Yearbook Memories

Congratulations to the Gloucester Class of 2018! It’s probably hard to imagine that your 2018 yearbook will be meaningful in 50-60 years but I can attest that it’s possible.

Fairly often, I get to visit the archives at the Cape Ann Museum.  Recently, I was looking for records pertaining to widows and orphans of lost fisherman, but what I found was my Dad’s high school yearbook: Flicker 1944-45.  This yearbook has been available on eBay for some time but I was not willing to pay $65 for something I was pretty sure we threw out when we emptied our parents attic a number of years ago.

Our father was a cheerleader in college as well as in high school.  He’s the guy in the white pants here (you probably figured that out).  Look at the crowd behind them!

This is the Boys Glee Club.  I think these are ROTC uniforms. (Reserved Officers Training Corps).  In the mid 1940s, it would have been very common as World War II raged overseas.

I saw this senior picture and couldn’t help but think there was a time when such a character would find himself stuffed in a locker every single day.  If you read his summary, you’ll see our Dad Paul Ryan’s ambition is “to go around the world in the Merchant Marine with Umbriago at the wheel.”  Umbriago was apparently an imaginary sidekick to Jimmy Durante.  I don’t quite get it either, but I’ll bet it’s clever.

A few days after I got these, GMG Jimmy found another copy of the yearbook in the Dogtown bookstore.  Someone had very handily labeled all the seniors in the book and this verified that “Paddy” appeared several other times in the yearbook as well but I think these pictures are a fair reflection of Gloucester high school in the 1940s.  It’s an interesting study in social history to review old yearbooks.  I hope this year’s graduates find yearbook gems sometime around 2078!!!!


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