The Final Bell Rings

School is finally out today in central Texas, where we’ve already experienced 100 degree days and no rain in sight. In two months, school will resume, with seven weeks left of summer at that point. Who makes the rules around here?

But 60 years ago, 100 degree days were rare, and I’m told that school actually started in September. In June of 1958, LIFE profiled Hempstead High School in Long Island up until their last day of graduation.

The white graduation gowns give ladies angel wings.

Harry Greene said, “Band and football have been the big things in my life at Hempstead High. Nothing like a tuba for keeping your wind in trim for the Saturday game.” But did he play both on the field AND during halftime?

Of Helen Ignelzi, both the Spanish and French teacher, students said, “A typhoon in the classroom. She had a way of looking at you over the tops of those half-glasses, which kept you on your toes. And she was a fanatic on irregular verbs!”

These students enjoyed the fall weather while cheering on a Tigers touchdown.

At the annual Greek Games, these ladies made fine Athenian horses with their chariot.

On Old Clothes Day, students sported unfashionable outfits. Harriet Hills, on the right, said, “This is the last thing in sacks. They make an hourglass figure look like a Mason jar. I come from Kentucky and always wanted to be a hillbilly.”

And lastly, we have Richard Lane and Mary Lou Albright. Mary Lou declared, “Everyone has her favorite memory of Hempstead. Mine will always be the senior prom where I felt like Cinderella in my pumpkin dress.”

Well, that wraps it up for the 1958 graduating class, who would all be around 78 years old now. Never forget you’re a tiger!

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