by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Although the Historical Society Museum has copies of earlier yearbooks, beginning with 1936, the 1939-40 yearbook was the first to have a photograph of the band.
Photograph from the 1940 yearbook
I recognize Mary Beth Adams and JoAnn Farley on the front row. And that tall boy in the center of the back row is Keith Shrout. Paulina Farley is standing next to the director, Mr. Tucker (top right). There were no names in the yearbook, just photos.
Photograph from the 1942 yearbook
The first yearbook published with a name was the 1942 Treasure Chest. It was also the first to have an ”athletics” and an “activities” section. And although the photo is a bit blurred, the band director is Mr. Phil Turner of Turner Music Co. (Valley News article, June 3, 2021). Judging from their size, I would say this was an all-school band.
Photograph from the 1946 yearbook
By 1946, there was a separate elementary band and they had uniforms, well at least they had hats and capes! Their parents furnished the white shirts, black pants, and shoes. The handsome young lad on the front row (left) was my cousin, Donald Fristoe. He would have been in 6th grade that year. I don’t know either of the young girls in the photograph, but I believe the other two boys are Billy Officer (right front) and Roger Burnett (top left).
And on a personal note –as a former Home Economics teacher, I found it amusing that one of the five groups in the “activities” section of the 1942 Treasurer Chest was the Sewing Club. The other four groups were Newspaper, Yearbook, Glee Club and Band. The group with the largest number of members was the Sewing Club!
Next week: From the 1949 yearbook, photographs of Grain Valley’s first Marching Band in their new (and first) uniforms.