PASCACK VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
On a crisp late summer day in 1971, some three hundred young people embarked on a four-year adventure as they walked into the Pascack Valley High School building. At that point, Pascack Valley High School (PVHS) had only been in existence for fifteen years. (Before 1956, local kids who wanted to pursue education beyond eighth grade were sent to Europe; many died during the perilous voyage. Some went into taxidermy.)
As we solemnly look towards the fortieth anniversary of the graduation of said three hundred young people, it is not inappropriate to look back chronologically at the four years; the highlights, the joys, the successes, the hopes, the textbooks from the Coolidge era.
September 4: First day of school. Bomb scare sends everyone home early. Principal Balkom Reaves asks Congress to pass the Tonkin Gulf resolution.
November 17: 40th Reunion Committee has its first meeting.
December 3-4: “The Skin of Our Teeth” presented; yours truly played the Delivery Boy. The reviews were not totally unkind.
March 28: Board of Education bans cellphone use on the High School grounds.
April: First baseball strike. Yankee players work out at PV. Nobody on eBay wants our Ron Klimkowski autograph these days.
June 15: Class of 1972 graduation. We get bumped up to Sophomore.
October 23: Principal Reaves and Lady Bird invite the members of the National Honor Society to their ranch.
November: President Nixon wins reelection. None of us get to vote.
February 13: Roger Bernstein reads from Jonathan Livingston Seagull during biology class. Students then dissect some of the philosophical seabirds.
April 17: 40th Reunion Committee watch reruns of “The Jetsons” in order to plan for the world of 2015.
June 10: Class of 1973 graduates. We’re Juniors now, yo.
October 12: April 30: Hillsdale Dry Cleaners calls Asst. Principal Sullivan to ask him if he wants the “I’m a Weenie” sign removed from his suit jacket.
November: Due to the massive success of the Broadway Show Grease and the movie American Graffiti, there is a big uptick in 50s nostalgia. PV takes part by having a sock hop and a classic car show. The Student Council starts McCarthy Hearings.
January 15: PV Band enters the Guinness Book of World Records on the 837th consecutive day of rehearsing “Oye Como Va.”
March 10: Future Insider Traders of America is incorporated.
April 23: John Murano and Wayne Olsen invent a “Death Pool.” Whoever had Jackie Collins is owed $278.00
April 30: The Student Council announces that it has identified 37 teachers as card-carrying communists.
May 7: 40th Reunion Committee vote to have the reunion at Jahn’s.
June 11: Class of 1974 heads out of Dodge. We’re The Seniors Now.
September 12: The history department sets up a Contract system, whereby students can choose their level of interest in America. The “A” group is required to extensively research the creation and formation of the First Constitutional Congress. The “B” group discusses how the Wilmot Proviso and the Dred Scott decision hastened the Civil War. The “C” group decides that Donald Trump would make a good president.
October : Channel 13 starts showing “MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS” on Sunday nights. Monday mornings at PV are changed forever.
November 24: Pascack Hills High School defeats us 46-0 in a squeaker. Deflategate investigation yields no evidence that our players were deflated before the game.
December 15: “The Indeterminate December Holiday Concert” presents a choir concert of festive tunes for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Saturnalia, and the Invocation of Cthulthu.
January: PVHS holds Open House for the new computer, the new video camera system, and the new football.
February 28: Principal Reaves announces that he will not seek, and will not accept, another term as our principal.
March: “The Music Man” is presented.
April 17: The Lunchroom Juke box is unplugged when somebody selects “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero” eleven consecutive times.
May 3: Yearbook committee figures 328 photos of Ed Gorham is sufficient.
May 17: The 40th Reunion Committee cannot locate four students. They never show up for Homeroom.
May: Choir trip to Sanford, Maine. Three moose are coaxed out of the woods by the Madrigal Choir’s singing of Palestrina’s “Ola, ocche en echo.”
June 9: Graduation takes place. Senior Class bequeaths a Valley Fair gift certificate and a bowling ball polisher. All night party.
Early morning revelers watch the sunrise and start thinking “Now what?”