Lapel High School 1975-75 varsity cheerleaders (front, from left) Melinda Stephens, Rhonda Fields and Elaine May; (standing) Debbie Van Buskirk.

By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post

In January 1975, news of the Watergate scandal dominated the newspapers and television. John Mitchell, former U.S. Attorney General, and Whitehouse aids to the president, H.R. Halderman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up. They were sentenced to between 30 months and eight years in prison.

During the first week of January, game show Wheel of Fortune premiers on NBC. AM America makes its debut on ABC. The next week, OPEC generously agrees to raise the crude oil price by 10%. Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins the following month.

The United Nations declared the International Women’s Year.

Ella Grasso is elected governor of Connecticut, the first female U.S. governor who does not succeed her husband.

Margaret Thatcher, 49, became the United Kingdom’s first female leader of any political party. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Charlie Chaplin.

In April, Karen Ann Quinlan, 21, fainted after consuming Quaaludes at a party. She became a controversial subject in the right to die movement, after her parents sued to have her comatose body removed from life-support. Karen lived another 10 years off a feeding tube.

Also, in April ‘75, the Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon. Forces from North Vietnam take Ho Chi Minh City, resulting in mass evacuation of the remaining American troops and South Vietnam civilians. As the capital of Ho Chi Minh City was taken, South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally and was replaced with a Communist government.

Bobby Unser win the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in a rain-shorted 174 laps. The Golden State Warriors won the 1975 NBA Championship. Ruffian, an American champion thoroughbred racehorse, broke down in a match race against Kentucky Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure; the horse had to be euthanized a day later.

In his final game, Indiana born and one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, John Wooden, retired after 12 seasons when his UCLA Bruins defeat Kentucky 92-85 in the championship game. Also, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Jaws” was released in theaters across America.

Back in Lapel, the fire department was electing officers for year 1975. They were as follows: Chief Jim Boyll, assistant chief Dale Brinker, Captain Jack Cox; Secretary-Treasurer Kenny Bolton; First Lieutenant Carlos Norris and Second Lieutenant Kenny Bourke. In the meeting, they submitted a letter requesting federal funds be used to purchase a new ambulance. A new ambulance fully equipped would cost $18,000.

On January 25th, the DeMolay at the Masonic Temple installed new officers: Master Councilor Andy Griffin, Senior Councilor George Reed and Junior Councilor Jim Everett. Jim Reed, Worshipful Master of the Lapel Lodge, was the installing officer, and Donald Trisler was the speaker. Melinda Richards was installed as Honored Queen of Job’s Daughters.

A huge crowd filled the home of Jon and Abby Noggle in February 1975, for their annual racing party. Honored guests included drivers on the USAC’s Dirt division.

Special guest Donald Davidson, the walking encyclopedia of racing, entertained the group of race fans. Tom Bigelow was another guest. Bigelow was the ’74 second-place finisher to Mario Andretti, in the last fall Hoosier Hundred, by six-tenths of a second.

A meeting was held at the Lapel Library regarding the Centennial plans for 1976. The date of the Lapel Centennial was set for June 19-26 in 1976. It was Lapel’s 100th birthday and celebrated in conjunction with Madison County’s 200th birthday. Officers for the Centennial were Earle Cascadden, honorary chairman; Wilbur Moore, president; Fred Huntzinger, first vice president; Cindy Snyder, second vice president; Ron Stephenson, third vice president; Catherine Fisher, secretary; and Linda Wiseman, treasurer.

“In the first place, to put it bluntly, we do not have a choice.” Those were the words used by Albert Huber, executive director of the Indiana Traffic Safety Council. “Hoosiers must learn to live with the new national speed limit and comply with its maximum of 55 miles-per-hour,” he said.

That speed limit was imposed throughout the United States.

At Lapel High School, Principal Gerald Roudebush worked with faculty and students to move in the right direction. The Lapel School Board included Harold Mills, Willa Rose Bays, Willard Drake, Jon Cunningham, Rex Etchison and John Usfo. Other LHS faculty included Assistant Principal Marvin Pike, Robert Adams, Robert Allison, Margret Anderson, Michael Andrews, Ruth Bahler, Louise Beanblossom, Donald Michael Blue, Barbara Brobst, Price Brookfield, Deborah Davis, John DeCoursey, Theodosia Everly, Woody Fields, Norma Forrer, Bill French, Mary Gardner, Mary Gehlbach, Trudy George, Kathleen Grams Ginger Hatley,, Jerry Kemerly, Genevieve Kyon, Alma Neese, Armella Beth Newman, Marian Noggle, Cheryl Lynn Perry, Lucille Rockey, Lois Roudebush, Larry Schuler, Fred St. John, Elizabeth Shaul, Jean Sigler, Stephen Stickler, Steve Telfer, Jeannine Terhune, Jon Trippeer, Donald Trisler, Margaret Trisler, Cherie Webb, Irma Wells, and Anne Whalen. The ’73 LHS Senior Class were Sue Hersberger and Dallas Hunter. Beverly Kellams was in charge of keeping track of all money spent and received by LHS.

There were 83 seniors in the Class of ’75. Jean Sigler and John Trippeer were the class sponsors. Cynthia Ann Husted, class president; David Barker, class vice president; Marilyn Metzger, class secretary; and Elaine May, class treasurer. Other class members are as follows: Donny Allison, Pamela Sue Ashbury, Rick Barbee, Kendra Barker, Mary Bixler, Karen Brandenburg, Sheila Ann Branham, Debbie Brown, Penny Castor, Cheryl Lynn Cook, Bryan Cookman, Vicky Cox, Chuck Dollar, Rebecca Duffitt, Dava Haskell, Tim Haskell, Jim Heck, Cathy Heiny, Mary Hendricks, Cheryl Hensley, Julie Hopkins, Gerald Horning, Cindi Lou Howe, Ronnie Jay Howell, Ronnie Hull, Jeff Huntzinger, George Kemerly, Greg Kepner, Brian Lackey, Lindsey Lewis, Terri Lowder, Cindi Ann Maxwell, Kristi Maxwell, Rick Maxwell, Samuel Evan Maxwell, David Lloyd Milburn, Doug Milliner, Mickey Mills, Cindy Milner, Deanna Morris, Jill Newton, Julie Oleksy, Jeff Passwater, George Paulsel, Dick Petry, Bill Pierce, Jeri Redman, Melinda Richards, Mitzi Richardson, Tony Riley, Jerilyn Sandefur, Leigh Ann Shaw, Lora Simons, Jim Smart, Marlene Smith, Brenda Stephens, Gary Sylvester, Mike Sylvester, Greg Tarvin, Cindy Turner, David Turner, Kevin Turner, Alan Van Buskirk, Rondal Vickery, Peggy Deeter Wade, Lucky Walker, Wes Williams, and Gunther Zion.

Fellow members chose Cheryl Hensley and Cathy Heiny to compete for a National Honor Society Scholarship. Girls’ basketball and volleyball, plus track, were now open to girls wanting to participate. The scores reflect several girl events were still in the development stage. Boys wrestling was in the same stage as girls. However, in golf, coach Brookfield was boosted with five senior golfers. The Varsity Golf Team finished with a 10-4 record. In WRC, Lapel finished 4th out of 20. During 1974-75 season, LHS can be proud, with approximately 178 students participating in their sports programs.

In Baseball, LHS was equally divided with veterans and rookies. Jeff Huntzinger led the team with a .471 batting average. Jim Smart excelled in pitching, with a perfect 6-0 won-lost record. Jon Renbarger displayed great fielding skills. He led the team with 27 assists. In basketball, with Mark Barnhizer playing for Purdue and burning the nets there, Mark left a big hole to fill back at LHS. At the awards banquet to honor LHS athletics, sophomore Cindy Givens received an award for getting 54 serves in Volleyball. Ron Howell received the free throw award, given by the Lions Club. Mickey Mills received the mental attitude award. Jeff Huntzinger was named to the All-Conference team. All of the cheerleaders were honored because they play a key role in the team spirit. Cathy Heiny had the honor of being valedictorian. Marilyn Metzger graduated as salutatorian.

LHS will never look the same with retiring. Fred St. John, LHS’s Vocational Agriculture teacher, completed 36 years of teaching. Superintendent Dale Prough announced his retirement at the end of school year. Mr. Prough accepted his first superintendent’s position in the Middletown School District on Aug. 1, 1949. After a successful year in that position, the Madison County Board of Education asked him to accept the county superintendency. Mr. Prough stated he planned to spend time enjoying his family.