"Of course, we didn't have a lot of anything to hold them up, the bodices had lots of boning. "Sometimes, when you danced your body would move but the dress wouldn't."

She and her friends usually got their dresses at Hochschild Kohn at Belvedere. Hutzler's was expensive, she said.

In the 1950s, most kids didn't have a car, and if a boy did, he'd fill it up with kids.

"And if you were a girl it was wonderful if you had one cashmere sweater — it was to be treasured," Hale said.

"If you were going on a date you were expected to wear a girdle. My mother would slap me on the backside to make sure her hand bounced off."

Hale was a gum chewer even though it wasn't considered lady-like, and students weren't allowed to chew gum in school.

"You wouldn't throw a whole stick in your mouth — you wanted to make it last," she said. "Our parents were brought up during the Depression. They taught us to watch our money.

"I was always being hauled into student court, which was run by students. They'd give you detention or make you pick up all the cigarette butts in the smoking area outside the cafeteria. Yes, they had a smoking area back then.

"There were quite a lot of us that got caught." One wing of the school was still under construction, she said. "That's where we'd hide to smoke, and the construction workers wouldn't tell on us. I guess you had to rebel in some way."

In the 1953 yearbook Ruth Stinefelt described herself as a "future nurse."

After Towson High, she spent a year at then-Towson State College, worked as a secretary for a year and eventually enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist for Bendix Communications on Joppa Road.

Divorced twice now, "single and loving it," she has a daughter, Linda Michael, who is a member of the school's Class of 1978.

'A late bloomer'

Lutherville resident Bill Bevans, 78, lived in Stoneleigh during his years at Towson High.

It could be said Bevans passed through the school instead of being part of it. His main pursuit was music.

He was always tied up, either playing piano for the annual school operettas and musicals or constantly taking courses after school at Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Together with four other Towson High students, he formed a successful dance band called The Harmonairs, which played at teen centers, dinners, CYO dances and wedding receptions.

"It wasn't unusual for us to have three jobs in a weekend," Bevans said.

He was 6-foot, 5-inches tall but "never athletic in any way, shape or form," he said. "I wish I had studied harder, but it didn't seem so important back then. I ended up in the top classes and I'd work my way down."

But He does, however, remember chemistry teacher John Deuber. "He would lecture us with this booming voice and we just enjoyed him," he said.