Monday, April 20, 2015

When We Were Your Age, Madison...We Went To Prom!


When We Were Your Age, Madison! 
George and Shirley...Junior Prom April 21, 1972
"A Time For Us"
Here we are...your grandparents...when we were juniors at American Fork High School.  This was only our second date.  I don't know how we ended up together...he was the most annoying boy in my English class.  One day at school I was in a really, really bad mood.  My so-called boyfriend in Spanish Fork had just broken up with me...said his wrestling coach told him to.  Lame!  In Mrs. Gordon's class, George kept doing little things to get my attention and I kept ignoring him.  Finally he reached over and yanked down one of my knee socks.  Without thinking I punched him in the face!  Mrs. Gordon calmly separated us and told us to behave...she was such a nice lady.

The next day...Saturday...I was walking down Main Street to the library, when I saw him coming out of the boot repair shop.  He was getting his clunky boots repaired.  I felt prompted to go over to him and apologize for popping him one in class.  He was pretty cool about it and we stood there talking for awhile.  I found myself enjoying his company!  He asked if I would like to go for a ride in the old Plymouth he shared with his brother, Daryle.  We drove from one side of the valley to the other...Pleasant Grove to Cedar Fort.  I hardly noticed the drive, we were talking a mile a minute.  

Back in school, George was his usual obnoxious self.  Why do boys do that...act like they don't care?  He asked me, "Do you want to see the Godfather movie?"  I said I did.  "Then you better find someone to take you, then," he smirked.  I almost punched him again!  But he did take me to see that movie...we took our own popcorn and pretended to be BYU students so we could get into an R-rated movie.  Not the most wholesome of first dates...right?  I hated the movie, but I was starting to like George.  When he asked me to Prom...I said yes!

Madison and Date...2015 Sweetheart Dance 

About Madison
Madison is the oldest of my 8 granddaughters.  She is a junior at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls and is a photographer on the yearbook staff.  It seems like only yesterday that she was my first grandchild.  I can hardly believe how fast the years have passed by.  Madison is beautiful and quirky...and I can't wait to see what she does with her life.  Now she is enoying her high school years and going to dances.  I thought it would be fun to tell her and my other granddaughters what dances were like when George and I were in high  school. 


Treasures From the Cedar Chest

My corsage from Prom 1973.
 
I hardly ever look in the bottom drawer of my cedar chest...it's in Sascha's room.  My parents bought the chest for me for graduation.  It was the custom in those days for a young lady to use the chest to store keepsakes and items collected for her wedding "Trousseau."  I keep my wedding dress in there, protected from dust and insects by the cedar lining.  It's quite large...I wanted it to look like a stereo cabinet, so I could have a nice piece of furniture for my future living room.

My bedroom showing the cedar chest.
Dance photo from Military Ball at BYU dates this to 1975.

Recently I looked in the bottom drawer of the cedar chest and found a florist box containing a corsage, our dance pictures and three dance programs.  The corsage was made of dried flowers...George's idea.  He thought it would last for years and be something to remember him by.  Ever practical, he insisted that our wedding bouquets also be dried flowers.  He has always had a cheap economical heart. 

Dance programs from Junior Prom, Pep Club Formal, and Senior Hop.
All are from my senior year. 

At some point during our senior year, along with our friends from Drama Club, we decided to rebel against some of the dance customs.  Prom in the 70's wasn't the all-day affair filled with games, activities and formal dinners hosted by someone's parents.  There were no contests to see who could issue the most creative invitation...Pinterest hadn't been invented yet. 

For the Senior Hop we decided not to buy new dresses or rent tuxes.  Flowers and boutonnieres would be simple.  We found out that it was just as much fun and not nearly as expensive.  I couldn't afford the Gunne Sax dresses that were popular, so I made my own.  When we followed the rebel plan for some of the other dances, I wore a couple of dresses more than once. And George wore that same blue polyester suit and tie I helped him pick out.   Polyester...what was the fashion world thinking?

Senior Hop November 17, 1972
"Love"

Senior Hop was the dance where we first "rebelled." I wore my dress from the first Junior Prom.  It was a lot less stressful not having to go to a salon to put my hair up and, because George didn't rent a tux, we could actually afford to go out to a nice restaurant with our friends.

Pep Club Formal December 2, 1972
"One Love"

We took a break from the "rebellion" for Pep Club Formal.  I was on the committee and had painted a mural for the entrance.  Everything had to be just right.  I made a new dress and did my own hair.  George wore a tux for the last time until our wedding.  To be fair, he looked very handsome in his ROTC uniform at the Military Ball during our college years.

Pep Club Formal Committee...I'm the second one on the back row. 

Junior Prom April 20, 1973
"Pieces of April"

Finally, back to where it all started...Prom.  For Christmas I had made George a bank that looked just like a giant Tootsie Roll...and filled it full of miniature Tootsie Rolls.  He promised that we could go to Prom in April if we could save enough money for the dance, dinner and pictures.  It was fun to count our change every few weeks to see how much we had.  I didn't contribute too much...I hardly ever had spending money left over from my allowance.  But we managed to have enough by the time April rolled around. This is just another example of George's frugal economically wise ways...he was always the man with the "five year plan!"

Mural for 1972 Junior Prom.
I painted the rocks on the rock wall...such talent!

The theme for our 1972 Junior Prom was "A Time For Us," the love theme from the 1968 movie "Romeo and Juliet."  That movie was a big deal for us...the most romantic movie of our teenage years.  The movie's star, Olivia Hussey, influenced even the style of many of our Prom dresses...long-sleeved and high-waisted.  Dresses were much more modest then.  We would have been scandalized if someone showed up in a dress with spaghetti straps!  It was rumored that some girl had...but I didn't see her.

Seventeen from May of 1973...Prom Issue
Are high school girls still inspired by this magazine?

That was us, Madison, back in the days of the cavemen...actually we were the American Fork Cavemen!  Times, customs and fashions may have changed, but more than forty years later I would still go to Prom with George, my high school sweetheart!  Maybe we can be chaperones at your Prom!

Love,
Grandma Shirley




9 comments:

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

Shirley, this post was so fun much! I had no idea that you had eight granddaughters! What fun!
I loved seeing all the neat pics, and your lovely dresses.
Erica :)

Tammy's in Love said...

My memory of the John Denver Aerie album poster also reappeared with this fun post of pop culture 1970s!! The good ol days for us!

Sandy McClay said...

Wow...you hung onto some great stuff Shirley! I have photos of my Junior Prom and nobody is ever going to see them while I am alive! lol....Terrible photos! Love all the memories, I graduated in 1972, so brought back some good times...:)

Margaret said...

I love your posts so much. I wish prom was simple again. Today, at least here in New York, prom is held in a pretty fancy restaurant and kids leave that early to head to NYC and then go away for a weekend! I can assure you my husband and I will be revising that plan when my Caitlin (who is only 10)has her prom!

Patti said...

I just love your posts! Such a blast from the past! I graduated in '74 - so I totally get the "spaghetti strap" no-no! Your pics are great! You have your corsage!

SueLovesCherries said...

Awwww, so sweet! I never went to my proms because I was one of the hippies and hippies didn't go to proms. (At my high school, the towns were so small that we had 3 towns forming a regional high school. The "hippies" were the kids who, mostly, majored in art (me) and were in the carpentry/mechanic/machine shops.) I regret it now.

Musings from Kim K. said...

Oh I love this walk down memory lane. Your dresses and stories are just delightful. Your eldest granddaughter and my Emma are the same age. I can hardly believe she'll be a senior next year. Emma's the class treasurer and selling prom tickets during lunch. Their prom is Saturday and she'll be decorating for the event Saturday morning. I hope she'll let me post some pictures on my blog. Hugs!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You really did take us down memory lane. How nice that you have the photos and mementos from these dances. And what a beautiful post you've written. Love the new generation...how cute are they! Hugs!!!

Dorothy Crutchfield said...

Boy did that bring back some memories! I loved looking at those great pics and your dresses were so pretty! I graduated in 1971 and we wore those high waisted puff sleeve dresses too. Your granddaughter is adorable~