100th Banquet Report


THS 100th Alumni Association Banquet

Thorntown Elementary School in Thorntown, Indiana

May 11, 2013

The Thorntown Alumni Association held their 100th Alumni Banquet on May 11, 2013 at Thorntown Elementary School with a record attendance of 310!  Alumni and friends visited in the morning and viewed a display of school memorabilia from the 1915 Men’s Basketball Championship Trophy, to school sweaters from various years, awards, trophies, pictures and more brought by several alumni.  An Alumni Group Color Photo 13” x 19” size was taken at 11:30 a.m. which was then available for purchase by the Alumni as they left the banquet that very day for $5.00 (copies are still available for purchase … contact Bev Fairfield Ramsey.)  Following the Welcome by Alumni President Larry Randel and the Invocation by Rev. Bud Moody, the classes were then dismissed for their Individual Class Photos taken by Alumni Terry Fisher.  These Individual Class Photos will be posted to the www.Keewasakee.org website for viewing and downloading.

Following a delicious dinner catered by Cochran’s of Jamestown, the program began with singing led by Janet Gant Neff and pianist Grace Hamill Long.  Election of 2014 Officers was held.   They are:  President, Karen Allen Coffman ‘64; Co-Vice Presidents Martha Maiden Randel, Linda Hayden Prage and Shirley Bunch Isenhower ‘65; Secretary Bev Fairfield Ramsey ‘58; and Treasurer Marvin Wilson ‘56.  The Treasurer’s Report was given by Marvin Wilson and approved by the Alumni.

(NOTE from the Alumni President :  With this being the 100th Alumni Banquet – this year’s Alumni Committee has been able to upgrade a few items…such as the table class year stands and numbers, new and reusable name tags with lanyards, an Alumni banner which was donated to the Alumni Association, and expanded 16 page program and pencils as your souvenir, the group alumni photo which is available TODAY for $5 and picked up at end of today’s banquet, a DVD of today’s banquet with PDF of the program & invitation form, as well as including every graduating class picture which is  posted in the lobby.  Within the program you have past Alumni Officers and Senior Class Officers listed on pages 9 - 13.  If there are any corrections or additions, please let us know by emailing SiSRandel@gmail.com)

Special introduction was given to our 17 teachers present.  Door prizes (coffee mug with old and new THS school buildings imprinted thereon) were given to oldest alumni male Asher Cones (100 on April 1, 2013) and oldest alumni female Althea Curry Pogue (100 on  August 25, 2013).  Those traveling the farthest to the banquet and also receiving a door prize were David Skeen ‘63 from Texas and Marvin White ‘43 &  Lester ‘Lefty’ Fairfield ’52 from Florida.  For the ladies it was Sharon Stultz Dearing ‘63 from California and Janis Jackley Arnold ’63 from Oregon.

Roll call and 10-year class responses were then conducted by Bev Ramsey  – Marvin White ’43, Sylvia Morrow Abrell ’53, David White ’63, and Cindy Bishop Stevens ’73.  Special guests were the first graduate of Thorntown High School in 1858 Miss Cynthia Cason (portrayed by Jannice Eaton Studle) and the last graduate of Thorntown High School in 1974, Bonnie Wyant Schick.  Florence Emma Kendall Peery ’46 and Martha Jane McKinsey Ottinger spoke on the history of “The White Building” used as classrooms for a short time but more for a longer term as the Teen Canteen at the park in Thorntown.

Gary Lanpher then presented a plaque to 2013 Alumni President Larry Randel for his work and vision for the 100th THS Alumni Banquet.  “100 Years of Memories” was presented by Larry Randel with the closing and invitation to the 101st Alumni Banquet on May 10, 2014 given by Vice President Karen Allen Coffman ’64.



INVITATION to May 10, 2014 Alumni Banquet


Karen Allen Coffman ‘64

As we look back on time spent in the halls and classrooms of THS, we remember days not only filled with learning but also classroom exhibits, presentations, lunch and social time.  Today we have revisited some of those activities with displays of memorabilia, class responses and lively discussions over a delicious luncheon.

Announcements and reminders were also a part of our routine at school and so it is today.  You will notice there are tables at the back of the room for completing the following tasks.  We would ask that you drop off your name tags and lanyards in the Coca-Cola buckets so we may use them again next year.  Those of you who ordered an Alumni Group Photo earlier today may pick them up and make payment at those tables.  As Larry previously mentioned, the DVDs of today's activities are also available for purchase.  Blue order forms are located on your dining tables and may be completed and turned in with your payment.

Now classes, listen up.  The following announcement is very important.  On behalf of the Alumni Banquet Committee and the Class of 1964, I would like to invite everyone to return for the 2014 THS Alumni Banquet to be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014.  Mark your calendars now.

As was the case on each school day, I now have your homework assignment.  Start now to contact your fellow classmates about attending next year's event.  And as mentioned before, we would encourage you to plan a separate function to coincide with the banquet.  This could be a dinner on Friday evening or an after party on Saturday night.

As with any school function there are always housekeeping duties and we have ours.  We would like to enlist the help of anyone who is willing and able to help with tearing down tables and chairs.

We hope all of you have enjoyed this day of reunion and reminiscing as we celebrated the 100th anniversary of our alumni banquet.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone at next year's gathering.

Classes, you are dismissed!          




‘100 Years of Memories’

Larry F. Randel, 2013 Alumni President


Last year shortly after the banquet our committee met to begin planning this year’s banquet.  Knowing it would be the 100th anniversary of the Alumni, we hoped to increase the attendance.  Last year we had 225, and I suggested we set a goal of 300.  Eyes rolled, and we all laughed.  This past Friday while adding up the reservations - the goal of 300 was realized.  This was great news!  This was also bad news because we realized we didn’t have enough tables and chairs.  So I want to thank the Thorntown Fire Department, Mike Martin, and Marvin Wilson and his church for getting more tables and chairs.  All of YOU have set a record attendance for the THS Alumni Banquet with 310 plus in attendance to celebrate our 100th Alumni Banquet!!  Thank you Thank you Thank you….give yourselves a round of applause.  This year’s Alumni Officers and Committee thank you so very much for making this year special for all of us by being here today!

I want to thank everyone who brought memorabilia from their days at Thorntown High School.  I saw a lot of neat stuff including baseball and basketball shoes that are in need of odor eaters – sweaters and coats that no longer fit – pictures of younger and thinner people…when most of the guys had hair.

Two phrases I’ve been hearing all day “Whatever happened to?”  and “Do you remember when?”  This is the 100th anniversary of the Alumni Association.  We are not sure where the first meeting was held or how many were present, but it had to be a rather small group in 1913.  We think it might have been at the corner of Market & Plum Streets (I remember that as being the home of Dick and Pauline Hankins where their boys Dick and Gregory were raised.)

The past 100 years have seen the most improvement, progress and advancement of any other 100 years in the history of our country.  We have come from the invention of the automobile to man walking on the moon with a Space Station now orbiting earth.

Just think about all the EVENTS that have happened in these 100 years…

For instance…experienced WW I, WW II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Conflict, Desert Storm, and War against Terror.  There have been some wonderful books and beautiful songs written during these 100 years – wonderful movies made for our enjoyment.  And technological progress and innovations in Health – Education – Transportation – and Communications.   We even lost the planet Pluto!  How do you lose a planet?  Aren’t they pretty big?  Pluto is now called a dwarf planet. And the State of New York is trying to add another Great Lake.  I think 5 is enough!



Advancements made in health care have been wonderful – with improved medications, surgery procedures, diagnostic tests allowing a life span to increase to the mid-80s and more.  We have eliminated many of the children’s diseases which some experience such as measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, mumps and of course, polio.  Polio was a big deal for some of us in the fifties.  Remember the iron lung…the leg braces.  Several of my classmates were affected by this disease.  We were told that we should take a nap every afternoon in the summer.  Can you imagine telling a teen age boy on a hot August afternoon that he had to take a nap?  In today’s society, that would not be a problem.  Most teenagers aren’t even up yet.  Scientist Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine.  Then all schools were provided the vaccination for the students.  Through this period of time…such advancements such as eye surgery to correct vision – eye glasses and contacts may become a thing of the past…open heart surgeries have become common place.  We now have available heart transplants and others.  If something now wears out – we have it replaced.  There is still a way to go on cancer – but they’ll get it – maybe not in our lifetime …but they’ll get it.  Even the common cold is still a challenge!!  The days are over when Dr. Gregg or Dr. Bassett would make a house call on a Sunday afternoon because you have the ‘sniffles,’ or Willard Cook would drop off your prescription on his way home.


Think of all the changes we’ve had in the field of education.  Remember at the old school building on Market Street the wooden desk attached to each other and nailed to the floor.  How about the ink well in the upper right-hand corner of your desk where you would refill your fountain pen.  Then someone invented the ball point pen with the retractable point and the clicking noise that would drive the teachers crazy.  Those pens created the need for an ink eraser that never did work.  It just tore a hole in the paper.  We actually in those days had a black chalk board that was black!  The highlight of the week was Friday afternoon when one lucky student got to take the erasers outside to clean them creating a chalky white dust storm.  Thru time the chalk boards have disappeared and by replaced by flip charts, transparency projector machines, computers, iPads and electronic tablets.   Whatever happened to carbon paper, white out, mimeograph machines, typewriters, shorthand, take home report cards and sock  hops, record players and for that matter 33’s, 45’s, 98’s and 8-tracks!!  Some of you spent all 12 years at the old school on Market Street.  Some of you had all 12 years in this building.  And others were split between the two schools. 

Kids are so smart today.   It’s almost embarrassing.  They have the tools and opportunities to accomplish so much!

I think we should remember how important education was to each of us as we went thru Thorntown High School.  I’ll bet every one of you can name your first grade teacher – 3 other teachers – and at least 1 principal you had while in school.

Some of mine are…Ragsdale, Smith, Byrd, Dukes, Riggins, Woods, Ray Ritter, Don Bowen, Marjorie Long, Geneva Cones, Bev Fairfield, Marilyn Lottes Couger, Pauline Hankins, Rosemary Williams, Mary Leonard, Robert Gibbs, and our music teachers Dick Gress, James Patton and Mr. Cross.  And for coaches…Ted Weselok, Art Michaels, Ed Schilling, Carl Short and Obert Piety.

It is amazing that we do remember these educators but can’t remember what we had for breakfast.  That’s how important these people were in impacting our lives.



(computers) (smart phone)

What about the field of communications.  Does anyone remember the party line on your telephone?  For those of you who do not remember…if you picked up the phone (without a dial) and someone was talking on the other end – you were on a party line.  You had to wait until they were done talking before you could make a phone call.  It wasn’t very convenient but a good way to keep up on the gossip!

If you didn’t know the number you were calling – you simply told the operator whom you wanted and she would connect the call.  Phone numbers consisted of 2 or 3 numbers only.  Telephones were attached to the wall – not in your (shirt) pocket.  Most of us had a radio at home and that gave away to the TV in the fifties.  We had 4 stations…Channel 6, 8, 13 and on a good day channel 4.  We knew what day of the week it was by what TV show was on.  Friday night was Milton Berle – Thursday night was the Bob Hope Show – Saturday was Your Hit Parade and Sunday was Bonanza and Disney.  All programs were in black & white until the color TV came along.  TV sets are now obsolete…we now have what is called a flat screen or we can watch TV shows on the computer or your SmartPhone. (showing the iPhone)  This is the greatest invention ever made…this is also the worst invention ever made.  Of all the functions this cell phone can perform, the least used is making a phone call! 

You can text, tweet, check Facebook, YouTube, listen to music, receive and send emails, take pictures, save pictures, send pictures, video events.  Next time you are in a McDonald’s, look around and watch the young people.  They all have their heads down, typing with their thumbs.  They may be losing their verbal skills!

The use of the cell phone has been eliminating house phones/land lines.  Telephone poles will someday disappear from the skyline.  Lines will be underground or cell towers will be used. 



During the past 100 years our modes of transportation has developed from horse and buggy – to trains - to cars – to airplanes – to space travel.  Do you remember your very first car you owned?  You may have had to share it with another family member, but you still considered it YOUR car.  You washed it, you waxed it, and sometimes even put gas in it.  Think of the models of cars which no longer exist such as the Studebaker, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth, and Hudson.  These have been replaced by new models…such as…Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Kia.

Do you remember when Thorntown had 4 gas stations?

Allen’s then Bryant’s Garage, Ivan’s Marathon, the Sinclair and Pure Oil.  They all had one thing in common…that little rubber hose that ran across the drive and when you drove across it…it sounded Ding Ding Ding Ding.



Service and Cost                     Compare to now a days        (You had to be there!)


REMEMBER when you went to a grocery store to buy groceries and to a gas station to get gas…now gas stations sell groceries…milk, bread…or you can go to a grocery store and get gas!  Both Sell Both!  The 3 things for which I thought I would never pay….water, TV and air (when you get your air for your tires.)

I hope you have enjoyed yourself today and this walk down memory lane.  Memories are very special.  They are your memories and yours alone.  If you remember making 2 free throws that won the county tourney against Zionsville – that’s the way it was…that is your memory.  If your angel food cake in home ec class got an A+ that is exactly what happened.  If the birdhouse you made in shop got an A for the semester…that’s the way it was.  It is your memory…treasure your memories.  They are a part of you

Showed 1915 Exode! And read letters therein from President Woodrow Wilson and from His Majesty, George, The King of England.

I hope today you were able to revisit some of your fondest memories and made new memories too.  Thank you for sharing your day with us!


Gary Lanpher – Presentation of Plaque to

Larry F. Randel, Alumni President


This is my first year back to the Alumni Banquet since 2010.  Jackie and I are Boone County Special Olympics Coaches, and Area 8 is always this weekend each May.  She is there today covering for me – she does that a lot.

Martha called and invited me to Larry’s birthday party.  She forgot to tell me she had invited over 300 people!  I am wondering what kind of cake she has planned!!  And if there are going to be candles on this cake…we may need the Thorntown Fire Department on standby.  We might even want to notify Homeland Security.

Soon after Martha invited me to Larry’s birthday – I GOT THE PHONE CALL.  How many of you have ‘got the call as well?’  If you know Gordon Wait – you know what I mean when I say ‘I got the call.’  He wanted to make sure I attended this year’s Alumni Banquet to give a special award.

Not only did I get many calls from Gordon – I got several home visitations.  He even visited Jackie at the hospital to check and make sure I would attend to present this award.  There was even a recent incident which I thought was Road Rage.  I was in a parking lot when a car started approaching my van head-on – I turned to the right – the oncoming car matched my move – I moved to the left – the oncoming car did the same.  I stopped moving – the oncoming car stopped right in front of my van.  Now I thought ‘this person was really angry about something – that I was in real trouble.’

The door opens and out steps Gordon – well I was relieved it was not an angry person – but somewhat annoyed that Gordon had cornered me in the parking lot.  He was so excited – he had to show me the plaque I was to present.

Now I know we sometimes get overwhelmed with Gordon’s persistence – but I want to personally thank him for all the effort and energy he spends on promoting accomplishments of the THS Alumni.  His efforts have resulted in a well-deserved recognition.  JUST ONE REQUEST, GORDON – do not call me anymore at 7:00 on a Saturday morning and ask if I’m awake.

Larry and I used to play a lot of whiffel ball – home run derby.  When we played at my house, I always made Larry bat at the south end of the yard, thus when I pitched the wind blowing from the west would make the ball curve.  Larry could never hit a curve – it was really good for my self-esteem.  If I could strike out an older guy, I could surely be a pitcher for the New York Yankees.  It was several years later that I learned that Larry didn’t have any peripheral vision – in other words, he was almost blind.

Martha tells this story about Larry:  Larry in his younger married years was taking a shower – he was washing his hair – yes, Larry at one time had hair.  After rinsing his hair out – he opens his eyes and can’t see anything!  So he shouts out ‘Martha, Martha, I can’t see – I’ve gone blind!’  Martha (bless her heart) very calmly takes Larry’s arm and puts a candle in his hand and lights it.  She calmly says, “Larry, the electricity has gone off.  You are not blind.’

Larry may have a bit of a problem with his eyesight – but Larry has never had a vision problem or a loyalty problem.  He has been loyal to his work, always giving above and beyond.  He is loyal to the racing world, having attended 47 consecutive years at the Indianapolis 500.  He is loyal to his church, to his the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and to his Thorntown school heritage.  He is loyal to his friends and his family – most of all he is loyal to Martha, Tina and Teri – his sons-in-law and four grandchildren.  They are all the love of his life.

His loyalty sometimes goes beyond words – as I’ve been told that Larry has mowed an acre and a half of lawn with the same push mower for the last 15 years.  Last year he discarded the push mower and bought a zero turn riding mower.  Now most of us would not question your loyalty about this push mower…but perhaps your sanity.

It is an honor for me to present to Larry Randel – a person whom I’ve always looked up to for guidance and a person whom I’m glad to call a friend.  The plaque reads:


KEEWASAKEES Honoring Larry Randel, President
Thorntown Alumni Association in its 100th Year Celebration 
Thorntown High School Class of 1963 50th Year Celebration
May 11, 2013



Marvin White – Class of 1943 – Speech not available at this time (plans are to add content at a later date.)


Sylvia Morrow Abrell – Class of 1953


Thorntown High School Alumni Banquet

1953 (60th year) Class Response


Sylvia Morrow Abrell


I’ve been talking with my classmates, and we all find it hard to believe that we graduated from THS some sixty years ago.  We feel so young…well, sometimes, of course, there are those days when the arthritis kicks up or we realize we already have two bionic joints and the doctor just said we need another one.  We also spend a lot of time looking for things and before we find them, we forget what we were looking for.  We have had time to reminisce and remember about our school days at Thorntown High School and Grade School, and we would like to share those thoughts with you.

First, let’s try to think all the way back to grade school.  We had a lot of great teachers…Mrs. Ragsdale started us out in first grade.  We all remember the party she had for us; she was so caring, and we all loved her.

I remember getting spanked in third grade.  I had spent the night with Jean Johnson.  The next morning we had gone to the backyard with her mom to burn the trash.  After she started the fire, she handed Jeannie the matches to carry back to the house.  She put them in her pocket but forgot to take them out and carried them to school.  We had a big lecture that morning about safety and were told our pockets would be checked that afternoon.  So on our way home for lunch, Jeannie felt the matches in her pocket and said we needed to get rid of them.  We never once thought about taking them home to her mom.  Our eight year old brains said we should strike them and step on the flame…we which did.  On the other side of the street was one of our classmates…who reported our actions, as she should have.  That prompted a spanking from Mr. Woodburn.  We thought our world had come to an end!  We both had that hic-cough reflect sound all afternoon and when we went home our eyes were so red and swollen that we could hardly focus (i.e. see.)

Do you remember cleaning erasers after school?  We all hoped to get that job – it seemed like an honor.  Now it seems like a punishment.  The playground was lots of fun…the maypole, monkey bars and that thing that looked like a small merry-go-round with animals.  We rode round and around until we couldn’t stand up.  We also liked to meet our friends on the old rusty metal stairs in the back of the school…I think it was the fire escape.  We were told not to play on that, so it was always a victory when we got by doing something we had been told not to do.

One day when I was coming in from recess…must have been third or fourth grade…I turned the corner just in time to connect with Mr. Dobkin’s (the janitor) tobacco can.  It knocked a front lower tooth in half.  I was given some ice in a paper towel, and I sent on to school.  Today there would be mounds of forms to fill out and maybe someone being expelled.  I guess we were just more laid back in those days.  I’m sure a lot more happened in grade school that would be worth noting, but let’s go on to high school.

We had twenty-seven students in our graduating class, and we have thirteen still living.  We had 14 girls and 13 boys our senior year, and the girls felt very fortunate since on every important vote the girls always won…and rubbed it in!!

We girls remember the many slumber parties we had at Jerrianne Craig’s, Carol Long’s and my home.  We all watched the inauguration of President Dwight ‘Ike” Eisenhower on my folk’s 12” black and white TV.  I remember, too, during the day when classes would walk to the corner restaurant down town to watch some important happening on the TV.  Now, most of us have a large TV in almost every room of our homes.

In those days we did a lot of note passing.  I carried many notes between Barb Fisher and Bill Randel.  It must have worked since they ended up with a very happy marriage.

I was told that boys thought it great sport to lock the AG teacher in the equipment room.  And then there was the time someone set a fire in the assembly hall waste basket.  Glenn Coffman confessed.  He said that Bill Chambers, Marlene’s older brother who was a senior, talked to Dave Southworth, Gene James and him (Glenn) and said that they should light a match in the very large waste basket that was in the assembly hall.  The senior boys would then grab the old fire extinguishers and use them to put out the fire.  They would spray all over the area, and then everyone would get out of school.  Glenn said he was stupid enough to set the fire, but Dave and Gene backed out.  Mr. Piety immediately called Glenn into the office, and Glenn was expelled for a week.  He said the lesson learned was ‘don’t be stupid and don’t trust anyone, especially seniors.’  Glenn said he was also expelled for three days because he told the typing teacher, Harriet Nichols, that he was late to class because he had stopped to smell the flowers.  She went to Mr. Piety, and he said he had to back up the teachers; therefore, the expulsion.

Walter remembers that Eddie Castetter was playing baseball after school and fell through a basement window and broke his arm.  The next day he was playing with his rifle and had it aimed over the hood of the car and somehow shot his other hand.  He had both upper extremities out of commission for a while.

We remember Mrs. Cline’s assignment to read “The Tale of Two Cities.”  Back then we thought it was a dumb idea, but as we got older we understand why it was a good thing to do.  Mrs. Long’s Latin class was not easy…most of us struggled.  Glenn said he received a “D” once when he was afraid he would get an “F.”  He asked Mrs. Long about the grade and she just laughed and said it was because she didn’t want to see him back next year!  Mr. Piety’s physics and chemistry classes were always a challenge, but at the same time he made them fun with great experiments and examples. We had great teachers:  Ginny Cones, Frances Gadsin, Marvin White, Mary Leonard, Harriett Nichols and the list goes on and on.  And then there was band…Bob Gillian (Gillan) and Vernon Smitley put up with a lot of non-musicians.  But at the same time, there were some good musicians who came from THS.

We thought about our freshman initiation…starched hair, an onion around our neck.  We carried chamber pots while we paraded on Main Street.  We didn’t want to admit it then, but it was really a lot of fun and made great memories.

Our senior trip was to Turkey Run State Park…no overnight, but we did have a banquet in the evening.  Each class had a special dance – the juniors had the square dance and the seniors had the formal dance.  I remember that I didn’t have a date for the formal dance and my brother, Frank, came home from college and took me.

How about Christmas time when we could go down the alley to the Boone Theater and see a special movie, then get an ice cream treat!

Maybe these aren’t lavish and expensive memories, but they are our memories of a special school and many special teachers who made our school years at Thorntown Elementary and High School so very great!!!

Thanks to our alma mater, THS…
you will always be our school.

                                                          Sylvia (Morrow) Abrell


David White – Class of 1963          


Thorntown High School Alumni Banquet

1963 Class Response


David L. (DL) White


It's great to be back in the Thorntown Gym and to visit with the Class of 63.  I taught school for 100 years in the next county, Montgomery, at North Montgomery.  I had it easy as a teacher, though , because I taught junior high kids, and, as you all know, at that age they know everything anyway.  I also coached junior high sports and sometimes we played Thorntown.  After Western Boone opened and before they built their junior high gym, they played most of their basketball games at Granville Wells, Dover, or here. 

It was always a thrill for me to come back here and coach in the gym where I played.  One of my friends, who knew I had graduated from Thorntown, said to me once: You must be excited to coach at your old school but it must give you a weird feeling because you played your grade school basketball in this gym, played your junior high basketball in this gym, and you played your high school basketball in this gym, but when you come back here you have to sit on the bench to coach.  I said, No, it is the same feeling because when I played I sat on the bench.  If feeling comfortable sitting on the bench helped make me a better coach, then I should thank my Thorntown coaches for not letting me play.

The kids sure are lucky today because the schools have so many sports to choose from.  Most high schools have 25-30 different teams.  When we graduated in 63 Thorntown only offered 3 sports, baseball, basketball, and track. Recently my 8 year old grandson, who lives in the Hamilton Southeastern district, asked me how many sports I played in high school.  I said ALL of them.  He said, wow, you even played on the girls’ teams? I said, Well when I graduated the phrase “girls’ teams” did not exist.  The only girls’ team I ever saw in high school was on a TV show called Roller Derby.

We were in high school in the early stages of the space race.  President Kennedy said we had to beat the Russians to the moon..  So we got to see some new products that were made for the astronauts.  Remember the transistor for radios?  We could play the radio on the beach of Lake Shaffer without running an electric cord from somewhere or without turning up the car radio then running the battery down.  And how about that orange drink, Tang.   Just mix up those crystals and you have instant orange juice.

We were also part of some historic dates while in high school.  Remember May 5, 1961?  That's the date America sent its first astronaut into space, Alan Shephard.  He did not circle the earth, just went up in space and came right back.  I think the whole thing took about 45 minutes.  I remember this quite well because that was the same date I got my driver's license.  Since Driver's Ed was taught at school you could get out of school to get your license.  That morning I went to Lebanon to get my license.  Then when I was getting in my car to come back to school the rocket shot off.  I decided to drive the back roads to school and to drive really slowly so that when I got back to school I could tell everyone about the astronaut event.  After all they were all in class and I was the only student who was listening to this big event on the radio.  I finally pulled into the parking lot just as he landed so I jumped out and headed into the school .  When I opened the classroom door no one was there.  Just then they were all coming down the hall to the classroom.  The entire high school had been in the gym watching this event on TV.  I was the only person in the high school who did not get to see it on TV.  Later that day my friend Terry Reynolds said Dave you should have seen that rocket go up with all the smoke and fire.  And I said Yeah I heard it on the radio.

Another event that occurred while we were in high school was that Thorntown got dial telephones.  Now you could just dial a number and reach someone.  I remember coming into town, going to different friends' houses and dialing people up on the phone.  It was cool.  Now we lived on a farm close to Colfax and they did not get dial phones the whole time I was in high school.  I still remember our number, 26R12.  Does anyone remember what the R12 stood for?  That's right, one long and two shorts.  (One long ring and two short rings).  One guy on our line had four longs.  Sometimes he would get calls early on Sunday morning.  That was like an alarm clock for the whole house.

Every class is unique and we had a couple things that made us that way.  In 1963 we were the largest class ever to graduate from Thorntown.  Fifty-six of us were listed to get diplomas.  And we think we also hold the record for this next event.  According to my research assistants, thirty-one of us married either someone in our class or someone who had attended Thorntown High School.  We think that is probably a record, so we might be called the most romantic class in Thorntown history.

Someone asked me that during our senior year what were we most proud of? Everyone would probably have a different response but for me it was an event that occurred the summer before our senior year.  One of our own was crowned Miss Boone County and that was Sharon Stultz.  She is here today and will be happy to sign autographs after the show.  Thank you very much.                                     

David White


Cindy Bishop Stevens – Class of 1973  - 40th Year Class Response


Thorntown High School Alumni Banquet

1973 (40th Year) Class Response


Cindy Bishop Stevens


Back in 1961 when the Class of 1973 started school, we had Washington Township, Elizaville, Thorntown and  Dover schools.  For the Thorntown kids, first through sixth grades were at Thorntown; seventh and eighth grades were at Dover.

We started first grade after Labor Day in 1961.  Washington Township school as first through eighth grades.  They still had the old-fashioned desks that were wood and all connected to one another with the desk to the seat to the desk behind you and so on.  They were screwed down to the floor.  Midway through that first year we went to recess and when we came back, we had new modern desks with separate chairs and desk lids that lifted p so you could put your books inside.  The remainder of that year our teacher, Mrs. Reed, kept trying to keep our desk rows straight!

Televisions were brought into the school so we could watch John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.

In second we learned cursive writing.   How proud we were to write our names.  In high school shorthand courses were offered.  And now gone is shorthand – will cursive writing be next?

In third grade we experienced a “where were you moment” in history when told that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.  Later we learned a new word while watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news.  The President has been assassinated
November 22, 1963.                                                                                     

In fourth grade (1964/1965) the Elizaville school closed and for the class at Washington Township, well they gained four new classmates.

The times they were a changing.  Who didn’t watch The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings especially February 9, 1964, when The Beatles performed live and was seen by 73 million viewers.

Between Beatles Mania, Freedom Summer, the Free Speech Movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the birth of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, 1964 was a pivotal year in American history for social movements, pop culture, and race relations.

We lost a little more of our innocence on April 13, 1965.  That Palm Sunday we experienced a tornado outbreak.  We saw first-hand just what devastation Mother Nature could produce.  Most if not all of us were touched by some degree either personally or by knowing someone who lost a home, was injured, or was killed.

It’s now 1966 and we’re in the fifth grade.  We now have our 5th grade boys basketball teams.  We can’t wait to go to the ballgames.  Some of our rivals will one day be our classmates once we reach high school.  Color television sets are becoming popular … although my family did not have a color TV until after I graduated from high school.  After all, our black and white TV worked perfectly fine.  Pampers created the first disposable diapers.  You could buy a Deluxe 8 Transistor AM Portable Radio for $9.95 in your choice of color:  black, blue or brown.

Soon we’re in the 6th, then 7th, then 8th grade.  So much is happening.  Girls’ skirts are getting shorter and hair on boys is getting longer.

1968 has McDonalds selling the first Big Mac’s for 49 cents.  Dr. Christian Barnard performs the first successful heart transplant.  NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo space mission.  1969 is when the Internet is first used by the U.S. Military.  Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin walk on the moon, Seiko sells the first Quartz watch, and the first transplant of the human eye is performed.

During those early grade school years we said the “Pledge of Allegiance” every morning and a short prayer before eating lunch.  God is Good, God is Great, and we thank him for our food.  Amen.  Now on to high school.

So many new faces much to do.  Did you want to join a club or get involved with sports?  This was before Title IX, so if you were in sports that meant you’re one of the guys.  For the girls the closest thing we had was GAA (Girls Athletic Association.)  That meant an occasional trip to the bowling alley or the skating rink.  I don’t remember anyone ever complaining about it.  We even had dodge ball or some called it prison ball during physical education class.  They now have taken that out of schools since it is considered bullying.  We had typing classes on mostly manual typewriters.  You were lucky if you got one of the new electric typewriters.  Today’s students use computers to take keyboarding classes.  The school newsletter was printed using a mimeograph machine.  Do you remember that blue ink?

Girls tried to wear our skirts shorter and the boys tried to wear their hair longer.  The rule was if a girl got on her knees, then the hem of her skirt should touch the floor.  The boys needed to have their hair no longer than two fingers above their eyebrows and not touching their shirt collar.  Sideburns could not be any longer than the opening of the ear.  Of course, these rules were often tested.  Sometimes girls were sent home to change and a few boys were sent home for wearing bell bottom pants.  All that changed during our sophomore year.  The dress code was abolished!  The first couple of weeks that followed you saw some interesting outfits.

Approximately one-third of the student body was in band.  Mr. Richard ‘Dick’ Gress was the band and choir director.  With his leadership the band made it into the Sweet 16 at the Indiana State Fair Band Day competition more than once, and ranked as high as 12th place.  He was able to take the band to Disney World, and we performed in the Disney parade.

We had our basketball, football and baseball wins and losses.  Mostly we just remember the fun.  We had nicknames for some like Red, Froggie, and Mad Dog.  We could go to the Dairy Queen and get a sundae for .35, .45 or .55 cents.  Ice cream cones were .10, .15, .20 and .25 cents.  A brazier burger would cost you a whopping .55 cents.

Fortunately for the boys in our class, on June 28, 1972, President Richard Nixon announced no more draftees will be sent to Vietnam unless they volunteer to go.  We did not lose any classmates during our high school years.  We graduated 85 and six are now deceased.

At the time of our graduation the average cost of a new home was $32,500; average income per year was $12,900; the cost of a gallon of gasoline was .40 cents, and an AMC Javelin car is $2,900.

The Supreme Court has ruled on Roe v Wade.  Watergate hearings begin and President Nixon tells the nation, “I am not a crook.”  The World Trade Center in New York City becomes the tallest building in the world.

All these points and events plus what we have seen and experienced in the forty years since have shaped our lives.  We have stayed close by having reunions every five years.  We have had our share of joys and sorrows.

I’m thankful for the ‘small town’ school that was Thorntown High School.  Thanks to the teachers and administration for giving us the foundation from which we have grown.  The class of 1973 went on to become productive members of society as dads and moms, soldiers, teachers, doctor, dentist, business professionals, homemakers, nurses, farmers and most recently an author…1973 graduate Nancy Cavin Pitts author of “When  You Come Home.”

We’re coming home today – here at Thorntown.  We’re loyal to you THS – we’re always for you THS!!

Cindy Bishop Stevens


Florence Emma Kendall Peery & Martha Jane McKinsey Ottinger
Report on “The White Building”


Thorntown High School Alumni Banquet

“The White Building”


Florence Emma Kendall Peery & Martha Jane McKinsey Ottinger


MEMORIES OF THE THORNTOWN TEEN CANTEEN  (more content may be added at a later date)     

The Canteen operated from approximately 1954-1970 in a white building in the Thorntown Park.  The building was furnished by the Township trustee who paid all utilities.  The reason for establishing it was that there was nothing for kids to do in town.  It was open on Tuesday and Friday nights from 6:30-9:00 p.m. during the summer months.  It was operated by the churches of the town who furnished chaperones and some money for equipment.  We had a pool table and ping pong table inside along with a record player with the current popular records the kids liked.  There was a tetherball, shuffle board and basketball court outside for kids to use.  We had candy, gum and pop for the kids to buy.  Martha Jane Ottinger and Florence Emma Peery headed it up.  It was a healthy social outlet for teenagers, and we had no discipline problems. 

Prior to moving the ‘little white building’ to the park, it was used at Market & Bow Streets for overflow for the Thorntown Elementary School.  Usually two classes shared the building with the overflow from the two largest grade school classes determined each year once enrollment was finalized.  Mrs. McKinzie had some of the students from the 1st and 3rd grades in 1953-54.  When it was no longer needed by the school system, it was moved the park for use by the Teen Canteen program.  Submitted by:


                                                          Florence Emma Kendall Peery


-----  End of Alumni Banquet Information  ----




Larry Campbell called and thanked ALUMNI for a great banquet…very organized…could tell lots of work was done behind the scenes to make it so successful.  He also offered his help in the future…and some ideas for the 2015 banquet.

As I have said, here are some thoughts that I jotted down while attending the Centennial Celebration of Indiana’s State Basketball Championship in 2010.  Most of this was done in some manner during this statewide celebration by towns, schools, etc. (A list of considerations was provided by Larry.)

This is probably just the beginning of what could be done with planning and plenty of help.  I hope that this is of some interest to your committee members.

Larry Campbell (via email and also phone call)


To:  Larry & Martha

Thank you so much for the Thorntown coffee mug, I will use it often.

Also, a great Alumni Banquet, good job, look forward to working with you both again.

Karen  Wingate Hale – Class of ‘74


To:  Larry Randel,

Of all the Alumni’s we have attended – we enjoyed this one the most – maybe because of our ages, but because it was organized and moved right along.  You and your officers did a great job, and I was so proud of you and Gary (Lanpher)!  The picture is grr-eat! 
Ilene Michaels Lanpher - Class of 1942



Saturday’s Alumni Banquet was wonderful.  It was so organized.  The food was good, and the big picture with everyone’s name was amazing.  I just keep looking at it and have even gotten out my old Exodus (yearbooks to compare pictures.)

Best of all I got to sit with my childhood best friend, Trish Nay, along with many old familiar faces.

Thanks for all your hard work.  It was really nice. 

Proud of you, Cuz and Mrs. Cuz.

Linda Lanpher Cooney, Class of 1966


Larry, you did a great job and deserve a good rest!

Everything was so nice and organized.  Friday evening was great and so good to see everyone in a casual setting.  Loved seeing the ones who hadn’t seen since graduation.  The banquet sent so smooth.  Very nice – I will call you and Martha to set up a meeting at the Friendly. 
Thanks, Jill Ottinger Barbour – Class of 1963


Want to thank you, Larry, and Beverly for a wonderful alumni gathering.  Don really enjoyed it and so did I.

Marilyn & Don Bowen


Received compliments and thank you’s a second time for a great banquet from Sylvia Morrow Abrell – both in person and she also telephoned on Monday morning.  Said she really enjoyed the day / event.  Class of 1953


I didn't get to talk to you when I called, so I wanted to be sure to thank you for my neat THS mug. I will be able to tell lots of stories about our school while I am sipping cocoa! What a nice way to remember!! Both you and Martha did a great job with the banquet....thanks again for all your long hours and hard work putting it all together. It was appreciated!!

I don't know if I mentioned to Martha that the program booklet was the best ever!!! I understand she put it all together. Terrific!! I can hardly wait until next year to see what you all will think of!!

Thanks again,


REPLY…..Hi, Sylvia – I’m replying from Martha’s email as her MicroSoft email works better than my little ol’ free g-mail account.  It was our pleasure to assist with the 100th THS Alumni Banquet.  Both Bev Ramsey and Marvin Wilson have a wealth of knowledge and history about past banquets which really helped as all of us officers and committee members would / could up with ideas to consider.  Although the banquet this year was longer than normal…we just had so many topics and talks we wanted to do that we ‘just did it.’  Hope folks were entertained and didn’t mind spending some extra time at the banquet  /  program.  We are really pleased with the Alumni Group Photo (taken and produced by Yancy at Minute Print It in Lebanon.)

And our thanks to YOU for being one of the Class Responders!  All of those speeches were so interesting.  I saw a lot of heads shaking yes…or in acknowledgment…of many of the stories being told that day.  If you have any ideas we should consider for 2014 or 2015 – let us know!

Larry Randel  (and me too…Martha)


Email to the Randels

Martha, I just wanted to tell you and Larry that I enjoyed the banquet very much.  I thought things went well and the speakers were entertaining.  Tell Larry he did a great job.  Also, you too Martha.  Thanks for all the effort you put into the alumni.

The large group picture was a great hit with my brothers and sisters.  We enjoyed

looking over the picture and talking about the people that were there.  It was fun.

Thanks again,

Earl Kinslow – Class of 1965


Alumni Association received constructive inputs from Cliff Woody Class of 1948, which the committee will gladly take under advisement to continue to improve the annual THS Alumni Banquet.


June 2013 - Grrrreat job on the Alumni Banquet.  Thanks!  David Cook, Class of 1962
(President - Farm Heritage Trail, Inc.)
---- END of Comment Section ---

100thTHS Alumni Banquet Coming Soon!

"100 Years of Memories


May 11th is almost here!  Send in your registration TODAY to attend the 100th THS Alumni Banquet!  Deadline is May 1st - $14 per person.  Send payment to Marvin Wilson, Treasurer – Alumni Association – 121 North Market Street, Thorntown, IN 46071. (If you need the reservation form, request from SiSRandel@gmail.com)

COME EARLY to the banquet – lots of special activities are planned plus you’ll want to have plenty of time to visit.

At 11:30 a.m. we’ll begin seating alumni along with anyone who has attended Thorntown Schools for a Group Photo.  BE THERE!  The 13” x 19” color photo is only $5 each and will be available for you to purchase and take with you by the end of the banquet. (To purchase a picture, please contact Bev Ramsey.)

A DVD will also be available to order on May 11th - $15 each (which includes shipping and handling.)  Contents will be the entire program for the day, plus a PDF of the 100th Alumni Program, and individual class pictures (of all of the class photos on display in the lobby of the Thorntown School on Mill Street.)  (To purchase a DVD, please contact Bev Ramsey.)

Special guests will be attending the banquet – plus special memories will be shared by alumni.  You’ll want to be there to see and hear all of these memories!


Start now to contact your fellow classmates about attending this very special 2013 event for Thorntown High School Alumni Association – the 100th! Our goal is for a record attendance at the banquet for this 100th celebration! The classes of 1943, 1953, 1963 and 1973 will be recognized at the 2013 THS Alumni Banquet.  We’ll be taking a stroll down memory lane on May 11, 2013.

In order to make this a very special event, please bring memorabilia such as class sweaters, class ring, senior cords (both painted and unpainted), Honor Society blazers, FFA jackets, poodle skirts, white buck shoes, penny loafers, Freshmen ‘beanies’, old band instruments (do you dare have a uniform?), prom pictures, or pictures of fellow classmates especially with the school, classroom, building or a school event in the background, your report cards, typing or shorthand award pins, graduation tassels, basketball shoes, ball glove, bat and cap, cheerleader uniform or sweater, sport letter jacket, and any trophies, plaques and awards certificates or ribbons. Pictures of sporting events, musical contests, dances, plays, and any other school or class event would be great to display. Anything you have which brings back memories of your days at Thorntown Schools.

Feel free to bring your own setup for your display (a couple small clothing racks will be available.) Also a few table(s) will be set up to display items so these memories can be shared with others. You may display (hang) items or you could ‘wear your display’ (school sweater, ring, uniforms, etc.) Come early to set up your item(s) – school is open at 9 a.m. on May 11th. You may also bring your items the day before when the Alumni Committee is setting up gym for the banquet (10th unless that is a snow day then it will be on the 9th…time 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.) Be sure to mark your item(s) with your name so they can easily be returned to you at the conclusion of the banquet. Contact Larry Randel 317-873-4100 if you plan to do a display or have any questions.