Remember when: We signed ‘Roses are red’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

“Roses are red, my love, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, my love, but not as sweet as you,” Bobby Vinton sang in his popular hit released in April 1962.

The Andy Hi-Lite, the Andalusia High School newspaper, reported that the “Roses are red” poem was the most common way for a student to sign a Memolusia annual.

Recently, two AHS graduates, Ernestine Spicer Cosby and Kay Spicer Johnson, donated a collection of school newspapers from 1957-1964 to the AHS Heritage Room.

In perusing these publications sponsored by Patricia Seymour, I am reminded that she influenced many a high school student to continue in their future careers through their writing abilities for their upcoming fields of business and other professions that require the skills the newspaper staff and her English and History students learned in her classroom.

Gloria Jones became the newly elected 1959 Editor chosen by the annual staff for this honor. Jean Enzor will serve as Assistant Editor.”

“There’s much more to music than just notes,” the Hi-Lite reported in the January 1958 edition. “The Howard College Choir presented a concert to the AHS student body. Joyce Sawyer Andrews, an AHS graduate, is a member of the choir.”

“Jukebox Chatter, Spinning Platters” column listed some popular tunes of the day including “At the Hop,” “Sugartime” by the McGuire Sisters, Frank Sinatra’s “All the Way,” Bo Diddley’s “Say Boss Man,” and the Silhouettes, “Get a Job.”

Advertisers supporting this teenager publication were Town and Country where every teenage girl found the latest fashions, King’s Cafeteria (Air conditioned – Home-Style Cooking), Johnson Bros. Jewelry Co., Wood’s Record Shop, and the Fendley Drive-In Theatre to name a few.

In Norma Moore’s column, “Chit-Chat,” she interviewed boys about the new “tight skirt” fad. Mickey Johnson offered his opinion, “I like the tight skirts, because they make a girl look neater.” Jimmy Rabren stated, “Tight skirts are for me, because they show a girl’s figure off better.”

Moore also interviewed girls who seemed to agree that boys should not wear their levis up under their arms and that they should wear belts as required by AHS rules.

“This seems to be going out of style, and there are some boys who just wear a rope around their waist and socks cut off at the ankle to make sure they are in compliance with the school rules!”

From the February 1961 edition, “The Tri-Hi-Y is sponsoring a clean language campaign headed by Linda Harrison. Club members are making posters to remind students to use clean language and to keep the respect of their friends.”

From the “Fad and Fashions” column by Charlotte Bailey, she writes “Ralph Wells looks winter-bound in his white ski-type sweater trimmed in red and black snow flake design.”

Bailey urges the students to “look closely in the halls of school. You have surely noticed the numerous dyed to match skirts and sweaters.” Continuing on, she notes, “Our halls are decorated by the beautiful white sweaters (with red A’s) the athletes received – but the gals now wear them!”

“From the Bulldogs Pen,” Linda Dale Bishop pens, “Muscle building seems to have become a definite part of Andy’s athletic program. Many of the physical education classes and a good many individuals are now working out with weights.”

Coach Searcy has announced that spring training will begin February 27. He expects about 60 men will be out including twelve returning lettermen.”

Coach Waller anticipates a good season for baseball which will get underway on March 1. A large turnout is expected.”

AHS is fortunate indeed to have on its staff one so capable and gifted in the field of science as is Mr. James A. Wilson, school principal. Mr. Wilson visited the physics class last week and many students were amazed at his knowledge and ability to make physics interesting.

He, in some way, inspires students to go forward and learn more of the mysteries of science. Mr. Burns and Miss Tankersley, the two regular senior high instructors, are also great assets to the school, but Mr. Wilson was one ‘hidden talent’ that many have not had the opportunity to discover.” (It is remembered that Mr. Wilson reared during the depression desired to go to medical school but was financially unable to do so. Later on, his son, an AHS graduate, became Dr. James Wilson!)

Many students of the 1960s remember Principal Wilson having to come into a biology class to substitute when the teacher got sick and had to leave school in the middle of the day.

Wilson would start teaching right where the teacher left off and not even skip a beat!

“A joint meeting of the AHS Anchor Club and the Pilot Club was held. All members of the Anchor Club sang their club song, “Anchors Aweighl

By February 1962, the Hi-Lite reports that “a group of twirlers will gather at the canteen to study twirling under the instruction of Andy’s four majorettes, Phyllis Russo, Tina Stokes, Angie Lord, and Ann Faulkner. The purpose of these classes is to better qualify up-and-coming majorettes by teaching twirling, strutting, the 13 fundamentals, and dancing.”

Senior high valentine sweethearts for 1962 were Bob Barrow and Elaine Smith. Junior high sweethearts were Phillip Wise and Nancy Hair.

The “Platter Chatter” column by Billy Tunnell lists popular hits that are still unforgettable such as Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” the Lettermen’s “When I Fall in Love,” Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.”

“Boys look out – Twirp Week is coming up. The Student Council made a motion at the last meeting to hold the annual Twirp Week more commonly known as Sadie Hawkins Week. The girls are expected to carry books and open doors when asked by a boy. There will be a dance at the end of the week held in the high school gym – ladies’ choice of course!”

Three Andy Hi gridsmen gained recognition as outstanding athletes during the 1961 football seasonGeorge Gantt, sophomore tackle who received honorable mention in the SAC; Harrison McCraw, ace quarterback; and Les Rue, a speedster.”

Lucy Prestwood reported in the Hi-Lite that “Spend the night parties are back in the swing. Those sleepy girls wandering around in the halls with big dark circles under their eyes stumbling over teachers and walking into the wrong classes are the results of the late night weekend pajama parties. Those who were able were doing the ‘limbo’ most of the night. When they all finally settled down, it was for good as they lay in a bed of potato chips and cookies stuck together on Coke-stained sheets. This is just a typical spend-the-night party with pillow fights. These good times will last forever and will be relived in our memory many times!”

“The latest craze with slipped-disks and bedridden folks of Andy these days is ‘the twist.’ The Martin Theatre sponsored a Twist Contest Friday, January 26. This contest was followed by the movie show, ‘Twist Around the Clock.’ Four students of AHS won prizes for their talent in this contest – Carol Wishum, Jimmy Krudop, Paula Sue Nicholson, and Johnny Mowbray.Two-month and one-month theatre passes were awarded to the winners. The twist is going to be here for a while so who knows which way the disk will slip next!”

“Every year on Valentine’s Day, the Andy Hi-Lite Staff sponsors Teachers’ Appreciation Day. Each member of the staff selects a teacher for whom to buy a small gift – roses, candy, and cards are some of the gifts presented to the faculty and staff by representatives of the school newspaper. No teacher knows the name of his “Valentine.”

Sponsors of the February 1962 newspaper were WCTA, Covington County’s Most Powerful and Most Listened To Station for Music, News, and Sports – 5,000 WATTS; Martin Theatre; V. J. Elmore; The Commercial Bank; City Drug Store; Spicer’s Drive-In Cleaners; and the Big R, the newest teenage hangout of the 1960s.

Some, perhaps a lot, of you readers will REMEMBER WHO, REMEMBER WHERE, and REMEMBER WHEN many of you were a part of these activities, events, clubs, organizations, and the students’ lives of dear old Andy High and these snippets of Andalusia history which excerpts have been pulled from the old Andy Hi-Lite issues. For your information, a 1965 AHS graduate John Miller of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has been digitizing all of the AHS school newspapers he can locate and is making these available in the form of CDs.