Students in the class of '61 who graduated on the evening of June 16 went in many directions. For some, the secure world of Blair High and Silver Spring was shattered by Vietnam and the tumult of the 1960s.
One group, including student council president Ron Bogley (who now lives in Berkeley, Calif., and reports that he is involved in the arts), took on new life styles, replacing their khakis with faded blue jeans and their middle-of-the-road politics with liberal activism. Others clung to the conservative tastes and values of their adolescence, and are still part of the "mainstream" in which they grew up.
Unofficial tallies show that the class produced at least a dozen marriages between classmates, 26 marriages to other Blair students, 46 divorces, 600 children, one grandmother, and hundreds of college-level degrees. It produced celebrities such as journalist Carl Bernstein (a notorious goof-off at Blair) and football star Bob Windsor, who now owns a sporting goods store in Laurel, actress Goldie Hawn was in the class of '63 --and some disappointments.
Many of the women who went to college tended to get married shortly after finishing. Those who didn't, like Betty Graves, married within a year or two of leaving high school. Some of the men married later. Many still live in the metropolitan area, including Montgomery County.
Sandy Hall and Tommy Hartman married during senior year, and although Sandy dreamed of going to college, she never did. They quickly had two sons (she had hoped to have at least one "twirler"), and set about making a life for their young family.
Tom's parents had not gone to college and he had no intention of going either. But the pressures of rearing children led him to reconsider. And, with some prodding from Sandy, he began taking night courses at a junior college and eventually transferred to the University of Maryland where he earned a degree. While he was in school he worked for the telephone company.
"There was a double-standard there," Sandy says today. "I always thought I was going to college. But college was not as important for girls. It was very important for guys. Tom just had to get that degree. So my main goal was to get Tom through."
When their second son turned two years old, Sandy took a part-time job in the evening. She worked on commission selling home products and made enough money for them to live on (she did so well, in fact, that she was given a free leased car for two years). Now their early struggle has paid off.
Today, at 39, Tom is a division chief in the Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration. He sports a red beard, and is still quiet and shy. Sandy, 38, is a real-estate agent. She has as much, if not more, energy and enthusiasm than she did when she was a twirler in the Blair majorettes. They live in upper Silver Spring, have travelled to Europe once and plan to go again. Their two oldest sons, Ken and Scott, graduated from Paint Branch High School and are in college. Their third son, Jeff, is 12.
Dee Hedgcock went to Tusculum College in Tennessee for one year before leaving school to marry her husband, John Wiley, a vice president for Potomac Distributing Company. Dee still has the all-American looks of her cheerleader days and works as a store manager for Estee Lauder cosmetics at Woodward & Lothrop.
She and her husband live in Rockville and have two children, Lee, 15, and Lynn, 12.
Dee returned to Blair a few years ago and was astounded to see that the grove was a cement parking lot and that students were playing guitars in the hallway.
Bette Jones, the Homecoming and Christmas queen, went to Montgomery College and then to nursing school. She married Thomas Sarvay, a psychiatrist, in 1964, and they now live in Roanoke with their two teen-age children.
Betty Graves Godbout still lives near the neighborhood where she grew up 20 years ago. A widow, Betty works as an assistant bookkeeper and production assistant in Silver Spring. She never worried about her future, is satisfied with her life now, and still has a great sense of humor. And she has lost none of her Blair school spirit. Her daughter, Denise, who graduated in the class of '82, will enroll at Frostburg State College in the fall.
Ron Orleans was a success story at Blair and still is. He went from high school to Franklin and Marshall University and then to George Washington University School of Medicine. Today he is a gynecologist. He married a Blair classmate, Joanne Rubin, in 1967, and they have two daughters. Ron drives a Mercedes-Benz and lives in Potomac.
One of the self-described "late-bloomers" in the class was Kenny Folstein, a poor youth from Langley Park who went on to be a Phi Beta Kappa student at the University of Maryland and then was near the top of his class at Georgetown Law Center. He is a lawyer in Greenbelt and lives in Crofton with his wife, Dorianne. They have three children, and last year adopted an orphan from Guatemala.
Pete Blackwell, the senior class president, is a successful businessman in Orlando, Fla.