Ilion High School

1949 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1949"


Ten years have passed since we, the Class of '49, have graduated from Ilion High School. Since it is our custom to hold a class reunion every ten years, we take you now to Russell Park, where the reunion of 1959 is in progress. Here you may see and hear many of the great dignitaries of that class. Wait! Here comes Terry Boyle and Carl Peterson. Let's listen in.

"You know, Carl, as we sit here with all our former classmates, it reminds me of the good old days when we used to trudge merrily on our way to and from school."

"Yeah, Terry! I remember the first day we went cautiously up the big hill to high school! What a thrill!"

"Most of our time was spent getting acquainted. During the first week Barb Merchant came from West Winfield, then Dolores Staley from Kansas City, Missouri."

"That was the year you were elected to the Jr. National Honor Society, wasn't it, Ann Wilfert? Who else was elected that year?"

"Well, let's see, there were John Minon, Dave Pierce, Margaret Culver, and you and Carl."

"What did we do in sports that year? Let's ask Shoey-he's sitting right over there."

"Say, Shoey, didn't you get a baseball letter when we were freshmen?"

"Yeah, we also beat the Sophomores in the annual class games that year-37 to 35."

"Well, here comes Nancy Burnham. Let's ask her about some of the big events that happened when we were Sophomores."

"For one thing, we elected "Skeeter" Morris as class president, Terry Boyle as vice-president, Leona Kibbe as treasurer, and myself as secretary."

"Leona, you were also elected to fill the post of secretary in the Senate, weren't you?"

"Yes, that was the year that Carl Peterson won the essay contest sponsored by the American Legion, and Bev Shaut won second prize in the Safety Poster contest."

"Here's Barb Merchant, the Frankie Carle of our class. Say, Barb, you won quite a few awards that year, didn't you."

"That's right, but how about the J.V. basketball team that was composed of all sophomore boys. They won 16 straight and lost their last two. Some record!"

"Look who I see sitting over in the corner Don Pearson. Hey, Don, didn't you play when we beat the freshmen in the class games?"

"I should say so. That sophomore year was a great year. Do you remember the day we were decorating for the Sophomore dance, and Terry got caught swiping a wagon wheel for decorations? I laughed so hard I had a pain in my side for a week. We also had a party that year that was quite an affair."

"Hi-everybody! How have you been""

"Well, well, it's Alda Hess!"

"Say, I was just thinking about that wonderful trip we took to Montreal. Remember?"

"I guess I do. I won't ever forget that!"

"What happened to make you remember it so well, Dolores?"

"Well, for one thing, we got there about 9:00 and some other convention was being held and they weren't leaving until the next day, so one of the more thoughtful maids made me a very cozy bed-in a bathtub!"

"Hey, who made the Honor Society that year, Willie?"

"There was Nancy Burnham, Barb Merchant, Alda Hess and myself. Connie Watson came into our class from Mohawk that year, too."

"Say, who doesn't remember our junior year?"

"Who said that? Must be-well it is-'Gizza' George Niles and Jim Morath!"

"Boy, 'Giz,' that junior year was a honey, wasn't it?"

"I should say so-first there was our junior party. Remember the girls tried to teach us how to dance? That was some joke, eh Jim?"

"Sure! We were too busy discovering the formula for Gizzification to bother with trivial matters."

"Boy, that Minstrel show we put on was a honey. Half the class had ideas of going into the movies after that."

"Hey, Brick, isn't that the year you and Barb Phillips joined our class?

"Sure was. In September of that year we held class elections. We elected 'Mort' Garnsey, president; John McKenna, vice president; John Minon, secretary, and Terry Boyle, treasurer. 'Mort' was also elected vice president of the Senate."

"J.V. cheerleaders were chosen from our class that year. Let's see, now--there was Bev Shaut, Marilyn Hiller, Ann Brooks, Leona Kibbe, Joan Murphy, Pat Bergin, and Janet March. They came out in some pretty snappy uniforms when basketball season rolled around and had a good team to yell for, too."

"Seeing as we're talking about sports, I might as well step in here and add my two cents."

"Look who's here! 'Jake' Putch."

"In person."

"You should be able to tell us about the football team that year, 'Jake'?"

"Well, the only thing I can remember is that Putch starred and Morris, Pearson, Palmer, and Garnsey also played."

"Same old Putchie."

"Remember when we took over the 'Quill,' Shirley?"

"I guess I do! We had many a good time in room 13 trying to put the paper out before the deadline."

"You did a fine job as editor, Shirley, along with the rest of your staff-Wilmonte Nash, John Minon, Mort Garnsey, Marilyn Hiller, and Marilyn Noyes."

"We had a swell reward when we went to Syracuse, didn't we, Willie?"

"I should say so!"

"Say, Skeeter, you're just in time to tell us all about the 1947-48 basketball team and that wonderful New York trip."

"Gee, we did so much in New York that I couldn't begin to tell everything, even if I wanted to. We saw some great basketball games, and of course there was that trip to Greenwich Village but I don't think I should talk about that. Getting back to basketball, I think everyone knows what a great team we had that year. Our record was 15 wins and 5 losses. We lost a heartbreaker to Whitesboro in the last 20 seconds, 39-38, in the Section 3 championship playoffs. Junior boys who received letters that year were Don Pearson, John Minon, 'Mick' McKenna and myself."

"Doggone Seniors went and beat us that year in the class games, too."

"Has anyone seen Mrs. Bamford?"

"What do you want her for, Eddy?"

"I was just wondering whether she was still selling candy bars or not."

"Wasn't it in our junior year that Mrs. Bamford became our class advisor? I'll bet she was sorry she ever got hold of this noisy crowd."

"Remember how the bookstore was always cluttered with kids? It's a wonder Mrs. Bamford didn't get sore and quit on us."

"Oh! She couldn't do that -we wouldn't have been able to get along without her."

(Pearson and Minon still arguing about who's the best pitcher.)

"But I tell you I've got a lot of control, John."

"Maybe so, Don, but I'm the one that's got the fancy stuff."

"I don't know who is the best pitcher, but I know that Ilion had a swell ball club that year."

"They sure did-10 consecutive wins and winners of the Class B championship. Skeeter, Pearson and Minon won letters that year."

"Is that Bing Crosby?"

"No, you jerk, that's Al Sutton!"

"Hey, Al! Didn't you go to Boys' State when we were juniors?"

"Sure did. Carl Peterson, Terry Boyle and 'Mort' Garnsey went along with me. Willie Nash attended Girls' State the same week. Willie, Carl, John Minon, Shirley Swarthout, and Barb Merchant made the National Honor Society, too. Shirley and Carl also took first and second prize in the 'Better Ilion' essay contest."

"Here comes that magnificent actress of our class, 'Beans' Rorke. Say, Beans, how about giving us a scoop on our part in the theatrical world of Ilion High School."

"Let me see, first came the Tri-City play 'Cracked Ice,' with Carl Peterson, Shirley Swarthout, Jim Morath, Al Sutton and myself. Then came the Senior play, 'Tonight We Dance,' with John Fake, Shirley Swarthout, Carl Peterson, Joan Krebs, Don Hathaway, Terry Boyle, Brick Palmer, Alda Hess, Ann Wilfert, Phil Randall, John Minon, Shirley Roche, Erma Prescott, Phyl Griswold, Jo-Ann Phillips, Dolores Staley, George Nile, Jim Morath, Peggy Culver, Connie Foster and myself. Al Sutton was student director; stage managers were John McKenna, Don Pearson, Floyd Shoemaker, and the costumes were handled by Pat Ingraham."

"Here comes the Queen of the Ball, Marilyn Hiller. How've you been?"

"Just fine. What were you discussing when came ill."

"What else but that great Senior year of ours. Remember that party we had after the Frankfort game and the Operetta 'Words and Music'."

"'Words and Music.' Who said that? Why, that's the one we starred in, wasn't it, Bill?"

"Sure. There was 'Soupy,' Roscoe Reed, Carl Peterson and Barb Merchant."

"Hold on to your hats, here comes 'Lucky Teeter' Fake in his brand new 1959 Studebaker."

"Hi, John!"

"Sorry to be late, everyone, but you know how it is, gas customers always coming in just when you're ready to leave."

"Hey, who were the class officers in our Senior year, John?"

"Ow! Garnsey was elected again, but I almost got rid of him on upper Otsego Street. Don Pearson was elected vice president, Marilyn Hiller was elected secretary, and Terry Boyle, treasurer. Terry was also elected president of the Senate."

"Terry never missed being among the class officers when the votes were counted."

"Is that Tyrone Power?"

"No, you dope, that's John McKenna."

"How about telling us the sports story of our Senior year, Mick?"

"Well, to begin with, the football team was a little off the beam and won only one game. Skeeter Morris was elected co-captain and Don Pearson, Mort Garnsey, Brick Palmer, Terry Boyle and Putchie received letters. Basketball was a different story we won 13 games and lost only six. We played Little Falls in the Section 3 semi-finals and won. We then withdrew from the tournament because of a disagreement."

"Hi, everybody!"

"Well, it's Pat Ingraham, the girl who couldn't get along without Ilion High School."

"That's right!"

"How did it seem to come back to the beautiful Mohawk Valley?"

"It was just fine, Joan, but most of all I liked working on the annual staff. Remember Shirley Swarthout was editor and Bob Morris was advertising manager, and Willy Nash circulation manager.

"Oh hum, getting sleepy. Guess I'll be getting on home."

"So long, 'Dink'."

"Guess its about time for everyone to leave. See you in 1969!"


back page

Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2014
First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014