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CHS Class of 1953 Celebrates 60 Years

As the Class of 1953 prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary from graduation at Carlisle High School, we can turn to the Bison yearbook to remember their special 12 years in Carlisle Schools.

“Miss Annie says it was twelve years ago in September that the ’53 seniors were scared little urchins trooping to their first day of school, but it doesn’t seem half that long ago to the eight of us who have spent all twelve years at Carlisle and will receive our diplomas in May. Dorothy Bennett, Joe Buffalo, Arleta Isbell, Billy Ray Miller, Albert Schafer, Elbert Schafer, Cecil Stuart, and Charlotte Tait are the students who have gone all the way through with the class of ’53.

Miss Joanna Edmondson, a sweet little blond, hardly taller than we were, coaxed us through that first year. Miss Peggy Buechley took over the reins (“I” before “e,” except, etc….or when sounded as “a”) in our second year of schooling.

The following year we made bean bags and jack o’lanterns under the direction of Mrs. J.D. Martin, and almost wore out the erasers from dusting them on the sidewalks. The next year we skipped across the hall to Miss Hazel Barr’s fourth grade, where we spent our recesses marching up and down the aisles to the tune of “Stars and Stripes Forever” or playing folk games.

Arkansas history was an interesting part of our fifth grade under Miss Willie Crymes. She didn’t call it “minimum essentials,” but every member of the class had to memorize and spell correctly all seventy-five of Arkansas’ counties and their county seats.

Mrs. J.C. Rouse prepared us in the sixth grade for our trip “up-stairs,” where there would be no recess, no grade school operetta, and, worse of all, not even a desk we could call our own.

By the time we reached the seventh grade we had accumulated Bob Britt, Cecily Coffelt, June Fitch, Joyce Godair, Janet Hardke, Dale Hauk, Lewis Hutson, Etha Ann Kilgore, Jenene Miller, Juanita Morgan, Billy Joe Pryor, Carl Raborn, Melvin Raborn, Bob Roberts, Dorothy Watkins, Leon Williams and Wilma Williams. Miss Minnie Hicks sponsored our class that year and taught us English.

Mrs. Mabel Myers led us through the eighth grade as sponsor and history teacher. As a study hall keeper, though, she taught everything from diagramming to savoir faire.

Our class enrollment increased in the ninth grade after the addition of Gaylon Colclasure, Ruby Curry, Christine Daniels, Harold Daniels, Mack Daniels, Dorris Ferguson, Carlene Jones, Bobby Plant, and Dale Rouse. Coach Fred Hardke was class sponsor that year. We said goodbye to Alec and the old campus in May, and moved to the new C.H.S. for our Sophomore year. Mrs. Sarah Bailey taught biology and sponsored the class. In March of that year, Jimmy Skarda enrolled.

Miss Johnnie Coleman alternately drove and coddled us through our Junior year. “Bill’s Night Out,” our class play, was a hit in all three performances. We gave the ’52 Seniors a banquet with a garden theme, and decorations including alternate shades of pink for ceiling and walls, silvered trees with crepe-paper apple blossoms, and a bubbling fountain with real water. Joyce Godair and Carl Tanner, old classmates, and John Colclasure, fresh – though not too fresh – from Detroit, were added to the ’52-’53 roll.

Our Senior sponsors were Mrs. Edith Shannon, our English teacher, and Miss Meredith Landers, the school counselor. We cleared $1,500.00 from the Halloween Carnival for our Senior memorial, scored a second victory in the Annual Queen contest, and bought refrigerated water fountains for the school. At mid-February we’re enjoying Senior privileges of breaking lunch line and skipping one study hall a day, and looking forward to the Senior play, exemptions from finals on a “B” average, and finally the Senior trip.

As we look back over our high school days, we realize that no matter how bit a picture of ourselves we leave in the library, no matter how impressive our Senior memorial, no matter how indispensable we think we think we are to the school – Carlisle High has given us far more than we can ever hope to have given it.”

Please join the Carlisle High School Alumni Association in welcoming the Class of 1953 back for its 60th anniversary during homecoming weekend. Members of the class will have their commemorative “60 Year” ribbon proudly displayed on their name tags during the weekend. Be sure to visit the Museum of Carlisle History to view their memorabilia display.

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