Ilion High School

1979 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1979"


Each of us as we may have it are typical examples of the "All American Kid." We grew up in the Pepsi Generation eating hot dogs and hamburgs which leaves a memorable impression on our yesteryears. Now, as we reflect upon all our memories, we look at how far we have come. Of course we will never outgrow the Pepsi and all, we will merely add on responsibilities that will shape the future. As the class of 1979, we would like to share with all of you what we have experienced.

As freshmen we really didn't know a lot about being together as a class, but we put forth enough effort to get by. We chose Mrs. Nicolette and Mr. Ccllea to guide us through four of the most memorable years of our lives. We were led by Kathy Ford, Georgette Annutto, Maureen Smith, and Sheila Hoffman.

Our very first class effort was a bake sale, which was held for the purpose of raising money for our float expenses. The bake sale proved to be very profitable. We were off to a good start, but were far from the end.

The plans for our Homcoming float were slow but we gradually got the hang of it. In the process, we made a lot of new friends and made a man in a minute, or rather a minute man. After everyone got a hand in on it we presented our finished product called "It will only take a minute, man to beat Little Falls." We took 3rd place which lowered our spirits a little because we thought we deserved better. After all, our's didn't get carried away with the wind. All in all, we were truly grateful to the Hale's for the use of their garage.

Our snow sculpture was a grape Liberty Bell created by Regan Brown. Our "Spirit of '76" tasted better than it looked. Unfortunately, we did not place, but that's the breaks. To represent our class throughout Winter Weekend we elected Karen Putnam and Larry Smith as attendant and escort.

Before we even realized it we were "Sweet Sweet Sophomres." That year of '76 we were under the leadership of Ken Fletcher, Erik Dcty, Maureen Smith, and Patty Houseknecht.

Our Homecoming float involved a lot of work mostly on the part of Mark Moreau who successfully constructed a covered wagon. The theme was "We'll fix their wagon." We all thought we had it made, but it turned out to be a clinker.

We started our plans for the spaghetti dinner with a little hope in our hearts that maybe we could manage to do something right. Nancy Bonvino got all the Italians she knew to donate spaghetti and sauce. Without Mr. Tisci we may not have had the great salad that we did. As a result of the donations, time, and talent we made almost $400. Now that's ITALIAN!

Things started looking good for us which made us work all the harder. Our snow sculpture was a giant candy kiss called 'Sweet Sweet Sophs."

With such a high-caloried entry we managed to get 2nd place. In the annual toboggan races the winners were Ken Fletcher, Dave Thomas, Mike Miller and John Reese. Escort and attendant for Winter Carnival were Mark Moreau and Kathy Ford.

The real disaster came when it was time for our 50's dance which was scheduled at the last minute. It seemed like a fantastic idea at first ... unfortunately not enough people were into bobbie socks and DAs. The result? A $250 loss.

As juniors we finally got it together and found out what it was really like to be a class. Along with following the patterns of previous classes, we developed a new perspective of getting things done. Our class officers for that year were Erin Hyer, Jeff Venditte, Jan McTiernan and Carole Casey.

First of all there was the usual excitement with ordering our class rings. Then came the annual magazine sale. We set our goal at $4000, but by the time we had finished we had exceeded that goal by $1000. Mike Miller was awarded a camera for selling the most subscriptions.

Our Homcoming float was the best we had ever created. It was called "Through our powers we will blast our way to victory." Without Mike Durant, however, the plans never would have gotten off the ground. He constructed a rocket, now in the Smithsonian Institute, which was the centerpiece of the float. It featured a jet blast provided by the CO2 extinguisher which was borrowed from the fire department. This was a great success and we were awarded second place.

Our snow sculpture was a skunk which only a few people could find the time to work on. We were in the running for first place; unfortunately, it melted--as a result, it stunk. Thus, we were disqualified. Attendant and escort for Winter Carnival Weekend were Karen Putnam and Shawn Davis.

The highlight of our Junior year and one of our most memorable experiences was our prom. Our co-charmen were Cindy Denison and Kelly Vivyan. The number of people treat contributed was fantastic. Everyone got a hand in on it, in some way or another. After getting all the materials, preparing decorations, gathering tables, hanging a skyfull of stars, selling tickets and having numerous chalk fights, we finally presented "Wish Upon A Star." The music was provided by Holidaye and as everyone hoped, they played our theme song excellent. This was one of the largest proms ever presented by Ilion High School; with over 100 couples attending. This meant wall to wall people. But as they say, the more the merrier.

Our masters of ceremony were Cindy Denison and John Coupe who were also in charge of the spike for the punch. Howwever, when Mr. Collea found it, and disposed of it, they wanted to dump him in the same place.

During intermission Kelly Vivyan was announced Queen with Joe Annutto as her escort. She was attended by Georgette Annutto and her escort Mike Warren; Cindy Denison and John Coupe; Lorie Gage and Dave Colucci, Sharon Elthorp and Tim Kellogg.

The centerpiece was an operating fountain built by Mike Durant and Jeff Lyman which come complete with a leaky pool. All night long, Mr. Collea was throwing towels on the leaks but everyone was having such a good time we didn't even notice. They were there until 12:00 the next afternoon bailing out the gym. That was the only major disaster---other than that we had a most successful prom and we were complimented by the teachers as having the best walls they had seen.

The next day we went to Wintergreen Park for our picnic. We could not have asked for better weather. Everyone had a good time.

When we returned to school in the Fall of 1978 we were different! We were now Super Seniors! To lead us through our Senior year we elected Carole Casey, Kelly Vivyan, Sue Martin and Cindy Denison.

One of our first responsibilities was to provide food for the spectators at the football gams by running the Senior Concession Stand. Even-in the pouring rain, people depended on our hot dogs, pizza, and coffee to satisfy them.

Our Homecoming float was the result of a lot time and effort We were sure that "Bombers will brew a Homecoming victory" was assured 1st place. We were, however, the laughing stock and were awarded 4th place. Whatever is so hilarious about a witch mixing her brew, we'll never know. To reign as King and Queen over Homeoming Weekend were Jeff Venditte and Sue Hendrix.

The Senior Christmas Ball was one of our more glamorous events. It was held on December 15, 1978, in the Red Room at Alfredo's Ristorante. Our entertainment was provided by Powerhouse. The band was really great with one minor problem, they kept blowing "Freddie's" fuses! This created more breaks than we had expected. Our Queen for the evening was George Annutto. She was attended by Julie Allen and Shelley McGowan. All in all it was a big success and a good time was had by all!

This year for Winter Carnival we tried something different. The Seniors competed against the faculty; the girls in volleyball and the boys in basketball. We really tried our best, however, the older generation got their way.

Until one day before the judging, we didn't even have a snow sculpture. Fortunately, a few people got together and created a lion which was called "No lion we love winter." Unfortunately we didn't get first place as we expected, instead we took second. To reign over Winter Weekend we elected Kathy Ford and Larry Smith as Queen and King. John Coupe and Donna Grosse were chosen Senior escort and attendant.

The annual toboggan races were won by Jan McTiernan, Janet Jeffreys, Julie Luke, and Stacey Nencetti who had the proper distribution of weight to win.

Now, after ordering announcements and caps and gowns, we are preparing ourselves for what lies ahead of us. Even though we never came in 1st we learned something far more valuable than having to win all the time. We have learned how to work with other people and respect other's feelings and ideas. We may think of ourselves as that same "kid" who not too long ago took our first taste of life in the Pepsi Generation, but the more we think we are that same "kid" the more we realize how much we have changed after all.

As we stand before everyone on graduation day, we will take into consideration that just because we are moving on doesn't mean that we leave everything behind us. We will rarely just put our past to one side and reflect upon it as an important aspect of what we have become and how we will be in the future.


Karen Murphy


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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014