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annehart

annehart

1959 was my summer of work

 

You also may wish to check out my audio recording at Internet Archive: "Lafayette High School Class of 1959: 50th Reunion: Best Wishes (August 14, 2008)." Lafayette, class of 1959 is the symbol of connectedness.  If there's a theme song for Lafayette, it would be about staying connected, of not playing loose change, and of fitting it with the group.

 

What Lafayette meant to me and to many others were events, trying out daydreams of different careers, applying for scholarships, anniversaries, my love of science, music lessons, major art, gatherings, writing the annual family newsletter, engagements of my best friends in their senior year, extended family histories, new pets, learning to cook for myself, the diversity of being raised in an interfaith household, going off to a first office job in the summer after graduation and also to college at the same time, autographing the yearbook, buying our class rings, summers challenging calculus, and at the same time making the most of what you have.
   
For my friends at Lafayette, 1959 was the summer of work. I divined sagely that it might instead be the autumn of travel. Instead, I built from scratch my first TV set. Two classmates would arrive in my house after school once a week for me to tutor them in algebra and listen to me play the piano. Then we'd all take the subway at the Kings
Highway Station to Coney Island, pay our way into Steeplechase park, play in the giant rolling barrels, and flaunt our Lafayette maroon-and-white book covers chanting, "When you don't go within, you go without."
   
Our class of 1959 was perhaps a decade behind San Francisco's summer of love. Our 1956-1959 Haight Ashbury was simply Kings Highway to Bath Beach. Our generation of those born in 1941 and 1942 were the silent, nose-to-the-grindstone self-healing generation of toil awakening to a great Nathan's hot dog or burger with onions and discovering spirituality through Coney Island's pizza paths to aromatherapy. But for two of my friends graduation day in 1959 was the season of marriages.   

 

And for all of us at Lafayette, another fork in the road of decisions. We all had to decide on a career, major, or destination. For me the choice was between art and writing or science and nutrition. Eventually I chose both. When it came to decisions, everyone at Lafayette narrowed their choices down to only two and eventually, worked both in one small way or another. Many of us vied for scholar incentive awards.
  
We all wanted to be seen as normal, fitting in with the group, and reliable. That's exactly what Lafayette was in those three or four years 1955-1959 when we attended--fitting in well with the neighborhood businesses, arts, social history, ethnography, and theme parks. Lafayette was like Steeplechase Park in its heyday--insightful, playful, and adventurous.

 

Lafayette's courses, clubs, and events offerings, faculty and students, and career training choices, by graduation day, left us feeling pleasantly hungry to continue transforming energy, enthusiasm, and insight into practical ways to solve life's problems and issues, to find measurable results, and to become honorable, proud family members ourselves. Lafayette represented for the area, a wonderful freedom of choice.

You could be almost anything at different times. The world opened to its graduates.  This school helped our sheltered 1959 generation make better decisions that wouldn't blindside us early on in our careers or family lifestyles. Lafayette will be a state of mind forever, a unified field, and a moment that enraptured all five of our 1950s senses. Lafayette's memory lane is a walking adventure.

 

Lafayette wanted feedback about it's goal, purpose, and passion. That goal was to measure how we applied what we learned, and of what details we made use. What Lafayette reflected were practical neighborhood coastal lifestyles in the realm of the senses. And now, we give back to Lafayette's memory, our echoes, memories, and feedback fifty years later in photos, life story highlights, and connectedness. Sing our theme song of accomplishment, Lafayette.

 

Key words:

 

Lafayette High School Class of 1959; 50th reunion. Greetings and best wishes. Thanks for the connectedness; creativity; community; clarity; conviviality; camaraderie; and cavalcade of cadence as we all walk down that candid memory lane.