Cruising, the Beatles, pizza, football games, Carrols hamburgers and the senior prom. Memories from 1966 are never far away for Cindi Baranowski Morrison and her friends.
Morrison and pals — Carol Comenzo Collura, Lois Caracciolo Ferro and her husband, Richard Ferro, among them — will recall their high school days Oct. 22, when Linton High School’s Class of 1966 meets to celebrate its 45th class reunion.
The party will get a warm-up on Friday, Oct. 21, when the gang holds a 7 p.m. assembly at the Grog Shoppe on Erie Boulevard. The main event takes place Saturday at the Mohawk Country Club. Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7.
Morrison and company are still searching for members of the class. People looking for information about the reunion weekend can check the class website, www.Linton66.com, or call Michael Brockbank at 374-6815 for details.
There will be plenty to talk about during the autumn get-togethers. Collura, who lives in Rotterdam, remembers the senior prom, and the after-glow party held at the Edison Club.
“It was a big deal for us to be allowed to stay out all night,” she said. “We just stayed there.”
Music was a big deal for the teens of 1966 — sort of the same way it’s been a big deal for every generation.
“I loved The Beatles, The Rolling Stones,” Collura said. “I liked The Temptations.”
Food was also a topic for the class of ’66 — kind of the same way it’s been a topic for every other high school class.
“Rugby Road pizza was the best pizza,” said Lois Caracciolo Ferro of Schenectady. “Lots of cheese.”
Morrison remembers when the area’s first Carrols hamburger restaurant opened on Nott Terrace, on the site now occupied by the giant locomotive owned by the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium. “Thirty-nine cents for a hamburger,” Morrison said. “Fifteen cents for a bag of french fries,” added Collura.
Richard Ferro remembers when four or five guys would pack into a single car, chip in 25 cents each for gas and cruise into the evening. He also recalls another automobile story.
“The biggest memory is when we took Mr. Leonard’s car [track coach William G. Leonard] and leaned it against a tree,” he said. “Just something to do. I wasn’t part of that though. . . . He was very upset.”
Not all memories were joyous for teens in school during the first half of the 1960s. Morrison remembers when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. She was a sophomore, and in health class when news hit Linton.
“When the announcement came over the public address system and they let us out,” Morrison said, “there was complete silence. We just left the building and walked home.”
Drive-ins and jeans
Linton football and basketball games, pizza at Cornell’s restaurant on Van Vranken Avenue afterward, drive-in movies and TV westerns were also in the mix for ’66. So were blue jeans in school — but that day only came once a year. Linton girls wore skirts, the guys wore dress shirts and slacks during the school year.
“On Election Day, we could wear jeans,” Collura said. “It was a half day. And it was a big deal!”