By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post
On Jan. 20, 1977, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th president of the United States.
For his first act, he pardoned all of the Vietnam War “draft dodgers.”
On March 18, the United States lifted a ban on travel by U.S. citizens to Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam.
Later, Carter signed into law the Department of Energy.
A total blackout hit New York City, lasting 25 hours and resulting in looting and other violent behavior.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System produced its first drop of oil.
Tandy Corp.’s TRS-80 Model 1 computer was introduced to the public.
Optical Fiber was first used to carry live telephone traffic.
The rings of Uranus were discovered.
Also, on Jan. 27 and 28, a huge blizzard, called “The Blizzard of 1977,” hit the Great Lakes area, bringing everything to a halt with eight-foot snow drifts in some areas. A military tank was seen traveling, from Pendleton to Ingalls, on State Road 67.
In professional sports, A.J. Foyt Jr. became the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. In basketball, Portland beat Philadelphia for the NBA title. Bill Walton was named MVP. The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays became Major League Baseball teams.
Elvis Presley performed his last concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Later, he died at his home in Graceland. His funeral attracted 75,000 fans to Memphis, Tennessee.
Comedian Groucho Marx died of pneumonia at age 86. And an American named Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning for the seventh time and survived.
Back in Lapel, Rita Hollopeter from this area won the “State Teen Pageant.”
In ‘77, you could figure out what county a person lived in by their auto license plate. If you lived in this area, your plate began with a 48. Also, if your name began with A, B or C, you were required to purchase your license plate for 1977 by Feb. 28.
Since my wife worked at the BMV Pendleton branch, we had very low number. Big deal, eh? At least I could remember my plate number.
We started the new year with new town board members: David Lloyd, Bob Chaney and Dale Brinker. Donna Clouse was clerk-treasurer. They were sworn in by Nelson Bohannan. James Melson was introduced as new town attorney. Bob Tumulty took over as new town marshal, with Roger Barnes as deputy.
CB radios became very popular, as you saw vehicles and homes with antennas, especially the truck drivers. There were some instances where the CB assisted with emergencies. Many calls would be considered “social calls.”
If you received a new CB set for Christmas, you were instructed to apply for a license. There was a lot of confusion about your license and the fee of $4. It ended up being given with no cost.
For the 1977 March of Dimes campaign, Sue Snyder of Fishersburg was chairman; Gary and Betty Lackey led the effort in Lapel. It was reported that the local weather was so bad, their campaigns had to be extended.
Residents were complaining about frozen pipes, heavy snow and ice. At the stores, there was panic buying as customers emptied the shelves.
Teacher Elizabeth Huntzinger retired from Lapel High School at the end of the year. She graduated from Butler University in spring 1933 with a minor in home economics and physical education; she then started teaching at Lapel. In fall 1946, she returned as Mrs. Fred Huntzinger. In May 1967, she received her master’s degree in counseling and guidance.
Huntzinger ran 4-H clubs for 18 years, directed seven class plays and sponsored six yearbooks. She was also responsible for the cheerleaders for 13 years, making many of their costumes.
Ruth Herron also announced retirement from LHS.
In this senior class, there were exceptional students who excelled in many avenues.
Running the school were Superintendent Gerald Roudebush and assistant Gene Henieser; Marvin Pike, principal; Jack Howell, vice principal; and a school board consisting of Fred St. John, George Hall, Charles Clark, Rex Etchison, George Likens, Howard Mills and John Usfo.
Other faculty members were Robert Adams, Michael Andrews, John Branson, Price Brookfield, Joan Casey, Bill French, Larry Galliher, Cathy Gardner, Ginger Hatley, Sue Hersberger, Gary Hoover, Caroline Howenstine, Dallas Hunter, Elizabeth Huntzinger, Jerry Kemerly, Larry Schuler, Sharon Schuyler, Jean Sigler, Steve Telfer, Jeannie Terhune, Zoe Ann Terhune, Jon Trippeer, Donald Trisler, Margaret Trisler, Cherie Webb, Irma Wells and Ann Elizabeth Whalen. Leona Flanagan became director of school food services. Peggy Pritchett, Helen Scott, Rita Granger and Beverly Kellams were assigned as superintendent secretaries.
The sponsors for this class were Dallas Hunter and Sharon Schuyler. Joy Ellen French was class president; Robert Asbury was vice president; Deborah Cook was class secretary; and Kathy Kay Ward was class treasurer.
The members of the class, in alphabetical order, were: William Barbee, Gary Brian Barcus, Jerry Barker, William Barker, Pamela Jane Bauer, Billy Ray Bell, Penelope Susan Bloom, David Lee Bomar, Gregory Keith Branham, Dan Brinker, Bret Busby, Diana Kay Campfield, David DeForest Carpenter, Richard Castor, Mark Alan Clark, Sabrina Marie Copeland, Sherilee Faye Davis, Robin DeLong, Teresa Ann Earlywine, Rhonda Sue Fields, Timothy Fields, Beth Ann Forrer, Gary Foust, Ted Brian Funk, Elizabeth Ann Gaus, Cynthia Jo Givens, Lois Alane Gordon, Hilbert Ray Green, Laura Hackleman Hall, Eddy Hardwick, Donna Kim Hiatt, Billy Joe Hobbs, Stephanie Karel Holycross, Jon Wayne Howell, Kenneth Jesse Howell, Harold Gene Humphrey, James David Humphrey, Jay Jarrett, Kevin Charles Jones, Jeanne Marie Keogh, Christopher Kirchenbauer, Larry Joe Knotts, Roger Lee Lawson, Deborah Ann Lloyd, Gregory Allen Lowder, James Richard Magers, Jeff Dean Maxwell, Nancy Karen May, Jimmy Lee McDole, James Mark Mills, Kim Noblitt, Jeanne Marie O’Connor, Bruce Allan Pettigrew, Dennis Eugene Plummer, George Thomas Reed, Jon Allen Renbarger, Daniel Joseph Richardson, Connie Lynn Rodgers, David Melvin Sandlin, Nancy Jo Sharpe, Verna Jayne Sigo, Randall Simmerman, Wilma Dee Smiley, Tony Alvin Smith, Gail Griffin Springer, Gregory Alan Stephenson, Belinda Kay Stinson, Chrystal Taylor, Ronald , Mitchell Joe Vanness, Christopher Glen Watters, Lora Elaine Welch, Renee Ann Willoughby, Steven Ray Wilson, Barry Scott Yancey and Micheline Zion.
The students at LHS looked back and remembered outstanding elementary teachers who made a mark on their lives. Kathy Grams and Cathy Gibson — kindergarten, and Rita Hunt — aide; Trudy George, Marsha Hudson and Norma Forrer – first grade; Mary Gehlbach — second grade; Genevieve Lyon and Alma Neese — first through sixth grades; Ruth Herron and Lois Roudebush — fourth grade; Jack Howell — sixth grade; and Trish Mock and Cherie Webb — special education. I am sure there are others who are worthy of this list.
Athletics drew a lot of attention throughout the year. In track, the girls and boys team finished sixth out of eight teams. In varsity golf, once again Lapel had a great season with a 12-3 record. The team finished No. 1 in White River Conference. Kip Barker and Field Olson finished co-medalists in the conference.
In baseball, LHS defense and pitching went together, making them one of the best defensive teams in Indiana. Jon Renbarger pitched with Jon Howell, Denny Plummer and John Barker making all-conference. Statistics show the Bulldogs were a complete team. They hit 29 home runs, and their defense won several ballgames.
In football, LHS struggled, winning only two games. In wrestling, LHS was plagued with injuries. At one time, six wrestlers were out with injuries.
In basketball, LHS had another talented team. They were a high scoring team and went most of the season undefeated. Coach Hunter was named Coach of the Year in the WRC. Jon Howell was All-WRC. They finished the season with a 17-5 record. Honorable Mention went to John Barker and Jim Baker. The season was too long, as they lost the last three games.
LHS girls varsity volleyball finished with a 7-7 record. Renee Turner was named All-Conference. It was a winning season for the Bulldogs girls basketball team. They came a long way in just four years, finishing with an 8-3 record. Coach Sharon Schuyler made timely progress. Joyce Bodenhorn was named first team of the all-conference team and MVP of the team.