Class of 1952
Richard William Adler
Salli Sy Alli
Delores Jean Amico
Mary Ann Aspromatis
Patricia Louise Brady
John Peter Caravolias
Elmer G. Falasco
Martha Ann Hardy
Mary Lou Marks
Thomas Paul Petrick
Bernice Ruth Rothenberg
Ronald George Schambura
Theodore F. Smith
Janet Anne Unger
Joanne J. Viselli
James S. Yazvac
(At the Senior Farewell Assembly, May 19, 1952)
Mr. Anthony J. Pintar - Principal of the Farrell Senior High School
Seniors, I did not intend to talk much - but in my recollections of conversations with many of you during the year about your work, your future, I detected a note of uncertainty and pessimism, wholly out of place on this threshold of your new life.
This age of challenge should be met with tools and weapons manned and fired by the optimism and the enthusiasm of your youth. You should shove aside those who would advise extreme caution against any hope for progress or success in these so called uncertain, perilous times.
But are these perilous times? This age, you are told, is filled with perplexity, uncertainty, instability. The timid and the pessimistic speak of impending doom. They look backward and long for the good old days. If only they could get back to the simplicities and virtues of the past - the Golden Age!
But was there ever such an age? Probably not. For in every age, beset with its problems, there have been those who have looked longingly backward, hoping to recapture the past. If you'll recall on a recent bulletin I quoted a saying: These trying times are the good old days, you'll be longing for a few years from now.
Consider our own history. From the beginning we have fought foreign powers from without, and Indians, the wilderness, and economic depressions from within. We have survived thirteen depressions, five of them major ones. But we came through them all.
The prophets of doom have ever been with us. An Assyrian inscription dated 2,800 years before Christ carries a modern note, Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. Bribery and corruption are common. Children no longer obey their parents. Every man wants to write a book, and the end of all things is evidently approaching.
In 1774, Sir Horace Walpole said, For my part, I take Europe to be worn out. When Voltaire dies, we may say goodnight. And in 1790, William Wilberfores gloomily observed: I dare not marry, the future is so dark and unsettled.
Half a century later, Disraeli said, In industry, commerce and agriculture, there is no hope. And Wellington in 1851 said, I Thank God that I am spared the ruin that is gathering around us.
When the transatlantic cable marked a new era in communications, the New Monthly (March 1857) declared: The world is too big and too fast, too many wars, crimes, casualties, excitements, and marvels, so many shouting at the world with all their might, everything is high pressure, human nature cannot endure so much.
St. Francis was asked as he cultivated his garden: If you knew that death awaited you at sundown, what would you do? He replied, Why, I'd go on hoeing my garden.
And so it is that the people of every age have answered the prophets of doom. In spite of dire predictions, these are good times. If we can wage peace as effectively as we wage war, our age may prove of great promise.
In the words of Thomas Wolfe, who said it in, You Can't Go Home Again: I think the true discovery of America is before us. I think the true fulfillment of our spirit, of our people, of our mighty and immortal land is yet to come.
Our time is a good time to live. It challenges the best in us. And, like St. Francis, why should we not go on hoeing our garden?
This is a good time to seek a job, to acquire an education, to take a trip, to start a savings account, to invent something, to get married, to let the dead past bury the dead and to plan for the future.
It is a good time to pledge anew, Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. As Emerson well said, This time, like all time, is a very good one, if we know what to do with it.
Opportunity will always be with you. People do not disappear. Only politics die. Empires, statesmen, wars wind their tiresome way through history, but the soil remains, and the people remain.
Opportunity will always be around, waiting for you. I hope I have injected an area of hope and optimism into your outlook - into your future.
And now, seniors, we the administration and the teachers extend to each of you our congratulations and friendly wishes for future success. As you leave today we wish you God-speed, and may God bless you all and keep you until we meet again - Goodbye.