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 ==> [--]

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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. <==============

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Roll Call

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

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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.