Schools Days Return

Christmas break is over and it’s time for students, educators and staffers to return to schools throughout the area.  Our Throwback column is no exception, as we use this occasion to “head back to school” and share a glimpse of some activities from years past.  Our journey through some yearbooks from decades gone by begins with a visit with Coach Mike Brown and the senior basketball players at Sanford Central in 1973. Athletics were at a premium during this school year, as the Yellow Jackets followed up their appearance in the football state championship game with a 19-3 record on the hardwood.

Our next images are poignant ones from the class of ’42. In the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack and US entry into World War II in December 1941, the entire focus of the student body shifted. Here we see boys and girls exercising. The caption below the pictures reads in part, (these boys & girls are) getting exercise so that they will be more healthy and hearty, and thus able to serve Uncle Sam in their country’s time of need.

Up next, we drop by the Sanford Central Class of 1957 and meet the school’s senior class officers — Treasurer Larry Lazarus, Vice President Paul Kelly, President Reuben Gainey and Secretary Lou Graham, along with their advisors, who apparently are trying to decide if the students will “measure up” to their responsibilities.

For many years, some classes and clubs tended to be gender-specific. Here we see Sanford Central’s Junior Music Club (the ladies) and The Melodians (the gents) in the 1949 graduating year. Speaking of gender-specific activities, plenty of young ladies through the years have enjoyed the opportunity to serve as school cheerleaders.  Here’s the cheer team from Greenwood High in 1976.


And we’ll end on a whimsical note, with a look at Sadie Hawkins Day couples from Sanford Central in 1973. From its origins in the late 1930s, many high schools and colleges hosted annual dances in mid-November, where the girls asked boys out, and wardrobe had a definite country flavor.

Editorial content, pictures and research background, compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.