Central High -- new and old -- has its day

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

P As the high school prepares to move to its new home next fall, an effort is under way to preserve the memories of the last half-century.

The students dress a little differently today than when a state-of-the-art (at the time) Central High School opened its doors on Caruthers Avenue in Cape Girardeau.

It was the fall of 1953. The Girardot yearbook tells the story of bobby socks and pomade, school dances and sweethearts. Air conditioning wasn't common enough for Central students to care that their school didn't have it.

The teens roaming the halls today are more inclined to hair dye and bell-bottoms -- some even wore pajamas last week for a special school spirit event. They go home when the heat is too intense for learning. There's still no air conditioning at Central.

But the two groups of students -- then and now -- are linked in so many ways.

The class of 1954 was the first to graduate from the Central High School on Caruthers Avenue. The class of 2002 will be the last. Next year, the building will become the junior high school -- complete with air conditioning.

Both groups of students have a tremendous amount of school spirit. The first class used it to develop traditions. The last used it to keep them.

Both will have enjoyed a solid education with quality, caring teachers. Graduates of both will have gone on to do great things -- including Rush Limbaugh, class of 1969, perhaps Central's only world-famous graduate.

And, finally, both classes and all of those in between will be honored at a special event at the school.

Julia Jorgensen, a Central educator involved in so many well-organized and useful activities, is calling on alumni to donate memorabilia and share stories of their time at the school. She plans to use the materials to decorate rooms from each decade for a goodbye event on March 24.

The faculty and students in each room will be dressed in the style of the decade and explain various pieces of memorabilia and Central High facts to visitors.

Some of the pieces will be part of a display at the next new Central High School on Silver Springs Road. That state-of-the-art school (with all the latest technology) will open next fall to educate more generations of students.

Jorgensen is doing her part to carry the fine tradition and spirit across town to the new building. Now alumni must do theirs. For more information, call Jorgensen at 334-0644.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: