Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wardogs 1965

A toast!  To Mrs. Thelma Martin, Mrs. Kathryn Jones, Mrs. Ruby Duncan, Mrs. Lorene Micka, Mrs. Peggy Johnson, Mr. Phil Garoutte, and ALL who taught us the skills, and laid the foundation for our lives beyond MHS.

  Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying
  And this same flower that smiles today
    Tomorrow will be dying. (Robert Herrick, To the Virgins
        to Make Much of Time)

Those high school years were like a poem, when Mrs. Martin insisted that we read between the lines, for a deeper meaning. It took years for those lines to sink in.....I still liked simplicity then, where a yes meant yes, but we studied diligently. 

    So live, that when thy summons comes to join
       The innumerable caravan, which moves
    To that mysterious realm... (W.C. Bryant, Thanatopsis)

We learned, through the pages of  great novels, through poetry that took us to the depths of understanding,  and through our own personal experiences about sarcasm, irony, love, rejection, betrayal, beauty, shades of death, innuendos, and double entendres. We laughed; we cried; we dreamed; we envied; we made choices.
Letty's charm bracelet from MHS.

Madcaps design by Mary Dahl
In high school we went from being "Me" the center of the universe to "One of Many" at the center of a wheel with options and paths leading us around the world. What fun it was to suddenly meet new people in our classes who shared the same interest.  We grew as we explored our blocks of learning through Math club, journalism, chorus, band, sports, cheer leading, Miamiettes, journalism, FHA, FFA, business clubs,  speech, drama, stage productions and the world beyond the bound book.  

In the halls we found love, stole kisses, held hands, played games, and hid secrets in our lockers.  The transition from 9th to 12th was clearly visible, as our lockers graduated each year from the Jr. Hi hallways to the old Pershing grade school hallways when we were Sophomores, to the second story as Juniors (near the science rooms where there was always something curious going on), and finally to the center of the building and bottom floor.  We were truly Seniors when our lockers where in the main part of the building.  

To rephrase the wise words from our 1965 Miamiam:
     School is attending classes, trying to understand..., concentrating on new skills.
     It is knowing study is necessary, and drilling is necessary for perfection.
     School is learning to develop ideas, to accept responsibility, and to serve others.
     It is having confidence in one's abilities, poise when with others, and pride in one's achievements. 
     School is learning by building a house and by installing the wiring.
     It is pretty girl watching and why not?
     And before Homecoming, school is cheerleading spirited students on stage and on the field, 
getting excited and tense and trying
harder to win.
     It is going to the first sock hop of the year, dancing, and homecoming. 
     School is working hard, winning trophies, and having fun. 
     School is living now, remembering the past, and exploring the future.
     But most of all school is learning to solve practical problems of life, to plan for the future, and to cooperate with others. 

We are coming home, the Wardogs Class of 1965.  We each learned from our teachers and community how to be productive people in an ever changing world.  Now, we will once again drag Main street, climb the chat piles, kiss on the back rows of the Coleman, search for the spook light, dance the night away in bobby socks, or perhaps, we will merely reflect on those memories.

I, for one, am looking forward to listening to the stories we've lived and built upon for these fifty years since high school.  We are men and women, many of  whom became mothers and  fathers or served our country in the military.  We found careers as musicians, builders, scientists, entrepreneurs, aviators, bankers, educators, artists, ministers, mathematicians, attorneys, doctors in many fields, salesmen and women, organizers, athletes,  PTA presidents, librarians, nurses, journalist, laborers, adventurers, world travelers. 
Each of us proud Wardogs who are still making the world a better place to live. 

Salute, Miami High School Wardogs, Class of 1965.  May you live long and prosper.  


  1. Outstanding Letty. Brought a tear to my eye. ru

  2. You’ll enjoy your reunion! Mine was in April and it was wonderful! Walking through the aisles of gabby “girls” at the receptions was like walking down the halls at school between classes… loud… noisy… each of us sharing snippets of our lives, jokes, laughter. Most girls I recognized when animation returned their signature expressions to their faces, some I did not recognize at all (over 600 girls in our graduating class). But the best part was having six other girls staying at the same hotel with me. We gathered in the bar for a nightcap and a recap after each evening’s event. The second night we who had our yearbooks with us brought them down and collectively we went through the pages of graduates remembering who we’d spoken with at the receptions. I put gold stars at the edge of each photo of a girl we identified. I was the yearbook editor my senior year and it was a pressure-filled yet wonderful experience. And now I have a VERY special yearbook that means a whole lot to me. And each of us, the “Wyndham Seven,” are keeping in touch, and there are a few more I am staying in touch with on Facebook and others I email and text frequently. This was the very FIRST reunion I was able to attend… and I’m so glad I did! mm

  3. A wonderful trip down memory lane. At least I did not have to see Central High torn down. I graduated 1959 and was in the USAF NC when it happened. Do you know my brother Tom Robertson, class of 1964? jr

  4. Another enjoyable story Letty. Memory lane for me too!! ru

  5. Lovely tributes Letty!

    I still have my charm bracelet with charms from those days… wish I had thought to wear it to my reunion…! And, hey, I still have my Lane jewelry box! Always wanted one of their cedar chests, but never did get one… oh, they knew how to market!

    Luv ya, M

  6. This is a very interesting skip down memory lane. I was born in 1950 so your memories clicked a lot of my own. When I was 13, we lived in Tuscumbia, Alabama. I walked by Helen Keller's house on my way to school. (There was a sign in the yard that said so). We went to the skating rink in the park and the town would block off some streets for a street dance in the summer. Found memories. pc

    Thank you Pat. I like your words " skip down memory lane." Those years are filled with foundations for so much in life, but they were not always easy and happy times. Besides I love to skip and jump and hula hoop to this very day. Cheers!

  7. A lot of organization sure went into the planing of this reunion! You'll be pooped from all of the fun. nv