In 1967, the sixth grade trip to Washington, D.C. sparked considerable excitement and months of fundraising for the students, their teachers and their parents. Forty-three years later, a class photo taken during the trip is sparking memories of the event.
Roger Cole, a Chatsworth sixth grader in 1967 now living in Greenwich, Connecticut, sent the Gazette the photograph and then asked some former classmates what they remembered.
Jonathan Marten, a former Chatsworth sixth grader now living in Jersey City, recalls the 1967 trip to Washington, D.C. as having been planned by the classes of Mrs. O’Connor and Mr. Sloane.
“We held bake sales and a number of other fundraisers throughout the year to help raise money to offset the cost of the trip,” he said. “The support from the school, our parents and the community was total.”
About the trip, he remembers, “We took two buses down, and I believe we were gone for three days. It was an amazing trip for a group of 6th graders to be able to take together and, most definitely, an incredible memory for all of us.”
“ I can only hope the kids in the Larchmont and Mamaroneck schools have it anywhere near as good as we did back in the 60s and early 70s,” he added.
Bo Emerson (aka as William, Bill or Emo), now living in Atlanta, Georgia recalled: “Somehow, at a gift shop along the way [to D.C.], we acquired cap guns that actually fired small vinyl bullets. We thereafter spent most of the evening potting each other, and anyone who walked in our hotel room.”
He had other memories involving purple grape soda, motion sickness pills and bus ride back to Larchmont. “So, you see: few memories of Washington, but many memories of the trip,” he wrote.
The photo also sparked memories – mostly good, some less so – for Gary Rosenberger, who shuttles between New York City and Miami these days. “It was very long ago. But I do remember coming up with the idea of selling seeds after seeing an ad in the back of an Archie comic from the American Seed Company, That was pretty successful in raising money,” he said. “I also remember my mom saying she’d rather contribute ten bucks rather than to have to go through the hassle of baking a cake for the bake sale. She was very practical that way. I think her cake made about $6 when all the 50 cent slices were added up. Roger also had this fantastic notion of making candles in these molds that his mom had. It was a fun afternoon of candlemaking for us.”
Mr. Rosenberger also recalled less profitable ventures: “I remember James Banker buying a stupid spy camera for $5 then having buyer’s remorse and reselling it to me! I never took a single picture with it, as it was impossible to find film for it. Dumbest purchase I ever made.”
“I have since traveled far and wide (Tibet, Mount Kilimanjaro, Burma, Patagonia), but DC was like a foreign land to me,” said Mr. Rosenberger. “I think my greatest memory was seeing the Spirit of Saint Louis at the Smithsonian. In 1967 we were closer to Lindy’s transatlantic solo flight than 1967 is to now.”
Also from the D.C. trip, Mr. Rosenberger recalled “a guide at the Rotunda showing us the spot where John Adams used to sit and hear all the conversations because all the acoustics of the room led to the one spot where he placed his desk. The guide went to the other side of the Rotunda and we could hear his every whisper.”
Less happily, Mr. Rosenberger said, “The picture also coincides with my recollection of constant drizzle, rain, clouds, gray.”