MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL ALL CLASS REUNION
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The Great Depression (from late 1920's through the 1930's impacted  on Milford much as it did the rest of the UNITED STATES.  Many people were unemployed.  Bread lines prevailed. Babies were wrapped in blankets with no clothes underneath because parents could not afford them.  FDR was elected.  He  introduced THE NEW DEAL and US  economy began to improve.

Milford teens made their own fun.  Washington Field was available for sport activities.  Depression kids did not have much money to spend on frivilous activities.   They had to buy their own schoolbooks.  A trip to the local movie theater was a special and occasional treat.  Shirley Temple and the movie version of Margaret Mitchell's book, Gone With the Wind, became  box office favorites. 

 


 

 

The HURRICANE OF 1938 WAS THE FIRST MAJOR HURRICANE TO HIT NEW ENGLAND SINCE 1869!!!  There was virtually no warning that such a storm spawed off the coast of Africa was headed across the Atlantic Ocean.  However, it came  ashore as a catagory 3 when the eye  passed over Long Island on its way to CT.  Although Milford's shoreline and area along the Housatonic River were  hard hit, beach towns East of New Haven and inland communities along the Connecticut and Thames Rivers suffered more devistating distruction.    This storm was estimated to have killed between 682 -- 800 people and damaged over 57.000 homes.  Until Super Storm Sandy arrived in 2012, the hurricane of 1938 held the record for worst natural disaster in Connecticut's history. Tony Collucci,

File:Hurricane Carol Storm Surge in color 1954.jpg Tony Collucci,

MOVIES AT THE CAPITOL THEATER, 5 CENT SODAS AT MITMAN'S , ICE CREAM SUNDAES AT MILFORD PHARMACY, CANDY FROM ROSS'S, COMIC BOOKS FROM IZZY'S, ICE SKATING ON THE DUCK POND, ROLLER SKATING IN WALNUT BEACH AND DUCK PIN BOWLING ARE POPULAR WITH  MILFORD TEENS IN THE 1940'S.


 

T-BOWL DUCKPIN LANES

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While war was waging in Europe and the Pacific, civilian life "state side" drastically changed. Many housewives left the kitchen and went to work outside their homes. "Rosie the Riveter" became a world famous force, depicting survival, determination, and female resolve. While some men were drafted, others became employed in area factories. Some MHS students left school and enlisted in the armed forces; those who survived were invited to return to MHS and complete their high school education following the armistice.

 

Photo: NOAA P-3 flying in eye of Hurricane Caroline

IN 1944 THE GREAT ATLANTIC HURRICANE  BATTERED MILFORD.   It was an extreemly large and intense storm that coursed North to North East up the Atlantic coast passing  New York City with winds clocked at 130 mph.  It made landfall near Port Judith, RI as a catagory 3 and passed just South of Boston before heading out to sea and skimming by Maine as a tropical storm. Because of aircraft reconnaisance, as well as improved tracking and communication systems, the death toll on land was quite low (46 persons).  However, the storm wrecked havoc on WW II shipping lines and caused five vessels to sink bringing actual death toll to 390.  The most significant storm impact on CT was from high seas and heavy rain fall causing lost pleasure boats, fallen trees, and downed electric  wires.   Some areas were without power for 10 days or more. Overall the 1944 storm was estimated to have done one-third the damage of the 1938  hurricane.


PAUL'S HAMBURGER STAND OPENED WAY OUT OF TOWN ON U.S. Rt. 1 IN 1946. IT WAS QUITE A LONG WALK FROM THE PUBLIC BUS LINES SERVING MILFORD, BUT GAVE TEENS A NEW PLACE TO CONGREGATE.


WHAT ELSE HAPPENED IN THE 1940s?

  • Stone age cave paintings were discovered in France
  • The Jeep was invented
  • Mt Rushmore was completed
  • Silk stockings were not available; colored leg paint took their place
  • T- shirts were introduced .... first only to replace undershirts
  • The Manhattan Project was born
  • Ball point pens went  on sale
  • FDR died in office; HST stepped into his shoes
  • Bikinis were introduced in U.S.
  • Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier
  • Polaroid camera was invented
  • Big Bang Theory was formulated
  • The Atom Bomb was dropped.

 

THE ZUIT SUIT BECAME A MAN'S MOST PRIZED POSSESSION AFTER HAVING TO WEAR GI-ISSUED UNIFORMS DURING WW II.

 

 Mens Black and Red

     

 

 

 

 

DURING POST WW II  COLD WAR,

 MHS  STUDENT  VOLUNTEERS

MANNED A  CIVAL DEFENCE

AIR SPOTTING STATION  

 

 

SEPTEMBER 1951 THE MHS NEW BUILDING WELCOMED ITS FIRST FRESHMAN CLASS

MRS WALSH'S 1951 FRESHMAN HOME ROOM PHOTO BY FRED GRUBE JR.

 

JUKE BOX SATURDAY NIGHT and LUCKY STRIKE'S HIT PARADE transitioned pop music from radio to a 1950s marvel, TELEVISION.


The juke box found in every soda fountain, tavern, and diner as well as many restaurants kept names like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Mario Lanza, Johnny Ray, Elvis Presley, Teresa Brewer,  Patty Page, and  Rosemary Clooney common words in every teen's vocabulary.   The introduction of 45 and 33 1/3 RPM records changed the world of home phonographs for decades.

 

       

 

This photo of our "53" / "54" edition of MHS SEVEN JACKS  features from Left to Right:  Jack Van Raaphorst on drums, Rob Lutostanski on sax, Don Miller on bass, Bob Chapell on sax, Jeannette Di Biase at the piano, and Howie Friess on trumpet with soloist Barbara Clark.

The 7 Jacks, initially formed in 1952 by Mr. Edward Pascale, chairman of MHS music department, continued through the 50's and into the 60's.   This group of ever changing Juniors and Seniors  offered some  of the more talented students an opportunity to expand their marketable potential.   As a bandleader, music teacher, and mentor, Mr. Pascal felt playing at school dances, assemblies etc in then current "Lester Lanin style" could give students an age appropriate venue.  According to Bob Chapell "55", members of the "53" / "54" version of SEVEN JACKS each earned $7.00 whenever they played at a school function.  Each Friday morning a larger ensemble, MHS ORCHESTRA, filled the pit during weekly assembly.

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MHS "55" Bob Chapell continues to enjoy playing the sax in retirement.  He and friends are THE JAZZ EXPRESS and periodically can be seen in Stuart, FL at the Stern House AKA Getting Crabby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1950's ushered in a series
of hurricanes  that battered the East Coast from Florida to Maine.  Milford was hit hard time and time again by these severe tropical storms. 

The name hurricane is really a common way to identify a tropical cyclone.  Since 1953, these Atlantic disturbances have been named from lists orginated by the National Hurricane Center. Storms are given names to avoid confusion when more than one is being followed at the same time.

 

 

PRE TITLE IX, MHS DID NOT OFFER  OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXTRA CURRICULA FEMALE ATHLETIC PROGRAMS.

 

HOWEVER, IN 1954, PE TEACHER, JOAN TICKEY,  WAS ABLE TO ORGANIZE A CLUB LEVEL TEAM FOR  GIRLS TO COMPETE AGAINST AREA SCHOOLS IN VOLLEY BALL PLAY DAY SETTINGS AT THE ARNOLD COLLEGE GYM. 

 

MILFORD RECREATION DEPARTMENT ANNUALLY FILLED THE VOID  BY ORGANIZING LEAGUES FOR GIRLS AS WELL AS FOR BOYS

COACHES WERE ALL VOLUNTEERS (USUALLY FATHERS)

 

MILFORDETTES BASKETBALL

 

MILFORDETTES BASKET BALL                     EARLY 1950'S                    RED DEVILS BASKETBALL

MILFORD PANTHERS SOFTBALL                                                            MILFORDETTES SOFTBALL

Coach Bill Koznar's Senior Milford Panthers made sports history when their two year record set a new high in local sports competition.  Led by captain, Barbara Hoff, their basketball team won the 1951 and 1952 city basetball championships  in addition to compiling an 11 to 2 record  against unafilitated out of town teams.  The 1952 Panthers  became the first Milford team (boy or girl) to enter a Bridgeport basketball league and win the title.    Not to rest on their laurels, this initial group of Koznar's  Panthers continued their winning ways in basketball and ALSO captured  several Milford softball crowns.      

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       JERRY LEE LEWIS                 CARL PERKINS             ELVIS PRESLEY      JOHNNY CASH

 

THE MILFORD PANTHER BASKETBALL AND SOFTBALL DYNESTY CONTINUED LONG INTO THE 50'S AS  YOUNGER GIRLS JOINED THEIR MULTI-LEVEL ORGANIZATION AND LEARNED NOT ONLY BASIC ATHLETIC SKILLS BUT ALSO A FEELING OF SELF- WORTH, LEADERSHIP,  AND THE CONCEPT OF TEAM SPORT INTERACTON SO  ESSENTIAL FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION INTO ADULTHOOD. 

                                                      

DIANNA BECKWITH LED THESE PANTHER SOFTBALL CHAMPS WITH A BATTING AVERAGE OF .386 AS WELL AS  ADDING A  NO HIT NO RUN GAME TO HER PITCHING  THEY MANAGED TO CAPTURE A BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP DURING THEIR TENURE TOO.

               

 

Life in the '50s has become synonymous with conformity and conservative values. Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy and other family oriented television "sit-coms" attempted to encourage women to return to traditional housewife rolls. Instead, new inventions like automatic washing machines, electric dryers, frozen food, Tupperware, plastic food wrap, instant oatmeal, velcro, iron on tape, fast food restaurants, and charge cards made it easier for women to "keep house" while working for a paycheck elsewhere. Some people consider the '50s a "Golden Era," others coin it, "America's Favorite Decade."  However, the '50s were not free of fear or violence;  the Cold War and The Korean Conflict kept drafting of young men into the armed forces a formidablele cloud of uncertainty. Children continued to have air raid drills in school and listen to discussions regarding the pros and cons of building a bomb shelter in the back yard.

The '50s are also known for: the first Peanuts cartoon, McCarthy's communist witch hunt, discovery of DNA, and a totally new concept in amusement parks ... DISNEY LAND.     

 

WHILE ROCK AND ROLL ... RHYTHM AND BLUES ... AND ELVIS PRESELY REIGNED AS KING, THE 1960s performers and writers of song introduced social commentary specifically about discontent, rebellion  and challenges that defined their era.  

An escalating war in Vietnam,  draft-dogers, civil rights for all citizens, and tragic deaths of prominent leaders all contributed to 1960s being dubbed an age of violence.


 

 

THE KINGSTON TRIO WAS THE FIRST GROUP TO LEAD TEENS FROM ROCK AND ROLL TO  FOLK MUSIC AND POPULARITY OF GROUPS LIKE THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS AS WELL AS PETER, PAUL, AND MARY.

Alfred The Peter Paul & Mary Piano, Vocal, Guitar Songbook  The Peter Paul & Mary Piano, Vocal, Guitar Songbook

 

AN INTENSIVE DREDGING PROJECT PROVIDES   TONS OF SAND TO RESTORE EAST SHORE BEACHES.   "WOODMONT ON THE SOUND" IS REGENERATED AS A SUMMER VACATION DESTINATION

 

 

 JFK MAKES OUTER SPACE EXPLORATION PROGRAM  A MAJOR PRIORITY

                                                                           

 

 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR, LEADS A SUCCESSFUL PEACEFUL  MARCH ON WASHINGTON D.C.

Elaine Babuscio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Babuscio, History  Teacher

Photos by Eugene Lisansky "72"


Students in the '70s had to deal with an ever changing environment from the oil crisis and waiting in line to get gasoline, to being able to purchase illegal drugs in school.  What was it  like to live in the 1970s?  It is really impossible to express every aspect of that era The hippie culture was still going strong in the early 1970s, but then some of that style permeated mainstream fashion. Bellbottoms and long hair were very common. So were polyester clothing and crocheted ponchos.

TYPICAL MHS AFTERNOON STUDY HALL IN THE AUDITORIUM.   ANYONE STUDYING????  ANYONE SLEEPING????
Photo by Eugene Lisansky "72"

During the 1970s, FADS came and went quickly ...  leisure suits, pet rocks, and a Dorothy  Hamil haircut to name a few.  Yet Charlie's Angel, Farrah Fawcell, spawned a  "feathered'  hair style that keeps reinventing itself.  Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 was passed. It prohibits discrimination based on sex in all education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Thus it is by far more wide reaching than applying only to women's sportsTitle IX empowers a female an opportunity similar to her male counterpart) and the freedom to strive toward achievement in whatever it might be that she wants.

 

Dorothy Hamill Photo

 

 

 

 

Saturday Night Fever

Music of Led Zeppelin and The Eagles was temporized by sounds from Marvin Gaye and the Bee Gees.   Disco music and dancing reigned supreme as led by John Travolta

Let us not forget MHS music teacher and choral director, Elaine Barbee.

photo by Eugene Lisansky

1970's Inventions that would change life in the  US  for generations to come included the floppy disk, word processing, VCR, cell phones, laser printers, and MRI

          photos by Eugene Lisansky

           Bob Mc Hugh                                                                                                                          Louis Pike

English Teacher  and Drama Coach                                                                                            Math Teacher

 


WNBA 2013 DRAFT

 

 

HURRICANE GLORIA ... 300 MILES WIDE WITH A 16-DAY LIFE SPAN

One of the most intensly reported events of the 1980s, Gloria hit Long Island, New York City, and Southern CT as a moderate catagory 1 hurricane after having been a violent catagory 4 while visiting in the Bahamas. Making its third landfall in the NY / CT area, Gloria's eye passed over Milford at low tide. Thus Gloria did not live up to what had been advertised as one of the most devistating storms of the century to hit CT.  However, Gloria scourged the shore line and caused considerable damage to waterfront cottages, beaches, and power lines. The immediate aftermath along Connecticut's costal area was concern about loss of electric power, clean up of folliage and downed trees, restoration of badly eroded beaches, and the repair razing of battered cottages.  


 WHAT HAPPENED IN 1983?

  • The U.S Embassy is bombed in Beirut, killing 63 people
  • Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast, killing 22
  • A 5.2 earthquake hits Central New York
  • Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 mph, driving Thrust 2 at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada
  • President Ronald Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 is released
  • US Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on its maiden flight
  •  Microsoft Word is first released
  •  The First Person to Receive an Artificial Heart  (Barney Clark)  dies after 112 days
  • Swatch introduce their first watches
  • Final Episode of M*A*S*H airs ...  a record 125 million watch
  •  Cabbage Patch Dolls are sold in shops and become a success
  • MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL CLOSES AFTER 141 YEARS IN EXISTENCE

 

WALKING DISTANCE:

NOSTALGIA IN THE DIGITAL AGE

SUBMITTED BY EUGENE LISANSKY "72"
 

In his 1959 Twilight Zone episode “Walking Distance,” Rod Serling waxed nostalgic for a childhood of carefree summer days and carousels in upstate New York.  Nearly half a century later, we return to our hometown of Milford Connecticut for a celebration of memory, and exploration of our collective past.

Unlike Serling’s character, Martin Sloane, who pursues his younger self and is reminded by his erstwhile father that we get, “One summer to a customer,” there is little mysticism in our journeys here today. You came by plane and by train and by car, guided by e-mail and your PDA and perhaps a GPS, using high technology to locate the exact spot on Earth where our past lives converged.

But by the 1980s when Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders sang, “My City was Gone,” the Milford High School we knew had vanished, to be replaced by government offices, our lockers entombed behind new walls like so many casks of Amontillado. Those lockers that once held books and lunch, fear and hope, and oh, so many secrets.

Once again, technology comes to the rescue, as Internet search engines and e-mail allow the MHS diaspora to connect more easily than ever. But regardless of the method, pony express or online people-search, we still find each other somehow, and relish the precious collective memories of our high school days in Milford. Whether by telegraph or by text message, the words are the same: Don’t be a stranger.