Bob’s High School Yearbooks, a Blue Stairway, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

Too bad the Fay Gold Gallery was closed when we stopped by on Saturday, but it did offer this zigzag staircase. Since the zigzag post is meant to be anything but straightforward, read on for a cameo by teenage Bob and guest star Reddy Kilowatt…

Blue Zigzag stairs at the Fay Gold Gallery

Blue zigzag stairs at the Fay Gold Gallery — are they bright enough?

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to blog about Bob’s high school yearbooks. I found two while unpacking boxes from the basement this summer.  Though tempted to save them, I must practice “letting go”. Following my own advice on how to keep things without actually keeping them, I took photographs of the pages that had pictures of Bob, then started thinking about what to do with the books. First thought: contact the school. That didn’t work out, so I looked for a historical society in Salina KS, the town where he lived. I didn’t find one online, but did notice there’s a State Historical Society in Topeka.

If you’re wondering how this relates to zigzag, check this out —

Bob with the Salina High School Science or Radio Club

Bob’s just to the right of the zigzag. I’m not sure if this is the Radio Club or the Up n’ Atom Science Club.

I emailed the Historical Society to ask if they kept an archive of yearbooks and guess what — here’s their reply:

We have a small collection of these and would be pleased to add these of yours to it.  We have a gap from 1949 to 1966, so you can see how they will fit in.

 I mailed the books, along with a High School newspaper that I found tucked into the binder of one. I didn’t know if they could use the newspaper, but thought I’d take a chance and include it. Here’s the reply:

The yearbooks arrived in fine shape on Wednesday.  As soon as we get them accessioned, they will be ready to go on the shelf.

Thanks also for the single issue of the Salina High News, May 29, 1959.  We do not have many high school newspapers, so initially I was a bit dubious about a single issue.  I checked, though, and found that we have a long, incomplete, run from 1939 to 1967. Sure enough, we were missing the May 29, 1959 issue!

I’m so glad this all worked out. Thanks again for thinking of us. I hope you have great holiday.

I think it’s fitting that the holiday mentioned was Memorial Day here in the U.S. And that little newspaper? There’s zigzag synchronicity in this photo I took before I sent it — here’s  Mr Zigzag himself.

Atom zigzag character in the Salina High News, 1959

Zoom in on this zigzag character…

Reddy Kilowatt was still around in advertisements when I was in grade school. I’d forgotten all about him until I saw this. I wouldn’t mind having one of those pink and iceberg-white transistor radios.

The yearbooks yielded no more zigzags, but here’s another photo of Bob, followed by a few more from the era.

Top scholars at Salina High School

Top scholars. Bob (on the lower right) won a prestigious scholarship to the University of Kansas.

Fab cars on the streets of Salina.

Fab cars on the streets of Salina. At the cinema it’s “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw” — my heart beat faster for star Kenneth More as Young Jolyon in “The Forsyth Saga” series, still years away when this photo was taken.

Mr Spudnut may still exist...

Mr Spudnut may still exist… I think he’s a potato doughnut.

I’m so glad the books have a good home now. Big thanks to the Kansas Historical Society.

Related links:  more on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

… and Mr Spudnut

Now, what to do with my own yearbooks… Do you still have yours?


16 thoughts on “Bob’s High School Yearbooks, a Blue Stairway, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

  1. Ah, yearbooks. The yearbook photos you have actually have very clear photos where you can see faces. I actually still have my high school ones from some years back but the school never took close up shots of our faces. I remember my classmates and I would sign each others’ yearbooks when we got them at the end of the school year, and write messages in them. Did you do that?

    • Yes, we ‘autographed’ our yearbooks. I read all the notes in Bob’s and took a few photos of those pages too before I sent them off. Of course I never met any of the classmates, but I could see that as a kid, he already had the many interests and the sense of humor that he had when I knew him. Since I found these two I thought I’d find two more, but they haven’t shown up yet. Thanks for commenting Mabel, I hadn’t thought about how many of our school-yearbook traditions are world-wide! — Sandy

      • Back in my school days, everyone wanted to get as many autographs as possible in their yearbooks – it was sort of like a popularity contest in this aspect, which is a bit sad. But then again, we were all obliged to sign each others books with meaningful messages.

        I am sure Bob was a great friend and classmate back in the day 🙂 And I bet he treasured those yearbooks too.

      • Both our parents had ‘autograph books’ from their schooldays. I’m not sure if they had yearbooks, if so I didn’t find them in their things. But the autograph books were quite elaborate, with poetry and drawings, very nice. I still have my mother’s, but sent Bob’s mother’s book back to the family to keep.

      • Ah, glad you made the distinction. Autograph books are definitely different from yearbooks. Autograph books are solely for pretty messages with colourful pens and maybe even some shiny stickers. I remember having such a kind of book with bears and glitters on the cover. Don’t know where it is now, unfortunately. Never knew they existed so far back.

      • That stirred up a memory of looking through the autograph books of the widow ladies who lived down the street when I was growing up. I thought they were “elderly” at the time, but looking back, I think they were probably about the age I am now (!) Their childhood books were full of long sentimental poems that their friends had either written or transcribed. I thought it would be cool to memorize them and write them in my friends’ yearbooks (hah — not so much — my friends would definitely have preferred stickers and glitter).

  2. just yesterday, while clearing out some long-stored boxes, I came across my 1963 GEM yearbook. (Pickens, SC High School). Great to learn that our era has now become ‘historical’.
    Last weekend we attended a memorial service where the 1937 yearbook was displayed; everyone was enjoying the clothing, poses, and written comments that were contained within.
    Congratulations to you on making the choices for these books.

    • Did you also have the photos of everyone in the class arranged in one frame? My school had the old ones hanging in the hallway, and I was always amazed that in ones from the 20s & 30s, the students looked like adults, whereas somewhere along mid-century, people the same age started looking like kids. I guess they had to grow up quickly back then. What a good idea to display a yearbook at a memorial service — thanks for mentioning that — Sandy

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  4. no group picture in my yearbook. But I do remember those senior class group shots hanging in the school hallways. I think the yearbook pictures were taken early in the year, and the senior class group shot was taken near the end as we practiced for graduation.

    • Ah – now I remember that our senior class photos required the girls to have the same blouse – my class voted on a big embarrassing frou-frou collar and we all looked like we fell in the ballerina-bin. Funny, I’d suppressed that for decades!

  5. If I still had my senior year yearbook I would never give it up. It would have the place of honor among the few books I’ve kept. I have even been tempted to buy a copy from Classmates for over a hundred dollars but I haven’t done it yet and probably won’t. Still it is tempting….

    • That’s a wonderful testament to your high school years. I’m pretty sure my yearbooks are around here somewhere, as I’ve consulted them a time or two in the past before going to reunions. My brother said he’s donated several of his to the local genealogical society. Now I’m wondering what usually happens to old yearbooks — I see lots of old family photos in antique malls and flea markets (sad, I think) but have never seen old yearbooks there. I hope that means they all get good homes. Thanks for commenting — Sandy

    • Thanks- I was surprised and happy to find they wanted the books. Now I’ve found two from the 19-teens that belong to people I’ve never met (long story) so I’ll see if I can find homes for them too.

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