Welcome !

WE THE GRADUATES, the illustrious class of 1962, having departed from our Alma Mater some 49 years ago, have moved through the world with good effect. Among our ranks there can be found; College Professors, Mayors, Lawyers , Engineers, War Heroes, Fire Fighters, Educators, Published Authors, Artists and Well-known Entertainers just to name a few of our many, many achievements. As of this writing, we have not yet uncovered a good horse thief or pirate, but we are still searching.

If you graduated Belleville High in 1962, please contact us !! Contact classmate Norman Price - norman.price_nj@yahoo.com

Or, join us on Facebook; you will find many of your classmates already gathered there at "Belleville High School Class of 1962"

Veterans Note: Our class committee maintains an on-line roster of classmates who have served in the Armed Services. You can view it here ==> Roster. If you have served in the military and your name is not yet on the roster, forward your information to the email address above and it will be added to the roster with thanks.

Please note: all "Links To Class of 62 Sites" are repaired and functional.

NEW - Classmate Ray Hackett has shared with us his collection of Basketball action shots and news clips. Click here to view the collection ==> Basketball.

NEW - A Varsity Football Program from Nov. 4, 1961 is now available in the photo gallery. The Program is courtesy of Classmate Nina Pipitone Colannino. Click here to view the Program ==> Program.

Jukebox -- It was all about the music. -- Insert 10 cents here ==> [--]

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com
Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Want to hear more great oldies ? Click on "Record Player " where you can hear some great DooWop sounds and watch the records spin on vintage record players.

A new juke box featuring 25 songs popular during our Senior year 1961-62 has been added to the Class web page. -->Click here to access<--

The Class of 1962


Check back often as we unfold the history, exploits and adventures of the Illustrious Class of 1962 who once graced the halls and classrooms of Belleville High School, Belleville, New Jersey.

Note ! The 1962 Monad is now available to view in the photo gallery.

==============>Memories are made of this. <==============

Friday, October 22, 2010

Twirlers !

Cheers of glory ..

C'mon, you know this one, sing along -

Cheers of glory for Belleville High
You bring the whiskey, I'll bring the rye
When we yell, we yell like hell
For the glory of Belleville Hi -i - igh.
We never stagger, we never fall
We sober up on wood alcohol
When we yell, we yell like hell
For the glory of Belleville Hi -i - igh.

It's a Saturday afternoon in October. Bright, clear blue sky, a chill in the air, Autumn colors everywhere, from all over town, we're headed to the stadium. Where else would you be going on a perfect Autumn day? There's a big game today and those gorgeous twirlers will be center-field at half-time. Prancing in time to a march tempo, with their whirling batons they would execute fancy figure 8s, complicated hand to hand maneuvers, daring tosses high into the air and spectacular combinations which would take your breath away, partly because of their eye-catching skill and partly because of those delightful uniforms with their delicious short skirts; beautiful ! The uniforms were a brilliant Belleville gold trimmed in blue with an alternate version that was Belleville blue nicely accented with gold. Were we proud of our girls ? .. you better believe it !

Photo courtesy of Carol Colehamer Wallasky

Photo courtesy of Carol Colehamer Wallasky

It's half-time. There's a tense, nail-biting game in progress on the gridiron, but now it's time for the highlight of the day. Thundering drum beats, loud and bold, draws your attention, then flashing, tasseled, white boots and fast spinning batons glistening in sunlight rivets your focus on our high-stepping beauties, the prettiest girls you can imagine, not just any girls, but Jersey girls .. better yet, Jersey girls from Belleville ! It doesn't get better than that. They strut and spin and dance with a military precision that would be the envy of the Marine Corp.

Majorette Barbara Bailey

Co-Captain Phyllis Clemente

Co-Captain Elaine Lanfrank

If you were there, you know that you didn't take your eyes off of these girls when they were on the field. Barbara, our proud and pretty Majorette lead the way with elegant plumes and gold braids, epaulets and trim on her shimmering white uniform, ably assisted by her co-captains, Elaine and Phyllis. There were more than two dozen baton spinning twirlers in our varsity squad, ten of whom were from the illustrious Class of '62 including;

Carol Colehamer
Mary Jane Richter
Gay Anderton
Barbara Kraly
Judith Van Demark
Barbara Underwood
Grace Hucko
Phyllis Clemente
Elaine Lanfrank
Barbara Bailey

It was not only in the stadium where we would see the girls. They could be seen leading the marching band on parade days. Sometimes a two-mile march, sometimes in freezing cold, they would perform before the reviewing stand, while fatigued and shivering, flawless baton twirling maneuvers. Good soldiers they were.

School concerts would find them performing on stage in the auditorium. In senior year they executed their art with brilliant routines, first to "March Foundation" and then to a neat swing number, "Riffin' the Blues." We enjoyed that, the more often we could watch them, the better we liked it.

Anyone out there think that twirling is easy ? .. huh ?? .. try this one -

Got that down pat ? .. o.k. but remember, you are doing this while executing dance steps in perfect unison with every other twirler on the field. Got it ? .. but wait, you are wearing a very short skirt, the temperature is 20*F, your fingers and toes are numb with cold, but you mustn't drop the baton. Everything under control ??

Thank you, girls. It was great ! We wouldn't mind if you did it again at the reunion :)


There are more photos and news articles available about our twirlers. To view -

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Alma Mater

There was a moment a few years back which, for your-author-here-present, was truely stunning; a moment that brought back all the goodness of those years I had spent at Belleville High. We were at an event at BHS while my youngest daughter was still a student there. The auditorium was filled. There were BHS alumni in the audience from every living generation. During the course of the evening, two delightful elderly ladies were introduced to us from the Class of 1927. Also present were grandparents from the WWII era, parents from the '50s and '60s, alumni from the '70s and '80s as well as the current students; the Class of '99. An occasion arose on the evening's program for the singing of The Alma Mater. At once, the auditorium filled with singing voices, everyone knew it ! A large number of those present were former graduates of Belleville High. What an incredible bonding of the generations it was. All of us, from over all of those years had one thing in common, the Belleville High School Alma Mater. I don't think I was ever quite so proud of being a BHS alumni as I was on that night. I was pleased to have remembered the words. All those times we had sung it at pep rallies and other occasions at assemblies had not been wasted on me.

The melody is old. In its earliest form, it is a melancholy folk-ballad called Annie Lisle composed by Henry S. Thompson in 1857. Sung mostly at minstrel shows, it achieved little fame on its own, however, it was lifted to immortality when it was fashioned into the Alma Mater of two major universities. First, circa 1872, with new lyrics written by students, it became the Alma Mater of Cornell University where it is known as "Far Above Cayuga's Waters". Then, in 1904, it was adopted as the Alma Mater by the nations oldest public institution of higher learning, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Belleville High School adopted the song, with our own lyrics, as our Alma Mater in 1927. It was a good choice. It places us alongside these other great institutions. Our own village is actually older than the ancient and venerable College of William and Mary, whose alumni includes founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Though all three versions are "almost" identical, there are slight differences among them. On close inspection of the phrase structure of the lyrics of our song, it is probable that we based our lyrics on Cornell's version.

Our lyrics -

Nestled in the folds of Jersey
In a quiet vale
Stands our noble Alma Mater
Belleville High all hail

Lift the chorus
Sing her praises
Over hill and dale
Hail to thee our Alma Mater
Belleville High all hail
Here is the Cornell version -

Here is the William and Mary version -


Here is the sheet music for our version -

Click on image to enlarge.

We have lots of time to practice so we can belt out a good, blood-rushing rendition of the old Alma Mater at our reunion ! It has been a long time since we sang it together, it will be fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Delicates

The official superstars of the Class of 1962

There is a touch of the goddess in each and every girl. Some girls allow their inner divine spirit to bubble up to the surface where we can all admire it, such as those three deliciously pretty girls from the Class of '62, Lee, Peg and Dee known together as The Delicates.

For many of us, our first introduction came at a high school talent show; y'know one of those affairs with performances by piano or violin soloists, baton twirlers and modern dance recitals, .. yes. And, at one point, three young ladies stepped out onto the stage. They were going to sing for us, .. o.k., they were certainly pretty. But then, something different and unexpected happened. First, about five seconds into their number, they had everyone's rapt attention. Then, about ten seconds later, they were rockin' the joint. Wait a minute, this wasn't talent show talent, this was really good, seriously professional. They blended their voices with a touch of attitude that was cool, sophisticated, with moves and a style that made the guys melt in their shoes. The old auditorium walls had never echoed with a sound like this before. Do you remember the buzz in the halls after the show? Wow ! .. who were those girls ?? .. the Delicates ? .. yeah!

Some of us were then just learning about their spectacular talent .. pay attention, Class of 1962, you have rock stars among you .. others already knew about it. It had all begun much earlier.

The story of the Delicates; Denise Ferri, Peggy Santiglia and Arleen Lanzotti, is a Belleville story in which the plot played out during one of Belleville's golden ages; one of those "so good to grow up in" times, the 1950's and early '60s. For our story, we must drift back to those gentle, "Leave It To Beaver" days and call up an image of three very young ladies, classmates at School No. 8 on Union Avenue, who, from as early as second grade, had become fast childhood friends.

They liked to sing. They especially liked to sing together. Playtime was a time for piecing together songs and harmonies of their own invention which they sang just for the joy of it. It is true, when you sing for joy, it adds a quality to your music that might otherwise be missing. Now, extraordinary talent can never go unnoticed, because even ordinary people can sense it. And indeed, our young ladies were found out early. From a reading of their memoirs, we learn that their first performance as a trio occurred in fifth grade when their teacher, Mrs. Eleanor W. Arthur, organized a talent show one Friday night and invited the girls to sing. A career was born on that night.

That was just the beginning. It was Denise's father who contacted Ted Mack of "Amateur Hour" fame. An attentive father, he saw and understood the blossoming talent and felt entirely confident that something good was going to happen. It did. A talent scout heard the audition. The girls were whisked off to the Brill Building in New York City, the focal point of the music industry in New York and the country. Stardom came quickly after that.

The Brill Building

It was at the exciting and crazy age of 14 when the girls were invited to write and perform the theme song for "Murray the K and his Swingin' Soiree". There came in rapid succession appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, the Clay Cole Show and the legendary stage shows at the Brooklyn Fox and Brooklyn Paramount theaters. And there were the tours, tours with the best known DJs of the time including Cousin Brucie and Alan Freed.

Still, there was no less demand for them back home. One of my favorite anecdotes is this excerpt from Peggy's memoirs - I remember my mom waking me up saying, "Quick, call Dee and Lee, Mayor Padula won and they want you to sing it at city hall".

It almost sounds like a fairy tale story, but then again, this sort of thing happens all the time in Belleville, a town from where there is an impressive list of famous entertainers. Best of all, the Delicates story is not over. They performed in concert this summer at the Meadowlands and their career is moving forward.

There is much more to know about The Delicates' career than this brief essay can provide. Here is a list of sites worth visiting :

The Delicates own website -
where you can hear their music, see photos and read those great memoirs. (Perhaps they can be persuaded to publish a book of their extended memoirs. It is said they kept a journal of their adventures.)

Also try their Jersey Girls page,

and their Facebook page,

or their Wikipedia page,

To visit the Delicates Audio Gallery and listen to some of their greatest hits, click here.

Today, they are still pretty, they still sing, they still rock the joint .. they are still - The Delicates. Chalk one up, a big one, for the Class of '62. [yeah !]

The Delicates, back in Belleville, where it all began.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Roll Call

These are the names that appeared in the Commencement Program issued for graduation day, Wednesday, June 20th, 1962 -

Click on image to enlarge !
If you are new to using these systems, follow these instructions for best results - (1) Click on image to enlarge. (2) After image appears on your screen, click image again to view full-screen size. (3) After viewing, use your browser "back" button to return to Blog.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Guy's Hair Styles

It is a well established fact that a guy's future success in life is directly related to his hair style. Back in the golden age, every guy was taught from the age of six onwards by all those TV commercials that, if he selected the right hair style and used the right hair tonic, happiness in life was assured. We all knew that a little dab will do ya and a wink, a whistle and Wildroot will make pretty girls chase after you. And since the girls in the Class of '62 were the prettiest anyone had ever seen, we were specially motivated. Of course, driving a V8 convertible didn't hurt, but before you were old enough to drive, all you had was your hair. After all, there were no commercials about improving your personality or learning to become sensitive to a girl's delicate feelings, so you just slicked it back, went out into the world and waited to be chased. Hmmm ..
We interrupt this article to bring you a message from our sponsor - Brylcreem -

We did have the best of role models to teach us how to behave while all those gorgeous beauties were throwing themselves all over us .. uh .. just in case they did.

There was Ed "Kookie" Burns from 77 Sunset Strip. ["Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb!"] .. right!

Elvis made the pompadour the top style choice. Check out a few of these -

A decade later, "The Fonz" from Happy Days gave us a look back at proper attitude management.

What about the guys from Belleville's Class of '62 ? Were they up to date with their styles? You better believe it. All the fashionable styles were represented; the pompadour, the cool flat-top, the masculine and sporty close-crop and the popular 1930's retro straight-back. Let's see if you ladies remember some of these. Yes, these are your classmates -

Yup, so here it is, 50 years later and I am still waiting to be chased. I carefully treat all 64 of my remaining hairs with the best of hair tonics. I know they're coming, all those pretty girls, the commercials told me so !

A closing word from one of our sponsors -

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mr. Kittle

Mr. Hugh D. Kittle

It was in December of 1961, the mid-point of our Senior year, when a profound change occurred at Belleville High. After thirty-seven years of service to the school system, twenty-six years as principal, Mr. Hugh D. Kittle retired. He had been "our" principal for three-and-a- half of the four years we spent in Belleville High. We would be his last Senior class. The assembly in the auditorium honoring his departure ended with a lengthy standing ovation. He was replaced with good men, but old Belleville High would never be the same without Mr. Kittle. The aura of his presence could be felt in every nook and cranny of the building. His stern but good natured, fatherly attentiveness was sensed everywhere.

Mr. Kittle had been a member of the staff since 1928. However, in November of 1942, he became Navy Lieutenant Hugh D. Kittle, taking leave from his post at the high school to serve in the military during WWII. His temporary replacement was Harold Dufford. Mr. Dufford was still serving the community as Assistant Superintendent in 1962.

Mr. Harold Dufford

Both our class and our predecessors in 1961 directed accolades to Mr. Kittle in our year books. It is worth recording both here in their original wording since, from each, we learn something about the man, himself.

From the 1961 Monad -

"One of the most enthusiastic rooters for old Belleville High is that man in the office, our principal, Mr. Kittle. He is sure to be on the fifty-yard line at the football games, on the sideline with our basketball teams, down in front at all our auditorium programs, and shoulder to shoulder with any project the school plans. He may bark over the microphone, but there is a twinkle in his eye and a humorous twist to his serious kidding. Quietly and unobtrusively he goes about his duties, yet his guiding presence is felt throughout our entire building. When the first flowers bloom in his garden, there is one in the lapel of his coat; and when Christmas comes, there is always a festive yuletide air and decorations in the office and around Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, on the porch at his home on De Witt Avenue.

There will always be pleasant memories of the man who has done so much for us and for Belleville High School."

No less lavish were we, the Class of 1962, when we dedicated our yearbook to him with these words:

"We, the loyal subjects of the Class of 1962 with love, honor and respect, dedicate our Monad to Hugh D. Kittle, the lord of our court. An educator for the past thirty-seven years, Mr. Kittle was graduated from Bucknell University, where he received his B.A. degree in mechanical engineering. He received his M.A. at Montclair State College, and continued his studies at Pennsylvania State College, Newark State College, and Rutgers University. The father of two sons and a daughter, Mr. Kittle boasts nine grandchildren. He is a fishing enthusiast and an avid sports fan. In addition, he is a commander and active participant in the United States Navel Reserve.

A devoted principal for twenty-six years, Mr. Kittle is admired for his understanding, foresight, determination, and endeavor. Although his noble reign ceased with his resignation on December 22, 1961, Mr. Kittle will be remembered as a standard bearer of learning and a guiding influence.
The Class of 1962 feel that words of gratitude are not enough, and so in this dedication we have made a more permanent gesture toward thanking Mr. Kittle for everything he has done for us and for Belleville High School."
Mr. Kittle was replaced by good men. First, by Mr. George Lees. Mr. Lees was a man to be admired. We, perhaps quietly, hoped he might be the principal who would over-see our graduation, but not to be. Declining health forced him to withdraw from the post. In the end, it would be Mr. Austin MacArthur, "Mr. Mac", who would be there for graduation. I remember Mr. Mac liked to patrol the halls when students were moving about. Your author-here-present clearly recalls a well-placed judo chop to an arm that was casually placed around the shoulder of a young lady I was walking with in the halls one day. When I turned to see who my assailant was, Mr. Mac was wagging a finger saying, "None of that here!" Still, he was a good man.

Mr. George Lees

Mr. Austin MacArthur

The 4 High Schools

No, that's not the name of a DooWop group, that's how many high schools there have been in Belleville. Our own high school was not the first, not even the second. Our high school building was the third. To find the first, we must reach all the way back to 1896.

Prior to 1896, high school was a noble concept that existed in only a few places. In those days, you went to grammar school through sixth grade. That was considered a complete elementary education. After sixth grade it was .. Hey boy, what's a matter you, go get a job ! And the young ladies ? .. perhaps Big Joe Turner's song says it best, "Get in that kitchen, make some noise with the pots and pans".

For those with higher educational expectations, after grammar school, there was prep school to bridge the gap between elementary school and college. Trouble was, prep schools were private schools, expensive and available only to well-to-do families. The addition of 7th and 8th grades helped to bridge the gap in the public school system and cut down on the time needed in prep school. Still, public schools did not make you ready for college until the addition of the public high school program. At first, in Belleville, high school was a two-year program, but it was not long before the full four-year curriculum was in place and you could be "prepped" for college, trade school or the military in our public school system.

The "Academy", built in 1853, was Belleville's first public school. Later, it was enlarged and re-named School 1. The old, original Academy, now behind and dwarfed by School 1, became our first high school.

The Academy was located on the grounds where School 1 is today.

Lacking anything remotely resembling modern amenities, it was a challenge to study there, but Belleville's scholars were a hardy lot and they made do.

The situation improved, but only a little, when the high school program was relocated in 1903 to the newer School 3 built in 1897. Many old photos and period postcards designate School 3 as "Belleville High School". Well, .. that was partly true. School 3 was a multi-purpose school. It housed a complete elementary school system, including grades 7 and 8. The high school program occupied the third floor, so to that extent, School 3 was the high school and remained so until 1915.

School 3 as it appeared in 1908. It was added on to several times in later years.

1915 was a banner year for the high school program. It was then that the Washington Avenue building, our high school, was completed. It was the first building used exclusively by the rapidly growing high school program. In that sense, our school was the first high school; that is, the first building dedicated to only the high school program.

The original building was designed by famed Belleville architect Charles Granville Jones. It was a royal beauty. Several photos of the original building still exist. There were three additions to the school. No photos of the intermediate stages have surfaced so far. The final addition completed in 1937, including the gymnasium, is the way we see the building today. The Washington Avenue school, School 6 according to the town numbering system, served the community for 50 years as a high school and serves the community still as a middle school. It is well cared for, looks really spiffy with all new windows and is now surrounded with Cherry Blossom trees.

The familiar south elevation, side entrance, to our school.

The new high school, situated on campus-like grounds adjacent to the stadium, is pleasant enough. Although we call it the "new" school, if the truth is to be told, it is 45 years old now. Your author-here-present, having taken various adult school courses, once trying desperately to learn Italian before a trip to Rome, has thus been a student in the new school. It is reasonably comfortable, somewhat institutional-looking inside, but lacks the classic character of the Washington Avenue school. Perhaps I am prejudiced, after all, I graduated from the Washington Avenue school.

The main entrance to the "new" school.

Let's Rock n Roll !

We saw it all. We helped usher in the new high-tech world. We were the first television generation, the jet age generation, the space age generation. We saw the Viet Nam War, the civil rights turmoil, Woodstock, the explosive inflation of the '70s. We actively participted in the world take-over by computers. Even now new challenges face us every day. How do we manage to cope with it all?? We take it all in stride, because above all else, we are the Rock n Roll generation. Give us a rockin' beat, a good guitar riff and a wailin' sax and just stand back out of our way.

We have to do some of these moves at our class reunion ! Not to worry, there will be EMS trucks standing by :) Just in case you have forgotten some of the steps, here is a brief instruction video.

Here are some photos of The Cupid Coronation Ball, Belleville High School, 1962.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Leader

Back then .. all those years ago .. we possessed more wisdom than we knew. We had been called upon to make a choice, a serious, hard-nosed choice that would affect us far into the future. We were called upon to choose a leader, someone from our class of very talented people, a leader among achievers, someone to represent us to the world, someone to keep us gathered together and in touch for years to come.

We searched everywhere. We searched the classrooms and the playing fields. We searched the labs, study halls and cafeteria. We searched the malt shops, the pizza parlors and even under the hoods of snazzy hot-rods. We searched down by the river side .. there!! .. out on the water, stroking like a galley slave in a long boat! It was Andy .. stroke, stroke .. strong back .. stroke, stroke .. keen eye .. stroke, stroke. He was made of tough stuff as were we all. Yes, he would be the one. Promptly, we elected him our President.

Decades have now passed. Never have we regretted our choice for a leader of our sterling Class. Andy .. Dr. Andrew Provence .. has done us proud. This from his Facebook bio -

"I grew up in Belleville, NJ where I was graduated from Belleville HS. I received a MA from Seton Hall U and doctorate from Rutgers University. I dedicated my entire life to education in every position from teacher to assistant superintendent."

The call has gone out. Dr. Andy says it's time for us to gather, time to celebrate 50 years of achievement, time to celebrate our Alma Mater. We'll be there.

Friday, July 23, 2010


President Dwight D. Eisenhower

It's the summer of '58. Elementary school graduates of June, we are spending our last summer as youngsters before we embark on an exciting and traumatic career as full-fledged high school teenagers. What sort of a world was it that we lived in, that was molding us as we prepared ourselves to become Belleville High School alumni ? Here are some highlights, this was our world in 1958 -

Dwight D. Eisenhower is President. In the news, it is the age of Fidel Castro, Nikita Khrushchev, Charles de Gaulle, Harold Macmillan and Pope Pius XII. We are deep into the Cold War and the Cuban Revolution is raging. There are still 48 states.

Elvis Presley is called to join the Army, Edsel Automobiles are introduced, NASA is created by Congress, it's the very first days of the space age. The first trans Atlantic passenger jet service begins by BOAC. The U.S. answers with the Boeing 707, the Bossa Nova is the new dance craze, Americans buy 100 million Hula Hoops.

Hollywood offered us: The Bridge on the River Kwai , Vertigo, Gigi, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Defiant Ones, Auntie Mame, South Pacific and King Creole.

NY Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves (4-3) in the World Series. The New York Giants become the San Francisco Giants The Brooklyn Dodgers become the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tim Tam wins the Kentucky Derby. Sugar Ray Robinson wins the middleweight boxing title for a record fifth time

The median U.S. family income is $5,087. A family size Chevrolet sells for $2,081, a gallon of gasoline is 30.4¢, a pair of blue jeans sells for $3.75, a pound of round steak costs $1.04, a pound of chicken costs 46.5¢, a Nathan's hot dog costs 25¢, a ticket to a Broadway musical costs $8.05. a roundtrip flight to London from New York costs $453.60,

Most important of all was the music. Music is what feelings sound like. Anyone who wants to know what it felt like to be a young teenager in 1958, listen to our music, it tells you everything. Here is a cross-section of music originating in that year.

At the Hop Danny and the Juniors, Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis, All the Way Frank Sinatra, Stood Up Ricky Nelson, Don't Elvis Presley, Short Shorts Royal Teens, Sugartime The McGuire Sisters, Get a Job The Silhouettes, 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) The Four Preps, A Wonderful Time Up There Pat Boone, Tequila The Champs, Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry, Catch a Falling Star Perry Como, Are You Sincere Andy Williams, Lollipop The Chordettes, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Laurie London, Twilight Time Platters, Witch Doctor David Seville, Wear My Ring Around Your Neck Elvis Presley, All I Have to Do is Dream The Everly Brothers, Purple People Eater Sheb Wooley, Big Man The Four Preps, Secretly Jimmie Rodgers, Hard Headed Woman Elvis Presley, Yakety Yak Coasters, Patricia Perez Prado, Poor Little Fool Ricky Nelson, Splish Splash Bobby Darin, Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Blu) Dominico Modugno, My True Love Jack Scott, Little Star The Elegants, Bird Dog The Everly Brothers, It's All in the Game Tommy Edwards, Rockin Robin Bobby Day, Topsy II Cozy Cole, It's Only Make Believe Conway Twitty, Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio, To Know Him Is To Love Him Teddy Bears, Problems The Everly Brothers, The Chipmunk Song David Seville, Don't/I Beg You Elvis Presley, Born Too Late Poni-Tails, Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry, Rebel Rouser Duane Eddy, Chantilly Lace J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), Book of Love The Monotones, Summertime Blues Eddie Cochran, Breathless Jerry Lee Lewis, Good Golly Miss Molly Little Richard, La Bamba Ritchie Valens, Fever Peggy Lee, Do You Wanna Dance? Bobby Freeman, Maybe Chantels, The Stroll The Diamonds, Who's Sorry Now? Connie Francis, Tears on My Pillow Little Anthony and The Imperials, Oh Boy Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Maybe Baby Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Rave On Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Jingle Bell Rock Bobby Helms, Deedee Dinah Frankie Avalon, Lonesome Town Ricky Nelson

And then there was television. We are the generation who was present at the birth of popular television. Most of us can remember the first time we ever saw one of these things, probably around 1950 or so. Television tried to influence our lives, maybe it did to some extent, but not nearly as much as the music. Perhaps you remember some of these shows. This was the prime time, network schedule for 1958 -

You Asked For It, Maverick, Lawman, Colt .45, Encounter, Lassie, Jack Benny, Bachelor Father, Ed Sullivan, General Electric Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, $64,000 Question, What's My Line? Saber of London, Northwest Passage, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, Loretta Young.

Polka-Go-Round, Bold Journey, Voice of Firestone, Anybody Can Play, This is Music, Name That Tune, The Texan, Father Knows Best, Danny Thomas, Ann Sothern, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Tic Tac Dough, Restless Gun, Tales of Wells Fargo, Peter Gunn, Alcoa Theatre/Goodyear Television Playhouse, Arthur Murray Party.

Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bronco, Wyatt Earp, The Rifleman, Naked City, Confession, Stars in Action, Keep Talking, To Tell the Truth, Arthur Godfrey, Red Skelton, Garry Moore, Dragnet, George Gobel, Eddie Fisher, George Burns, Bob Cummings, The Californians.

Lawrence Welk, Ozzie and Harriet, Donna Reed, Patti Page, Wednesday Night Fights, Twilight Theater, Pursuit, The Millionaire, I've Got a Secret, Armstrong Circle Theatre, United States Steel Hour, Wagon Train, The Price is Right, Milton Berle, Bat Masterson, This is Your Life.

Leave It to Beaver, Zorro, The Real McCoys, Pat Boone, The Rough Riders, Traffic Court, I Love Lucy, December Bride, Yancy Derringer, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, Playhouse 90, Jefferson Drum, Ed Wynn, Twenty One, Behind Closed Doors, Tennessee Ernie Ford, You Bet Your Life, Masquerade Party

Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Walt Disney Presents, Man with a Camera, Tombstone Territory, 77 Sunset Strip, Your Hit Parade, Trackdown, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers, Schlitz Playhouse, Lux Playhouse, The Lineup, Person to Person, Buckskin, Adventures of Ellery Queen, M Squad, The Thin Man, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, Man Without a Gun This is Alice, How to Marry a Millionaire, Premiere Performance (20th Century Fox movies)

Dick Clark Saturday Night, Jubilee USA, Lawrence Welk, Sammy Kaye's Music from Manhattan, Perry Mason, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Gale Storm, Have Gun – Will Travel, Gunsmoke, People are Funny, Perry Como, Steve Canyon, Cimarron City, Brains & Brawn

It was 1958 and we were on our way. We never looked back. With brave hearts, perhaps just a touch of trepidation, we entered the halls and homerooms of Belleville High School. The Class of 1962 was rolling.


Visit our Facebook page for 8th grade class pictures of the classes of 1958 !

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Academic Ancestors

We were the 65th class to graduate from the hallowed halls of Belleville High, that school nestled in the folds of Jersey, in a quiet vale. The high school program was initiated in 1896. At first, it was a two year program. The first graduating class was 1898. The earliest class to leave us a photographic record of themselves was the Class of 1901. We see them here posing for their class picture. Back row center is Alice Bricker, head mistress, principle and lead instructor. To her left and right were her assistant teachers. The graduating class were five in number, the two gentlemen standing and the three ladies seated. The school building behind them was "The Academy", Belleville's first public school in general and first high school as well. It was located where School 1 currently stands. Note their class motto - "Carpe Diem" - seize the day.