79-80 1979-1980 In August of 1979, Perry Meridian High School students returned from their summer vacations ready to start a new and wonderful school year. To welcome the new school year, Perry Meridian always had a Homecoming week. The 1979 Homecoming theme was “The Falcons Take a Station Break.” During this particular week, students got together to make class floats, and they also participated in all types of fun-filled activities. Among some of these were the bonfire before the big game, the Friday night football game, and then a dance afterwards. During the fall of 1979, the Homecoming Queen was Paige Lindermann, and her escort was Matt Need (Passages VII 10-11). Also in the fall of 1979, Perry Meridian High School’s music program was growing by leaps and bounds. For example, Mr. Al Slightom took over the role as director for the marching band during the summer of 1979 when Mr. Roy Geesa resigned. The Perry Meridian Marching Band saw many changes that year; however, most of them were positive. For instance, in early August, Mr. Slightom took Perry’s Marching Band to the Farmer’s Day Parade Contest at the State Fair. The students did exceptionally well during this performance. Then, when school started a few weeks later, the students were introduced to their new band director, Miss Lissa Fleming (Passages VII 115-117). Also, the orchestra program was really starting to flourish. For example, six Perry Meridian students were chosen to be members of the All-State Honors Orchestra. This was a major honor because the All-State Honors Orchestra is only composed of the most talented high school string players in the state. Among the students selected for this prestigious honor were: Lisa Baker, Lisa Yang, Fred Chiu, Mary Stiker, Mark Stiker, and Cris McFall (Passages VII 118). In contrast to Perry Meridian’s music success, the world of international music was also booming with various new artists and new hits. Such artists included the rock band AC/DC, the STYX band, and Bob Dylan (Vargas). In fact, the STYX came to Indianapolis for a concert on October 18, 1979. As a result, many Perry students attended the concert held at Market Square Arena. Also, the year 1979 marked the end of the disco era. This did not stop Perry students from listening to disco music or hinder students from dancing to disco music. For example, the BeeGees were a huge favorite for Perry students, and they are about as disco as it comes (Snow and Talbot 3). However, as the beginning of a new decade approached, rock and roll became an extremely new and popular type of music for teens attending Perry High School (Passages VII 30). By the time 1980 rolled around, the Focus staff constructed a survey to help teachers and adults understand just how important music was for Perry students. Some of the students said that they used music as a way to relax. Others said music helped them stay awake while driving at night. However, the majority of the students said that they listened or played music for their enjoyment. In addition to asking why students listened to music, the survey also asked what types of music they listened to. Most kids liked rock and role; however, country and disco were other popular favorites. Perry students found that record stores were a great way to have fun and discuss music with friends. Often times, record stores allowed people to listen to different songs before an item was purchased. These stores carried cassette tapes and records as well as albums (Passages VII 30-31). In addition to having a wonderful music program, Perry Meridian also had some very outstanding students. For example, Anne Hollcroft was named the winner of the 1979 Achievement Award. Hollcroft was nominated by the National Council of Teachers for her short story, “The Gathering.” Anne went on to use this story as an essay submission for college, which was how the National Council of Teachers saw her story and nominated her for this prestigious award (Passages VII 1). In January of 1980, Perry’s women’s gymnastic team had an excellent season. The team, coached by Mrs. Connie Walters, ended their season with a 12-0 record. In addition to having a winning season, the Lady Falcons were also dubbed the Marion County Champions. The women’s gymnastics team included Kelley Enright, Laurie New, and Teresa Stoehr. As Mr. Bill Fulton, a former student said, “The ladies’ gymnastics team was definitely an outstanding team.” During an interview with Fulton, he mentioned that the day after one of their state wins, the whole school had a convocation in the gym, and then everyone was released early because the girls had done so well (Fulton Personal Interview). In addition to having an excellent ladies gymnastics team, Perry Meridian High School also had a wonderful girl’s basketball season. In fact, the Lady Falcons, coached by Roz Murphy, won their first county basketball championship. The girls played at Warren Central on January 12, 1980, and beat the number one ranked team in the state which was the Lady Cardinals from Southport High School. Beth Schueth led the scoring in the game, and eventually earned the Falcons twenty-six points throughout the whole game. The Lady Falcons finally ended their 1980 season with a 15-1 record, which helped them achieve the Marion County Championship award that year. Their only loss that year was against Southport’s Lady Cardinals. Incidentally, this game was a rematch that ended with a score of 66-53 (Ellis 3). At the same time in history, the United States Hockey team was having a great season, too. In fact, the United States Hockey Team beat Russia and took the Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics of 1980 (“Timeline of the 1980’s”). In February of 1980, Perry Meridian High School students and orchestra director Mrs. Eads were working and rehearsing very diligently in order to prepare for the 1980 musical “The Sound of Music.” On February 23, 1980, the lights in the auditorium were dimmed, the audience was silenced, and the curtains were parted to give way to an awesome production of “The Sound of Music.” The character of Maria was played by Lynette Meek, and Captain von Trapp was portrayed by Mike Miller. The Von Trapp Family children were played by Trish Badgely who was Leisl, Gretl was portrayed by Shelia Spurgin, Louisa was played by Rene Wright, the part of Brigitta was portrayed by Mindy Petterson, Freidrich was played by Jim John, Kurt was portrayed by Kevin Mennel, and Marta was played by Nancy Fortuna. The play was a huge success and took intensive practice. In fact, the musical was so long and the cast had so many different parts that the school actually had two different casts perform the musical (Passages VII 30). In addition to having a huge stage success at Perry Meridian, the American world of movie producing was having a wonderful year also. For instance, “Rocky II,” “The Jerk,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” and “Animal House” were all huge successes when they reached theatres in the earlier part of 1980. In fact, Perry Meridian students voted “Rocky II” as their third favorite movie of the year, “Kramer vs. Kramer” as their number one tear jerker movie, and “Animal House” as their number one favorite comedy ( Passages VII 36-37). As the winter months faded into the happy colors and smells of spring, the end of the school year was in sight for Perry Meridian High School students. However, many of the kids were not focusing on the end of the school year. Most students had their eyes set on prom. The prom theme for 1980 was “Always and Forever,” and the color scheme was purple and white. The junior class officers decided that the prom should be held at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis. Finally, when Prom night came, many of the students that attended the event that night were pleasantly surprised with the beauty and the atmosphere of the wonderful facility. Even the prom King Scott Lacey and the Prom Queen Nancy Fortuna found themselves happily overwhelmed at the splendor of the dance floor, as they ended the night with a dance to the song “Promise” (Passages VIII 64). As the school year moved to a close, students began making summer vacation plans with their friends and families. However, these students were not counting on a single event to maybe ruin some of their summer vacation plans. On May 25, 1980, at 8:27a.m., Mount St. Helens erupted in Oregon on the Cascade Mountain Range. The eruption caused earthquakes that shook the entire West Coast. The eruption sent clouds of ash and smoke miles into the Earth’s atmosphere. The eruption of Mount St. Helens was also the cause of an unusual heat wave in the state of Washington. More than 44,000 acres burned under the smoldering ash that blanketed the Earth’s surface. Ash fell on dozens of towns, leaving motor vehicles stranded in a gray heavy smog. Many people worried that the cloud of ash in Earth’s atmosphere would lower global temperatures because it was blocking some of the sun’s rays (Passages VII 70). However, the world soon pulled through the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and people began to go about their daily lives about a month after the event occurred. This included Perry students as well as people around the world. In fact, graduation was the height of almost every senior’s conversation. Finally, the day arrived when the class of 1980 would graduate. The Valedictorians were Lisa Yang, Joyce Jones, and Cheri Stockman. The class officers were Dave Scanlan, Kelly Britton, and Jo Class. Kelly Britton read the names of the graduates, and then when all the names were read, everyone turned their tassels to the other side of their caps and cheered (Passages VII 68-69). Another class of students graduated, and another wonderful school year ended at Perry Meridian High School. However, the excitement did not end with the end of another school year. In addition to making vacation plans, students also planned to go different places with friends and do other fun activities to keep in touch with people over the summer. In fact, many students either participated in county fairs or went to see them. Well, it was during the Johnson County Fair that horticulturist, Richard Crum won the 1980 Mrs. Lynn Adams Award in June. He received the award for creating the best hybrid flower in the fair. Crum also had a column that appeared weekly in the Indianapolis Star (“Horticulturist Award”). Many students from Perry were in attendance when Crum received this wonderful and honorable award. The students of Perry Meridian High School went on to enjoy a wonderful Indiana summer. They took part in various activities through the summer including school sponsored events, community service volunteering, working, and yes, they even relaxed, until school started again in late August. Works Cited Ellis, Beth. "High Flying Falcons." The Spotlight. 17 January 1980:1. Fulton, Bill. Student. 1979-1983. Personal Interview, 11 April 2007. "Horticulturist Award." The Indianapolis Star. 16 June 1980. Passages VII. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Jostens, 1980. Passages VIII: Pride Sounds Out. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Jostens, 1981. Snow, Jeff and Pat Talbot. "Styx: The Grand Decathlon." Focus. 21 November 1979: 1. "Timeline of the 1980's." World Events. . 11 March 2007. Vargas, Colby. "AC/DC." 2000. History Resource Center: US. Online. Galegroup. 12 March 2007.