All hail, the high school yearbook, the record of our younger selves (and perhaps the most underrated of all local history books)!
Today, in honor of those esteemed “annuals” – and with the addition of the Madison Local Schools yearbook collection to our Digital Archives -- we salute all school yearbook staffs who to this day endeavor to present complete, accurate and attractive yearbooks to their communities.
Enjoy the following ode to yearbook editing found on page 149 in the 1969 Madison “Tomahawk” yearbook. It’s accompanied by a photo of “Tomahawk” co-editors, Robyn Jones and Jim Mount:
“Six pix for one page
Perfect pictures of unidentified people
Trying to guard against
Gremlins out to sabotage a year’s work
Skipping classes while convincing teachers it’s for the last time
Frantically drawing almost-straight lines in a rush to meet the deadlines
Ripping carbons from layout mats and having purple hands for the next week
Finding out that pages and pictures sent to the company have escaped in the mail (but weren’t really sent in the first place)
Gathering teachers’ often-said phrases
And learning they were only said once
And wanting to thank
Our patient and encouraging advisor, Mr. James Coy;
A special and friendly photographer;
An inventive and interesting staff;
The Co-op class for donating their teacher;
And a little messenger who kept us entertained in the long hard deadline nights.
This is what makes a yearbook.”
The editors conclude the ‘69 yearbook with a photo of a young gentleman in a suit jacket sitting in a corner with his back to the camera.