In the 1960s, “Class Day” Mackay came out to cheers [I Know a Story column] | Nostalgia
It was 1964, and our class at McCuskey High School was preparing for graduation. One of the old traditions in the school was to organize high school students and organize an audience program for the whole school called “Class Day”. This, apparently, was everything that the elders decided, from funny speeches to talent shows to satirical scenes.
Given that we were firmly in the wide open 1960s, we chose the latter. I think there was some superficial review of the general theme of the planning committee, but as you will see, the censors certainly did not know everything.
Most of the sketches conceived were rather good-natured, slightly amazed by the well-known idiosyncrasies of some teachers or certain aspects of student life. And everything went pretty quietly until I and a group of soldiers dressed in military clothes suddenly burst onto the stage.
Earlier that spring, several high school students cut classes one afternoon and made their way to the auditorium balcony. At the lower level there was some program, but their presence was noted. They were later arrested and either punished or threatened with harsh discipline, details of which are now popping up from me. But many of us felt that their treatment far exceeded their crimes, and that’s what my group and I hoped to satirize.
This is where things illustrate the huge differences between ours and those times. In preparation, I asked everyone who had to come on stage with me to put on some military clothes. Each of them was also required to bring a gun. That’s right, a real, loaded gun! Of course, they were told to make sure there were no bullets in their shells.
When I think about it now, I shudder. At the time, I knew nothing about weapons and just assumed that since most of these kids were hunters, they knew what to do. Yes? Really? High schoolers are so smart. Oh God!
One way or another, at the appointed time we came on stage. I led the squad, brandishing a real samurai sword, a relic of the father of a friend from World War II. Using a starting pistol, I quickly dispatched the presenter with a loud roar. Once in battle, he helpfully collapsed.
In position, in the middle of this huge stage, I aimed my sword at the balcony and shouted something like, “Look, here he is. The senior cut classes and made his way to the balcony. ” Then: “Fire!”
On this command, six or seven, I can’t remember exactly how many guns aimed at the heads of those sitting on the balcony exploded in one voice. By sign, my friend Tom, who became like an expert in making real mannequins, sewing together old clothes stuffed with newspaper, threw one of his works from the balcony into the central aisle below.
The echoes of the roar of guns were surpassed only by the shouts and shouts of the spectators. The whole vast space was filled with acrid smoke. It was probably the most dramatic thing that was ever staged in this set.
Believe it or not, weapons were never confiscated and there was no punishment. At least, as far as I know, no one has ever heard about it from the faculty or the administration. Perhaps they were in a state of shock.
Soon we all finished our studies without hindrance. But as far as I understand, it was the last day of McCasky’s classes.
The author lives in Lititsa.
If you know an interesting story, please write it in 600 words or less and send Mary Ellen Wright, LNP Editorial Office, Mailbox 1328, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17608-1328, by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your phone number and the name of the city in which you live.