November 3, 2003 / Winter 2003

Revisiting Yearbook Program 74 Years Later

Written by Idea File Staff

Almost eight decades after she worked on the first yearbook staff at St. Peter’s High School, G.G. Wehinger made her first trip back to her alma mater last spring when she visited the 2001-2002 Petrarchan yearbook staff.

Sam Chamberlin, yearbook adviser at the school in Mansfield, Ohio, said Wehinger was impressed with the new technology.

“G.G. was amazed by the computer,” he said. “She could not get over how so many things are automated these days and emphasized how lucky we are to have so many things that make life a lot easier.”

Wehinger brought a copy of her 1928 yearbook, which was bound by a single hole with a leather string. Chamberlin said Wehinger’s book was about 60 pages long on 6- by 10-inch paper and consisted of lots of poetry and stories.

When Wehinger, now 93, worked on the yearbook, each female student had to type her own yearbook as well as help type yearbooks for the boys in the school, who did not take typing. Each yearbook required several weeks of typing, and every picture had to be glued in by hand.

Wehinger also found that the school atmosphere had changed.

“They have a good time,” she said. “They laugh and talk in the hall. We weren’t allowed to do that. School was very strict. … We just took notes and went home.”

Allison Gemzer, junior, said it was refreshing to hear another person’s perspective on high school. “She was sweet,” Gemzer said. “She joked around that high school was hard but that we would be OK.”

Gemzer said she enjoyed seeing how Wehinger’s staff had put their yearbook together and learning how much technology had advanced.

Near the end of Wehinger’s visit, the staff presented her with a copy of their 2001 book.

“It’s a different generation,” Wehinger said. “We had nothing like that at all.”

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.