My high-school senior yearbook, Radford High School 1971, is stashed somewhere in the house and I haven’t been able to find it for years. I know it’s there somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it. Astonishingly, I graduated from high school 40 years ago this spring. (And a hearty WTF?!?! to you too.) It seems like just yesterday that I borrowed my pal Kathy’s yearbook and used it to create a “virtual” yearbook, putting my entire senior class and other information online. But no, that was back in the deep, dark ’90s, when I created Web sites by writing HTML in Simpletext and uploaded them via a dial-up connection. It was fun and consuming, like solving a puzzle, although to do it that way today would be simply crazy.
The “yearbook” bounced around various hosts and subhosts, most recently residing on my catch-all pacifichistory.net site. That is, until a few days ago, when I registered radford1971.com and ported the Yearbook over there. Now it has its own dedicated site; http://www.radford1971.com, and the idea is to update and modernize the coding and contents.
The deal is that Radford High School’s student population was, and remains, largely military dependents. Where other kids tend to keep in contact after school, because they grew up in the same community, military kids scatter to the winds and contact is lost. Conversely, as Mary Wertsch pointed out in her seminal sociological study “Military Brats,” military kids tend to look back on their high-school days with the same fond gauziness that most Americans view their home town. High school was the closest most of us came to sense of belonging to a civilian community, outside of the martial legacies of the various military services.
Yes, I’m in the photo above, sitting next to the beauteous and brilliant Mary Cole. Like most of us, she turned out A-OK.