Libertas Yearbook for 1950

The yearbook of Liberty High School, Liberty, Sullivan County, NY

We at Between the Lakes Group are happy to make this Item of New York State history available once again. We acquired it on eBay, and hope that some find it useful.  Given the age that living 1950 Liberty High School grads now are, we expect that this is now of more genealogical interest than it is food for reminiscence.

High school yearbooks are one form of history within which everyone is recorded when they graduate from high school. They, and their community, are frozen at a point in time that the yearbook captures and keeps. Haircuts, clothes, friends, teachers, the sense of humor of the era, the area businesses – they are all captured as they were, not as we choose to remember them or tell our children they were back in the good old days.

The senior this year were born circa 1932-33.  The Great Depression was here; the happy times their parents remembered from their own childhoods likely seemed a distant memory.  They were in school during World War II, and likely most could tell you how they heard about Pearl Harbor.  All knew World War II veterans, and some of them may have had memories of soldiers and sailors who did not make it home from that war.  Boys graduating from LHS this year stood a good chance of being drafted or enlisting for the Korean War.  And at this writing, surviving class members are 85 or 86 years old.

There are a number of interesting aspects of this yearbook.  First off, it was soft covered.  Hard covers were still a year or two in the future.  The interesting blotches of pink on the pages just inside the cover are not some form of abstract art – they are simply color that has over the decades bled from the covers.  Under 70 pages in length, counting covers, it was not an extravagant effort, but it was carefully done.

Something this yearbook has that we’ve not noticed in other yearbooks was the class “Last Will and Testament” – yes, they were a yearbook commonplace back then, but this is the only one we can remember seeing in poetic form.  Shakespeare it is not, but it is an interesting touch.

Gender roles were pretty absolute in 1950.  Girls took home economics.  Boys took shop, with long-time shop teachers AuClair and Burnham already in place.  There don’t seem to have been any shop clubs for either boys or girls, but we note that there was a “Charm Club” that presumably was intended for girls who wished to improve their prospects in the matrimonial department.  Something interesting here:  there were two clubs for boys, the Bachelors Club and the Chefs Club, in the Home Economics department.  These clubs, which sought to teach boys to cook and to keep house, seem to be a bit discordant.  With sex roles still tightly defined, the popularity of these is hard to explain, even in retrospect.

Cheerleading remained the only sport for girls.  Basketball, which had been a girls’ sport as well as one for boys decades earlier, seems to be long gone at this point.  The boys’ sports: football, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, and golf, were Liberty’s traditional mainstays.  One interesting addition to this book: people occasionally used yearbooks to collect clippings about graduates.  One such – a sad one – is the last page of this file.

At the same time, the Golden Age of the resorts was dawning, and fast.  While we see no references to Liberty’s place in the resort community, it was certainly well established by this time and was growing.  The O&W Railroad was still in business, although fading fast.  The Route 17 Quickway was not yet there, and the trip by car to NYC was a four-hour adventure, likely with a stop at the Red Apple Rest.

Telephones were black, had coiled cords, and were usually found one to a household – and your parents overheard every word you said.  Your neighbors may have as well, on the party lines that were still common.  Television sets, on the other hand, were still scarce, and reception, such as it was, was entirely in black and white, and often snowy.

1950 was genuinely a long time ago.  This yearbook captures it nicely, we think.

Want to capture this bit of history for yourself? CLICK HERE to go to our Liberty, New York page.

A full catalog of our offerings can be found at our main website, http://www.betweenthelakes.com. We invite you to visit us there.

Meanwhile, enjoy this bit of New York State history!

Libertas Yearbook for 1950

Libertas Yearbook for 1964

Continuing our offerings of high school yearbooks from Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, we’re happy to present the Libertas yearbook for 1964.

High school yearbooks are one form of history that records everyone when they graduate from high school.  They, and their community, are frozen at a point in time that the yearbook captures and keeps.  Haircuts, clothes, friends, teachers – they are all captured as they were, not as we choose to remember them or tell our children they were back in the good old days.  The class pictured in this yearbook – their yearbook, the Libertas yearbook for 1964 – was born just after World War II ended, and had come of age at a time when Liberty, as one of the hubs of the “Borscht Circuit”, was near its peak (although few, if anyone, in this class at the time of their graduation, had any inkling that things in their home town were not going to get better and better.)

For a few things did get better. We like to track the career of Alan Gerry, the Liberty entrepreneur who built the Cablevision empire and who was the foundation of the arts center in Bethel commemorating the Woodstock festival (as well as many other good works throughout Sullivan County) from year to year.  In 1964 his business is “Alan Gerry’s TV & Appliance Co.” while it had been “Store” in the previous year’s Libertas.  Was he thinking bigger?  In the photo in the ad, a young man with a crew cut is holding a 12 string guitar – a bit of disruptive technology in the music world, and not something one would have seen in Liberty two years earlier.  Who knew?  Would these well-scrubbed Liberty kids eventually would be in enthusiastic attendance at that Woodstock festival Gerry subsequently memorialized?

In Asia, while this class was receiving their diplomas in Liberty, things were ramping up.  Although it would be nearly a year before conventional US forces were deployed in Vietnam, the Special Forces and Military Advisors were already at work when this class graduated.  Still, few in this class had focused on that part of the world.

In terms of real change in Liberty, perhaps most important was that this class was the first to graduate from the new Liberty Central School on upper Buckley Street.  They kicked the envelope by choosing white and yellow for their class colors, and created a yearbook that would stick out like a sore thumb in a stack of Libertas of previous years that tended to run to maroon and silver for their color schemes.

Bob Dylan’s second album, The Times They Are A Changing, had been out for a bit over two months when this class walked down the aisle for the first-ever graduation in the Buckley Street building.  Yes, the times were indeed changing, but in ways that few if any realized.

To go directly to our Liberty, NY page, where, if you are so inclined, you can buy and download the Libertas yearbook for 1964, simply CLICK HERE.

A full catalog of our offerings can be found at http://www.betweenthelakes.com.  We invite you to visit us there as well.

Libertas yearbook for 1964

 

Libertas yearbook for 1963

The Libertas yearbook for 1963, from Liberty Central School, in Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, is another in the series we have been publishing from that school.   Of course, it’s not “just” a high school yearbook, it is also an item of New York State history, and now it is once again available.

High school yearbooks are one form of history that records everyone when they graduate from high school.  They, and their community, are frozen at a point in time that the yearbook captures and keeps.  Haircuts, clothes, friends, teachers – they are all captured as they were, not as we choose to remember them or tell our children they were back in the good old days.  The class pictured in this yearbook – their yearbook – was born at the end of World War II, and had come of age at a time when Liberty, as one of the hubs of the “Borscht Circuit”, was near its peak (although few, if anyone, in this class had any inkling that things in their home town were not going to get better and better.)

For some it did get better, and quite a bit better at that!  As an example, Alan Gerry, the Liberty entrepreneur who built the Cablevision empire and who was the foundation of the arts center in Bethel commemorating the Woodstock festival (as well as many other good works throughout Sullivan County), is mentioned in these pages as “Alan Gerry’s TV & Appliance Store” among the advertisers.  Who knew?  And how many of these well-scrubbed Liberty kids eventually would be in enthusiastic attendance at that very Woodstock festival, for that matter?

In Asia, while this class was receiving their diplomas in Liberty, the United States was beginning to get seriously involved in what became the Vietnam war – but who in this graduating class realized that this war and its social manifestations on the home front would shape the nation for the next half century and more?  Who had any sense that the shiny new high school currently under construction on upper Buckley Street would be graduating seniors who looked far different from this class in not so many years, and that Grossinger’s would be gone, along with most of the resort industry and most of the tax base that financed Liberty Central School in 1964?

Yes, there is emphatically some history in this yearbook, the Libertas yearbook for 1963 – and particularly in this one yearbook in the long series of Libertas.  We think it is emphatically to the credit of the editors of this yearbook that they seized upon the fact that this was the 50th graduating class from Liberty High School (at this time, Liberty Central School) and projected the sense of history that this anniversary merited, if for that reason alone.

Please CLICK HERE if you would like to see our offerings from Liberty, New York, which now include the Libertas yearbook for 1963.

A full catalog of our offerings can be found at our main website, http://www.betweenthelakes.com.  We invite you to visit us there.

Libertas yearbook for 1963

Neversink downloads

We’re happy to say that with the availability of these Neversink Downloads, we’ve completed the migration from CD-ROMs to exclusively downloads!

“Old Neversink”  was our all-time best-selling CD-ROM, and, appropriately, it was the last to completely migrate to our modern world of downloads.

In that connection, we are very happy to again make available to you the following four items from the Old Neversink CD-ROM:

Eugene Cross 1910 Diary with index.   See the Old Neversink page

Child’s Gazetteer extract for Neversink, with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Neversink Genealogy with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County extract for Neversink, with index. See the Old Neversink page

Considerably more information about each of these is available on the Neversink page, so rather than simply say it again here, please have a look there!

CLICK to go to the Neversink page now

Included in these four downloads are two Neversink excerpts from larger publications of ours, Child’s Gazetteer of Sullivan County, and Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County.  Some people have mentioned to us that these excerpts are easier to handle than the file representing the full book, and that they are happy to have them available to work with in this form.  They’re short enough to print out, if you are more comfortable working from paper (as many of us secretly are!)

And, if you haven’t looked at our Neversink offerings recently, you might want to take a peek anyway — we have several items that we’ve added since the CD-ROM first came out that may be of interest to you.  (Needless to say, we do hope you will check out these four Neversink downloads while you are there!)

To the Neversink page!

Neversink Downloads
Some old Neversinkers, admiring the sidewalk they just coompleted