Tag Archives: Staples High School Class of 1982

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!

The Way We Were

Most high school reunions follow the same pattern. There are squeals of recognition (or puzzled, who-the-hell-are-you? looks). There’s dinner and dancing. Maybe a slide show plays in the background, but no one notices.

At the Staples Class of 1982 reunion earlier this month, everyone watched.

Soreyrith Um created a 14-minute video that will intrigue anyone remotely close to that age — whether they grew up here or not. Along with dozens of photos — some from the yearbook, many taken by Soreyrith himself — he’s integrated video from Kirsten Gill Bartie.

Though a few things have changed — the guys’ shorts are cringe-inducing, the cars are vintage, and there’s a card catalog in the library — what is remarkable is how little is different.

Tracy Rodino and Betsy Gross, outside the now-defunct Sport Mart on Main Street.

Hair styles, sweatshirts, goofing around in the cafeteria, boys and girls hanging all over each other — teenagers from 1982 are almost interchanageable with those in 2012.

A video from 1952 — 30 years earlier — would be almost unrecognizable.

I’d love to hear what today’s high school students think, watching the boys and girls who are now men and women, the same ages as their parents.

Or, in some cases, actually are their parents.

One thing kids will immediately notice: all the alcohol. Senior Skip Day was held at Sherwood Island, and nearly everyone was drinking in public.

Then again, the legal age was 18…

(Click here to view Soreyrith and Kristen’s remarkable video.)