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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Last Class of BHS

The Bridgeport High School Class of 1973 graduated this past spring-- fifty years ago. Some highlights of their year from their yearbook:

Homecoming candidates for Queen were Kathy Baldwin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George H Baldwin; Lula Donaldson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reif Donaldson; Connie Eaton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Eaton; Gina Gray, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W Gray, and Kathy Willis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Willis. Connie Eaton was chosen to receive the crown.

Baseball team claimed the district trophy, the first time since 1959, and also were named Co-Conference Champions as well. Mike Wirth was presented with the most valuable player trophy.

As quoted in the yearbook: “The basketball teams were feisty. On the whole, scores were close and fan enthusiasm ran high. Top Scorer was Doug Hardacre.” (Nice way to phrase a not-too-great a season…..)

Again, from the yearbook: “Despite a slumpy year for football, the cheerleaders managed to keep spirits high and the voices roaring.” (And that was all that was said about football that year….)

However, Jeff Purcell received the most valuable player trophy for Track. Greg Lewis was awarded the medalist trophy for Golf.

And apparently you could say things like this in 1972-73 without being sued: “Two spirited groups of girls added zest and sex appeal to the band performances at half times of football and basketball games—the Pom Pom Girls begun just three years before as a reactivation of the Flag Girls and the Majorettes.”

No one knew, except a few teachers, who would become King and Queen at the Winter Snowball Dance but there was concern about what might happen if Annie Creek won. Other candidates were Kathy Willis, Vicki Ferguson, Janet Williams, and Rita Chansler. Annie had been ill for two weeks and was still at home the Friday of the dance. In a clever maneuver Mrs. Poland, a Sunshine club sponsor, managed to get Annie to the dance, and minutes later the announcement was made—she had won the Snow Queen Title. The editor of yearbook did not go into details about what exactly the clever maneuver was or whether Annie was contagious or not…

Brad Buchanan was Student Council President. “Student Council came under attack, somewhat silently, by some who felt that its activities and decisions were not representative of the views of the constituents. The situation might be improved it was suggested, by having more frequent meetings so that consulting could take place. At any rate much was achieved in the way of customary activities with the help of Mr. Climer and Mr. Ferguson. Homecoming was a success, and nearly all of the lyceum presentations were informative and interesting.” WELL, there must be a story behind this quote in the yearbook…..

And from a newspaper article: Steve Jerell was presented a Marathon Oil Company plaque denoting his receipt of the Marathon scholarship. Cathy Tedford was the Salutatorian with a grade point average of 3.843. Lula Donaldson was Valedictorian with a grade point average of 3.909.

At the Honors Day program Don Brooks, head custodian, was called to the stage and presented a plaque in appreciation of his assistance and extra work for the prom on behalf of the Junior class. So were his services extra before the prom or cleaning up afterwards….so much left unsaid by history. Only the students who were there that year can answer.

(Any senior that year who is extremely grateful I did not post your yearbook photo, can send donations to the Lawrence County Historical Society.....PO Box 425 Lawrenceville, Illinois 62439 and if you are interested in buying older yearbooks from BHS or newer ones from Red Hill because your mother threw yours away or the dog ate it, contact

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