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A page for short notes and happenings from the Class of 1964

updated 12/24/2007

I'm sure everyone has something humorous or otherwise memorable from their Derby Senior High School days and the Class of 1964.  I'm going to start it off with a few ideas, and hope that the rest of you will pitch in and contribute some memories.


I remember getting married the first time by Marrying Sam to my steady (still my husband) at the Sadie Hawkins Day dance. Who was Marrying Sam anyway?

I remember the car bash at the garage sale held as a fund raiser for BECK club. We sold a chance to slug the old car with a sledge hammer for cents (?) a try. Not sure who's car or where it went after...

I remember the Sock Hops at the Jr. High. Music was supplied by the students. Who needed a DJ?

I remember the movies at the Football Field, too. It was a good time for families to get out of the house on hot summer nights and a chance to flirt with all the guys.

I remember the "Diary of Anne Frank" play. Great acting by everyone involved! Very moving!

I remember the Tin can Christmas Tree. It was very unique!


Picture this. . . Mr. Grant's physics class the first day. Prominent on his desk a device about four or five feet long, consisting of a tightly stretched wire with dozens of steel rods carefully spaced, balanced, and tediously soldered to the wire. You could gently touch a rod on one end of the device and a beautiful wave would be propagated across the delicate structure from that end of the wire to the other, returning and gradually dissipating. Touch both ends simultaneously and two waves would move towards one another until they overlapped adding their intensities for a moment before moving on. This wave demonstration device had been some Senior's beautifully rendered final class project. The intimidating, ex-Marine, Mr. Grant had yet to show-up in class, and several of us amused ourselves, fascinated by creating multiple waves with this "oh wow device". Mike Jensen, as I recall, found a huge magnet and as he lifted it with both hands said, "I'm gonna really make some waves with this!" He approached the magical wave machine with the magnet, but rather than the creation of the anticipated waves, suddenly many of the carefully balanced rods were yanked in a bunch towards the magnet with a sickening twang. Mike was eloquent in expressing his surprise and it took several of us to pry the distorted rods from the clutch of the huge magnet. We were all in shock, now, the once beautiful thing had rods pointing every-which-way. Mike feverishly tried twisting the rods back into position, but finally gave up as footsteps could be heard approaching. Mr. Grant came in, began speaking and then glanced down to see that his wave machine had turned into a demonstration of chaos having a bad hair day. I was surprised at how calm he was, and I don't remember what he said.  I just stared at the injured device, that trembled and wobbled now like a dying bird. As I recall Mike took all the heat, but we all felt it.

I recall that Larry Reardon and I were chemistry lab partners one semester. DANGER! should have been printed on our lab aprons. The one thing I remember from chemistry class is that the main control valve that controlled the water pressure for the entire line of spigots on the black granite chemistry sink was at our end. The individual faucets at each station consisted of those sharply pointed goose neck spigots that if the water pressure was turned up too high would produce a stream of water of such concentrated force and speed that it would blow a slippery test tube right out of the test tube holder or even out of a wet hand. I recall we had to pay for broken test tubes over and above a lab fee assessed at the start of the semester. At the far end of the sink another student, I don't recall his name, a class year behind us, suffice to say he was high strung, had a whiney voice, and his mom hadn't raised him to be a Marine. It all started innocently enough, Whiney voice, had turned on his spigot with too much force to rinse a test tube and it was blown out of the holder shattering instantly. Oh, he became so upset it was a joy to behold, of course he also hated to have to reach into the germ laden trough to retrieve the pieces. Larry and I saw our destinies before us and we held the secret of the power and wielded it unmercifully. We would turn down the overall pressure as Whiney would carefully try to open his valve to rinse a test tube or add a measure of water. Once he had his valve open sufficiently we would surreptitiously slam open the main valve and the pressure would invariably blow Whiney's test tube to smithereens. Oh, he would carry on, I remember this was a source of endless amusement and best of all Whiney never-ever caught on, plus I'm sure he set a record for the number of test tubes he had to purchase. It was beautiful, cruel but beautiful.

Watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at Sue Dextra's house.

I've searched the world and have yet to find cinnamon rolls as good as those at DHS.

I was always in trouble in Sarah Rhode's English class and I think that the best grade I ever got from her was a C minus; and spent a lot of time visiting principal Roy B's office for one infraction after another. Big Sarah and I butted heads frequently but she always won. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that everything was Greg Giles fault. One day I can remember her making a big deal that "the most difficult course in college is Freshman English" and how proud she was that her son had made an A in Freshman English his first semester of college. When I went to the University of Wichita a couple of years later, I worked very hard in Freshman English and surprise-surprise, I got an A. I made a special trip to visit Big Sarah to show her that I could get an A in Freshman English, too. She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head but surprise-surprise said, she wasn't surprised. She was a great gal.

The printing teacher was an extremely large man with no neck, a flat-top, and a waist size twice his height. He was not jolly. This guy was intimidating, out-weighed me by 250 pounds, and had a mean streak. I remember him grabbing me in the hall, pushing me against the wall with his bulk, and asking to see my pass; so I avoided him.  I was waiting anxiously outside the principal’s office one hot day after the Colossus of Rhodes had told me to get the hell our of her class and no smartass back talk. Suddenly, the door burst open and the printing teacher, huffing and puffing, came dragging in one of the tough greasers that all seemed to end-up in his class. Sit down he told the kid, as he rapped the secretary’s desk. She buzzed the principal, Roy B’s predecessor, and as he opened his door, the printing teacher sputtered he had a serious problem and pointed to the kid. "Well pull up a couple of chairs and sit down", said the principal calmly inviting them into his office.
The printing teacher’s eyes grew wilder, face grew beet-red, veins throbbing on his forehead, as he turned and stormed out of the office slamming the door and leaving the student behind. Shocked and baffled, the principal turned to the student and asked him, "What the heck's going on here?" "Well the kid said with his normal I don’t give a rat’s ass attitude, I was workin’ on my class project and Mr. T said you’re doing that wrong, let me show you the right way." I said, "Sure, pull up a couple of chairs and sit down". "Well he got real hot." The principal shook his head, mumbled something about insensitivity and consideration for others, told him to apologize to the printing teacher, and sent the kid back to class. Then the principal, his secretary, and a few others who had witnessed this remarkable event looked around at each other’s stifled grins - doing our best not to laugh out loud. When he noticed me he didn’t even ask me what infraction I had done, he just said "GET BACK TO CLASS and I don’t ever want to see you in here again!" Ah, such a sweet reprieve, such a perfect asstronomical coincidence,  what luck!

I remember shop class taught by Harry Christensen.   I loved that class and I loved making something out of nothing; particularly forging iron. Harry was missing a leg; he lost that leg in the horrible battle in Bastogne. Harry would begin class telling us how to make a clip board or wiener fork or cookie cutter and each time something would remind him of his battle, the battle that had taken his leg and almost cost him his life. We would squirm in our seats grasping for the smooth wood of the shop benches as his memories smothered our 9th grade agendas.  I remember how he would have bled to death but it was so cold, he was nearly frozen, and that's what saved him. He transported us to the horror of the WWII battleground as Harry told his story and then we all would startle when the class bell sounded. I've now got my clip board, my wiener fork, and my cookie cutter from Harry's class again. I found them among the things saved by my late mom.  My mom appreciated these things because I made them, but now they are reminders for me of Harry and his sacrifice and I cherish them. God bless you Harry!  All the best, Rodd


Mike Everhart's index card box with information on all the satellites ever launched (You'd need a computer now, Mike... )

Four cent milk. Cinnamon rolls (who doesn't?)...

Changing the clock in Geometry class so we could leave early (and getting caught).

The Grant's Raiders' toothbrush board...

Drinking a coke in the student lounge standing on my head (cast party) and getting it up my nose...

Movies at the football field on summer evenings...

Cherry limeades at Dewey Drug...

The self-induced fainting craze - until someone broke a window...


I remember the "Peppermint Lounge" We used to go there and actually "dance" before class started.

I was in Mrs. D's English class right after lunch when they announced Kennedy was shot.

I remember the ice cream machine in the Peppermint Lounge selling 10 cent ice cream sandwiches. I ate 12 for lunch one day on a dare.

I remember Mrs. Joy's co-ed homemaking class. If you didn't experience Mrs. Joy, none of the stories I could tell would be of meaning to you.

I also remember Mr. Grant and marching to the student lounge during our chemistry class in accordance with his Marine cadence. I have told people about his demerit system and how many seconds you had to spend on the hand cranked electric generator for each demerit. If you did that today, it would be capital punishment.

I remember our Principal, Mr. Robertson, who was an ex-FBI agent and who always found out who did everything.

I still hurt from the "50 mile hike" we took one Saturday at President Kennedy's urging. Buses dropped us off at Ark City and we ran/walked back. I only made it 42 miles before my boots hurt my feet so bad I had to quit. The next day many people were wearing house shoes and limping around school.

The dress code required belts if your pants had belt loops. A friend had his mom cut his belt loops off. They sent him home because the pants didn't originally come without loops.

I knew people who drank beer but I personally knew no one who did any kind of drugs.

They would stop you if you were smoking on the school grounds, even if you were smoking in your car driving up to, or away from school.

I remember Coach Bennie Lee's gym class in which we had to do leg lifts for 45 minutes without letting our legs hit the floor.

I remember the demise of Peter Paul and Mary, and all folk music, and the introduction of the Beatles to America.

Many, many people felt that volunteering for the army to serve in Vietnam was the patriotic thing to do.


Drying our hair on the hand dryers to hurry up and get to lunch...

Not being able to wear our gym shorts in the school... it was "risqué"

Wearing only dresses and skirts..... if it snowed, and we wore pants... we had to take them off before class started....


All the "old guys" pictures on the wall by the office.... ( I've heard they transferred them to the new school... and now WE are the "old guys" )

Chili, on Thursdays.... WITH the cinnamon rolls

"Let us sing of Derby High School,,, loud her praises ring....
D.H.S. DERBY, we love you.... deep rooted in each heart...
lies the bonds of true____ never to depart..."

I ALSO remember the 50-mile hike... Myke Allison came back to school in slippers

..... and the lounge... I WAS the ping pong champion...


I remember Channel 12 (I think) televising their dance show for teenagers in our high school gym, after a basketball game. We all did the "Peppermint Twist" on TV. I can't remember the name of the show, though, does anybody else remember that?

I also remember the announcement about JFK being shot, being announced over the intercom. I was in Mom's English class. I remember we couldn't believe it and we were in shock. The office finally just let the radio play, over the intercom, while the whole school was quiet and listening. It was like time froze. A lot of us had tears in our eyes.

I still have pictures of the Madrigals group with our gold brocade dresses. I wish I had a picture of Madrigals when we wore our Elizabethan costumes. That was a year or two before that.


Hearing the news over the intercom that President Kennedy had been assassinated... I was in Senior Biology, where were you?

Basketball games with Jack Mahoney playing the Derby Senior High fight song on the drums........ he got everyone on their feet.

The huge cinnamon rolls from the cafeteria.... 35 cent lunches....

..... and the time we boycotted the lunchroom....

Mike Jensen.... and 'hunker down' ---- I remember the day that Mike was hunkering down on top of Mr. Grant's lab bench... and got caught!

Listening over the intercom as John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth..... and hearing CAPCOM say, "God speed, John Glenn"

Learning to use a slide rule in Mr. Grant's chemistry class (try explaining one of those to your kids!!)

The storage space next to the cafeteria that became the "Student Lounge".... where we had those nutrious 20 cent lunches (a Pepsi and an ice cream bar or apple)

Cliff Peterson and his ever-present camera..... and his little red Renault

.... and the time that Cliff made chlorine gas in Science Class (Junior High) and then walked around the school with gallon jar of it, talking people into taking a 'sniff'

Grant's Raiders (Senior Physics)... and the telephone generator attached to the pipes on the sink....... and 'electrical' corporal punishment....

Senior Biology with Mr. Ransom, and our experiments with injecting baby chickens with sex hormones....... (we couldn't do THAT in school today)

The smell of the locker rooms in the gym, and taking home your soggy gym clothes on Friday..... :-p ... and when tennis shoes were ONLY used for gym

Almost killing myself on the trampoline in the Little Gym... never did do a complete flip...... Gawd, I hated that thing!!

Seeing Jack Fisher blow out his knee while playing volleyball... I will always remember the sight of his kneecap beside his knee rather than in front of it!

"Anxiety" nightmares about forgetting my locker combination......

Reading 'Dr. Zhivago' for a book report in Mrs. D's World Literature class.... the movie was much better (shorter!) than the book!

Pop quizzes.. "Clear your desk and take out a clean sheet of paper......"

David Summers leaning out the window of physics class during the last week of our senior year and squirting water on some guy in the classroom above us... and getting caught by Mr. Thomas.

Comments and contributions to Mike Everhart at:

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This page was created: August 5, 2000

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