Your Mother's Hands (entry 10)

Senior Year 1961-62

I am now and finally a Senior.

I am OH SO GROWN UP!!!! Actually as far as farm management and housekeeping skills, I was FAR ahead of my classmates, but still very young........age 17!

I had a full curriculum: English/Writing, Literature, Trigonometry, Civics, Home Ec., Band and Glee Ckub. No study halls, yet and found time for a LOT of outside reading of magazines and books. I enjoyed the newspaper daily crossword puzzle and work them still to this day.

Mrs. Lucas "honed" our vocal skills. Each Fall we'd sing: Autumn Leaves, September Song, Let There Be Peace On Earth, Deep Purple and our favorite.... I Know A Green Cathedral.

Mrs. Jones was our Home Ec. teacher. We made a Baby Scrap book. Infant through 2 years old. She would give us outlines of monthly growth and care, and we would clip picture and articles out of magazines to correspond. Oh wouldn't a computer have been wonderful for this? We would personalize our books by naming our baby and writing captions. I had a portable typewriter at home so I could do all of my typing there. Almost ALL of my magazine clippings were in color. It was very neat. I took a LOT of pride in my BOOK and my articles were interesting. I made an A+ and won the Home Ec. Award for it. My baby's name was DAVID! Oh yes, "my" BABY was a PERFECT CHILD.

I had to do a LOT of home studying as I had NO study halls. We had a TV at this time, but I really did not watch much. I went to bed around 10:30 pm. I had my regular farm chores, my work schedule AND my "social life", plus I added in being on the Yearbook Staff. It was not a scheduled class, but extra curricular.

Your Dad and I started to "go steady", which meant we exchanged class rings. I wore his with tape painted with nail polish or colored angora to match my sweaters. He wore mine on his little finger. We were definitely COMMITTED to each other from October 1961 on through 1978.

Most of my EXTRA time was working on our Yearbook. We had our Senior pictures taken and we ordered them. Everyone in our class had time to work on at least one book project. I did a lot of typing and balancing and "layout" of the pages. Since I had been our class Secretary, I did most of our Class History. It was fun picking out the "caricatures" for each of us. Mine was of a girl with a shoulder bag talking on a wall phone. Does not THAT image STILL depict me? We could not wait for our Yearbooks.

Dad attended all of our home basketball games. I played in the school band, on the stage of our old domed gymnasium. I loved BAND! We had lots of "peppy songs'. We also played:..............First it would be a DRUMROLL . The Star Spangled Banner

Visitor's School Song

The Loogootee "fight song" (The Washington and Lee Swing)

then, Current Pep Band Songs

Ed Hamilton was our band director and my Senior year it was Marvin Hicks. We had become a very good competitive concert and marching band. We had more members then ever and required more uniforms. We conducted "uniform drives" Bake sales, car washes, and Pancake Breafasts. We worked vey hard. Again, our parents donated. Many times I was in charge of advertising as I had very good artistic ideas for posters.

Our band performed at every basketball game. We gave a Winter concert with special Christmas music, along with the Glee Club. We would give a Spring Concert again with the Glee Club and seasonal music.

We performed at Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises. It was SAD when we Seniors played in the band for the last time. I was one of the Student Conductors in my last year. Another activity for Your Mother's Hands.

The second semester in Home Ec., we studied Home Design, furnishings and fabric. Again, we were taught lessons, we took notes and made a Scrapbook. My dream house was a split level colonial. They were similar to our baby books with clippings and captions that I did on my typewriter. I loved planning all the rooms, the furniture, paint and carpeting, window treatments and other decor.

Danish Modern was popular at the time. I had really cool ideas and later in my own home I had some of the same things, only not as expensive. I thought "on champagne tastes", but WE lived on "beer budgets"...HA.

We were taught consumer techniques, shopping and house care and maintenance. I LOVED this class. Again I made an A+ and won the second semester award. I also won the School's and County's "Betty Crocker Homemaker" award.

Your Dad and I continued "going Steady". He was working part-time at Mid-Western Engineers on a surveying crew, and doing some mechanical drawing and reading blue prints. He made a "cedar chest" for Christmas. It became my Hope Chest. In my "spare time" I'd embroider pillow cases and dishtowels and put other nice milk glass treasures in it for our future.

By now, I slept in the north bedroom of the brick farm house, upstairs. The south bedroom was Mom's sewing room and I had a desk and chair there. It had two large closets full of my clothes. I had plenty of room to spread out my Home Ec, Scrap Books and space to sew. I could use a pattern, cut out and sew. Mom put in the zippers and I usually did all of the hemming by hand.

I spent a lot of time in these tooms.............."Dreaming and Planning".

Class Trip....Washington DC

The last semester of our Senior year is drawing to a close and time is flying by. We had received our Senior photos and all of our graduation supplies.

We are raising money for our Class Trip to Washington DC. All "27" of us are going along with our sponsors Mrs. Kathro Williams and her husband Dink. We have all kinds of fundraisers and have saved thousands of dollars. Mike Lett is our Treasurer.

We left from the school parking lot, loading on to a Greyhound Bus. We took US 50 through Shoals and on our way. I remember wearing a homemade matching shorts outfit, basket weave purse, and carrying my turquoise blue Kodak camera.

Our trip took us to an overlook where we could see the town where Mother's Day originated, Grafton, West Virginia. It is very hilly there. We spent the night in Parkersburg.

The next day we went to Gettysburg. Here we met up with Eddy Deaton, who was in our class, but his Dad was with Crane and got transferred to Mechanicsburg, PA. Eddy's Mother and brother Larry came with him. We then proceeded to Monticello and the "highlights" of Washington DC for several days. I don't remember much about our motel, but I did have a few photos I had saved over the years. I used all of these for our 50th Class Reunion Memory Book, July 2012.

We had a Negro girl in our class. We didn't say "black" or even "African American" at that time. She was brought to Loogootee by Louis Lyons, aka "the Hukster Wagon Man". This was 1962 and the motel we stayed in, in DC, would not let her (Mary Francis Goins) eat in the dining room!!!!! So we, as a class had a plan! Every morning we got up early and WE ALL ordered our breakfast ROOM SERVICE, so as to ALL be together. I sadly don't remember if she was allowed in "The White House" and other attractions or not. To think that even possible, ever, is unbelievable to me.

We could eat our evening meal at the regular supper hour, however excluding Mary Francis. We chose instead to eat after 9:30 pm so the entire group could eat as a family,,,,EVERY NIGHT.

I do remember eating strawberry pie every evening, and for breakfast on the day we started for home. I LOVED strawberry pie.

On our return trip home, we spent the night in Wheeling W,VA. this was a coal mining town. I don't remember eating or where we a stayed as were all so tired and just wanted to sleep. I still have my class photo in front of "The White House". It has been "rolled" up and among my souvenirs. I got it out and had it re-sized to an 8X10 when I did the class reunion memory book.

It was a safe trip home and priceless memories. Most of our class had never been out of state, let alone stay over night in a hotel or motel. So this was quite a group experience.

I am so happy that I kept most of the photos that I took whle on our Class Trip. When I was asked to make the Memory Book for our 50th, I needed only go to my old photo box. Just looking at some of the photos helped to "spur" some old stories of our trip.

What carefree days those were. Even though we, as a class worked very hard to raise our trip money, times were good. We had hopes of a bright future, going on to school, the Service, or directly into the work force.

We were getting ready to find our spot in the world. We were all excited about Graduation!

Soon Your Mother's Hands would be holding her DIPLOMA.

Senior Prom

the Juniors gave us a beautiful prom. The theme was "Moon River". It was all decorated with blue skies, blue back drop and STARS!. Of course, we Seniors thought that the previous year that we did was the prettiest.

Your Dad and I went together. I had a white prom dress, short, with light orchid flat cumberbun and cabbage roses. Shoes to match. Your Dad bought me an orchid.

We went in his 1959 turquoise and white Chevy. Our dinner was prepared by our school cooks. When you lived in a small town, there was no going out to a "nice" restaurant beforehand. After prom, there was a post event at the East 50 Drive-In theater.

My hair was short and I rolled it myself. No fancy hair-do's for me!


Seniors ordered caps and gowns. Being the class Secretary, I took the orders and filled them out with the help of Mrs. Williams, our Sponsor. I did the orders on a manual typewriter, in her class room in "triplicate". In '62 you had to use carbon paper to make copies. I was a very fast typist, but when ordering and for accuracy, I typed slowly, with Mrs. Williams RIGHT over my shoulder! ( As a child, probably around 8 when we moved to Waverly, I would play with Mom's Royal Typewriter. She informed me that if I was going to "play" I might as well learn to do it properly. We had lessons. She would put my fingers in the proper places, call out letters and "test me".. NO HEN PECKING. She'd give me books or newspaper clippings, time me and check my performance.. She would remind me that speed did not excuse accuracy. Later She would give me multiiple "articles" and ask me to combine them for content. She'd block my view of the typed pages so that I couldn't cheat. . I guess this was my first introduction to term paper writing and interviews that I would later perform as the co-editor to our High School News-magazine. I took only one semester of typing in school, as was flying though 60 words a minute. After all of these years, I still only space with my right thumb. That was a noticeable flaw that I couldn't hide from Mrs. Saylor, our typing teacher. She pretended not to notice, as my speed was impressive. I still miss the feel and "sound" of a regular typewriter, even the upgraded electric model that Mom bought me for college as a high school graduation gift, but I do certainly appreciate the capabilities of a laptop.)

When the Caps and Gowns arrived, everyone got theirs, and we all got STRICT orders of how long they were to be. I pinned and sewed a lot of hems. Most of the girls hemmed their own. I hemmed Mike Lett's and Mike Newton's. We did this in our Home Ec. class room.

We had Baccalaureate Exercise on the Sunday before Graduation in the old domed LHS gym. We girls wore yellow rose corsages on our gowns. We all wore high heels, dresses, necklaces and earrings, and I got a GRADUATION WATCH from my Mom and Pop. It was family "tradition". Mine was an Elgin, bought at a "jewelry store" in Jasper. I still have it.

My seed pearl jewelry set was a gift from Bobby Chattin, son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Chattin.. Bobby and I played drums together in the BAND.

Kay Neukam, Mike Lett and I MARCHED in together...……...first. It was a very serious and somber ENTRANCE MARCH. Bobby chattin played the bass drum, and it was the first time in 7 years that someone other than ME, played the BASS DRUM. Bobby was in the 6th grade, and what a rite of passage that was. He kept a "good beat", but he was SHORT!!! We Seniors in the band and glee club got to perform in the program. Our Baccalaureate was very much like a CHURCH service.

The next week was SENIOR WEEK. If we made A's in our classes, we were exempted from taking a FINAL test, but I think we attended school anyway.

Graduation was on the Friday of the same week. We entered in the same formation, again to POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE, just as somber as Baccalaureate. Attendance awards were announced. I never missed a day of high school. I was awarded pins in Home Ec., plus the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award in the county, Typing Award, Math and Science and of course Voice in the Glee Club, and" several Band awards.

I graduated 3rd in my class, but I took every class I could, no study halls and ended up with 46 credits. (20 years later I graduated MHS without a day missed and ended up #11 out of around 300. The top 10 were recognized, and remember Mom hugging me and saying, "I know how that feels".)

I don't remember a thing about our "speech" at commencement or even who gave it. Our motto: "Knowledge Comes-----Wisdom Lingers". I cried when we sang in the Glee Club for the last time, and I vividly remember walking over to Bobby Chattin and shaking his hand before going to my graduation chair. This was not a "practiced performance" but very spontaneous, and he "saluted" me. He and I were DEAD SERIOUS. Now he was the "leader of the band", and not something that we took lightly. And, he wasn't even tall enough to carry the BASS DRUM! I'm not sure who did for parades. Bobby could play a "mean" snare drum, though! I held back the tears.

Mom and Dad gave me a graduation party, but for some reason vaguely remember it. I do recall the cards and "money".

Dance Band

When I was in my Junior and Senior years, I played drums in our School Dance Band. We were called the "Starlighters". First Ed Hamilton made up a DRUM SET for me, put a foot pedal on the bass drum, and set up a snare drums on a stand,, used sticks and wire brushes.

Bobby Chattin's parents had bought him a beautiful pearl white DRUM SET and they let ME use it, and haul it around to various "gigs", in the back of Dad's Rambler station wagon, or the driver's training car. Now mind you, Bobby was too young to be out, 5th or 6th grade,with us high school kids. My parents could never afford a set of drums like that, nor would I have EVER asked! But, they trusted me with Bobby's set, and man, I learned to PLAY. I could even BEAT our a pretty good version of WIPEOUT!!!!

Our dance band had nice bi-fold music stands, painted blue with gold lettering and stars. They were plywood and finished with a gold dust. I think your Dad helped build them in his shop class. We had about 10 of them that we would move around to each gig. We had alto, tenor, and baritone sax. Diane Conolty, Jim Hembree and Dale Baker. A couple of trumpet players, trombone, Steve Reggins on piano and Vernon Hembree (Jim's Dad) on guitar. He was also one of our ADULTS, as we were ALL underage to be out past 11:00pm, plus he often times drove a station wagon.

Ed Hamilton was our lead trumpet player. Ann Ackerman played saxophone. After she graduated and was in college, she and Ed got married. We "band members" had to keep "this little romance" a secret, but it was nothing to us. We just wanted to play music.

We played really nice dance music, Lawrence Welk Style!!! HA., and we could really "cut a rug" with PEP BAND music for the now popular Rock-n-Roll! We were outstanding and we played overywhere, but the majority of the money HAD to go back into the band fund. We were not paid as individuals.

We played for school proms, and that "booked" early. I remember driving to Sumner, Illinois which was Ed Hamilton's brothers prom and the theme was A SUMMER PLACE...….1962. It was held at Red Bud Country Club. What a nice place and beautiful prom. Ed's brother, Keith Hamilton was a Science teacher in Mooresville in the 1980's. It's a small world. OH, he was a "cute" SENIOR. ( I had Keith Hamilton as a junior high student, and he was a nice looking man, with pleasant demeanor and great smile.)

Some of my happiest memories in school was playing in the BAND: Concert-Marching, Pep band that played for sessions and the "Starlighters". I loved the rhythm, and still love all types of percussion. I knew how to read TIME, but never mastered reading the "upper brackets". I really wanted to play the saxophone and piano, but that was never in the budget. (Mom always loved sax music, and years later when WE had the Country Diamonds band, we had three different sax players over the years. The latter 2 were professors at Butler and Dad and I both took lessons for a number of years there. We never had more than 2 horns at a time for gigs, but with the inception of synthesizors in the 70's, you could expand the sound and ADD strings. Mom then played keyboards, a big 3 level Hammond organ, but she never played piano. Interestingly, Mom never sang except for some back-up. She would leave that to Dad and me.)

I dearly wanted to play the piano. Twala Jean got a beautiful one, took lessons, but never had a natural rhythm, and drove me CRAZY. I could "pick things out by ear" and in return, she did not like that! So, when Twala Jean came to my house, I put away MY gun, stamp collection, records, and when I went to her house, she would cover her piano keys. And, THAT WAS THAT. When you love someone like a sister, sometimes you act like Jan and Marsha....HA!

When I went to Kenny's house, Patty had an upright piano, and she could PLAY!! She played mostly church music but with a style using chords and it was uniquely her own. One of my favorites was Black Hawk Waltz and I could listen to that over and over. (In the mid 70's when we recorded an album for promotion, Mom insisted on recording Black Hawk Waltz on it. It was a record with a couple of originals, but a representation of all styles of music as to appeal to all gigs and tastes. Mom played it often on the organ, and was a staple in our "line up" especially when there was a "dinner" set at a club or special event.)

All I could ever play was CHOPSTICKS, and hard as hell like a drummer! I was sad that Your Mother's Hands never had piano lessons.