Aug 4, 2006

Come on in.

Pull up a chair and let’s chat. Got some good friends together for your first visit, maybe you’ll have something to add to what they have to say. If so, when you are done reading, just click on the email address at the bottom of the page and I’ll see that it gets added (with Jack’s help) when we visit next time.

Glad that you opened that door, you never need to knock to come in here.

I’ve been chatting with some of you for over two years now and I’m intrigued with what former Gander classmates have to say about their years of growing up ‘on the Gander’. We’d all love to hear more.

On my email visits this week I’ve come up with the following when posing the question about “what we wore in high school:”

On the topic of leather jackets, shoes and our high school rings, I wondered who started the leather jacket trend? Was it James Dean? Brando in “On the Waterfront”, or were they a take on those bomber jackets that the pilots of World War II made famous. Here’s what I learned: I also asked if anyone had or knew where their high school rings ended up.

Leather Jacket evidence

Jack Pinsent's James Dean look

Clarence Lehr's bomber jacket

Morley Smith, Class of ’59:

I did have a leather jacket, with zippers and studs and loved it. Inspiration came from James Dean , also liked that red Windbreaker ??? that he wore in  " Rebel without a cause ".

Loved that movie

The leather jacket went by the wayside , but I now have 2 leather jacketsthat are old , so old that Rolla wants to throw them out, but i  have resisted. I guess that I had the Wellington boots also but forgot that name, but I remember the metal cletes on the bottom. You sure could not sneak up on someone, because they heard you a mile away. Something reminds me that Mr Loder hated the boots,  Hey , maybe thats why we loved them . ( think like a teenager )

White bucks,  I did not have. Wanted them but we could not afford them.

Last but not least -----the (class) ring. I had one, but have no idea where it ended. Good question.


Faye (Lewis) Raynard, Class of ‘59

Ah yes, the red windbreaker. I forgot about that Bruce had one of those too. And of course James Dean was his hero. A guy from Middleton (Mass. where we live) went out to wherever James Dean is buried (Indiana?) and did a gravestone rubbing for Bruce. I think we have it around the house somewhere.

And those boots. I vaguely remember them, black leather. The cleats made a mess of floors, no wonder many high school gyms were off limits for dances and sock hops became popular. You are right though, anything that teachers and parents objected to, we kind of felt was the best thing in life, right? But we listened more than kids of today do. It was just a different time.

Yeah white bucks, I only remember Frank Hopkins wearing in Gander, as he and Gwen Greene would dance so well together. I don't remember ever seeing anyone anywhere wearing 'blue suede shoes' do you?

High school rings? I still have mine in my jewelry box, all tarnished, with the string on it that 'someone', I can't remember who, once wore around his neck. Got it back as we returned the rings when I left Gander. Yup, a long time ago...

Don't let Rolla throw out that leather jacket, Morley. Is one the leather you wore at the Newf Night? Looks good to me!!! what fun huh?



Jim Butler, Class of ’59:

Speaking of rings. I found mine (from Gander Academy) a few years ago. It was in really bad shape. It wasn't even round anymore. Anyway, to make a long story (as thay say), Kay took it to a jeweller and got it fixed up. Made round, soldered the break, polished--the works; and I now have it somewhere in my room, but I haven't seen it for a while. I should have taken it to the reunion to go along with Winnie's beanie!


Question: What’s a Winnie’s beanie? I missed that at the reunion? –Faye


Mary (Osmond) Warren, Class of ’59:

Hi everyone,

All this stuff about leather jackets etc. brought back some fond memories too. I still have my highschool ring and I also have Bob's with the black cord on it which I wore around my neck for years. Should 've worn it to the reunion. I also have a gold plated ring that Bob gave me and he had to borrow $2. from Ron (Mosher) to get it engraved. Do you remember that Ron?

Sorry I didn't keep my poodle skirts though and I can't remember Bob having a leather jacket or ever wearing white bucks.

I also remember Les Simms and I think George Baker being the twist champs.They wear the white bucks and their shirts were drenched in sweat and probably no deo. in those days. Funny how some things just stick in your mind after all those years. I really think we grew up in the best of times .Our grandchildren will never have the freedom and carefree childhood that we had growing up in Gander.

I'm in Nova Scotia now ....came back to bring one of our 7 grandchildren back to NL.  for a couple of weeks...going to be fun especially with the cod season opening tomorrow.

We are having a family reunion Aug 11 (Osmond ) about 75 will be attending. Should be fun.We are having it at the Masonic in Gander.

Don't have much time in NL to get on the computer to chat but I guess things will slow down again in the fall


I can remember Morley had one of the leather jackets with zippers and studs going everywhere. I'm sure he has a pic of himself wearing it. I remember it well. I also had a pair of Wellington boots decorated with a chain that hung form the sides.


Robert G. Pelley, Class of ‘63

In Grade 7, I had one of those or almost, a cross between a James Dean  and a B-25 pilot's jacket. Got it from an uncle who had thrown it out as useless, dirty and old fashioned!!  Was torn apart under the right armpit but I didn't care... on the back it was written  "The Sundown Kid"  !! Guess I had weird taste in clothes, still nothing fits me right.

Don't know if you all want to hear this leather jacket story, but the only one I have. How about George Powell's maroon leather with light grey sleeves. Yeah it was nice. Of course I think he wore it every day, except Sundays when we ALL dressed up in our best.  The guys always had suits on, on Sunday. Someone can contact George and ask him about his 1950's leather jacket, I don't have his email address.

I did not have a school ring. Geez, I didn't know there was such a thing. However, I did have saddle shoes, and anyone with the blue yearbook, me in Grade XI, I have them on in the picture, with my Bobbie socks, and a full skirt. We didn't have a lot back then either, so don't know how I got a pair of those shoes. I think we were entitled to maybe two outfits a year, in my home of 5 sisters.

I got invited to my first dance with Jon Newhook, Air Cadet Dance, and Mom ordered me a blouse and skirt from Simpson's catalogue. I didn't even pick it out!

As I continue to ramble on, once we moved from Gander, to Middleton, NS, for my first prom dance, my mother order me a prom dress from Simpson's catalogue, and I didn't pick that one out either. Just figured this was how it was done.

No leather jackets in the Mingo home. But my oldest son used to love the Flight Jackets, he did get one, filled it with 'badges', later got his flying wings in Air Cadets and had a keen interest in flying airplanes as a profession, but didn't.