Cedar Fall High School
Cedar Falls High School
Class of 1960
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Tiger mascot   Tiger mascot

35th Reunion (June, 1990)

The Complete History of the Class of 1960

Rita Craver Congdon

by Rita Craver Congdon

Junior High

It was the day after Labor Day, 1954, when the Class of 1960 truly became a class. It was at this time that the former students of Cedar Heights, Lincoln, and Minor Schools came together for our first day of junior high school. Do you remember that day? It was one of the most exciting, frightening days of my life.

Do you remember how we looked as we entered junior high? The girls were tall and gangly. Only a few of us had any sign of a womanly shape. We all wore dresses or skirts, because slacks were not considered ladylike. The boys came up to our shoulders, and were squirrely and obnoxious. The guys wore slacks and shirts. The cool items of dress were penny loafers, saddle shoes, and can can slips.

Most of us walked to school, not knowing where to go, what door to use, and how to find classes. Would we see any familiar faces? Would we get lost? How would we ever get from one end of the building to the other in three minutes? Would our friends from elementary school still be our friends? Would any of the kids from the other schools speak to us? Where is my locker, and what is the combination? Would we have tons of homework? What if our teachers hated us? These questions were in the minds of all of us. But we survived that first day, and the next three years in that old building.

I have some wonderful (and some not so wonderful) memories of that time. The teachers that I particularly remember are:

Mrs. Hobson: How many remember her, the Dragon Lady? I remember living in fear that I would do something dumb and have her unleash her wrath upon not only me, but everyone else in the class. That year we spent a lifetime diagramming sentences and working with punctuation, capitalization, and correct sentence structure. As I look back, we really needed more teachers like her but, at the time, it was awful.

Mr. Lindsey: Fred Lindsey was a dear little old man. At least we thought he was ready for retirement. He was probably not too much older than we are now. This lovely man had a knack of making American History come alive. How many of you remember memorizing the Gettysburg Address? And the last paragraph from Patrick Henry's " give me liberty or give me death" speech? He was a lovely man who cared about his students and that they learned history.

Mr. Kindig: I remember Mr. Kindig as a great teacher. I don't remember many specifics from his class, but I looked forward to it each day. I do remember that he often had study hall detail, and you studied when he was on duty. If you didn't, he was liable to grab you out of your seat, raise you from the floor, and discuss the situation with you, dangling you in the air. He had only one arm, but he was powerful.

Mrs. Rekers: She taught general math, and it was easy and fun. What a great lady! She smiled and laughed a lot.

Mrs. Fry: Mrs. Fry expected each one of us to have the devotion to algebra that she had. That was my first mistake, I wasn't dedicated. She assumed that we would pay attention and absorb, and learn. She didn't take into account that the group in the back of the room was having too good of a time to absorb. I have blamed Jim Duffy for my whole year of Ds in that class. He was so willing to entertain, and I was willing to be entertained. Mrs. Fry was an excellent teacher. I'm sorry I didn't give her a chance.

Miss Sullivan: This will mean nothing to the boys, because at the time boys were not allowed to come near a kitchen or sewing room. As I recall, we made aprons with two seams, and it took us a month. I think my mother washed windows with mine. Then we made muffins--until we got them right.

While the girls were sewing their two seams and making muffins, the boys were making plastic candy dishes and aluminum ash trays. I always thought the boys got the better end of the deal.

Mr. Taylor: We were the first class that Mr. Taylor taught, and we were vicious. The poor man was trying to teach Intro to Business, and we frankly didn't care. I do remember that he and Doug Fletcher became quite close, and spent a lot of time together after school. Doug was our leader in that class, and we all took our cue from him.

Remember the Junior High athletics? The football games were played at Washington Park. After school we would walk to the park to cheer on our team. There was not really a field, and there were no bleachers, bathrooms, or drinking fountains, but that didn't matter. We thought our teams were the best and most wonderful. Our guys looked so big once they got into their gear. Our biggest player probably weighted 130 pounds!

The basketball games were played in the gym. At last we had bleachers, drinking fountains, and bathrooms. One of the main jobs of the supervisors was to keep the spectators from running around the balcony track and being obnoxious in general.

Speaking of the gym, how can we forget the Junior High parties? Remember them? The girls stood on one side of the gym, all dressed up in their very full skirts, held straight out with multiple can can slips. The boys stood on the other side of the gym and punched each other in the arms and shoved each other around. The girls danced together, and the boys ignored us. By the end of the evening, a couple of boys would get brave enough to ask one of us to dance. At the end of the evening, we would try to locate the family car from a line of cars that went all the way around the block.

High School

By the end of the 9th grade, we were ready to tackle High School--until the day after Labor Day when school actually began. There we were, right back where we had been three years earlier. We were the youngest again. It was not as frightening as before, but the school was so much bigger, and we still feared getting lost. At least all the stairways were both up and down, and that made it easier to get around.

It was at this point that we began to develop our interests. There were so many opportunities for us to develop special interests. Those interested in the arts could immerse themselves in music and theater. Those science-minded individuals could pursue that area. Those planning business careers had opportunities opening up for them. No matter what your interests, opportunities were there for you!

There were still the all-school activities: No matter where our interests lay, we supported the teams. We now had a real football stadium where we cheered on the team. The marching band helped keep the crowd aroused. It didn't make any difference if it rained, snowed, or was nice: we were there. For basketball and wrestling, we had a large gymnasium with adequate seating. Our cheerleaders and pep band did a great job of keeping the crowd involved in the activity. This was High School!

Remember the sock hops held in the cafeteria after the athletic activities? Did we hire DJs or did we take turns playing the music of the day? Sometimes it was tricky getting both of your shoes back.

How about homecoming dances? We did not hire the Commons, or Electric Park. It was not a formal occasion, just dress up. Our dances were in the gym, an hour after the ball game ended. The decorating committee always managed to turn the gym into a magical place, where just a few hours before we had been running, exercising and sweating.

The prom--always held at Electric Park--was the truly BIG event of the year. This was where the skinny boys rented white and pastel dinner jackets, and the girls tried very hard to hold up their strapless dresses for an entire evening. The junior class was responsible for the evening, the decorations, food, and the band. It was a very special night each year. A formal (or close to a formal) dinner was held before the prom, and everybody that attended tried very hard not to spill something on the rented dinner jackets and formal dresses. Activities for after-prom were usually promoted by the parents. Some took part, others had other ideas.

There were some very special teachers at CFHS when we were there. Many made lasting impressions on our lives.

Mr. Carter: Often this was a love-hate relationship. We loved the man, but hated it when he made us think, and work. Those of us who had him for a teacher probably remember him fondly, now. (Remember how we all thought he and Miss Bailey of the library would make a great pair? It didn't work.)

Mr. Hofstad: Mr. Hofstad was a lot like Mr. Lindsey of Junior High. He truly cared about all of his students, and made time to give extra help whenever asked. He always hoped that none of his students would blow up the school in the chemistry lab.

Mr. Buxton & Mr. McCalley: These gentlemen were ahead of their time in teaching biology. They tried to instill a sense of wise use of our environment back when it was not the thing to do. They also made us dissect frogs.

Miss Lamme: Blythe Lamme had started teaching in 1930, and had taught a lot of our parents. She taught, she worked us, and everyone in the class was expected to participate and put in a lot of time on homework. Does anyone else remember how upset she was when the Russians launched Sputnik? She was probably one of the best teachers ever.

Mr. Pries: Mr. Pries used to say that he could teach anyone to type, and he had a very good track record, until Rita Craver entered his class. I still type with three fingers and one thumb.

John Evenson: John Evenson exposed me to many different types of music, and introduced me to the classics which I grew to appreciate and love. He gave me the opportunity to perform, even though my talents were limited. He always said, " Good Job!"

Mr. Picht: Merle Picht made me think, and express myself. He gave me the confidence to stand in front of a group and not be embarrassed if things did not go as I had planned. He also yelled if you did not work up to your potential, and when Merle Picht yelled, you knew you were in big trouble. He did more to prepare me for my classes at ISTC than anyone else.

Time does not permit me to go on any longer. If I have left out any of your favorites, tell me about them.


And then, the big day arrived. June 7, 1960. Graduation Day! We all went to breakfast at the Ti Pi Tin Inn, then on to rehearsal for the event that night. We were ready! We were 17 and 18 years old. We had just completed thirteen years of school, and we had the diploma to prove it. We knew all the answers, but maybe not all of the questions. We were ready to go on to school, work, and with our lives.

Does it seem like 35 years since we left CFHS? Have we really changed so much from those 17 and 18 year olds? We have all matured, we have all had challenges to face that we never dreamed would happen, and we have met those challenges. You know what? I think we are still a pretty good bunch of kids!!

Sam Coleman

Impressions by Sam Coleman

So, it's been 35 years? Gads. Time flies, as they say. And with it the opportunities to renew friendships and swap stories about the good ol' days at CF High.

It was a great reunion in June (1995). It must have been the best, but I can't judge since this was my first. It was during Sturgis Falls Days, making it even better. That may be no big deal for those of you who stayed around Northeast Iowa after graduation, but for those of us who didn't, it was really nice to meet everyone and see how CF has changed over 35 years.

It was particular nostalgic for me. Because I had almost enough credits to graduate after our junior year, I took some dumb course that I don't remember and finished up at the end of the summer. What a mistake--I missed our senior year and didn't even go through the graduation ceremony. To make a long story short, being between the Class of 1959 and the Class of 1960, I was on neither list. Anyway, Margaret Cranston and Rita Copeland made sure that I knew about this year's reunion.

I was more than a little apprehensive about walking into the Holiday Inn. I had seen Bud and Rita a few times over the years, but I wondered if I would recognize anyone else. Well, I did walk in, and my worst fears were realized. It might as well have been a reunion from Mule Shoe, Texas. And I understand that people already there wondered who I was, a stranger wandering in with a blank look on his face (until the yearbook proved that I was in the right place). But Bud and Rita were there, and they rescued me, introducing me to people whose names were familiar but whose faces...well, you know what I mean.

After a while, things started to come back. It was amazing. How could I have forgotten Margaret's bubbly personality? And then I recognized more and more mannerisms and expressions that I hadn't seen for all those years. It was great seeing all of you who were there. On Saturday, some of us watched the parade and wandered around the park and talked about times gone by. I had my first Maid Rite in 35 years. The whole day was an experience to remember.

We really hated to see it end. A bunch of us resolved that we should do it again--an unforgettable fortieth reunion at the turn of the century. Everyone seemed to agree that we should schedule it during Sturgis Falls again, and that we oughta get a parade entry together. We'd also like to have at least one function at CF High. I can't wait!

But even if I have to wait, I don't want to lose contact with the class. Everyone at the dinner agreed that we should publish a newsletter. We'd also like to keep the mailing list up to date. So here it is--volume one! I wanted to share Rita Craver's reminisces of Junior and Senior High. Rita read this at the Reunion dinner and it was a scream. Can you believe her memory? I really enjoyed her writing style and her delivery at the Holiday Inn. The written version (without the ad libs) follows on the next pages.

I'd also like to pass around your impressions of the reunion, stories about the good ol' days, news about what's been going on in your lives, and anything else that you'd like to share. Margaret and I will send out future newsletters on an irregular schedule as we receive material. We'll also appreciate your help keeping the mailing list current, particularly if you can help us locate some of the people we've lost track of. The list of lost souls is at the end of the mailing list.

Well, it has been good talking to ya. Hope to hear from you and I really hope to see all of you again--and it's only four years and six months away!

Good luck to all.
Classmates Attending

Bill Achenbach Gary Baumgartner
Jim Bisbee Bob Cavin
Sally Clark Sullivan Sam Coleman
Richard Congdon Rita Copeland Justis
Margaret Cranston Meyer Rita Craver Congdon
Dennis Darnell Tom Davis
Tony Denkinger Dean Diamond
Gary Dinger Jim Duffy
Douglas Fletcher Becky Flieder Thompson
Arnold Fobian Jim Fogdall
Charles Froom Jackie Gaden Heeney
Judy Garth Custer Janae Gersema Drefke
Roswitha Giesen Marold Judi Guralnik Ingis
Jeanne Hagenson Langan Gary Harold
Judy Hintzen Bown Pam Johnson Hinrichs
Karen Koehn Baker Dave Larsen
Gerald Lewis Bill Lowe
Sonja Madsen Kung James Mapes
Phyllis Meyer Kuehl Karen Mulgrew Schultz
Michael Newsome Zeta Nichols Poeschl
Roger Peterson Al Ravn
Patricia Rhode Brandenburg Jennifer Schlicher Breyer
Lee Schuler Pat Shannon VanOort
Fred Smith Paul Snodgrass
Marilyn Stoddard Carley Sigrin Thorson Newell
Kay Voorhees Balke Ronald Waller
Tom Wheeler Dave Young

Please send updates to: Sam Coleman.