Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Be True to Your School

Every three years, the small school I attended hosts a full-school reunion. I've missed the last three gatherings, and this summer was no different. My class (1969) was small - five boys and five girls. Over half of us still live in the area, but our paths don't cross much.

I wore this sweater a lot for three and a half years, and earned the letter and the chevrons for Pep Club. Boy's school sweaters were made with four white stripes on the right arm to indicate the number of years the boy lettered in a sport. The stripes were covered with a removable red covering. Boys were also issued pins to place on their varsity letter - basketballs, footballs, racing feet, etc. Some schools also awarded varsity letters for band, but seldom for choir.

The wool sweaters were custom made for each person, and mine is still in great shape even though it is nearly 44 years old.

Pep Club was a big deal in my high school years because it was before Title IX had been implemented. The Pep Club wore wool uniforms, and we were issued demerits for sloppy or dirty uniforms or sneakers, chewing gum, and talking and not cheering during games. Does anyone else remember polishing their white canvas sneakers and wearing them wet?

Our Pep Club also performed flashlight drills during half-time of several home games. We created formations as we marched, visualize a marching band with flashlights instead of instruments. I know it sounds lame today, but in those days it was impressive.

Letter sweaters have lost their appeal with today's high school students, but schools still award varsity letters and pins for boys and girls sports, music, speech, and theater. Some boys order the traditional letterman coat with leather sleeves.


  1. It was fun to see your sweater and hear about it.

    I was on a pep squad in 9th grade. We did not perform at halftime, only cheered from the stands. Now it seems drill teams have replaced pep clubs.

    My kids' high school issues letter jackets for athletics, band and academics. Each type is distinguished by the color and fabric used for the sleeves.

  2. That is so neat! I love that fact that you have kept your sweater in pristine condition through the years. Enjoy!

  3. Such interesting bits of information, Nancy!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Your sweater is neat! I had a white sweater, but not for Pep Club. It probably came from Penney's and my mom bought it. In HS, we girls were expected to wear dresses or skirts, suitable undergarments, shoes with hose or socks, no sandals, and be neat in appearance. I dressed up for school like I would have for a secretary's job.If it were below freezing, we were allowed, beginning in January of 1971, to wear a matched pantsuit to school. No jeans. Times have changed! Thanks for reminding me of HS days!

  5. It's expensive to buy a letter sweater or jacket. Even after we earned the letter you had to buy the garment to have it attached too.

    Only sports were awarded at my school, likewise when my daughter attended HS. Nothing like Theatre, music or other skills were given that much credit. Yeah, that's a sore point with me still. lol

    Nice looking sweater, love the color.



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