On the Inside with Four BYH Outsiders in 1958-1959

Newcomers in their Senior Year at BYH

Linda Tenney [Turley-Hansen] BYH Class of 1959
Linda Tenney [Turley-Hansen]

By Linda Tenney Turley-Hansen
BYH Class of 1959

Glendale, Arizona was my home town. My school classmates there were lifelong friends.

But my comfortable life in Arizona was abruptly interrupted in 1958, just prior to my senior year in high school, when my parent’s divorce gave my mother reason to move to Provo.

Glendale now seemed to be on the other side of the world from Provo.

I'll never forget what I was wearing that first day. Maybe because it was white cotton, completely out of sync for autumn in Utah, or maybe this vivid memory is just a female thing.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my desert lifestyle wardrobe needed a makeover. I quickly discovered seasonal fashions, and learned how layering was a stylish way to stay warm.

But, fashion is not why I'm writing this story.

My real story begins with the greeting I received as I entered that marvelous building. Standing alone within a few steps of those grand doors was a girl named Lorraine. She saw my confidence crumbling and raced up to me.

“Are you new?” she asked urgently.

Lorraine Fullmer [Day] BYH Class of 1959
Lorraine Fullmer [Day]

I nodded, not sure if I was condemning myself or had just passed a test.

“Good,” she said, as she grabbed me in a death clutch. “I am too! We’ll stick together!”

Within a very short time we found two other girls with the same lonely demeanor: Lynda and Charlene.

Lynda Goodman [Barney]
Left: Lynda Goodman [Barney]

Right: Gladys Charlene Saxton [Gillespie]
Gladys Charlene Saxton [Gillespie]

Lynda moved from Idaho to Provo with her mother and other siblings, following the death of her father.

Though Charlene had attended BYH her sophomore year, she’d moved back home to Oregon. Then her family chose to return to Provo during her senior year.

Lorraine’s hometown was Elsinore, Utah, but when her parents moved to La Sal, Utah, she chose to stay with friends in Provo.

Like in a chess game, all of the pieces came together and fell into their special place.

Attending a new high school in one’s senior year could cripple most kids. In our case, however, with the companionship of other peers in need of belonging, we grew inseparable.

We soon called ourselves the Four Musketeers, the Fearless Foursome, and a half-dozen other titles which have long slipped my mind.

How did we do that year? Well, check out the picture of the five senior officers on the home page of the Class of ’59. Two of those students – are Lynda and Lorraine.

Class Officers, BYH Class of 1959
[Touch photo with your cursor.]
Left to right, front: Lynda Goodman & Lorraine Fullmer.
Rear: Micky McDonald, Cliff Pierpont & Gary Rose.

Check our alumni profiles on this BYH website, to see that Charlene and I also managed to do okay, too.

Not bad for kids who crashed a unique university laboratory school in their senior year, a school known for its “warm heart, strong school spirit, and special opportunities derived from its relationship with BYU and the LDS Church.”

I must quickly add here, that though we were the outsiders, our other classmates were always supportive and friendly. It is not too late to thank them for that. We learned from them and enjoyed their acquaintance as they enriched our senior year!

There are many stories. Charlene, as the manager of the Hi Steppers, says – “One of my most fun memories was a trip to Bicknell with our P.E. teacher and Hi Steppers’ director, Juanita Rogers."

Juanita Taft Rogers, BYH P.E. Teacher 1959
Juanita Taft Rogers

Charlene adds: “And I'll never forget our big skirts and all of the slips we wore...having lunch on the lawn by the beehive fountain....running out of gas on University and leaving Lorraine for collateral, while we went home to get money to pay for the gas we bought!”

Lorraine’s world changed for her when Juanita Rogers pulled her aside and ordered her to try out for the Hi Steppers.

“Next to finding special friends, that was the best thing that ever happened to me at BY High,” she said. “I learned I could be somebody, I could be something and because of her, so much good happened.”

Not only was Lorraine crowned Seminary Sweetheart, she also discovered her creative skills as an artist. Today she’s an accomplished and recognized artist and seamstress.

Lynda seems to have the best memory of the four of us -- no wonder she was elected class secretary!

“That election meant so much to me,” Lynda says. “I helped plan and execute our traveling assembly, decorated for dances, prepared for the graduation program, helped to bring it all together, directed the class during our recitation of 'Countdown to Destiny' at graduation, and I sang in a sextet at graduation.

Lynda Goodman - Photo in BYH Yearbook 1959
Lynda Goodman - Photo in BYH Yearbook 1959

“Somehow my photo appeared in the '59 Wildcat Yearbook, taken by a professional photographer as advertisement -- no pride here, just surprise.”

For 50 years, Lorraine and I have entertained each other over one particular colorful episode, which any other evolved coeds would forever hide in a secret vault.

But, since we’re out of the long reach of our parents and the principal’s office -- our story can now be told.

It began when we attended a box dinner and dance in the Men's Gym upstairs in the Training School building. We female students filled decorated boxes with morsels of food, and the guys were supposed to bid on the boxes.

Neither Lorraine’s box, nor mine, sold.

Now, that little event, right there, might have destroyed lesser women, but not us! We grabbed our boxes, and skipped out of the event.

We came up with a scheme to go find our friend Max, a Canadian, and also a BYH student who, like us, was new that year. Max was also an outstanding boxer.

We found Max at his apartment and proceeded to entice him into enjoying our meals with us. Then we talked him into playing strip-poker with us.

Don’t gasp, ye of little faith. Ultimately, we were BY High students! Would we have brought shame upon our soon to be Alma Mater? Never! Though the game was ruckus filled, we removed nothing of significance. Our boundaries, we are proud to report, were guarded by our budding spiritual DNA. Only a top button or two got undone, after shoes and jewelry were removed.

Aw yes, we were daring, but also commendable cowards! And, I might add, considering what could have been, we were a good influence on Max. Well, sort of.

Max Gibbs BYH Class of 1959
Max Gibbs

Our senior year was marvelous, an invaluable preparation for our lives, and it left us well rooted in an institution touting the highest quality teachers and fellow students.

All of us went on to study at BYU. Lorraine and I, to our surprise, each landed a position in the Cougarettes drill team, thanks to the training and confidence Juanita Rogers instilled in us through the Hi Steppers.

I had always planned to attend BYU, but before arriving in Provo I had never heard of the little school named BY High. This unknown institution soon became home not only for me, but for many other displaced students over the years. We four came in 1958 with common pain, all new in town, having been torn from that which was familiar. By the following spring we were proud to be members of the Class of '59.

Today, we Four Musketeers remain supportive of each other and stay in touch. With families and active goals our lives are full and continue to be productive, but we are friends forever. In the perspective now given to us by our 50th year graduation anniversary, that’s amazing.

Four young women, at risk, nurtured each other, and in turn were empowered by an influential institution.

One year, out of a lifetime, made a lifetime of difference for us.

Graduation Day - Brigham Young High School - 1959
L to R: Fullmer, Saxton, Tenney & Goodman - 1959

50 Years Later - The Four BYH Musketeers
The Four BYH Musketeers in 2009

The author, Linda Tenney Turley-Hansen '59, is a mother of four and grandmother of 11. Linda is a retired Phoenix, Arizona primetime TV news anchor, and is currently a locally syndicated newspaper columnist.

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