A small album of "Golden Memories" published in 1956 by the eighth grade of Washington Township Consolidated School, Washington, New Jersey, shows the charm of a small school experiencing growth. Students included a poem thanking their teachers, including Mrs. Kinnaman who was "stern but nice" and the "kind and sweet" Mrs. Smits. Pictures of the bright young faces in the class of '56 add to the charm, for they are accompanied by tantalizing quotes such as "equipped with a ready smile," "class screamer," "always good for a laugh," "poker face," "card shark and saxaphone player," "never fails to get caught," and "after school hustler." 

To their credit, the eighth grade expressed "appreciation for the help and unlimited co-operation extended to us by the teachers and others who have helped us to better understand the problems of life we will face in the future." By now, these eighth graders are in their early seventies. They have gone through Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, and computer-age "learning curves," geek-speak, and data-overload that add considerable frustration to the hardest job of all -- raising children.

The "Class History" portion of the album ends with, "As we come to an end, we find it has been fun for some and just life for others, but we are sure they will all be very happy in the future." Enough time in the old "time will tell" theory might show that "fun for some and just life for others" is as good as it gets.

Agnes Shoemaker