My 60-year high school reunion already – oh my!

This weekend I’ll be attending my sixtieth New Trier High School reunion. Sixty years! Really! Amazing!


And besides this excitement, four couples will stay together at a high school friend’s house. One of each of the couples were in the same class at New Trier, took a journalism class from Dr. Robert R. Boyle – still a long-time friend, and all worked on the school newspaper together.

Bob Boyle, who was not much older than we when we took his class.

Since reuniting at our twenty-fifth reunion, these friends and their spouses and my husband and I have remained very close. We gather together at each other’s homes besides attending reunions together. Unfortunately, though, a couple of news team members are no longer with us, and one dear friend, who was the editor-in-chief of our paper, is too ill to travel.

Annie and me

Events for the reunion start on Thursday night with a get together at the famed Hackney’s on Lake in Glenview IL. It’s a restaurant I used to love to go to with my family.

Friday morning is golf – my husband will participate in that. And other day activities include a tour of the Chicago Botanic Garden – a place I’ve visited many times and a tour of $104.9 million renovation and addition to the New Trier High School. One thing that’s gone is the 1912 cafeteria. A fond memory of that place was bringing my lunch through the line to where my brother (always my hero) worked as a cashier.

We’ll also attend two more formal evening events – though we’re instructed to wear casual attire. Friday night we’ll have cocktails and dinner at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, IL, and Saturday night we attend the 60th Reunion Dinner at the Lodge at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, IL.

Here’s the come-on from the reunion committee that enticed me to sign up and attend:

We were born in 1940, have lived in eight decades, two centuries, and two millenniums.  We had the best music with “Rock & Roll,” the fastest cars, drive-in theaters, soda fountains, sock hops, and fun times.  We were just “cool!”

And here’s what happened in 1958 – the year we graduated:


1958 brought a recession to America, along with a large 5.2 million (7.0%) increase in unemployment, but inflation dipped below 2%. Those with a job were earning average wages of $3,851 per year and were considered to be “well off”. Cars continued to get bigger and heavier with larger engines, while imports from Japan increased. Alaska became the 49th state and America’s first satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral.

Cost of Living 1958

US GDP (1998 dollars): $467.3 billion
Federal spending: $82.41 billion
Federal debt: $279.7 billion
Consumer Price Index: 28.9
Unemployment: 4.3%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03 ($0.04 as of 8/1/58)
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 2.73% 
Average Cost of new house $12,750.00
Average Monthly Rent $92.00
Average Yearly Wages $4.600.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 25 cents

What Events Happened in 1958

  • NASA North American Space Agency is formed
  • 14 year old Bobby Fischer wins the United States Chess Championship.
  • Munich Air Disaster – 21 dead, including 7 Manchester United Players
  • Toyota and Datsun Cars go on sale in The US
  • Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union
  • Nelson Rockefeller Elected Governor of New York
  • US Unemployment reaches 5.2 million
  • US passenger jet flights start with a National Airlines Boeing 707
  • The first transatlantic passenger jetliner service begins with flights between London and New York on the new Comet Jet
  • The Great Chinese Famine begins in 1958 and ending in 1961 causing the death of nearly 30 million through a combination of natural disasters and poor planning.
  • Elvis Presley is inducted into the Army.
  • Brazil wins the 1958 World Cup in Sweden
  • World Series – NY Yankees defeated Milwaukee Braves (4-3)
  • NBA Championship -St. Louis Hawks defeated Boston (4-2)
  • Kentucky Derby Champion – Tim Tam
  • NCAA Basketball Championship – Kentucky defeated Seattle (84-72)
  • NCAA Football Champions – LSU (AP, UPI) (11-0-0) & Iowa (FW) (8-1-1)
  • Best Picture: The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Best Actor: Alec Guinness, The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Best Supporting Actor: Red Buttons, Sayonara
  • Best Actress: Joanne Woodward, The Three Faces of Eve
  • Best Supporting Actress: Miyoshi Umeki, Sayonara
  • Best Director: David Lean, The Bridge on the River Kwai

News Review of 1958
Technology 1958

  • The Microchip first developed in US by Intel
  • London Gatwick Airport opens after two years of extensive reconstruction
  • US Nuclear Submarine ” Nautilus ” passes under Ice Cap at North Pole

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country (or attributed to First Use)
Microchip USA by Jack Kilby
Computer Modem USA
Remote Control USA Zenith Corporation
Plymouth 1958 TV Commercial
Popular Culture 1958

  • The Wham-O company introduces the Hula Hoop; over 100 million are sold.

Popular Films

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • South Pacific
  • Gigi
  • King Creole
  • Vertigo

Popular TV Programs

  • Candid Camera
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Come Dancing
  • The Jack Benny Show
  • Panorama
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Popular Singers

  • Elvis Presley
  • Billie Holiday
  • Ricky Nelson
  • Frank Sinatra
  • The Everly Brothers
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Jerry Lee Lewis

The Top 10 Songs of 1958

1. At the Hop Danny & Juniors
2. It’s All in The Game Tommy Edwards
3. The Purple People Eater Sheb Wooley
4. Don’t Elvis Presley
5. Tequila Champs
6. All I Have to Do Is Dream Everly Brothers
7. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) Domenico Modungo
8. Sugartime McGuire Sisters
9. He’s Got the Whole World (In His Hands) Laurie London
10. The Chipmunk Song David Seville & Chipmunks

Thanks for reading. See you next week with a full report and hopefully some new pix! In the meantime please share your reunion stories in the comments section below.

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