The front page of the Summit Herald on 2/22/73 featured a story on the high school’s class-cutting policy, which came under attack at the Board of Education meeting when two students questioned what purpose is served in failing students after a third unexcused absence.

Senior John Stephens labeled it “repressive” and likened it to New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s drug law calling for life for pushers.

“If students don’t want to come to class,” Stephens said, “it reflects a problem with the curriculum or in his motivation, and punitive measures will not correct the situation.”

Principal Donald Geddes said cutting had “reached proportions beyond which we feel are healthy.” Teachers were technically allowed to lower marks one letter grade for an unexcused absence.

Somehow it seemed pretty slack when we finally got into high school, didn’t it? I mean some of us cut a class or two to play nine at the muni!

Meanwhile, also that week in the Herald was the curious headline “Car Overturns – Cuts Thumb”

Elaine Engstrom, Patti Redman and Gail Fricke won awards for twirling. And yours truly didn’t make the honor roll. It never got any better for me after that, either.

Remember Diane Chegwidden, the Junior High teacher? She got married during this time. Had her honeymoon in St. Croix.

I also couldn’t help but note that the children’s matinee at The Strand was “Ring of Bright Water,” the otter tale. Some of you must remember that one from our childhood.

The Boy’s Varsity Basketball team was continuing to kick butt during this stretch, running its record to 23-1 in Ed Lyons’ second season at the helm. They defeated Newark Eastside in the state quarterfinals….we’re about to find out if they got any further.

Beacon Hill’s varsity hockey team pulled off a huge upset, defeating Chatham 2-1. Picture that Beacon Hill was 12-11-3 going in, while Chatham was, get this, 20-0.

And in the exciting 8th and 9th grade rec basketball league playoffs, the Suns, led by Mike Horn, Terry Mahoney and Ricky Jackson, defeated the Knicks of Guida-Ruppert-Kline fame, 59-39. [I do just have to note that in first round action, Brian Keith scored 24 for the Warriors.]

One other note. Remember Roger Schwanhauser? He was a 1971 grad and a helluva swimmer. Roger was in the Herald because he was doing great things for the Bucknell swim team.

The Herald announced that the average temperature in 1972 was 52.9 for Summit, or one degree above normal. It was warming up then!

Finally, when going through the papers at the Summit Historical Society the other day, where I normally see Art Cotterell, I ran into Red Ahearn. We’re all 30 years older, but Red is hanging in there.

More tidbits April 26. [Out of town for a spell.]


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