Western History & Genealogy Blog

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Remember When...?

Photograph of East High Cheerleaders, circa 1920

You still have the popular, the pretty, the athletic, the shy, the weird, the smart, and, let’s face it, the just plain awkward. 

As many of you may know, the Creating Communities project has now began its second phase, called Creating Your Community.  The basic concept behind this new phase is to let you tell us the story of your community through your memories.  To jump start this our illustrious department genealogist suggested to focus on the five historic Denver High Schools which are: North, South, East, West, and Manual High Schools.  To do this we have scanned the first ten yearbooks (respectively) for each of these schools with additional photographs and items from our collections. We have scanned over 174 items so far and are in the process of doing more. 

Most of what we have chosen, or will choose, shows the life and everyday experiences of students at these schools.   As I have been scanning these items I have begun to realize that even though the fashions, society, and technology may differ, High School is still High School.  You still have the popular, the pretty, the athletic, the shy, the weird, the smart, and, let’s face it, the just plain awkward. 

There are things each of us can relate to in the items that we have or what we will scan. For example, being a former basketball player I love all different photographs of the basketball teams.  Each photo reminds me of myself, or someone I played ball with at one time or another.  One great example is a photograph of the Manual High School’s Girls Basketball team from the early 1900’s.  Personally I am grateful that I never had to wear an early version of parachute pants to play in, or the short shorts that the East High boys basketball team played in seen in a photo from the 1930’s. 

Now that I think about it, I just remembered a J.V. team’s photograph in my sophomore yearbook.  Where, unfortunately, I was forced to not only to wear, but to play in, royal blue and white tie-died knee-high socks.  Hey, what can I say, it was the mid-nineties, tie-die and flannel were in, and occasionally worn at the same time…  

I guess what I’m trying to say here, is that even though we live in a world of political correctness and security threats, I’m sure we all can relate to some of these experiences shown.  Very few of the people who are shown are now with us, but they went through similar experiences as we did.  How many of us remember picture day, the signing of yearbooks, the games, the dances, the parties, the classes, the homework, the broken hearts, the plays, and the dread and anticipation of starting it all over again in three months? 



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