By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post
The Lapel High School Class of 1957 junior/senior prom took place at the Top Hat on April 26, according to the Lapel Review. Highlights included crowning of king Dick Howell, queen Suzanne Shetterly, prince Jack Busby and princess Marilyn Haskell. Walter Helmio Band provided music.
On May 9, 1957, the newspaper announced that the Lapel Alumni Banquet Committee set May 12 as the deadline to buy tickets for its banquet and dance. They were available at school or Gwinn’s Drug Store. The Pete Faulkner band performed.
Also listed in the newspaper was, “A Spring Style Show presented by the Lapel High School Band will be held in the High School Gymnasium. Outfits modeled will be furnished by Graham Department Store in Pendleton and Lapel. Modeling the clothes will be Julia Sisson, Sue Beanblossom, Justin Fisher, Gary Wayne Shuck, Rosalyn Fisher, Pamela Armstrong, Barbara Wyant, Wilma Wyant, Marilyn Littiken, Berty Wiseman, Alice Gustin, Marjorie Jarrett, Louise Beanblossom, Marjorie Fisher, Rex Delph, Bob Denoon, Hildred Flowers, George Grace and Larry Crowder.”
The article also added, “Girls will model dresses, swimsuits, sportswear. Boys will model slacks, sport coats, shirts, Bermuda shorts etc.”
The Lady Lions Club was planning a senior girls tea. The LHS senior girls were to be entertained at the Lions Hall on Sunday afternoon, prior to the other events scheduled for the graduating class.
Refreshments of fruit punch, sandwiches done up to resemble diplomas and tied with blue ribbons, and nut cups looking like graduation caps were served in blue and white, which were the class colors of the 1957 class.
Also reported was that Jayne Swinford, a Lapel senior who competed in the State Final English Contest, made a high score winning the bronze medal. The medal was awarded in the Indiana University Auditorium. The test was two hours long. Also competing in the Latin contest were Ernest Presser and Dixie Workman. Both students made high scores and received certificates of achievement.
Cricket Elsten Jr. was a senior in the LHS Class of 1957. He was born in Lapel, grew up here and still lives here with his wife, Marilyn. Elsten and this writer are members of American Legion Lapel Post 212. He is also a past commander and presently a trustee of the post. He agreed to meet me at the Doghouse Restaurant for breakfast and talk about the Class of 1957.
We went through the 1957 LHS Yearbook, recalling some of his senior classmates. Eventual occupations among the classmates included: minister, Lapel town employee, teacher, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. employee; nurse; Brockway Glass employee; and plummer. “And I became a semi driver, driving all over the United States,” Elsten said.
The Class of 1957 included 49 students: Edward Anderson, Marcella Baker, Rosalie Benefiel, Larry Bracken, Rita Sue Bronnenberg, Sally Bea Brown, Ronald L. Byrne, Jack Wayne Davidson, Carole Louise Davis, Jerry DeBolt, Clarence Elsten Jr., Carolyn Forrer, Wanda Forrer, Glenn Gimple, Gerald Hankins, Carole Hooper, Ernest L. Howell, James Humphrey, Judy Husted, Wendell L. Huntzinger, Nilah Kay Kramer, Marilyn Littiken, David Edward Lloyd, Philip Lloyd, Carl E. Miller, Harold Miller, Janice Ann Miller, Nathana Mills, Ronnie D. Nunley, Sheila A. Partain, Dennis T. Rich, Barbara Ricker, Deanne Robinette, Marjorie Roudebush, Patricia Ruth Roudebush, Karen Zoe Russell, Paul R. Schlehr, James E. Seal, Sandra Ann Sherrill, Glenda Lynn Simpson, Jody M. Smith, John Wayne Stanford, Larry Joe Stout, Jayne Swinford, Shirley Ann Sylvester, Barbara Ann Taylor, Linda Frances Turner, Sondra Ellen Turner and Peggy Joann Zile.
Back in 1957, “We had some great teachers,” Elsten said, recalling the staff.
Miles Cramer taught industrial arts and social studies; Hubert Dickson taught social science and health; Paul Ducker had English; Lois Hardly taught physical education, health and science; Marian Noggle was the librarian and taught Latin and English; James Naden taught math and biology; Evelyn Mousa had English and music; Gurney Mattingly taught art and math; Gerald Quinn was the band director and choral director; Lucille Rockey taught social studies and English; Gerald Roudebush had social studies and typing; Evelyn Schmollinger was the home economics teacher; Ronald Sheets was the basketball coach and also taught world history, health and physical education; Fred St. John had both vocational agriculture and driver’s training; Patricia Swhier taught typing, shorthand, secretarial training and bookkeeping; and Gladys Wiggins taught chemistry, math and general science.
In the 1957 yearbook, it appears two seniors were the “most active” in their class. Glenn Gimple was the male student. He attended LHS all four years. During all or part of that time he was class president or on the student council; co-editor of the annual; in the class play, Pep Club, chorus, all-state chorus, Boys State, and Music Club; was on the basketball, baseball and track teams; and belonged to FFA and 4-H.
Jayne Swinford took part in more activities than Gimple. She participated in all the high school plays, Sunshine Society, pianist, reporter, secretary-
treasurer, recreation leader, librarian, Band, Girls Athletic Association, Pep Club, and annual staff — pictures and typist.
Reflecting on members of the LHS Class of 1957, they have been out of high school 63 years. Most of them probably retired in about 2000. There were no movie stars, sports stars or famous politicians from this class.
However, several LHS classmates did achieve recognition and left their mark on society. Sometimes, it is how much we put in, results to how much we get in return for our efforts. This writer offers “my own expression” to consider, “Experience can be the best teacher; however, the tuition may be very expensive.”
Class of 1956
There were two teachers at Lapel High School who had so much impact on the senior class, their yearbook begins with a page dedicated to them. They were Mrs. Lois Creed and Mr. Hubert Dickson. They were the sponsors of the 1956 senior class.
“Sponsors who has given so much of their time and efforts to support our class activities. Who have stood by us in our many problems, sometimes discouraged, but never defeated,” reads just part of the dedication page.
There were 34 seniors in the Class of 1956. Keith Sisson was class president; Sara Wright was vice president; Toni Davis, secretary; and Marcia Schlehr, treasurer.
Other seniors were Elsie Cottingham, Don Davis, Robert Everitt, Gary Faulkner, Linda Fisher, John Barker, Pat Breeden, Nancy Buffone, Gene Burris, Linda Busby, Ruby Coomer, Lu Gunter, Janet Haskell, Mona Horton, Mike Insko, Karen Kinnaman, Leah Sue Males, Phyllis Manis, Georgia Miller, Robert Miller, Carol Mills, Laurelee Mills, Neal Partain, Judy Schuyler, Paul Snyder, Paul Stephenson, Keith Wehner, Martha Whetsel, Jerry Wood and Eddie Wyant.
The 1956 Senior Class Play — presented Oct. 22, 1955, and directed by Mrs. Noggle — was “No More Homework.”
The 1956 baseball team finished the season 5-1, with its lone loss being against Frankton. The basketball team completed the season 11-7, then winning the Pendleton Invitational, beating Pendleton, 58-57. However, Pendleton got its revenge by beating Lapel in the sectional, 52-50.
Ray Tincher attended Ball State University and retired from Indiana Department of Correction in 1997. He worked at IDOC for 30 years, serving in a variety of roles, from correctional officer to warden. At retirement, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon. He wrote several training manuals as part of his employment and is a published author: “Inmate #13225 John Herbert Dillinger (2007).” He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Lapel.