A Birthday Quartet!
Sixty-one years ago Ginny preserved this invitation in her 11th grade scrapbook. It's for a 4-fold birthday party on Aug. 19, 1955, just before our junior year in high school. The original, on the left, is difficult to read these days even in person, so I retyped it on the right. (If you called phone number 2369 I wonder who you got?)
(Mary Rita once explained to me that her nickname "Sam" started in Junior High when several girls took on boys' names, just for fun. The names faded away except for "Sam" which stuck with her throughout high school. In college she dropped not only "Sam" but also "Mary.")
The Salina Journal picked up the birthday story and published this photo of the birthday girls working on their cake. Note that the actual birthdays stretched from the 17th to the 19th, but close enough. The photo of the newly anointed 16-year-olds appeared on page 12 of the Sunday, August 21 edition and a clipping went into Brenda's scrapbook for our sophomore year (minus the shoe ads).
The article said "Sixteenth birthdays are special -- especially when you and your friends are almost quadruplets. Mary Anschutz' birthday is the 17th, Brenda Barringer's the 18th, and Mary Rita Warren's and Gail Greever's the 19th.
"So the four girls decided to blow out the candles together as a climax to a progressive dinner for 40 friends Friday. The party began with salad at the Greever home, 1301 Highland. The main course was a cooperative effort of the two Marys and was served at the Warren home, 842 Highland. Dessert was at the Barringers', 434 S. 9th. The 16-inch cake was complete with nick-names.
"The group then adjourned to Oakdale Park and Cherokee. Making the occasion perfect for the girls was the fact they all had the family cars for the night."
Brenda put this souvenir napkin in her scrapbook and it's still there.
All this could not escape the notice of Sherry Meitler and Rosie Austin who wrote the Teen Talk at the time. Here's their writeup (with a couple of spelling errors in names corrected):
"Annie Anschutz, Brenda Barringer, Mary Rita Warren and Gail Greever have entered the realm of 'sweet 16'.
"These girls celebrated their 16th with a traveling supper. They ate their salad at Greever's, the main meal at Warren's and the dessert at Barringer's. Margie Ballou, Ann Bell, Barbara Boyer, Betty Butcher, Jane Cook, Barbara DeWar, Mary Gay Dillingham, Liz Felten, Vela Dee Fencl, Sandi Fleming, Marlyn Giersch, Elsie Gillispie, Barbara Gish, Betty Harr, Mary Kay Hawkes, Pris Herring, Pat Humbarger, Carolyn McKim, Carol Olson, Marlene Pinkham, Sande Shilling, Pat Stauffer, Bette Smith, Kay Smith, Darlene Sutton, Judy Dahl and Kay Vickroy presented the four girls with blouses, stuffed dogs, and $3.30."
Just for Fun
I now have multiple scrapbooks from classmates and, of course, they have some overlapping materials. There are duplicates and complementing items, as well as unique photos or clippings. This month I show a party invitation Ginny kept and then a photo of the event kept by Brenda (Barrginger) Howard. A wonderful complementary pair. Further materials were found in Betty (Harr) Baxter's collection to enhance our understanding of what went on so long ago.
Finding this many relics from one event may not happen often, but it's great when it does. Sadly, what we can't retrieve are their first-person accounts of the fun.