Thinking of 1960

I graduated from Midland High School in 1960. Our class will hold its 50th class reunion this September.

I have created a website for the class of 1960 reunion.

In an attempt to get in the mood, I have spent some time on-line to check out statistics such as the 1959 and 1960 Michigan Class A Football Champions. I had always been under the impression MHS won the State Championship the year I graduated 1959-1960, but discovered we were only the Arrowhead Conference Champions in 1960 and NOT State Champs:

“Arrowhead Conference”

We were the State Championship in 1957-58, which was when I was in 10th grade.

1957 High School Football Associated Press Standings

I started doing more web searches and located this site which includes lots of old photos of tourist attractions from that era: 1950’s and 1960’s tourist destinations. I was reminded that the drive-in movie was called the “Sunset Drive-In” that there were two theaters in town: the Frolic (downtown) and the Midland Theater (on the circle). The Frolic Sweet Shop was next to the theater, and there was a very small hamburg restaurant in the same block as Girnell Brothers Music Store. The restaurant sold yummy crumbled hamburg on a bun. But can anyone recall my favorite drive-in restaurant. It might have been “the Pixie.” That somehow sounds familiar. It was located about where the Boulevard Lounge is now (on the Circle Boulevard). Dog and Suds, on the north side of “the Circle” was big back in 1959-1960, but I’m looking for the name of that drive-in located on the Circle Boulevard until about 1960. Can you remember? The cars would cruise the drive-inns. Those businesses started to fail when McDonald’s opened on Saginaw Road near Haley Street and charged only about 12 cents (or maybe it was 14 cents) for a burger and about a dime for fries.

The story of “the Music Box” is interesting, but unless you were part of that era and attended, it’s impossible to describe. Here’s the history I found: the Music Box at Prudenville, Michigan:

Music Box

I would make the 100+ mile round trip to “the Music Box” every Saturday night, winter or summer. It was my obsession for several years.

While working on the website for the class, I discovered that a high school boyfriend, Mike Cauchy, had passed away in 2007. (And here I though he was still broken-hearted and missing me.) We’d lost touch with each other about 35 years ago. Since then, I’ve met my wonderful husband, John, and have absolutely no regrets, but I was still sad to hear about Mike, who at one time was the love of my young life.

This whole reminisce experience has me playing music from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I found that the 1960’s tunes that were listed came late in the decade so they weren’t tunes I’d associate with my teen years. Those from fifties, especially 1959, were the ones that really brought back memories. Music by: Ricky Nelson, Elvis, Bill Haley, the Big Bopper. I loved Shirley and Lee. Buddy Holly’s stuff were among my favorites.

I remember buying my last 78 RPM record (“Heartbreak Hotel,” by Elvis). I remember ordering my first 45 RPM of “LaBamba”. Favorites: “Come Softly to Me” and “Slow Walk”.

I was so into music. I think it was in my junior high school (7th-9th grade) that I used to bring in my small 45 RPM player and blast out the latest tunes over the cafeteria PA system during the lunch hour.

Here were some of my 1950’s favorites:
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (The Platters)
My Happiness (Connie Francis)
Stagger Lee (Lloyd Price)
Donna (Ritchie Valens)
Venus (Frankie Avalon)
Charlie Brown (The Coasters)
Come Softly to Me (The Fleetwoods)
The Happy Organ (Dave “Baby” Cortez)
Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
Personality (Lloyd Price)
A Big Hunk Of Love (Elvis Presley)
There Goes My Baby (The Drifters)
Sleep Walk (Santo and Johnny)
(‘Til) I Kissed You (Everly Brothers)
Mack the Knife (Bobby Darin)
Put Your Head on My Shoulder (Paul Anka)
Cathy’s Clown (The Everly Brothers)
Teen Angel (Mark Dinning)

About 1958 I had a best friend, coincidentally named John but not my husband. Before I could drive to “The Box,” John would take me. He was a sweet guy. We lost touch with each other, but he contacted me a couple years ago. It’s nice to know that he’s also happily married and enjoying his life.

He named his daughter Sharon. Isn’t that sweet?!

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