CBS-TV 20th Century Series episode: "Class of '58"
By Don Browne, Harding Class of 1962
recently saw an archival 16 mm copy of the CBS-TV 20th Century Series episode,
"Class of '58." This was
my introduction to Warren Harding High School, as an 8th grader at Franklin
Elementary School on Nickols Street in Bridgeport, CT. I would soon become an
"afternoon student", a freshman, at Harding in September 1958. The
program was narrated by Walter Cronkite and aired on channel 2 New York on March
was no question about it in her mind. The others worried about high school
grades, being "accepted" in their school of choice, and how their
families were going to afford it.
were filmed everywhere at Harding; the teachers lounge, assistant principal's
office, Senior's conference room, several classrooms, hallways, and in the
auditorium (during the traditional Thanksgiving pep assembly). The legendary
principal, Frank J. McKee, was featured, as well as several teachers, all of
whom were at Harding, and whose classes I attended, from 1959-1962. Exterior
scenes were filmed at "Bunny's Restaurant & Caterers", and in
"Hedges' Memorial Stadium."
segment in "Bunny's" was especially revealing. One camera
"angle" was down the long counter, past the pinball machine, and
through the picture window, which looked down Central Avenue. The original
"shoot" occurred October-November 1957. Pictured are many vintage
automobiles and trucks, turning right or left from Central Avenue to Boston
students, teachers, parents, and principals were featured in this program. I'm
not sure about the spelling of their names, but the four students were very
serious and sincere. Does anyone know what became of these students and their
those of the Harding Class of '58 who are reading this anecdote, you will
probably remember that "Alan Freed's Rock & Roll Party" was THE
BIG THING from 7 p.m. to Midnight on TEN-TEN-WINS. Also that
"bandstand-type" shows began over the previous summer (July 1957);
Alan Freed's Big Beat (WABC-TV, channel 7) and Dick Clark's Bandstand (which
replaced "Big Beat" on channel 7).
What became of those students?
(Courtesy of Ray Ciuchta and Sam Caiola, WHHS Class of '58)
Bonnie Sullivan became WHHS Class of '58 Valedictorian, and most likely went to one of the "Seven Sisters" (Ivy League) Colleges; Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, or Wellesley. Dave Butka did go to Montana, tried his hand at his grandma's farm, and returned back to the Bridgeport area, possibly Trumbull. Barbara Hutchinson did go to the University of Bridgeport, but left after her freshman year. Ted Jartos disappeared from the radar screen. (Webmaster Note: Classmate Ed Hardy reports Ted was living in the Hartford, CT, area when he last spoke with him around 1994.)
Who were the other Harding students, the so-called "extras", who
appeared in "Class of '58"? (Courtesy of Bob Hughes, WHHS Class of
Students shown in the Senior conference room scenes were: Dave Butka, Myles Goodson, Sylvia Gomes, Bob Hughes (also "the student playing the pinball machine" in Bunny's scenes), Barbara Hutchinson, Ted Jartos, Norman Marland, Shelia Roche, and Bonnie Sullivan.
The WHHS 1958 "Torch" Yearbook description of "Operation
Brainpower", the working title of the "Class of '58" production.
(Courtesy of Sam Caiola, WHHS Class of '58)
to the Yearbook, "Operation Brainpower" starred the following
students: Dave Butka, Barbara Hutchinson, Ted Jartos, Myles Goodson, Bonnie
Sullivan, Sylvia Gomes, Norman Marland
production consisted of two 35mm film cameras, a Nagra tape recorder, and many
lights. The production was filmed in black & white.
the memory of Don Browne (Harding Class of '62)
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