Dec 12

1964 San Luis High School Winter Formal

December 13, 1964

christmas-formal-1964.jpgWorking for a paper in a place that still has a sense of community allows the staff to cover local stories that big papers ignore. Some people complain any time the front page has something that is not death or destruction related but there is plenty of heavy news on this page. I count 14 headlines crowded in, ranging from the trivial to major. The lead story is as serious as it gets, covering the re-trial of William J. Ford, charged with the murder of deputy sheriff Harvey Stahl.

The page has a cramped look; my guess is the typesetters had several short two-paragraph stories they could insert as briefs if a larger story ran short. Today page designers can see the type flowed onto the page and can watch it re-flow as they make adjustments. No early 1960′s page would be complete without the obligatory photo with the dotted line. It was the next best thing to instant replay. On a page laden with politics and mayhem the story about the high school formal seems to me to be a welcome breath of real life. The original caption follows, Martha Stewart, take notes.

Wendi Montgomery started her day Friday in sweat shirt, capris and tennis shoes as she helped decorate the Veterans’ Memorial Hall for the annual San Luis Obispo High School Christmas Formal. Then it was back to the dance floor that night, but what a change. Now it was formal, gloves and kicked-off shoes. Her escort is David Lawless. (Telegram-Tribune photo)

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