Our Senior Summer! Can you believe it? What a great time to be alive. With our older classmates gone, we looked around to see who was in charge and discovered that we were. Most of us having entered high school just three short years ago would scarcely recognize our former selves that summer of 1974.
We had changed dramatically but the changes had come about day by day over the course of those three years. New friends, new ideas and new opportunities had brought us to our last year of high school.
The events of the world, on the other hand, did not exhibit the same good manners that we had shown in our change – the world changed in abrupt fits and spasms. We lived our senior lives in a breathless and vivid real-time adventure back then – which is today’s history lesson to be Googled by our children and grandchildren. More than proud to be a part of it – we earned it.
Those funny little tags called UPC codes, indispensable to life on this planet today, were introduced to us in June. Surely this would go the way of the metric system.
In July, Turkey and Greece began to slug it out over Cyprus and we wondered why anyone would fight over Magna. Wrong Cyprus.
Richard M. Nixon became the first United States President to resign in August of 1974. The nation was aghast and angered that they had been misled. The (new) Vice President – Gerald R. Ford, relatively unknown less than a year ago, was the new President. We had witnessed the world’s strongest country peacefully change leadership.
September and our senior year begins with the Carpenters telling us what we already knew – we were on the “Top of the World”. Brownsville Station warned us about “Smokin in the Boys Room” but who would be silly enough to do that? That’s what the benchs in the park were for!
ABBA was tearing it up at “Waterloo”, Paul was flying with Wings and who knew Ringo could sing? I always just figured he played the drums to keep him away from the microphone.
October gave us two immortal terms – Rumble in the Jungle and Rope-A-Dope. Ali takes back the title, allowing Foreman to start his grill enterprise.
The United Nations invites the Palestine Liberation Army to attend sessions, provided they sit quietly and play nice. Why would they want to do that when John Lennon and Elton John are rocking the Garden just down the street?
During December, the last Japanese soldier surrenders in Indonesia. That is a tough way to get a 38 year pension.
January 1975 begins with Stevie Nix joining Fleetwood Mac. Vice-President Rockefeller heads the International Womans Year commission.
Just in time for Margaret Thatcher to become British Prime Minister – first woman ever to be elected to lead a major government.
The beloved Charlie Chaplain was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Do they make bowlers with a visor?
The North Vietnamese Army attacks South Vietnam, quickly taking over large portions of the country. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia capture Phnom Penh – ending the Cambodian War.
College coaching legend John Wooden retires after winning his 10th NCAA college basketball championship in the last 12 years. Can anyone name the starting five…..?
Meanwhile in Albuquerque, New Mexico – Bill Gates and Paul Allen
North Vietnamese troops enter Saigon and South Vietnam surrenders.
May of 1975 Apple Records stopped spinning. The Mayaguez incident in Cambodia costs the lives of 38 Americans. President Ford announces the end of the Vietnam Era.
The Class of 1975 graduated from Tooele High School into a world that did not include Vietnam but did have Microsoft. The Jackson 5 (yes, those Jackson’s) were making a Dancin’ Machine. Utah’s very own Donnie and Marie were smiling away.
If you started work at the Depot, who would have imagined that it would only be a 20 year job? Many of us would take part in the Copper Rush at Carr Fork. Some would join the Armed Forces and serve their country bravely.
More than a few would take two years of their lives and serve their church, in America and abroad.
For many, education would continue to be a priority and a passion. Families were started, houses were built and jobs became careers.
We began to wish we had paid more attention to math classes as we balanced the checkbooks. Kimberly-Clark ranked right there with Jonas Salk in the life-saving department (as far as I’m concerned).
I would like to take a moment to remember Mike Smith. He never got much of a chance to savor our newfound adulthood. Like the rest of us, he had grand plans as he left the auditorium that night. He was killed in a motorcycle accident the next day before he could join the rest of us awaiting him at the sand dunes. Here’s a Tiger, Mike.
Proud to have known you all and to share this small corner of our planet with you. If we pass on the street and I do not see you first, please share a greeting with me. We may never pass this way again.