3/19/12

School Daze #6: Yearbook Photos



I have tons of old yearbooks and have been tempted to post on this topic for several years: however, I've never really know what to say about these old photographs.  "Hey, doesn't this guy look stupid? Hey, look at her funny hair." That sort of thing gets old quick, so I've refrained from covering this subject completely.

Plus, were you to see my own yearbook photo, you would wonder how I had any room whatsoever to talk. To give you an indication - all my high school yearbook photographs feature a massive mullet that would make Richard Dean Anderson green with envy.  Suffice it to say, I have no business criticizing yearbook photos of anyone.



That being said, who's to say that we can't enjoy a look back every once and a while.  For instance, that mighty 'fro pictured above is a glorious thing to behold, as is the plaid suit pictured below.... 


And then there's the awkward expressions, the funky tuxedos, gargantuan ties and collars, and dynamite hairstyles.... what's not to love? (If I recall correctly, National Lampoon had a special issue devoted to yearbooks that was spot on perfect.)


Besides all these reasons to love old yearbooks, perhaps the best is try and guess what these mysterious faces were like.  Can you pick out the stoners and the mathletes? I focused on one high school yearbook (which shall remain anonymous) and spotlight a few senior portraits....

This is definitely the stoner (i.e. Slater from Dazed and Confused). Most everyone smoked weed back in '76 (the year of this yearbook); however, some dudes really excelled at it.  This guy was certainly high when his senior photo was taken.
Your natural inclination is to think of Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), but that's only because of the glasses and slight resemblance in the facial features.  I'll simply point out that there were basically no designer glasses back then and no one wore contact lenses.  Thus, looking past the nerdy frames, this guy was probably a fairly popular fellow.

Dear Lord. I have no similar intention of suggesting this fellow was also popular.  This guy has "Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman" written all over him.

Dare I suggest this is the local "Wooderson"? He doesn't look quite as cool as Matthew McConaughey, but I'm still gettin' that vibe.

"The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin', man. L-I-V-I-N."

Why do I get the feeling this guy was called "Frodo" at school? Voted Most Likely to Throw a Ring into  Mount Doom.

This is the guy that will kick your ass and take your lunch money.  He will most definitely smash your tater tots and not think twice about it.

Way out of your league, man.  Don't even try. Better increase your odds and go for the next girl instead....


I'll save my snappy comments from here on out, and let you form your own hypotheses on the rest of these senior portraits.  I look forward to reading your comments!

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15 comments:

  1. #2 looks like a young Cynthia Nixon.
    #3 looks like Mr Bentley from the Jeffersons or Stephen Hawking's cousin.

    The rest of those guys look pretty old for high school. I'd love to see what modern haircuts look like on them.

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  2. #1 was in the ham radio club, later opened his own ham radio store.
    #8 is still a grade school janitor and, while watching the kids, secretly mumbles things to himself that sound a lot like the things Carl the Groundskeeper mumbled to himself while watching the ladies golf.
    #10 still buys his ham radios from #1.
    #11 was in the Village People.

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  3. Oh man am I glad I got out of high school before the '70s!

    I have one old yearbook I purchased many years ago and it sat on my shelf as a simple vintage oddity until I discovered that one of the kids ended up being a famous murderer (Richard Albert Loeb of Leopold and Loeb fame).

    You always have to wonder when looking at all of these old shots not just where these kids were in the pecking order then, but where are they now. Which path did they take or did they even get a map.

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  4. Fourth row -- all three make me think of Paul Williams, for some reason.

    BTW, how does one happen to collect "tons" of yearbooks?

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  5. That uncool fat guy in the sweater vest grew up to be dangerously mysoginistic and borderline psychopathic. Just a nudge would send him over the edge. The next thing you know, it's raining shell casings and the corpses are piling up.

    How do I know, you ask? Because he looks a lot like me.

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  6. I nailed the year before even seeing your text..!

    In 1982, in 12th grade, my own yearbook room had "old" annuals from many schools (we thought they were ANCIENT books, some being as old as 13 years old)!

    It was odd to see the "casual culture" creep in during the early 70s, thru those annuals! Suddenly, short hair and dress shirts gave way first to sideburns, then bangs, then "Beer Builds Better Bellies" t-shirts, then a senior pic section that looked like a Dobbie Brothers reunion!

    Al Bigley

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  7. I nailed the year before even seeing your text..!

    In 1982, in 12th grade, my own yearbook room had "old" annuals from many schools (we thought they were ANCIENT books, some being as old as 13 years old)!

    It was odd to see the "casual culture" creep in during the early 70s, thru those annuals! Suddenly, short hair and dress shirts gave way first to sideburns, then bangs, then "Beer Builds Better Bellies" t-shirts, then a senior pic section that looked like a Dobbie Brothers reunion!

    Al Bigley

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  8. If Slater here had more delicate features, he would have been voted Most Popular Girl.

    Paul Duca

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  9. You can sum up the entire 70s experience this way:

    WHAT HAPPENED?
    What happened to fashion?
    What happened to cars?
    What happened to hair?
    What happened to, to , to...
    All the advances we'd made in culture up until this point???

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  10. Some of the girls are actually quite pretty. "Way out of your league" reminds me of Anna Fältskog from Abba. "Frodo" reminds me of myself ...

    Classmates.com has old yearbooks online, at least from my school. No, nobody shaved from 1970 through 1982 in my town either. And you better believe kids 30 years from now will get a big laugh at today's piercings, droopy pants, wife-beaters and hiking boots.

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  11. #8 & #9 ........... Eric and "Hyde"........... from that 70's show?

    Cheers, Obey_Gravity

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  12. IF YOU SCROLL DOWN FROM NUMBER 13 TO NUMBER 18 FAIRLY QUICKLY AND SMOOTHILY, YOU CAN WATCH A MUSTACHE GROW! IF THIS WAS DONE PURPOSEFULLY THEN WELL DONE SIR.

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  13. OMG !!! what hell were those people?!

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  14. # 12 became a MEAN-ASS biker shortly after graduation. You wouldn't notice him today. He probably has tattoos all the way to his scalp.

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  15. # 12 looks like he is thirty years old

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