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July 8, 2003

During a recent spell of housecleaning, Doris Waren came across some mementos from another age—going back to 1911, and some more recent. A few of these belonged to her late Dad, Walker Robberson, who served several terms as a Noble county commissioner and a rural school teacher (at different times) a few decades ago. Here's one from August 5, 1911. It is a program handed out at commencement exercises that day for rural school eighth grade graduates. The program doesn't say where the exercises were held, but they may have been in the old Grand Opera House on the east side of the square. Here are some of the highlights:

Welcome address by Mr. Robberson, a faculty member; reading by Emma O'Grady; class history by Mary Smelser; vocal duet by Icey and Bettie Pennington; last will and testament of the graduates by Ruth Mary Abbott; reading by Pearl Baxter; class poem by Hattie Gang; vocal solo by Ernest Shoop; class prophecy by Blanch Dronberger; valedictory by Bessie Stewart; and presentation of diplomas by the county school superintendent, C. G. Vannest. The class roll included Bessie Stewart, Hattie Gang, Mary Smelser, Emma O'Grady, Blanche Dronberger and Ruth Mary Abbott. On the faculty were Mary Gordon, William R. Brown, Harold Shults, Walker Robberson, Harlan Armstrong and Emma King.

From a more recent era, here's the graduation program for seniors at Perry High School on May 23, 1933. This was in the PHS auditorium. The processional was played by the school orchestra under the direction of Prof. Leopold Radgowsky; invocation was given by Rev. J. M. Jones. Libbye Zavodny gave the salutatory and Norma Dodge sang a solo. The commencement address, entitled, "What Men Desire," was given by A. L. Crable from Oklahoma A.&M. College. Bob Waltermire then sang a solo, followed by that valedictory given by Alma Zavodny, sister of Libbye. The graduating class, made up of some 50 young men and women, was presented by W. Homer Hill, school superintendent, and diplomas were handed out by John H. Mugler, secretary of the board of education. Class members exited as the recessional was played by the orchestra.

Class members were Faythe Branen, Nell Johnston, Elvina Wilde, Earl Studebaker, Francis Bobbitt, Sybil Clark, Bernie Tucker, Frances Mickish, Elsie Snyder, Mary McKinney, Dick Foster, Joe Triplett, Nola Mae Curtis, Alberta Cress, Ona Henricksen, Rose Clark, Naomi Kindt, Margaret Hoggett, Doris Robberson, Alice Kirtley, James Patton, Bob Waltermire, Clarence Mildfelt.

Charles Monroe Jr., Bob Powers, Mildred Smith, Marrilene Shelton, Wyveta Powell, Mildred Durkee, Carrie Faye Folger, Libbye Zavodny, Alma Zavodny, LaVena Chitwood, Audrey Douglass, Rosa Brandt, Maxine Province, Russell Barker, Jack Henry, Mabel Kirtley, Lorraine Douglass, Marjory Barnett, Carol Kennedy, Leroy Kelley, Grace Garrett, Wilbur Dozier, Glen Taylor, Norma Dodge, Bailey Render and Tom Munger, Jr.

You probably knew some of those folks. Many of the names seen familiar.