Friday Flashback #165

Today is Staples High School’s Homecoming. There’s an afternoon pep rally; all fall teams will be introduced. There’s a football game at night. The stands will be full. Captains of all sports are announced at halftime.

That’s it. No dance. No Homecoming king or queen. No

It’s been that way for a couple of decades. Dances are out of favor. King and queen are not cool. Floats got the kibosh years ago, because the heavy trucks that pulled them damaged the track.

Several years ago, when lights were added to the football field, the Saturday afternoon event moved to Friday night.

So here’s a look back, 50 years ago. In 1969, Leslie Wilker was Homecoming Queen…

… and here’s a typical float. Each class built one (somehow, the seniors always won).

Floats did not always have a G-rated theme. In 1984 — when the drinking age in Connecticut was 18 — the senior class celebrated Homecoming with a bottle, and this slogan:

That decade-plus of 18-year-old drinking made Staples a different place. In 1982, administrators gave a special gift to all seniors, at the prom: a beer mug.

And in 1975, the yearbook included this photo, of the “Trojan Club”:

It’s a different time today, for sure.

See you at Homecoming tonight!

10 responses to “Friday Flashback #165

  1. In the name of Political Correctness, we’ve lost some beautiful traditions. Such a shame.


    • Bruce Kent ('55)

      I’ll second that Angelo! PC ruining our country as well as our beloved Staples.

  2. Homecoming floats were fun, and the while the King and Queen thing was a bit of a popularity contest and perhaps not too pc in 2019, my class (’81) and others around then seemed to do the right thing and pick genuinely nice people rather than the star quarterback + head cheerleader. As for the drinking age in 1984 – that was 20 (I remember because I seemed to be barely staying ahead of the rising drinking age)

  3. Tom Duquette, SHS '75

    Wow, times sure have changed…for the better? I was friends with all of the “Trojan Club” members and may have had a brew or two at some of their events back in the day. Great guys and good times. Enjoy Homecoming everyone safely and responsibly.

  4. Donna Louise Brooks

    I vaguely remember her. Wow.

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA, MA, JDE

    Leslie Wilker. A doll if there ever was one.
    Dan, can you status update on her?

  6. David J. Loffredo

    It’s called drunk driving and we’re all lucky we survived it.

    Luckily our kids are smarter or have better access to alternative transportation – sad that so many Staples kids show up completely wasted to things like Homecoming and the Candlelight Concert – as we posted in our 1985 yearbook ad – “who can forget what little we remember”….

  7. My time in Westport preceded Leslie’s and I never knew her, but some internet sleuthing reveals she is Leslie wilker-Manfredon and she lives in Newtown CT.

  8. Dan
    You always have the best insight and history on the town. You truly are “The Man”

  9. Class of ’79, we had the Deathmobile float!