Growing up in the '40s and '50s was great! You felt safe in school,
and looked forward to every day. Seeing your friends each day, getting an
education, and planning for the future were adventures we welcomed. Our
dances and social events were fun, and our parents never had to worry
about our using drugs, or having someone going crazy with a gun and
shooting a group of us.
While at Glendale High, I was fortunate to hold several positions as a
class officer, but my favorite was being elected student body song leader
with Jan Thornton, Bobbie Bowman and Eleanor Lackner in our senior year.
Going to all the games was always fun, and going to Bob's Big Boy
drive-in afterward was a must! If you had your own car you were a hit,
but if you had a convertible, you were really something!
My years at Glendale High were a time of ponytails and poodle skirts
for the girls, and crew cuts and hot rods for the boys. A girl dreamed of
"going steady" with a guy, especially if he had a letterman sweater that
she could wear. Everyone looked forward to the semester breaks, and
Easter vacation week was always a time to go to Balboa Island with your
So much has changed over the years, and teenagers today do things so
differently. A favorite pastime for us was to talk on the phone for hours
with our friends, while today kids e-mail each other. Having a typewriter
to complete reports and homework was a luxury not everyone had back then,
while today almost every teenager has a computer. While the modern
conveniences of cell phones and computers are a great help, in many ways,
I think they have also made us less social and interactive with one
another. Teenagers today spend far less time interacting with one another
on a face-to-face basis, participating in sports and other outdoor
activities, and too much time online.
Being a teenager in the '50s was truly a blessing. While we didn't
realize it at the time, I think we had the best of all worlds.
Class of 1953
*Yvonne Fedderson is a co-founder of Childhelp USA, a national
nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional,
educational and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children.
Entertainer Merv Griffin recently donated a $10-million property in
Arizona to the group to serve as a treatment facility for severely abused