we are Freshman in high school. Will we ever forget, eating garlic, lipstick on our faces, scrubbing the gym steps with a toothbrush and all the things that the Upper classman could dole out . Top movies that year: On the waterfront, The Country Girl, Creature from the Black Lagoon, On the Town, Rear Window. Top songs are Oh My Papa, This Ole House, Hey There, Little things mean a lot, Secret Love, Shake, Rattle and Roll, Stranger in Paradise..Sh-Boom. On TV we watch Dragnet, This is your life, I Love Lucy, Burns and Allen, Lassie, Jackie Gleason Show, Ed Sullivan and Make room for Daddy.
We are in High school Band and Pep Squad. We have classmates on the football, basketball, baseball and track team. We go to football games, the sweetheart dance, the halloween carnival at the gym. We get our drivers license. Alot of us have cars. We ride around town and everyone pools their money for a few gallons of gas ..... We drive to big cities like Luling and, San Marcos.
In 1954, we start our Sophomore year .... Marty, Blackboard Jungle, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Lady and the Tramp, The Rose Tattoo Rebel without a Cause .... were our top movies that year. Songs: Earth Angel, Ain't that a shame Sixteen tons. Rock around the clock, Moments to remember and Sincerely. On TV, we are watching: You bet your life, Our miss Brooks, Father Knows best, Gunmoke, Dragnet, Alfred Hitchcock.
Our football team are Bi District Champs; guys are wearing Duck Tails, Flat Tops, peg pants. Girls are precious in poodle skirts with at least 3 crinoline slips, bobby socks and suede loafers. We have 50 cents banana splits at Ole Bossey, vanilla cokes at the creamery, swimming at the park pool, dancing on the hill and movies at the Baker and Sky Vue Drive In. It's fun to let the boys sneak in, in the inside of the trunk. Some times we even know what is showing at the drive in.
1955: we are now Juniors ... We play In the Mood at every football game and it must have inspired our football team as we are the State Quarter Finalist ... the first time in the history of Lockhart High School. We are stars in the Jr. Play, Beauty and the Beef. We give the Seniors a banquet to remember when we transport them to an "Evening in Paris". Top Movies: Around the world in 80 days, Baby Doll, The King and I, Man in the Grey Flannel Suit. TV shows: I've got a secret, Highway Patrol, $64,000 Question, Mickey Mouse Club ... A boy comes along named ... Elvis, and .... Love Me Tender, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, and Don't be cruel ... rock the nation... ...
And , we are rocking and rolling too....we receive our Senior Rings.
As we start school that September of 1956, we are Seniors at last. Lockhart has grown to be a town of 7,000. Min wage is now $1.00. Gunfight at the OK Corral, I was a Teenage Warewolf, Bridge on the River Kwai, Jailhouse Rock, Pal Joey are the Top Movies Songs ... That'll be the Day, Whole Lotta Shakin going on, Young Blood, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear, April Love, Love Letters in the Sand, Little Darlin, Bye, Bye Love, and Blueberry Hill. We watch Wagon Train, The Millionaire, Huntley-Brinkley Report (Good night Chet, Good Night David), Perry Mason, Red Skelton, Leave it to Beaver and TheTonight show with Steve Allen. We sell magazines, and christmas cards, getting our finances in order for the big Senior Trip.
As the old year of 1956 passes into the new year, of 1957, it is a time for the last times.
We attend our last Football Banquet, Sweetheart Dance, VIctory Dances after the Game, the Jr. Sr Banquet. We star in Our Senior Play ... Room for the Groom.
Finally, we are on our way to New Orleans. We will never forget the fun we had, being together and being grown up ... but too soon it is over and we are graduating. A night to remember 77 in 57.. But now we are no longer ... Seniors of 1957. We are graduates of Lockhart High School. and starting a new life.
Most of us go to colleges: Texas A&M, The University of Texas, Southwest State Teachers College; some of us married and started families. We move away from Lockhart, some stay,and some of us have come back, but we will always remember the great times and growing up in the fun years of the 50's.
We probably were the last age of innocents as the 60's came and with it, a different kind of morals and music and a little madness. The Beatles, hippies, riots in the streets, Vietnam, an assinated president ... a changing world ... a world that we would now be working in, raising our children, and making our way and making our mark.
At some of our first reunions, we talked about jobs, raising children, buying our first houses, then later, where our children would go to college, children getting married, then grandchildren, retirement ... aches and pains ... losing our parents, spouses ... for some, our children, for some of us, our grandchildren ... losing our hair, losing our friends, facing heartache, dreams that didn't come true, but dreams that did ... the challenges of growing older.
It has been a long road from that first day in 1945. We have had our ups and down on this road called life, but I am sure most of us fill that alot of our ability to make it this far was because we not only had a good time to grow up in but we were fortunate to be able to go to school in a great little town called Lockhart. Our families, teachers, church, and friends all were a big part of that growning up experience ... I think most of us would say, it has been an experience we would not have wanted to miss.
There is a saying that goes ... Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I think coming of age in the 50's, growing up in Lockhart and being students at Lockhart High we definately had those moments.
May the future hold for each of us our share of these moments,.. good friends, good health and blessings from above .
Remember ... Don't dance so fast ... time is short ... the music won't last ... life is not a race ... do take it slower ... hear the music before the song is over.
Shirley is now going to read a poem that Ginger found not too long ago. I think it is appropriate for this day. God bless you all ... and Lockhart High Forever ...
Poem: Class Reunion
It was my class reunion, and all through the house
I checked in each mirror and begged my poor spouse
To say I looked great, that my chin wasn't double
And he lied through false teeth, just to stay out of trouble
Said that neath my thick glasses, my eyes hadn't changed
And I had the same figure, it was just a mite rearranged.
He said my skin was still silky, although looser in drape
Not so much like smooth satin, but more like silk crepe.
I swallowed his words hook, sinker and line
And entered the banquet feeling just fine
Somehow I'd expected my classmates to stay
As young as they were on that long - ago day
We'd hugged farewell hugs, but like me through the years,
They'd added gray to their hair, or pounds to their rears.
But as we shared a few memories and retold some class jokes,
We were eighteen in spirit, though we looked like our folks.
We turned up hearing aid volumes and dimmed down the light,
Rolled back the years.... and were young for the night.