1962 By Rufus McClure
We are now approaching the end of a long military campaign/journey. The decisions have been made. Personnel adjustments have been made. The Cadet Corps is ready to begin the end.
We began the first year in January, 1933, with fourteen cadets, one of whom was a senior who would become the sole graduate of 1933 and the first alumnus in the following June. He would, therefore, be the first cadet installed in the alumni pantheon. Since then fourteen hundred and fifty-five cadets have framed and hung diplomas and proceeded into unknown futures. Approximately two hundred ten teachers and administrators have guided and shaped their minds and their characters. Over a span of twenty-nine years, The Bolles School has emerged from the rich Florida soil and melded into the St. Johns River, and now it flows with the river into the future. But first the past.
Creating and building a school is a unique enterprise. A school, more than any other enterprise, is sustained by mind and spirit; and that spirit is immortal, which signifies that you, the cadet corps, transmitted it to the future and therefore you continue to live on and, thankfully, will continue to live on. Following your vision through the years, you thoughtfully and meticulously created one by one the traditions which are the bedrock foundation of the school perpetually. Your spirit hovers over the campus today as surely as the giant oaks whose canopy forever protects and embraces those whose destiny it is to follow you into the future. All those teachers and administrators who shared their lives with you are still with you, still shaping your lives subconsciously as they consciously shaped your lives those many years ago.
All those peers whom you ate with, played with, argued with and marched with still appear on moonlit nights on the parade ground proudly saluting their flag and their alma-mater. You all went your separate ways, painting your own portraits and carving your own careers, many of whom saluted the flag right on in to a lifetime military commitment. We know that many, both students and teachers, have passed on, but this chronicle, part history and part memoir, will ensure that they are not forgotten.
Finally, whatever Bolles is or ever will be could not have happened without you. In fact, you are still happening. Within the last few months, The Class of 1957 has bestowed upon the front of our campus a remarkable bronze monument, â€œTransition,â€? discussed previously. And the Skinner family, who began at the beginning with Chester in 1938 and permeates the entire history of the school, has just complemented the bronze monument by creating and bestowing a new Flag Pavilion which shines brightly and towers proudly over the campus, proclaiming for all time the vision of The Bolles School.
It is particularly appropriate that this last military yearbook begin with this page. It is also appropriate that this page serve as an end note for this military retrospective.
Florida sunshine notwithstanding, this image actually evokes a chill in the air.
I don’t recall what the bribe was for, but I appear to be very pleased by the offer. It can’t be for a grade because David Howard, I think, was a super student who didn’t need to buy a grade.
Since the Class of 1962 was the last military class, their yearbook takes on a special significance. Remember, the first year Bolles graduated one student. This class graduated seventy-one. With one foot in the past and the other in the future, it was their destiny to wind up schizophrenic. You can tell from the picture; they are walking every which way. Clearly they are disoriented. However, they can reach into their past and find a way out of the maze. Meanwhile, they have to tidy up the past and tie together all loose ends so they can transmit their heritage unblemished and ready to take on the future.
Coach “Buddy” Ward leads the class into the future.
Future class prophet: “ Haefele married the boss’s daughter and currently is the assistant headmaster at the Bolles Old Farms Prep School.” Haefele was dating Sidney Johnson, daughter of Headmaster Winston Johnson, formerly assistant headmaster at Avon Olds Farm in Connecticut.
Dr. Richard Hyer is another bona fide academic. Now retired, 2010, he spent most of his career as Superintendent of the Georgia School for the Deaf and Blind, now called school for the handicapped, I think.
I think Wells McMurray wound up an academic.
These two were applauded earlier.
Since we began our journey with this enduring and striking icon, it seems very fitting that this final military yearbook conclude with this same iconic image.
Pictured here is ”Winn” Johnson, the first civilian Headmaster. He also appears in the middle at the bottom. I can’t imagine what they are focused on. To his credit, he got the school through a turbulent year.
Now that they are almost through the turbulent year, they appear to be about ready for a break.
This page and the next got reversed.
They are ready to make history as the school transitions into a new historical chapter.
Is that smoke I see emanating from his mouth?
Here are the juniors, ready to shed the uniform and exchange it for a blue blazer, but their military experience has prepared them well to take command. And they do.
In 1933 we watched them march into the future. Now we observe them as they march into the past. Their mission is accomplished, and they are ready to render their final salute.
Captain Trafton, discussed previously, is already the consummate soldier/sailor that his lifetime career will validate: 85 combat missions from the Shangri-la in Vietnam; Bronze star for Desert Storm; Executive officer for the Forrestal; 3000 flight hours; 700 carrier landings; Associate Administrator for space flight at NASA in D.C. The list goes on!
Coach Marvin, one of the most popular coaches ever, went on to college coaching and experienced another great success to add to his resume.
J. McCabe, top right, returned to Bolles briefly as tennis coach.
The organizations remain virtually unchanged. Only the military disappears.
Darkness descends like the final curtain of a Shakespearean play, a little melancholy perhaps but not a tragedy.
Our Olympic (literally) swimming pool is a gift from the Lobrano family, bottom right.
The need for fine arts, evaluation above, was a major reason to terminate the military, which required so much time there was little time left for the arts.
This image is a memorial dedication to Harry McKniff, one of the best English teachers I have ever known. It is continued on the next page.
The right- hand continuation of the McKniff memorial begun on the previous page.
OK, Dad, where is the car you promised me?
This image is page one of a two page layout; the second page follows. You need to examine them together.
Second page of farewell to military.
A final farewell, The Bolles Bugle, June, 1962: “This year the class of 1962 bids farewell to Bolles and a near forgotten way of life. Bolles is in a state of change….The military is leaving Bolles, and with it goes many memories….The rifles are being shipped out, and what is replacing them? Truckloads of IVY!”
The last parade. Itâ€™s time to move on. A bright future beckons! The following images and commentary of TRANSITION provide the best imaginable segue to the next chapter of The Bolles School narrative.