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Theresa Smith thoughtfully searches for a Prom dress.
Donna Moore, Jackie Audrain, Scott Fedosky and Kathy Trice aid in raking in the money during cap and gown measurements.
Jackie Audrain, Scott Fedosky and Kathy Trice aid in raking in the money during cap and gown measurements.
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Steve Jones works behind the counter at Mr. Tux, a formal wear rental store.
 Linda Bixby folds her invitation order which had to accompanied by a $10 deposit.
Linda Bixby folds her invitation order which had to accompanied by a $10 deposit.

Cost of Leaving

While the approach of graduation meant many things to different people, to all seniors it meant dishing out the dough. From the summer before to the summer after the senior year, students were paying for all those “seniory” things.

It started with the senior ring, averaging $60 to $70. Then came senior portraits. Most seniors spent $30 or more.

From the beginning of that final year, seniors prepared for the big day, graduation. Before they had time to realize they were seniors, they were ordering invitations. Some managed to escape with only a $5 to $6 charge, but the cheapest package was $9.35 and the most expensive was $26.55. And many ordered extras and bought a memory book for $3.20, a senior key for $4.50 to $6.50 and a picture album for $4. In addition, a cap and gown, which was required for uniformity of color, meant another six bucks.

Planning for a college education was also costly. ACT and SAT tests cost $6.50 to $7.50, which included sending the results to three colleges. Transcripts to accompany applications were priced at $1 after the first one.

As graduation drew nearer, so did another big event, the Senior Prom. The cost for this wing-ding could vary sharply. Tickets, which came out of the guy’s pocket, ran $5 a couple. Dinner, depending on how cheap the guy was, ranged from $3 at McDonald’s to $20 at the Farmer’s Daughter. Then the poor fellow had to rent a tux, another $15 to $40, and buy a corsage for his date. If he went the daisy route he spent about $2.50; if he was extravagant he paid $10 for an orchid.

A new dress for the girls could be made for as little as $20, but many preferred to buy one read made for at least $50. And her date had to have flowers too, a boutonniere for $1.50.

If you added it up, the bill for the senior year came to $260. But most seniors agreed that the memories were worth every cent.

— 1976 Amethyst

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Large Group

Curtis Malone provides his own entertainment during psychology large group.
Curtis Malone provides his own entertainment during psychology large group.
Mrs. Mary Jane White takes her turn at the stand during her last semester on the senior English large group team.
Mrs. Mary Jane White takes her turn at the stand during her last semester on the senior English large group team.
Aaron Karp seems to be taking notes but look closely at how much he has written down.
Aaron Karp seems to be taking notes but look closely at how much he has written down.
Mike Bihn explains to Mrs. Kathy Roy why he was late to large group while Steve Yancey thinks up a good excuse.
Mike Bihn explains to Mrs. Kathy Roy why he was late to large group while Steve Yancey thinks up a good excuse.
Duane Spears, Tony West, Mike Buchanan and Read Hudson found that tilting the wheel helped their team in a senior English large group game.
Duane Spears, Tony West, Mike Buchanan and Read Hudson found that tilting the wheel helped their team in a senior English large group game.

High School Nap Time

To the casual observer, large group was a room full of 50 to 150 students — some sleeping, some taking notes, some reading day old assignments and others daydreaming the hour away.

For the students it was an inevitable part of the high school experience, since large group formed an integral part of all English classes as well as psychology, history and accounting.

Most students learned to place each large group session into one of four categories and looked forward to the class with anticipation or dread according to its classification. These were 1) the filmstrip, film, record category including W.C. Fields films and broken filmstrips, 2) the note taking period complete with the date Emily Bronte’s sister’s dog died, 3) the guest speaker, 4) the games, so aptly recalled by Nicky Gyles.

“I feel the large group system stands on a basically sound theory. However, one aspect of large group did cause me emotional anguish. Games involving singling out certain individuals and the social ridicule which followed was quite exasperating, especially when it happened to me.”

According to Mrs. Kathy Roy, senior English teacher, the purpose of large group was to allow speakers to talk to all the students at once as their schedules might not permit them to speak to each class individually. Large group also enabled teachers to shae the work load of offering lectures and showing filmstrips.

“We are not here to entertain,” observed one teacher.

Student opinions, on the other hand, were mixed.

“It’s a good idea,” said John Horn. “One advantage is that it breaks the routine. Students find it boring because it’s to formal and teachers often have uninteresting presentations.”

“Large groups are beneficial when they are used for speakers, film strips and things like that,” pointed out Kathy Bell, “But at times they could be very boring.”

— 1976 Amethyst

Fashions

Jeff England and Shelley Faddis wear the results of the Amethyst clothing survey.
Jeff England and Shelley Faddis wear the results of the Amethyst clothing survey.

Clothes Call

Instead of showing you what magazines tell you that you wore, here are the results of a poll of 100 boys and 100 girls showing you what you really wore in 1976.

Jeff England and Shelley Faddis are shown wearing the results of the poll.

Generall, most people preferred casual, comfortable clothes, with uncomplicated lines. Jeans, either nice denim baggies or grungy Levi’s, were definitely the staple of everyone’s wardrobe. Guys (99% of them) and girls (75%) overwhelmingly chose jeans for starters.

Going from top to bottom, boys, on the average, had over-the-collar to shoulder length hair (at least before basketball season!). Shirts posed a problem since there was a wide choice, with T-shirts, work shirts, button-down shirts, football jerseys and sweaters to select, none received a clear majority. Holding up those popular jeans was a brown leather belt, and peeping out from under them, 50.4% of the time, were tennis shoes.

The muslin shirt hit big at FHS; Theresa Smith wears a muslin smock brightened with a patchwork yoke.
The muslin shirt hit big at FHS; Theresa Smith wears a muslin smock brightened with a patchwork yoke.

Checking out the girls, it was again difficult to find a clear choice in some areas. Jeans, a button-down print shirt with a solid sweater and a scarf would be a close composite. Shoulder length hair in soft windblown waves accounted for 63% of the hairstyles.

The girls seemed to be given to excesses in some areas. Most wore four bangle bracelets, at least three rings, and two-inch heels or platforms. Nail polish, pierced loops, a pendant on a long delicate chain, a leather purse and wild socks completed the composite girl.

While results of the poll were interesting they did not mean FHSers were fad-following sheep. The individuals were like the cherry on top of the ice cream — the occasional song lyric embroidered on a shirt, father’s old varsity sweater or Jeff Thomas’s Elton John shirts.

— 1976 Amethyst

From left, Paige Gibson, Rich Worsham, Pat Flynn and Phil Brown model the latest in the back-to-school super casuals.
From left, Paige Gibson, Rich Worsham, Pat Flynn and Phil Brown model the latest in the back-to-school super casuals.

Excuses

Debbie Norris and Betsy Perkins wait patiently for their turns at the check out desk.
Debbie Norris and Betsy Perkins wait patiently for their turns at the check out desk.
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Mr. Duncan signs blue slips to returning students.
Mike Bryant, right, finds Don Carter's "note from home?" rather humorous but Don seems to think it'll work.
Mike Bryant, right, finds Don Carter’s “note from home?” rather humorous but Don seems to think it’ll work.

Singing the Blues

If there had been an Academy Award for the best excuse for missing class, it would have been a tough decision. Having practice for 10 years or more, students have come up with some pretty good ones.

There are a few all time favorites — “I had a flat.” “I ran out of gas.” And of course, “I had to go to a funeral.” But when asked who passed away, the answer was always “my grandmother” — for the third time.

But then there were the real excuses — “I was sick.” The actual kinds of sickness varied with the imagination of the students. There were the ones with a cold, then there were the ones with an upper respiratory infection and the most imaginative had “rhinitis.”

So, who’s to say who was sick and who was faking. It all depended on how imaginative you were in deciding your illness, how convincing you were when having your parents write your note (or how brave you were in forging it), and how serious you looked when you got your blue slip.

A few excuses from the mother of Bruce Q. Shark for her absentee son:

Dear Attendance Person, Bruce Q. was not in school per 1-3 yesterday. He got his foot stuck in the porcelain utility. Mrs. E. Shark

To whom it may concern: Bruce was not in school periods 1-3 yesterday. He thought it was Washington’s birthday & overslept. Mrs. Ethel Shark

Mr. Duncan, Bruce Q. Shark was not in school yesterday 1-3 periods. Did you really miss him? Mrs. Shark

— 1976 Amethyst

Studying?

Karan Carpenter asks Terry Fraley to show her how to do her homework.
Karan Carpenter asks Terry Fraley to show her how to do her homework.

Wise Up

“Studying is going over material for a test or doing homework,” defined Vickie Hileman. “When I study I get off and get the material I need and study until I’m really tired,” she continued.

Don Carter and Laura McKinnon had a different view of studying, one that was perhaps more typical.

“Learning new material the night before the test is my approach,” said Don.

Laura preferred to “go back and put together the material that I’ve learned.”

While Vickie chose to study in a secluded place where she could be alone, some students preferred background music from a radio or stereo. Others chose the library and a friend to quiz them.

How much did most students study? Don Carter summed it up when he said, “Never enough!”

— 1976 Amethyst

Theatrical Productions

Annie Sullivan, played by Leslie Lane, and Kate Keller, played by Sylvia Blyholder, aid Helen Keller, played by Charlene McKee, as she struggles in her dark world, from "The Miracle Worker."
Annie Sullivan, played by Leslie Lane, and Kate Keller, played by Sylvia Blyholder, aid Helen Keller, played by Charlene McKee, as she struggles in her dark world, from “The Miracle Worker.”
Vickie Hileman applies Sean Harison's make-up while finished product Mike Smith puffs on a cigarette.
Vicki Hileman applies Sean Harison’s make-up while finished product Mike Smith puffs on a cigarette.
Annibel, played by Becky Segers, exclaims over the condition of the house while Kimber, played by Mike Smith, hangs on to his suspenders in the beginning of "George Washington Sletp Here."
Annibel, played by Becky Segers, exclaims over the condition of the house while Kimber, played by Mike Smith, hangs on to his suspenders in the beginning of “George Washington Sletp Here.”
Rick Bashor and Theresa Smith pass the time playing chess during a scene from "George Washington Slept Here."
Rick Bashor and Theresa Smith pass the time playing chess during a scene from “George Washington Slept Here.”

Playing Around

The theatre darkened, the curtain opened and the play entertained the audience for a little while.

What they saw was the finished product of many weeks of work. The actors were only the beginning; sets had to be built, costumes and props acquired, make-up created, lights and sound coordinated.

Behind the scenes of three plays was Mrs. Pat Collier, directing members of the Drama Department. “George Washington Slept Here,” a comedy, was presented in the fall. “American Names,” a Bicentennial program given in February, included scenes from three famous American plays, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” “Our American Cousin” and “The Miracle Worker.” The senior play was planned for late spring.

Out of the footlights, members of the Creative Drama classes went to local elementary schools where they involved children in the basics of drama by having them tell a story with pantomime and sound effects.

Competitively, drama students went with the Debate Squad to the University of Arkansas tournament where they performed the Reader’s Theatre “Johnny Pye and the Fool Killer.” They also took “Star Spangle and Company” to state.

Summing up the year, senior Sylvia Blyholder said, “It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.”

Curtain. Applause!

— 1976 Amethyst

Christmas

Carolers on the Fayetteville Square include Sheila Barbee, Joyce South, Nancy Guisinger, Cheryl McKnight, Lisa, Pat Bryan and Nancy Dodson.
The FHS Choir helped set the mood for the tree lighting ceremony on the Fayetteville Square. Carolers include Sheila Barbee, Joyce South, Nancy Guisinger, Jackie Ward, Cheryl McKnight, Lisa McConnell, Pat Bryan and Nancy Dodson.

Mistletoe and mood rings weren’t the only goodies in the 1975 Christmas stocking. Parties, presents, shopping, tree decorating and most of all the “impossible” white Christmas made the holiday one to remember.

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Scott Woelk is pleased that Santa Claus, Ned Parrett, can deliver his requests: “Now Santa that’s Lisa and Kathy and Terry and Susan and … .”

The Music Department caught the Christmas spirit early as the band and choirs spent the weeks after Thanksgiving rehearsing for their concerts. New additions to the A Capella concert were Christmas carols by soloists and a verse of “Silent Night” in Swedish by exchange student Lotta Rüdh.

NHS had an early case of Christmas spirit too. In early December, they began selling candy canes to raise money for their scholarship fund.

“We didn’t make as much as expected,” said president Nicky Gyles, “but we did pretty good.”

As classrooms took on a holiday look and plans for future parties were made, the anticipation built. Posters were put out early for the Christmas dance with the theme “Christmas in Germany.” With Jericho set to play, everything was ready early … almost. With only a week left to dance time, no chaperones were found. However, as the day crept closer and the possibility of cancellation threatened, they were located and the dance went on as planned.

Patty Horner and Karl Killian agreed that “the band was great and the dance was a big success.”

Christmas 1975. It was remembered by most students for special reasons — presents received or given, friends and family, snow and sledding. But whatever the reason, it was remembered.

— 1976 Amethyst

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Jericho performs for the Christmas dancers and prancers.

Pep Rallies

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Varsity cheerleaders lead the student body in the Alma Mater at the end of the pep convocation.
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During a pep rally skit Cathy McRee asks Lisa Lashley who’s going to win the game. Billy Harrison plays the horse, while Terry Miller and Susan Chism as Siamese twins look on.
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Cindy Bowers, ’76 dancing bulldog, performs to the music of the band during a pep rally.
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Leslie Long makes a monkey out of Mike Garner during the Russellville pep rally.
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Manager Bobby Waterson does a victory dance.

B-U-L-L-D-O-G-S! Let’s go Dogs! The cry rang out in each pep rally in 1976.

Pep rallies were not just a spontaneous gathering of people all shouting support for the Bulldogs. Behind each one were hours of careful preparation.

Cheerleaders not only practiced cheers and jumps, but also created skits to add a touch of comedy to the spirit. Meanwhile, the band rehearsed the Alma Mater and “The Horse.”

Peppers took part in hanging posters, and along with the cheerleaders, they got to the gym early to get things organized.

Finally, the student body entered with loud voices and clapping, and the gym began to roar with noise.

“The spirit seemed better than last year,” said junior Karen McCarty.

The Colors Day and Homecoming convocations were special pep rallies. Others featured special events such as the announcements of the winners of the Mr. Irresistible contest. It was won by Brooks Clower, senior; Calvin Tackett, junior; and Tyler Trumbo, sophomore.

Pep rallies were a spirit experience!

— 1976 Amethyst

Work Day

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Charlie Alison leans out to reach the top molding.
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Cathy McRee paints book shelves in Mrs. White’s English classroom.
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Denise Smith started out as messy as most kids ended up.
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Band students work on their music shelves.

Work day provided students with a choice of going to school and getting paint and dirt all over them or staying in their warm beds and sleeping late.

Most of the approximately 215 students who did work arrived by noon. The largest crowd of the day gathered in the cafeteria at lunch for pizza paid for by the administration and Pepsi provided by Student Council.

“I’m always impressed with students that show their concern in such a positive way,” said Mrs. Sherry Price, Student Council sponsor.

Among the individual improvements was a fresh coat of blue paint in the accounting room. The band room was given a Bicentennial look, and the girls’ dressing room took on a brighter appearance as Mrs. Carol Brunner’s work team painted desks, trash cans, benches and the door.

The major clean up consisted of wiping away the cobwebs and grime that had accumulated since the last work day. But probably the biggest clean up of the day took place after all the workers got home and took a look at themselves.

Lunch Options

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Students wait in line for lunch while Virginia McNair uses her teacher privileges to get an early start.

Eat, Drink and Be Wary

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Lunch is an enjoyable break for Pam Sills, Cherie McGuire and Dennis Atto.

Whether you brownbagged it, skipped it, lunchroomed it or risked it and left, without lunch you couldn’t make it through the day. That’s the time you fed your face, did last minute assignments, found out what was on the English test or just talked with your friends.

In 1976 it was a real hassle to eat in the cafeteria. It took anywhere from five to eight minutes of waiting in line to get your food. Monday’s first period lunch and Wednesday’s third period lunch were especially crowded. Generally, most people liked the food. And while prices did not go up from the previous year, there were several new additions such as chef’s salad to the menu.

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David Guisinger takes a chance and puts his money into the candy machine.

For those who didn’t care to eat in the cafeteria, there were candy and coke machines scattered here and there. Some brownbaggers wouldn’t give up their bologna sandwiches for all the hamburgers in the world. And if you were not inclined to eat at all, there was always a spade tournament in the debate room or a dance in the student center. And if all else failed, you could always count how many times “Fame” was played on the jukebox.

—1976 Amethyst

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Lunch???