Letters: June 2013
Some readers have their say. Find out how you can, too
Full house of ’56 phys ed majors
Editor’s Note: The following letters were received in response to the March 2013 “Looking back” photo.
I’m almost positive that the names of those pictured on the back cover of the March issue were (top row) Janet Scott, Betty Crenner, Mary Ann Bowman, Ruth Graves, Elaine Hand, Margie Hoffman, and Lynette Birkins (that’s me); (front row) June Belli, Jane Davidson, Diane Stokes, Barbara Hart, and Betty Lee Watson. All are members of the Class of ’56, and all were health and physical education majors, except for Margie Hoffman, a friend of mine, who majored in elementary education. As to why we were there—all with such grins on our faces—that’s a mystery. My best guess is that we heard that a Culmen [yearbook] photographer was coming down the hall to capture some candid shots of dormitory life, and we quickly assembled and tried to look “casually busy” in order to be pictured. I should add that we were a fun group of people who often did gather to laugh as we shared a book in print, wrote something together, played cards, or simply hung out—but it is quite doubtful that we did all of that in the same room and at the same time! Thanks for prompting my trip back to our dear Alma Mater—Trenton State Teacher’s College!
A. Lynette Birkins ’56
Many of the young women look familiar to me, but one especially: second row from the top, the blonde second from the right I think may be Margaret (Hoffman) Oehm ’56.
Sr. Barbara Pfarrer ’56
[Front row, dark plaid pajamas] is definitely Joan DuBois Hill ’54, one of my closest friends and a bridesmaid in my April 1954 wedding to Robert Jorgensen, same class. We’re both enjoying retirement and [recently celebrated] our 59th wedding anniversary.
Barbara (Bobby) Errickson Jorgensen ’54
My mother, Lois Marriott Lawrence (Class of 1956) was able to name all but one woman in this photo. They were Phys. Ed. majors, as was my mother, and to quote her—”Knowing them, they were playing poker, probably before exams :-)”. In order from left to right: Back row – Joan Pisko, Betty Crenner, Mary Ellen Bowman, Ruth Graves, Elaine Hand, (unknown), Lynette Birkins; Front Row – June Belli, Jane Davidson, Diane Stokes, Barbara Hart, Betty Lee Watson (striped shirt, eyes closed). Hope this helps!
Linda Lawrence Shulman ’91
The “Looking Back” picture was mostly the H&PE class of ’56: Elaine Hand top center; Lynette Birkins top right; Betty Lee Watson (eyes closed) bottom right with striped shirt; June Belli bottom left in plaid shirt. The girl in center facing the camera was from Linden, name forgotten and as was the custom at that time, the game was probably Canasta. It was nice seeing some old familiar faces. As was the custom at that time, the game was probably Canasta. It was nice seeing some old familiar faces.
Helen (Harrington) Milling ’57
What a surprise to see my class mates on the magazine’s back cover. It is a photo of the 14b’s, as we were known then—the Class of 1956 women physical education majors. It was probably taken in our freshman year, as Beth Rankin, black dress front row, left after our first year. There are several of us missing the hot card game. The missing are Maryann Buckley, Lil Harrington (now Sister Lillian), Marion Hegler, Lois Marriott,Janet Scott and Adele Sluda. Those pictured are (sitting in back left to right) Joan Pisko, Betty Crenner, Mary Ellen Bowman, Ruth Graves, Elaine Hand, Beth, Lynette Birkins; (sitting on the floor left to right) June Belli Jane Davidson, Diane Stokes,Bobbie Hart, and Betty Lee Watson. We had a great four years at State.
Janet Scott Urban ’56
Back row: ?, Adele Sluda,?,?, Elaine Hand, ? And Lynette Birkins. Front row: June Belli, ?, Diane ?, Barbara Hart and Betty Lee Watson.
Cornelia Pearson ’58
The photo seen in the TCNJ magazine is of the ’56 girl Phys Ed majors playing cards in someone’s dorm room.
Jan Stock ’56
I recognize the picture as our Class of ’56 PE girls. I do not remember all the names or what the occasion was. It was a nice surprise to see it in the magazine.
Joan (Pisko) van Loben Sels ’56
The picture on the back page is the Phys. Ed class of ’56. Taken in the Norsworthy Dorm. On the right holding cards Betty Lee Watson, next Barbara Hart, top right Lynette Birkins, next ?,( counter clockwise) next Elaine Hand, Ruth Graves, Mary Ellen Bowman, Betty Crenner, Janet Scott, June Belli, Jane Davidson, Diane Stokes. Big Stakes between classes!
Sr. Lillian Harrington ’56
The women in the picture are 1956 health and physical education majors plus one kindergarten-primary major. Front row, left to right: June Belli Hemmingson, Jane Davidson O’Donnell, Diane Stokes, Barbara Hart Hewitson, Betty Lee Watson. Back row, left to right: Joan (Pisko) van Loben Sels , Betty Crenner Palo, Mary Ellen Bowman Voorhees, Ruth Graves King, Elaine Hand, Margaret Hoffman (kindergarten-primary), Lynette Birkins. We are enjoying a hot game of cards in a dorm room as a break.
Mary Ellen Voorhees ’56
I’m enclosing the names of some of the girls in this photograph [click the image to the left to view it larger and read the names]. I believe these are accurate. The girls I identified were all Health and Physical education majors, except for Margie Hoffman, who was in my class (K-P). All the girls were either in the Theta Phi Sigma or Gamma Sigma sorority. I have no idea what was taking place in the photo, but they do seem to be celebrating something!
P.S. “The Fraternal Songsters” pictured in December issue’s “Looking Back,” came somewhat after my time. My then boyfriend, Milt Richey ’55, was a music major and a Theta Nu brother. One of my fondest memories of the traditions we had at TSC was the late evening Christmas caroling by these talented young men. The sound of their voices singing these beloved songs in the stillness of the night was thrilling and absolutely beautiful!
Ginny Dahl Richey ’56
Regarding the photo on the back of the magazine for March 2013: Far left—not sure who that is. Next is Betty Crenner, Mary Ellen Bowman, Ruth Graves (me). Above is Elaine Hand, Marilyn Wenal, Lynette Birkins, June Belli, Jane Davidson, Diane Stokes, Barbara Hart, and not sure. As you can see, we were playing cards. Often there was time between classes and we would go to the dorm and play cards till it was time for the next class. This may have been one of those times.
Ruth Graves King ’56
’45 alumna recalls campus life during WWII
Enjoyed reading Ann McCormack’s article in the latest TCNJ Magazine. Can you take more reminiscing? I am enclosing a page from my yearbook [click on accompanying image to view larger]. Lots of good memories—even if we were there during the War. I, too, met my future husband in college. Before Pearl Harbor, we had occasional “Hour Dances” in the gym—dancing to records of the big bands. Jack was a good dancer, but he wouldn’t let anyone cut in. Then—Pearl Harbor. Off Jack went into the Air Force.
I, too, did my traveling years ago. I did not want to get married and have to get up early for the next 40-some years to make breakfast, so I took a teaching job in Japan teaching American children who were there with their parents who were with our American Occupation Forces.
Then I went to Venezuela to teach American children who were there with parents who were American executives working for oil companies.
From there I went to France and Germany to teach American kids living with our military families.
Finally, not wanting to become an ex-patriot, I came home to teach in Scotch Plains, NJ.
Meanwhile, Jack earned his PhD in psychology. He worked for the NJ Psychology Association and was on the staff of Rutgers, Columbia University, and Stevens Institute of Technology teaching courses in psychology. He was not driving his beat-up old Studebaker car anymore, but a Cadillac. When he knew I was home, he called for a date. The rest is history. How lucky I was! We were married that year. He said that I had matured—and he had mellowed. We had 48-plus years together. He passed away six-and-one-half years ago. I will forever miss him.
We raised three children, have eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. My happy times now are when I hear my kids reminisce about their dad. Then have so many neat memories to share.
Jennie Pengelski Cogger ’45
Posted on June 11, 2013