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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

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.

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 Harrison’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 Slept 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

National Honor Society

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Front row, from left: Perry Thomas (sponsor), Sharon Ammons, Sylvia Blyholder, Nina Rolloff (secretary), Helen Messner (treasurer), Hee-Young Kim, Nicky Gyles (president), Sue Stockton (vice-president), J.D. Hobbs, Mike Brooks, Melissa Upchurch, Jana Janzen. Second row: Liz Adam, Karan Carpenter, Betsy Stewart, Sandi Coffin, Laura Larr, Sheila Barbee, Nancy Stanberry, Lisa McConnell, Betsy Perkins, Bev Kreie, Susan Stephenson, Jody Tyson. Third row: Susan Herrington, Luanne Smart, Vicki Hileman, Debbie Adam, Diane Bell, Pat Bryan, Judy Goff, Pam Sills, Lisa Lashley, Terry Miller, Laura McKinnon, Donna Moore, Karen Jones. Fourth row: Sherman Smith, Alan Hepler, Steven Yancey, Dianne Cross, Teresa Fields, Teensy Kirby, Cathy Huff, John Horn, Soren Kraemer, Tom Coker, Kathy Bell, Janis Reed. Fifth row: Marc McGuire, Bob Storey, Gary Striegler, Jeff Ward, Brian Holt, Rick Turner, Don Carter, Greg Thoma, Daniel Wickliff, Cecile McKee, Linda Langham. Back row: Phyllis Kelly, Mark Springer, Bill Watkins, Jeff England, Samuel Steel, Theresa Smith, Dotty Neely, Terry Reed, Becky Riggs, Nathan McKinney, Robert Meyer.

One of the highest academic honors a student could receive was becoming a member of the National Honor Society.

The membership was composed of seniors with a maintained grade average of 3.25 or more. There were two elections in which the faculty voted on the eligibility of the candidates with each student judged on a one to five scale. Those receiving the highest rating were formally initiated.

The first group of seniors (pictured) were initiated in the spring of their junior year. Those initiated this fall were Sharon Ammons, Debbie Atto, Keith Banks, Robert Cate, Jody Tyson, Randall Hughes, Gail Davis, Anna Leichner, Brian McGreevy, Deanna Eden, Bob Storey, Melissa Upchurch, Jana Janzen, Cheryl Clinehens, Billie Bacha, Jerry Cox, Duane Dunn and David Evans.

NHS’s money making project for 1975-76 was the sale of candy canes at Christmas time. This project was headed by President Nicky Gyles. The other officers were Sue Stockton, vice-president; Helen Messner, treasurer; Nina Rolloff, secretary; and Hee-Young Kim, reporter-historian.

NHS members Sue Stockton and Judy Goff serve refreshments following fall initiation.
NHS members Sue Stockton and Judy Goff serve refreshments following fall initiation.

Parade Float

The Senior float, passing by Guisinger's Music shop on the Fayetteville square, shows a bulldog being catapulted out of a cannon toward a goal post with the theme: "Shootin' for a Victory."
The Senior float, passing by Guisinger’s Music shop on the Fayetteville square, shows a bulldog being catapulted out of a cannon toward a goal post with the theme: “Shootin’ for Victory.”

It’s About Time

For the first time since they entered FHS as sophomores, the class of ’76 won the Homecoming float contest. With class president John Horn as coordinator, seniors met for two weeks before Homecoming to decide on the float theme, “Shootin’ for Victory.”

Pam Meinecke and Theresa Smith cut crepe paper for the senior float.
Pam Meinecke and Theresa Smith cut crepe paper for the senior float.

Jeff Thomas brought his stereo to the fairgrounds to entertain seniors as they cut crepe paper, built the frame and stuff the chicken wire.

Despite a shortage of crepe paper and time, the float was completed about 10 minutes before the deadline and ready to go for the parade the next day.

— 1976 Amethyst