BYH Recollections
L to Z

BYH Arts Building in 1947
Arts Building - Brigham Young High School, 1947
Sing Sing Sing

Send in your memorable BYH recollections for this webpage today. Begin by saying, "I remember..." and the rest is easy. We welcome stories of all types -- even on subjects where someone has already written something.

L - Leaves in Autumn at BYH

Library Book Predicament

I have an overdue BYH Library book that I don't know how to return.

The book, titled "Gems of Thought", went missing from the BY High Library more than 40 years ago. It still has a Library checkout card in it, so I guess I didn't check it out.

I'm a thief, but I want to do the right thing.

I suppose at one time I thought I needed the insights found on the pages of "Gems of Thought", but with all of the wisdom I have now personally acquired, I believe I can return the book.

I suppose I could turn it in to the new Provo City Library at Academy Square, but what if they decide to charge me late fees? ~~Steve Thoresen '66

Library Bulletin Board

During my senior year I worked in the BYH Library. I worked there only one year, but Jed Christensen worked there several years and won a Library service award.

One day, Miss June Berry, the Librarian, decided that the bulletin board display outside the door needed to be changed. She asked Jed and me to put up a new display, and suggested the theme of studying -- now that was a thrilling subject.

Jed and I brainstormed, and all I could think of was a joke in a book my family owned, which I had memorized at one time, to wit: "The more you study, the more you know; the more you know, the more you forget; the more you forget, the less you know. Why study?"

I wasn't seriously suggesting it, just throwing it out for comic relief, but Jed loved it. He really thought we ought to use it. We both knew that if we did put it up, it would be taken down in short order -- and we would never be asked to do this job again.

We did it, that is what happened, and most kids in school never got to see our artwork, it went down that fast.

Best of all, our guess was correct: Miss Berry never assigned us to do that job again! ~~Margaret "Meg" Crockett '63

Life Lessons

C. LaVoir Jensen, our long-time math and physics teacher, had a favorite saying, which I heard him utter many and many a time: "Don't trouble trouble, 'til trouble troubles you!" I have found his aphorism to be useful all of my days since that time!

On one occasion -- I was probably a sophomore -- a rumor swept the school, to the effect that, on a day we supposed was a holiday, we had to be in school and Provo High did not! This perceived injustice fomented a near insurrection among the student body, of which I was one of the loudest voices.

C. L. Jensen "invited" me into his office, dressed me down, and said "Let's put an end to this matter." He picked up the telephone and called Provo High's administrative office. He asked the simple question. To my utmost embarrassment, school was actually "on" that day at Provo High, too. This was another good lesson for me! ~~John A. Taylor '47

C. L. Jensen - Trouble Box
Don't trouble trouble til trouble troubles you!

Locker Room Building

I remember the days when all of the boys had to run up to the old BYU stadium for gym class with Coach Jed Gibson. Our lockers and showers were located in an old wooden building, and the coach had an office there.

One day Gibson was interviewing us one at a time about grades or something, and when my turn came I left the field where we were doing track stuff, and went in to his office.

As I went inside I passed an old door that was nailed shut. It divided the locker room hall from another locker room on the other side. I could hear talking and laughter on the other side of the door. The voices were female. I moved on down the hall to the office.

After the business in the office, I came back out into the hall. I was all alone and couldn't help but notice that the door had a small hole drilled in one panel. I could still hear the girls talking.

I went toward the door with every hope of enjoying the scene on the other side. Just as I put my eye to the hole, Coach Gibson's voice came roaring out of his office: "Get away from that door!"

The timing was perfect. I jumped away from the door and ran outside to send the next victim in. ~~Paul Nibley '65

BYH Lower Campus scene

Lower Campus

My memories of Academy Square neighborhood cover a lifetime and are linked to some of the most enjoyable periods of my life. I grew up living across the street from Academy Square on First East. To us it was always known as the Lower Campus, and we played on the lawns on the south and west and among the buildings.

An abiding memory from those days is the sound of music that poured from the practice rooms in the basement of College Hall on the east half of the block. We played our games to the accompaniment of endless scales and practice compositions.

We attended B.Y. High School in the Arts Building on the northwest portion of the block, and additional classes were held in the other buildings. Plays and weekly assemblies were held in College Hall.

The Men's Gym on the top floor of the Training School Building on the northeast part of the block included such features as a great pole to slide from the dressing rooms down to the gym floor, exercise ladders, and a ping-pong table in a caged area above the gym. ~~Dick Boyle '48

M - Karl G. Maeser Memorial

Memories Too Good to Forget

I am so happy the Education Building was spared from demolition and made into a beautiful and useful reminder of historic Lower Campus of BYU.

I was a student at B.Y. High School from 1946 until 1952, so many of my formative experiences were obtained there.

All of the buildings were old even then, but we weren't concerned about that. Most of the high schools in the area were old at that time. I remember hearing that they were planning a new Provo High School and that we would all have to go there. I was glad it didn't happen until after I left, because I loved B.Y. High.

I attended a speech class in the lower level of College Hall. In that same level were practice rooms for BYU music students.

The upper level of College Hall was an assembly hall where most of B.Y. High's drama productions were held, along with all our student assemblies and Junior High graduations. I fell in love with Thornton Wilder's play, "Our Town" when it was performed by B.Y. High students in 1947. My friends and I participated in many assemblies on that same stage.

I attended a few classes in the Education Building -- bookkeeping, eugenics, journalism, chemistry and chorus. There was a small bookstore there where we could buy pencils, notebooks, etc., and occasionally a candy bar. Most of the candy bars cost 5 cents, but once in awhile we could afford to buy a "Powerhouse" candy bar for 10 cents. What a treat!

Arts Building on the Lower Campus -- BYHS
Entrance to the Arts Building

But most of our classes were held in the Arts Building. Room 250A was on the second floor and was the largest room in the building.

It had a stage at one end and was used as a multi-purpose room. Classes, chorus practices, plays, pep club practices and dances were held in 250A. The ninth grade play was performed there in 1949 and I was in it. I think I had one line.

One memorable event in connection to 250A was the Sophomore Ball held in the spring of 1950. I was one of the Sophomore Class Social Chairs, along with Roger Bown. We were in charge of class parties.

We spent hours decorating 250A with a false ceiling of crepe paper streamers and wrapping tree branches with green and pink paper blossoms. We thought the room looked like a fantasy land.

We Sophomores had all turned sixteen during the year, and we had new drivers' licenses. The boys had borrowed their family cars, and we felt very independent. We were just too enthralled with this newfound freedom to stay indoors, so we danced a couple of times and then left the dance, climbing into the autos to "drag Center".

Then we drove all the way up the canyon to the Weight family cabin in Wildwood. We were very excited to be so far away from campus, and we felt very grown-up. It was a memorable time, even if we didn't do much dancing at our Sophomore Ball.

I now have in my possession the part of the frame from over the door that says 250A. It was given to me by my friend, Arnolene Snow Anderson '52.

As the Arts Building was being torn down, she entered and asked a workman to remove that part of the door frame so she could give it to me. It is a reminder of many memories of dear old B.Y. High. ~~Barbara Wolsey Wilcox '52

Inside the entrance to the BYH Arts Building

Men's Gym in the 1950s

Our family lived near the Lower Campus from 1946 through 1957. During our free time in the summers and on many weekends we could usually be found playing basketball in the Men's Gym.

This old gym and its dressing rooms took up the entire third floor in the BYU Training School building. It came complete with old brown leather basketballs that harkened back to the turn of the century.
Brigham Young High School Men's Gym
B Y Men's Gym, 1902~1968

While the gym was officially off limits to students who were not engaged in physical education classes or team sports, my friends and I started to devise many different ways to enter the gym.

For example, we would hide in the lockers until regular practices were over and then take over the gym for hours of basketball. This became kind of an unsanctioned neighborhood league.

In addition to my brother, John, and myself, the other members of our basketball group included Gary Smith, Dee Kirbey, Dickie Mangum, Allen Dixon, and Gary Johnston and Bruce Johnston, who were brothers.

The fifties were a great time to live around the Lower Campus where a kid could still be a kid and not be labeled a hoodlum for simply wanting to play basketball.
~~ Nick Boshard, '61

1950 Enfield Motorcycle Pin

Motorcyle Roars

The year was 1950, and the folks in Provo on a sleepy afternoon were about to be awakened. The roar of a motorcycle shattered the relative quiet of downtown Provo. But it wasn't a biker out of Hell's Angels -- it was B.Y. High's senior class president who was at the helm of the motorcycle.

Dallin Oaks (now Elder Dallin Oaks) was driving -- and I was hanging on for dear life! Dallin was going to do what he did almost every afternoon after he finished his classes at Y High. He was a radio announcer at the new KCSU radio station. It was located on the golf course, near the old fairgrounds in south Provo. I wanted to be an announcer, just like Dallin, so on a few occasions he let me go to the station and watch him at work.

Getting to the station was the hard part. Dallin didn't have too much time from his last class to the time he made his first on-the-air pronouncements. So we went with the wind. He would have never made it on time with today's traffic, but a half century ago there wasn't much traffic. I'll never forget roaring away from the school, tightly hanging on to Dallin's waist, as I rode shotgun, looking out for Smoky! ~~J. Paul Smith '54

Mom, Is That You?

Some friends and I came up with the idea of using the lines in the BY High language listening room to access the outside telephone system. We constructed a box identical to the regular switch box, determined where the telephone lines were, and so forth.
Mom on telephone

In the advanced stages of this project, it suddenly dawned on us that, during school hours, everyone we might wish to talk to was already AT SCHOOL. Had we put together an ingenious system capable of making calls from the Language Learning Center, only to call someone's mom? ~~Randy Peterson '65


Mysterious Ways

I was born in Switzerland, and my family moved to the USA (Logan, Utah) in 1949. I attended Logan High School, but when I was in my Junior year, at the age of 16, I felt an urgent need to finish high school quickly so I could go on to college.

I applied to the American School in Chicago, a good school recognized by many universities, and completed my senior year during the summer months.

I decided to attend BYU, and my mother and I drove to Provo for me to register. It was at that time that I discovered that BYU did not recognize my diploma. I was devastated!

My mother had served as chef in the French Mission Home when Golden Woolf was President there, so when we heard that Pres. Woolf was a teacher at BY High, we went to talk with him. He suggested that I enroll in a couple of classes at BY High. To do this, I needed to go to the Maeser Building and register as a high school student taking college classes.
Karl G. Maeser Memorial, dedicated in 1912
Karl G. Maeser Memorial Building

Although still very upset, I decided to follow his advice, and the next day I went reluctantly to the Maeser Building. While there I met Graciela Bernard, a girl from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, who was in similar circumstances. We became instant friends.

As we left the Maeser Building, we ran into a couple of Gracie's friends who had attended Juarez Stake Academy with her in Mexico. Gracie introduced me to these two young men, and we enjoyed many good times together. Just before graduation, in the spring of 1954, I became engaged to one of them -- Benjamin Federico de Hoyos.

Gracie and I graduated from BY High in the spring of 1954, along with the BYH senior class. Three months later, on September 10, 1954, Ben and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

Ben and I have enjoyed -- and still are enjoying -- a wonderful life together. We have been blessed with 12 children of our own: 7 sons and 5 daughters, plus a wonderful foster son from Tonga. The summer before we embarked on our third mission together, we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary with 66 members of our family, including most of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and spouses, in attendance.

The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways, but what a blessing! ~~Josefine Zwahlen de Hoyos '54

N - Night at BYH

Nights in the Summer

I remember many warm summer nights cruising Center Street between 1956 and 1960, my BY High years. The neon signs from the stores bathed the sidewalks and streets with their soft multi-colored light, mysteriously changing the colors of our cars as they moved up and down Center.

Sometimes there was also drag racing out on the dump road. We added up and compared the points on our driving records, and stood by our cars talking for hours. Later we met at the High Spot Drive In for unforgettably delicious hamburgers, malts and fries.

I have not forgotten playing lots of pool with my friends, sneaking into drive-in movies by hiding in the trunk, and dancing to live Rock 'n Roll music at the Apollo Outdoor Dance Hall in American Fork. The Apollo had no roof, so we could look up and see the stars while we were dancing.

When we purchased a ticket, they stamped one of our hands with a florescent stamp so we could leave and return periodically by showing our stamp under an ultraviolet light near the door.

We wore flat-tops or duck tails, and the girls wore pony tails. The girls dressed in long skirts and sweaters, and the boys wore T-shirts and jeans, and sometimes turtle-neck sweaters. Black leather jackets were fairly common. Leather shoes were the norm -- sneakers had not yet become everyday footwear. Quite a few boys wore button-down dress shirts and nice slacks, sometimes with unbuttoned light-colored sports coats -- but no ties.

For some reason I recall a special moment idling my car while waiting for the train to pass by at midnight, with the radio on and that "special girl" -- back then -- sitting close beside me.

Maybe it was the scent of my Elsha or Old Spice aftershave, the scent of her perfume, the hardtop windows rolled down, the dice dangling in the front window, the perfect pin-striping on the dashboard, the rolled and pleated white leather seats, the throaty sound of a V8 engine resonating through opened chrome lake plugs, or the hauntingly beautiful sound of "One Summer Night" by the Danleers playing on the car radio?

Then came "Smoke Gets in your Eyes" and "Enchanted" by the Platters; "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers; and "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin.

And I still remember the sound of my hubcaps hitting the driveway concrete as they were being stolen in the dark at 3:30 a.m.

That was the way it was on a summer night when I was at BY High school. I know some people say they would not want to re-live their teen-age years. I have no regrets -- I had a "riot" being a kid! ~~Kent Jarvis '60 ©
Provo, Utah on One Summer Night
Provo on One Summer Night

O - Plop Plop Fizz Fizz O What a Delight It Is!

Academy Avenue March - 1892

Opportunity for a New Start in 1892

Howard R. Driggs was seventeen years old when he came to Brigham Young Academy. This was the last year it was held in the Z.C.M.I. warehouse. He frequently came in contact with Dr. Karl G. Maeser, who both awed and inspired him. In 1892 Howard achieved a Normal [Teaching] Diploma and a firm resolve to be a teacher.

Years later, Howard R. Driggs, by then an accomplished historian, writer and educator, spoke to the student body in College Hall, recalling the march of joy and anticipation he had with the entire school from the Z.C.M.I. building to the new Education Building on 5th North in January of 1892.

His word pictures were so vivid the students said they actually saw a parading band, and the Grand Old Flag flying in front of an organized group waving flags and singing. The Board of Trustees, the faculty, the high school classes, elementary grades including kindergarten, a handful of collegians, and local townspeople followed in buggies, surreys and wagons.

A memorable dedication followed in a large, high-ceiling ballroom, later known as Room D, crowded to the window sills, with people filling the adjacent halls. A new home, a greater opportunity and challenge. "We left that room with religion in our souls," Driggs concluded. ~~T. Earl Pardoe, BYU Faculty 1919 to 1952.

P - The Feral Pigeon Family - BYH's Biggest!


Like other students at BY High, I was almost oblivious to the existence of the many pigeons that made their home on the Lower Campus. They never picked fights, and only rarely bombed you with a splash of white poop.

One day in 1965 the BYU grounds crews began to spread salt-peter saturated corn kernels on the roof and on the sidewalks around the school. We were told that their purpose was not to kill the pigeons but to cause them to "shun one another" -- that is, to reduce the future pigeon population.

However, when dead and dying pigeons began to appear on the sidewalks, the students became concerned. The pigeons, accustomed to light rations, suddenly had more food than they had ever seen before in their lives. They overate, had trouble flying, and when they fell from great heights, the fall often injured or killed them.

In response to student protests, the BY High administration stopped the population control program, and the grounds crews swept up and discarded the drifts of corn kernels. ~~Larry Christensen '66

Soft drink boxes

Perk Prolongs Production

One of our young BYH English teachers, Arthur "Art" Bassett, announced that he wanted to record a short story that we were studying, in the style of an old radio play.

The story was "The Most Dangerous Game", a 1924 short story by author Richard Connell. It featured a big-game hunter who became trapped on the island of a fellow hunter who, bored with conventional prey, came to see humans as the only quarry worthy of his hunting skill.

When our teacher asked for five male volunteers from our class, many hands went up, and he quickly selected his cast. I was one of the five, and several of my good friends were chosen, including Neil Riddle.

Our teacher set up a recording studio in the Thomas House, which was quiet and unused after school hours. This house, formerly a private home, was located on the north edge of the BYU campus, a fair walk from the Lower Campus. Our small group gathered every day after school for several weeks, arriving as quickly as we could after our last class of the day.

The one perk of our job was that we were given free and unlimited access to a large refrigerator stocked with soft drinks. These refreshments were particularly welcome after our brisk walk. The cheap soda brands in stock, however, were highly carbonated and therefore particularly fizzy.

Our anticipated recording schedule had to be extended several days longer than it would have normally taken. The problem was that quite often one of us, while reading a line, would inadvertently burp, or in extreme cases belch, causing everyone to break character and laugh. And, depending on where we were in the story, someone always had something amusing to say. Whenever this happened we had no choice but to rewind the tape to the beginning of that particular scene, try to get sober, and start again.

The burpless version of the drama was finally finished, and our teacher seemed satisfied. But I don't think any members of the cast listened to the final production from start to finish; we didn't have the patience after several weeks of the tedious work. And besides, all of the wittiest parts had been erased! ~~Larry Christensen '66

Photographed Redd Handed

Photographed Redd-Handed

One morning the assistant principal knocked on the door of the closet-like classroom next to the band room and across the hall from Georges Lewis's lair. He said I was summoned to the Principal's Office for a serious infraction. Wayne Sorenson was the principal.

As we walked to the Arts Building, I did a quick memory search and came up blank so was feeling a little jaunty and carefree. Until we passed Virginia Poulsen, home ec teacher, in the hall. With tears in her eyes she quavered, "Oh Hardy, you've ruined our school!" That sobered me up considerable.

When we got to the Principal's Office I was confronted with irrefutable photographic evidence of my crime. It seems a few days earlier the B. Y. High Wildcat staff, of which I was a minor member, had taken a field trip to the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Richard Gunn (blessed man!) was our advisor and leader on the trip.

On the bus trip up to Salt Lake, one of those wicked upperclassmen, Jim Judd, passed out chocolate candy (really!) cigarettes -- four-inch-long cylinders of milk chocolate the diameter of a pencil covered in pure white paper.

We visited the newsroom and the impressive presses and had our picture taken by a Deseret News photographer. All the other guys were smart enough to palm the chocolate except me. (I haven't gotten much smarter.) There I was, one arm hanging on the guy next to me, and (what appeared to be) a cigarette drooping rakishly out of my lips just like James Dean.

I made my explanations, was told I might be expelled and would have to meet with Mark E. Peterson, publisher of the Deseret News who was also an apostle and trustee of Brigham Young University. I was sent home for the day.

I was feeling a little low to say the least. I returned to school the next day, but nothing more was ever said about further interviews. B.Y. High continued on for another 16 or 17 years before the school was closed -- I swear it wasn't my fault! ~~Hardy Redd '56

Problems in Democracy - Elephant

Problems In Democracy Class

One warm day in 1957, we were gathered together in our "Problems of Democracy" class, being taught by a tall, imposing and articulate man in a suit, Mr. Don L. McConkie ("McConk" to us students).

This class was held in the Arts Building, and we were sitting at small desk-chairs painted white, with black speckles in the paint. It looked like paint job number seven or eight.

Just as Mr. McConkie began discussing the finer points of the United States government, I heard unusual activity in the row of students behind me to my left. I turned around just in time to see a fellow student and his accomplice pour a yellow liquid from a small glass vial into an air conditioning vent in the wall near the floor. The vent was blowing cool air into our warm classroom.

Within about ten minutes, our classroom and the entire Arts Building began to smell very strongly like the sewer. As students will do, we started coughing, noisily dramatizing our distress. We began to sink to the floor, as if being overcome by the "toxic fumes".

Soon a janitor appeared and said something to our teacher. Mr. McConkie quickly evacuated us from the building. Every window in the building was opened. We stood together on the front lawn, gasping and coughing dramatically in the fresh air. After thirty minutes or so, it was determined that the sewer had not backed up into the building, and that the building was aired out sufficiently to allow classes to continue. However, our "Problems" class period was over, so we went on to our next classes.

Of course, I knew what was in the glass vial. Bob’s Army & Navy Store, a fascinating store in downtown Provo, sold small glass vials of "rotten egg gas" -- along with real Army surplus clothes, helmets, canteens, and many other novelties. I don't know what legitimate military role was served by rotten egg gas, but for civilian teenagers its chief function was to "gas" your friends when they least expected it.

History tells us that the two boys who pulled off the Rotten Egg Gas Attack of 1957, became honorary alumni of BY High. "Honorary alumni" are students who attended BY High but did not graduate therefrom, having transfered to another high school prior to achieving Senior status. I do not know if this malodorous incident served to prematurely facilitate their honorary status. ~~Kent G. Jarvis '60

Haws Field BentRyeGrass
Haws Field Memorial BentRyeGrass

Phys Ed Footnotes

I never understood the logic in running many blocks from the Lower Campus up to Haws Field by the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse. Wasn't running to and from Haws Field enough exercise in itself?

Worse yet, we would run to the old BYU Stadium locker room building, suit up, play football, undress, shower, then run back to the Lower Campus, all in one hour! The longest we could have played on Haws Field was 15 minutes, then we all just got sweaty again running back. It makes me tired just to think about it.

In the winter months, when both boys and girls used the old Men's Gym on the third floor of the Training School building, there was an incentive to arrive promptly. If you arrived early to Gym Class, and carefully looked from ground level up at one of the windows on the third floor, you could catch a glimpse of the girls running naked down the stairs to the showers. It's no wonder we always tried to be prompt.

At some point, the boys were moved from the old Men's Gym, and we began to use the old BYU Women's Gym across University Avenue. I suspect the information revealed in the paragraph above may have something to do with why the change was made.

There are some sights seen in this world that you don't soon forget. One of them occurred in the basement dressing room of the old Women's Gym. We were all hurrying to shower and get to our next class. Brian Bergren wanted to put on some deodorant before he got dressed, but no one would loan him any. He spotted a can of spray deodorant inside a locked locker basket on the lowest shelf. I will never forget that picture of Brian, lying naked on the floor of the dressing room, trying to spray deodorant on his armpits from a can locked inside that small wire basket! ~~Steve Thoresen '66

Q - Quiet, You Are In The Library!

A Quiet 'Moment' After A Storm

One thing I loved about BY High was that our library kept its doors open long after classes were out for the day.

I had tranferred to BYH from a school where the library was locked up tight as soon as the last bell rang at 3 p.m. To use it you had to get a teacher’s permission to miss part of their class – and they didn’t like that.

The BYH library wasn’t exactly a good place to hang out with your friends because June Berry, the librarian, ran a tight and quiet ship. But it was a peaceful place to study and do homework.

My family lived in Springville and my mother worked in Provo, so I rode to school and then home with her each day. However, she didn’t pick me up after school until 5:30 p.m., so I had several hours every afternoon to talk with friends, read, do homework, work on the newspaper, or roam around the Upper Campus.

I also spent a lot of time working out in the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, usually running on the indoor track, then watching Stan Watts and Pete Witbeck conduct BYU basketball practices.

One afternoon while we were in classes it rained, but the downpour stopped before classes ended. It was quite warm and nice outdoors, and the sun was beginning to light up the storm clouds. But I needed to study, so I went into the BYH library. I sat at a table near the back windows. These windows looked out on the interior courtyard of the school, and on the back of the Training School.

Sitting at the large table with me – I remember as if it were yesterday – were Neil Riddle, Linda Christensen, Roger Sheffield, John Boshard and Brian Bergren. The tall old-fashioned windows were open, and we were enjoying the invigorating fresh smell after the rain.

Two of our classmates, Bariann Trunnell and Vicki Ballou, were outside on the playground in the swings near the windows.

Swinging and singing - Brigham Young High School
You'll Never Walk Alone

There were a lot of kids out there, mainly younger elementary students. Bariann and Vicki began to sing one of my favorite songs, a hauntingly beautiful piece from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. In perfect harmony, they sang:
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.
As they sang all of the verses, those in the library who could hear them turned to listen, and even the kids on the playground paused what they were doing. When Bariann and Vicki finished their song, there was total silence.

Neil turned around and said, “Now, that was a moment.”

We went back to what we were doing. But I have never forgotten that time when we heard extraordinarily beautiful music on what was otherwise an ordinary rainy day. ~~Larry Christensen '66

Brigham Young High School Library - 1965
The Sounds of Silence

R - Ring - Y High


One night the BY High basketball team was returning home from a basketball game in a bus. In the canyon below Moroni, they saw that some girls in a Volkwagen had skidded on the icy road and it had rolled over on its roof. The entire team jumped out of the bus and turned the car back on its tires. The car miraculously started, and the girls drove down to Spanish Fork, with the bus following behind just in case it happened again. ~~Alec Andrus '61
Volkswagen in snow
The morning after.


Located west of Lehi on the north shore of Utah Lake, Saratoga was a delightful swimming facility that included indoor and outdoor swimming pools, along with picnic grounds and other recreational developments.

Springs gushing from the ground made it all possible. The area was not necessarily the most lush, but it was clean and fun. The swimming and diving and just horsing around was what life should be all about for teenagers. And then there was the eating and talking and camaraderie -- it included everything needed for good memories.

Saratoga swimming pool in Utah Valley
...and the Theme from Moulin Rouge

Hope is the perfume of life. Hope for a better day, hope for a brighter future, hope for happiness and success. On one trip in 1955, when we were juniors at BY High, the blossoming of the fairer sex and our notice of them was in full splendor.

One memory that I will always hold clear and dear happened when I was watching as several of our young women classmates came forth from the women's dressing room at Saratoga dressed in their "one-piece" almost-completely-covered swimming suits, just as the music echoed in that large indoor swimming pool enclosure and the song they were playing was The Theme from Moulin Rouge. Do you remember the song? Whenever I hear it carries me back to that moment in time. ~~Chuck Hackley '56
Salt from the Great Salt Lake

Seminary Guest Speaker

Mr. Farrell Dean Madsen, Sr., was the band teacher during my days at BYH, and he was also one of our seminary teachers -- the teachers at BYH wore many hats.

When my class was taking seminary from Mr. Madsen, I was given the responsibility of getting speakers for our seminary class.

On one occasion we were discussing other religions, and I had questions about some of the things I was hearing about the Catholic Church. Getting to the bottom of things has always been very important to me. I asked Mr. Madsen if I could ask a member of that church to join us and answer some questions about their beliefs. He thought that would be enlightening for our class, so permission was given.

Instead of getting just any member of that faith to come to class, I went over to the church on the corner of 500 West and 200 North in Provo, and knocked on the door of the rectory.

St. Francis Catholic Church, Provo, Utah
St. Francis Catholic Church, Provo

When Father Arnold came to the door, I introduced myself and asked if he or another priest or representative of their church could come and speak to our Seminary class. He took my name and telephone number and said he would look into it.

About three weeks later I received a call from Father Arnold. He said he had obtained permission, and said that if I could bring him information about the time and place, along with a list of some of the questions he would be asked, he would be pleased to come himself and speak to us.

I told Mr. Madsen I had a speaker, and he invited several other classes to join us that day.

When the day came, I met Father Arnold at the main door of the Education Building. He was dressed in a black suit with a white clerical collar. There were some surprised looks on the faces of people in the hall as I escorted him to our class, which was held in the physics class room. What a great experience this was for our class.

All of the students responded positively to this experience, and Father Arnold also thanked us for this opportunity to speak with us. ~~Joyce Gibby Willis ' 54

SlumberParty poster

Slumber Party for Girls Only

One of the highlights of the school year at BY High was the annual slumber party for the high school girls. It was held on the third floor of the Arts Building.

Women faculty members chaperoned this party, including me. Another chaperone was Anna B. Hart, the lady-like English teacher, who never had a hair out of place no matter how lively the party got. The girls, in their loudest sleepwear, spent a sleepless night eating and visiting.

In 1950, some of the boys attempted to raid the slumber party by putting an extension ladder up to a window. Much to their surprise, the face that greeted them at the top was that of our strict history teacher, Julia Caine, who served as a special chaperone that year. The boys rode a hasty retreat. Dallin Oaks, who was senior class president that year, was probably not one of the raiders. He worked evenings as a disk jockey at a local radio station. ~~Ruth Wilson Young, BYH Home Economics Teacher 1947-1952

Snowball hit

Snowballs & Jim Petty

Through most of my elementary school years, I was generally known to my teachers as a calm and studious boy. But I concealed a secret that few people had ever witnessed. On rare occasions, when I was sufficiently provoked, I could lose my temper and fly into an uncontrollable rage.

This problem limited my ability to play contact sports because when I lost it, I also lost physical coordination and my ability to reason. If I was in any sort of a fight, I usually got beaten up. To me the natural violence in football and basketball always diminished my dexterity.

One winter day in 1963, I was walking outside the Arts Building toward the Education Building, when I was struck hard on the back of my head by a snowball. Ice scattered down into my books and papers. I whipped around and discovered exactly who the culprit was: Jim Petty! I literally saw red.

In a total rage, growling and gnashing my teeth, I dropped my books and chased Jim fiercely with every intention of breaking him into pieces. Jim ran away from me, but when I closed the gap to about fifteen feet, he looked at my face, pointed at me and began to laugh. "I've never seen you like that," he gasped, helplessly convulsed.

I was completely disarmed by his reaction. From that day to this, I have never experienced one of those total blind rages. Thank you, Jim. Except for you and your sense of humor, I might have ended my life locked in a cell at the Point of the Mountain, or worse. ~~Larry Christensen '66


In about 1953, as part of a Halloween Party, someone strung an aircraft carrier "catch-cable" from two Ash trees in front of the Arts Building. We sat in a makeshift seat and were flung into the air by the makeshift slingshot! What fun! ~~Chuck Hackley '56

Student Teachers

I was one of those fortunate students who attended B.Y. High. I began my education there in the fourth grade. I felt so proud to attend the Brigham Young University Elementary Laboratory Training School. We got a kick out of using that elongated title. I think my class had a reputation for being rowdies. The guys had fun sneaking out of windows during class, and the girls weren't afraid to go down the outside fire escape during gym class, on the third floor of the Lab Building.

I particularly remember the student teachers. While I was in the fifth grade, as a joke on us, one of the sixth grade boys dressed up as a girl and sat with a real student teacher at the side of the class. We couldn't keep our eyes off him. She was weird, but we'd had weird ones before. When he finally revealed himself, we were angry for being deceived.

But my all-time best student teacher story was from my chorus class. When a particularly gullible young man was asked to direct the class, we claimed we couldn't see, so we asked him to stand on a chair. We told him, "Mr. Webb always stands on a chair when we can't see him." Mr. Webb wasn't very tall.

Student teacher on top of piano
Can you see me now?

Eventually we got him up on the grand piano, and he was leading us from that perch when Mr. Webb entered the room. The student teacher was embarrassed, Mr. Webb was aghast, and yet we all had a good laugh, especially because the student teacher was quite tall in the first place. ~~Marilynn Monson Ricks '67

T - The Tower Long Without a Bell

Teaching at BYH, Early 1950s

During the early 1950s teaching at BYU Laboratory School was no picnic. My varied assignments and preparations meant that I had to work hard. We had some students that had been expelled from other schools who came to BYU High School and lived with their older siblings who attended BYU. Controlling them was not easy.

There was a severe lack of equipment, such as microscopes and supplies, and an inadequate plant in which to teach. This made teaching even more difficult.

Eventually, however, the school started restricting these wayward students, and some money was forthcoming for supplies and equipment. It was still a far cry from adequate to do the job that was expected. ~~Verl Allman, BYH Faculty

Telephone Ring Record

Don McConkie was one of our older and more experienced teachers. He talked slowly and carefully, and while his eyes took in everything, he had carefully calculated that he would ignore most of our tomfoolery in the interest of concentrating on teaching us about all of the nations and peoples of the world, their principal products, and indigenous populations. His ability to concentrate and ignore distractions became legendary -- this is but one example.

He shared an office with the teacher across the hall on the bottom floor of the Arts Building. When I came to BYH this was Mr. Grant Bendixsen, and later it was Mr. Gary Penrod. Their office was in the middle under the stairs, and it connected to their two classrooms.

Don McConkie, Teacher at Brigham Young High School
Teacher Don McConkie

We began to notice that when a telephone rang in the office during class, the teacher across the hall would excuse himself, answer his call, and quickly return to class. Although Mr. McConkie's phone seldom rang during class, we noticed that he always closed his door and ignored it, and we guessed he would never answer it.

We decided to test our hypothesis.

One of our friends was in the yearbook class on the top floor of the Education building during the same period. In the publications room they had more freedom to organize their own time, and they had access to a telephone. We asked our friend to call Mr. McConkie's number sometime during the class period, to see how many times it would ring before he would answer it. We could hear it ringing away behind the closed door, but Mr. McConkie never showed any inclination to answer the phone, even when we were just reading silently to ourselves.

We found this phenomenon to be just as fascinating as geography and social studies. During the next few weeks, we encouraged our friend to make the call earlier in the class period. A different person was chosen to count under their breath for each trial run. It was not easy -- Mr. Hal Williams, our journalism teacher, sometimes noticed the phone off the hook and hung it up. I remember the day the class period's ring count went over 1,000 -- a new record! There was a flush of excitement among the experimenters, but Mr. McConkie simply taught on, stolid and steady.

It was an impressive performance, and we deemed his amazing classroom achievement as superior to those of obscure leaders who were making less interesting achievements in distant lands. Mr. McConkie was our local Rock of Gibraltar. ~~Larry Christensen '66

Ten Teen Girls

Ten Teen BYJrHS Girls on Bikes

During my Brigham Young Junior High years, I belonged to a group of ten girls. We called ourselves the "Ten Teens". We had parties at each other's houses, sometimes including the boys in our class.

The girls in the group were myself, Mary Young, Marian and Marilyn Norton (twins), Janice Anderson, Ann Grethe Ballif, Margaret Clarke, Anna Lou Miller, Ruelene Jacobson, and Gail Curtis (yes, that adds up to ten).

Some of the "unnumbered" boys included Jae Ballif, Henry Taylor, Kent Broadhead, Harold Christensen and others. We danced, played games, etc., etc.

I remember that one of the girls once suggested we play "wink" or "post office" but the boys were all so girl-shy that they wouldn't hear of it.

We girls often had sleepover parties at each other's homes and talked all through the night. I particularly remember one party where we decided to tell each other what was wrong with each of us and try to improve ourselves. It ended with all of us angry with each other and in tears.

In my 9th grade year, I was secretary of the Junior High. We had a Student Council meeting each week and both the Junior High and High School officers met together. We also held weekly mat dances together.

My family home in Provo and our cabin in Provo Canyon provided locations for many fun times.

As a group we often hiked up Rock Canyon to "Devil's Kitchen" and beyond. On one rather harrowing occasion, we decided to investigate an old abandoned cave. Jae Ballif thought up the idea of using burning sagebrush for a light. We attempted this and Jae ended up with singed eyebrows and arms.

We ten teen girls often rode our bikes around town. I remember riding by the Utah State Mental Hospital to peek at faces we might see behind the barred windows. Sometimes we rode down to Utah Lake and back. ~~Janice Taylor DeGraw '49~H
Manti LDS Temple watercolor

Temple Trip to Manti

I had driven by the Manti Temple several times in my life and was acquainted with its stark white beauty on the hill overlooking the green valley. During our senior year we took a school trip to the Manti Temple. There was just one bus full of us and only the senior class was included.

I remember someone showing us an exquisite spiral staircase in one corner of the temple. Later, while on my mission among the Lamanites, I saw a similar staircase in a Catholic church. I cherish the trip for many reasons, but particularly because it was timely in our lives to be thinking about Temple marriage.

A special part of the trip was sharing the bus seat with one of the fairer sex and discussing life in general. I learned, absorbed and developed feelings that I have carried with me ever since. I have not forgotten the spiritual experience of doing baptisms for those gone on before.

Could we have been any more privileged in our youth than to have leaders who saw to it that we had such experiences as students, looking forward to the good and solid things in life? ~~Chuck Hackley '56

Testing Incessantly

As students at Brigham Young High School, we took so many tests so frequently that our greatest achievement as a group was probably our ability to take lots of tests in the shortest possible time. And not only did we take tests in regular academic, psychological and aptitude areas, but also in the metaphysical realms represented by our seminary classes.

After several years under the rigorous testing regimen at B.Y. High, I began to form opinions about the people who had created whatever test I was taking at that moment. For example, I felt profound respect toward some of the test builders, and distain and pity for some of the lesser testing instrument makers.

Some of the questions were open ended and left themselves exposed for silly answers -- and they got hammered by the students. For example, whenever a question was framed, "Do you [whatever] regularly?" I and my friends always answered, "Yes, twice a year."

BYHS Students Testing

My accumulated skills in testing came in handy after I graduated in 1966 and went into the US Army. The training staff at Fort Ord decided to conduct an unusual "experiment in education" during my first week in uniform. They dedicated several days to testing all of us in eighteen basic-training subjects -- before they gave the classes. In fact, they gave us tests on subjects they no longer taught in basic training.

Shortly after testing was completed, I was called out of formation and escorted to meet with the training leadership. They were astonished that I had passed all eighteen tests at the 100 percent level. And why not? The questions in their tests gave away the answers, in the simplistic way they were framed, along with a little lucky guessing. I told them that these were eighteen of the easiest tests I had ever taken.

That is not to say I had any great military aptitude, nor did I have any desire to become a military leader. The Viet Nam war was in full swing. I had learned to hate the war and the military, and volunteered for only two reasons: first, because I had a low draft number, 12; and second, because I heard that the Army treated volunteers (Regular Army or R.A.s) better than they treated draftees. To my relief I found this to be true.

My greatest achievement while I was in the Army was to obtain a three-month "early out" to go back to school, when no one else who requested it succeeded. This was possible because I turned my papers in one day earlier than all the rest. How did I manage to do that? I had put in for a six-month "early out" and had been turned down, but all of my papers were complete and in perfect order, ready to submit instantly three months later. The Army withdrew all "early out" privileges one day too late to affect me. Thanks to B.Y. High, I passed my final Army test with flying colors.~~Larry Christensen '66

Timp Haven

We took many school trips over the years to Timp Haven to enjoy the skiing and tobogganing, but one trip in particularly left its mark on me for life. Yes, I still have a chunk missing from my left leg after slamming into another toboggan being pulled by a young lady who I was trying to impress.

This is the way it happened. There was a great big hill at Timp Haven that had a road going up it at a steep angle. It was covered with several feet of snow and made a fantastic toboggan run. I didn’t have money for ski equipment or rental, so I and a group of other students in similar circumstances concentrated on tobogganing.

We packed that run down super hard, and after numerous trips over it, we were able to get some great speed. The only thing wrong with the design of the run was that everyone who wanted to experience the excitement had to first walk across the run down near the bottom, in order to climb up to the top. And it was at this crossing point that toboggans coming down were moving at our top speed.

Toboggans and sleds circa 1895

Positioning that six-man toboggan at the top of the run, we all piled on. I was the front man because I had the only fur-lined hood on the big old coat I was wearing, and could thus take more of the snow flying up over the front of the toboggan. The signal was given and away we flew.

Through the snow being kicked up by the toboggan near the bottom of the run, I could see several young ladies in our class starting to cross the run, and noticed one in particular -- the one I was most infatuated with at that time.

They were busy talking, and we were hurtling towards them at great speed. I could not yell loud enough for them to see the danger. In desperation, not wanting them to be hurt -- and especially my "true love" -- I became determined to slow us down or die trying.

I threw myself sideways and kicked my legs loose. I found myself hanging half from the one side (my legs) and half (my upper torso and head and arms) on the other side. The extra drag was slowing us down, but not enough to keep us from hitting several of the gals. The speed had been checked enough that they just flew over us with no damage to them or us. Then, however, I hit my leg on the toboggan that the “light of my life” was pulling, and a dollar-sized chunk of my leg came up missing.

After coming to rest stunned and bleeding, I managed to stand up, fight to minimize the tears of pain and a great desire to limp, and run to her to ask her if she was okay. She gave me one of those teasing smiles, and then just went on talking and walking. I don’t think to this day that she knows the effort I put in to protect her from harm.

You all know how it goes: the harder you try to impress someone special in those high school days, the less likely you are to succeed. ~~Chuck Hackley '56

Dinosaur on top floor of Brigham Young High School
Singersaurus Fabricus

Top Floor of the Education Building

On the top floor of the Education Building, the fourth floor, was a treasure: a plaster dinosaur skeleton. It was in pretty bad condition, and disappeared before I was old enough to have worried about which specific type it was, but it gave us hints that other marvelous things must be hidden in the closed rooms.

When I later discovered that most of the adjoining rooms only contained the sewing machines and fabric remnants for the clothing classes, it was a real disappointment. ~~Todd Britsch '55
BYU Laboratory Elementary Training School 1968

Training School Elementary Classes

I was there for first, second and third grades. I remember Miss Rasband was my first-grade teacher -- it seems like she was about the same height as her students.

For second grade I had Mrs. Searle. I loved her. One field trip that was fun, in her class, was going to the Wonder Bread Plant in Salt Lake City. We got to ride the train, take a tour and then they gave us a ruler to take home.

Mrs. Allen taught me in third grade and I remember story time and a dance festival. One of the highlights at that school was the principal, Mr. Harward. He was such a good man. He would come into our classrooms sometimes and play the accordion. We really looked forward to that.

I also remember having recess on the northeast side of the building. We played hopscotch, tag and jumped rope. It is exciting to drive by now and see the beautiful building and think of these memories. ~~Wendy Christensen Frahm '76

Trapped by BYU Security!

The Lower Campus provided curious BYH students with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of curiosities. Some were discovered and understood quickly, but some were sort of arcane and required more patience.

In 1962 all the boys in my class took a shop class in the old Industrial Arts Building south of the Academy block, across Fifth North. Our instructor was Ross Hilton.

One day Lynn Tolley and John Boshard explained to me that BYU had a large theatrical set warehouse down an alley near the Industrial Arts Building. After class one day a group of us walked down the alley and checked it out.

It was a nondescript metal warehouse with no sign, and the large door was chained and padlocked. Several guys had explored it in earlier years, but nobody had been in there recently.

"Is there anything in there worth seeing?" I asked dubiously.

"Oh yeah, it's amazing. Everytime they have a play or production, they store stage sets here because they might be able to use parts of it again sometime."

Often when class was finished, we peered down the alley at the large door, but the big chain and padlock was always in place.

One day Lynn Tolley came into shop class, and casually mentioned, "By the way, I just saw that the lock on the set storage building is open. Do ya wanna go exploring?"

"Sure!" we said.

After class six or seven of us trooped down the alley, and sure enough, the padlock was open. We pushed the heavy metal door open, and walked in slowly so our eyes could adjust to the darkness.

When we had moved about ten to fifteen feet inside the building, we were shocked by loud voices coming from the alley. Two uniformed officers suddenly stood silhouetted in the open doorway.

I was literally paralyzed with fear. However, Lynn Tolley and John Boshard casually walked toward the officers and explained, "We just saw that the door was open, and we were curious. We're sorry, we just wanted to see what was in here."

The demeanor of the BYH Security officers softened instantly, and they only said sternly, "Okay, but get out of here. You boys are not to ever come in here again, even if you find the door open."

We sheepishly filed out together, and hurried down the alley and across the street toward our next class.

In my life I have experienced many moments of extreme panic, fright, shock, grief, terror, and alarm, but I have never again experienced anything that could compare to the awful consternation I felt in that dark moment. I wanted to run, to hide, to disappear, but I knew there was absolutely no escape.

I had never expected to find myself on the wrong side of the law, and there I had been, hopelessly trapped. I was inexpressably grateful to escape, and determined to never put myself in that position again. ~~Larry Christensen '66



Gerald Johnson was an all-region tackle during his junior year in 1962-1963. When he was a senior, he was selected as a captain of the BYH football team. He was pleased. And he was optimistic. The prospects for the upcoming season were bright.

But during the Homecoming game, he broke his collarbone. He was out for the rest of the season. He did get into the last game, but his pending football opportunities were lost.

But it was not to be an enduring tragedy. Wrestling season was coming up, and Jer was a great wrestler. As the season progressed, Jer proved his wrestling prowess over and over. Then suddenly he was declared ineligible to participate in athletics because of his English grades.

Jer just wasn’t very good at English, and we worried about him. Then we became aware of things happening. Jer was assigned to be personally tutored during his English hour in the carrels. And he was assigned to be tutored by Miss Bosen.

Miss Bosen was a very attractive BYU student teacher with a fetching smile. We who shared Jer’s English period in the carrels, began to anticipate the announcement, “Gerald Johnson, Miss Bosen is waiting to meet with you in the Independent Learning Room.”

Then we’d all hear, off in the corner, a happy chortle from Jer. And far too many of us would stand and watch, and enviously smile, as Jer jumped from his carrel, and, twirling his notebook, bounded down the aisle toward the Independent Learning Room and Miss Bosen. And he wore a big smile all the way.

The tutoring helped. His grades improved. And just as the regional wrestling tournament was to begin, Jer earned eligibility. He became the region wrestling champion, and went on to place third at State, setting individual championship match scoring records along the way.

Jer was not the only one who received confidential personal tutoring during our years at BYH -- a lot of other students -- most of whom were not athletes -- were significantly helped in this way. ~~ LeEarl Baker '65

BYH's University Presidents

BYH Graduates Who Became College & University CEO's
  • Joseph Marion "Jay" Tanner graduated from Brigham Young Academy High School in the Class of 1878. In 1891, he enrolled at Harvard University. Tanner studied law at Harvard Law School until 1894. From 1896 to 1900, Joseph M. Tanner served president of Utah Agricultural College in Logan. The UAC today is Utah State University.

  • The second Brigham Young high school alumnus to serve as President of a university was James E. Talmage, graduating in the Class of 1879 at Brigham Young Academy High School. Talmage served as both President of and Professor of Geology at the University of Utah from 1894 to 1897. In December 1911 Talmage was ordained an Apostle, a member of the Council of Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Benjamin Cluff, Jr., graduated in the Brigham Young Academy High School Class of 1883. Cluff served as Third Principal of BY Academy 1892-1895, then as first President of Brigham Young Academy. In 1903 BYA became Brigham Young University, and so Cluff served as the first President of BYU.

  • Franklin S. Harris, Sr. graduated from Brigham Young University High School in the Class of 1904. In 1921 he was selected to be President of Brigham Young University. He arrived on the campus as a reputable scientist and scholar at age 36, and was the school’s first president to hold a Ph.D. Harris served as the fifth president of BYU, continuing for the next twenty-three years — the longest term of any BYU president. Overall, his educational leadership extended from 1907 to 1950, including serving as president in Provo at BYU from July 1921 to June 1945, and another five years as President at Utah State Agricultural College in Logan from 1945 to 1950. The USAC is now Utah State University.

  • Hugh McCurdy Woodward, Brigham Young High School Class of 1908, received his Bachelors degree from BYU in 1911. In 1914, Hugh M. Woodward was named the first President of the Dixie Normal College, and because of this he became known as the "Father of Dixie College", serving to 1918.

  • Joseph K. Nicholes, Brigham Young High School Class of 1908, has the unusual distinction of serving as the third and fifth president of Dixie College in St. George, Utah. Nicholes was selected as president of Dixie Normal College from 1919 to 1923, and he continued to teach Science and Mathematics. In the summer of 1923 he studied at Stanford University, where he earned his Masters degree in Chemistry in 1924. Professor Nicholes returned to Dixie where he taught Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry for two years. In 1926, Nicholes was again appointed President of the College, a position he held until 1933.

  • Henry Aldous Dixon graduated from Brigham Young High School in the Class of 1909. He graduated from BYU in 1914, from the University of Chicago in 1917, and from the University of Southern California in 1937 with a doctorate degree. Dixon served as President of Weber College in 1919 and 1920, and again from 1937 to 1953. Dixon served as President of Utah State University at Logan from 1953 to 1954.

  • Vern Oliver Knudsen graduated from Brigham Young High School, Class of 1912. He then earned a bachelor's degree in Physics from Brigham Young University in 1915. Knudsen received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1922. In 1934, Vern Knudsen was made Dean of the Graduate Division of the Southern Section of the University of California [UCLA] a post which he held for 24 years. After serving as Vice Chancellor, Vern O. Knudsen then was named Chancellor of UCLA from 1959 to 1960, when he reached mandatory retirement age.

  • John Thomas Wahlquist graduated from Brigham Young High School in the Class of 1918. He received a BS degree at BYU, followed by an MS from the University of Utah, and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati in 1930. John T. Wahlquist served as President of San Jose State College from 1952 to 1964.

  • Dallin H. Oaks, Brigham Young High School Class of 1950, was a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago's School of Law when in 1971 Oaks was selected to be President of Brigham Young University, serving from 1971 to 1980. He then served as a Justice of the Utah Supreme Court from 1980 until he was ordained an Apostle, a member of the Council of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Michael K. Young, Brigham Young High School Class of 1967. Young began serving as President of the University of Utah in 2004 and served until April 2011, when he moved on and became President of the University of Washington until 2015. Young is now serving as President of Texas A & M University beginning in May 2015.
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  • V - V-formation of Ducks Heading Home

    Veritas Test

    When I was a student at B.Y. High my father had a friend who was a successful trial lawyer in California. The year I was a junior, this attorney visited us in Utah, and decided to do some duck hunting.

    On his first morning of hunting down by Utah Lake -- he told us later over duck dinner -- he made a great shot, and watched as the duck fell to the ground some distance away.

    Keeping his eye on the spot where the duck fell, he hurried across the fields. When he came to a fence, he climbed through the barbed wire and kept going.

    Then he heard a voice say, "Mister, where do you think you're going?" Looking up, he saw an elderly man in overalls holding a shovel.

    "I just shot a duck and I'm going to retrieve it," he replied.

    "No, you're not," said the farmer. "It fell on my land, and now it belongs to me."

    "Listen, I'm a trial attorney from Los Angeles," said the hunter. "If you don't give me my duck, I'll sue you for everything you've got."

    "You may know California law," said the farmer calmly, "but it's obvious you don't know Utah hunting laws. We have a 'Veritas Vincit' provision in the books -- we call it the 'veritas test' -- and that's how we settle game possession disputes. It's a leftover from old Mormon pioneer days."

    "Veritas test?" said the lawyer. "How does it work?"

    "Well, the first party chooses the heaviest log or rock that he thinks he can lift," explained the farmer, "and holds it above his head for as long as he can. Then the second party picks up the same log or rock and holds it up as long as he can. The one who holds it up the longest gets to keep the game in dispute."

    The attorney decided to play along, and looked around until he found a log he thought he could lift, and carefully timing himself, he held it above his head for more than seventeen minutes. When he finally dropped it, he sat down on the log. He wiped the sweat from his face, and hugged his sore arms.

    "Okay, old-timer," he wheezed, "now it's your turn!"

    "Oh, you can keep the duck," said the farmer. "But I believe even Brigham Young would have been impressed by the good job you did of passing our Utah 'veritas test'." ~~Submitted by an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous.

    W - Wildcats of BYH

    Water Fight in the Spring

    Question: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Larry Christensen who hit the Principal in the face with a wet mop?" -- Leo Beckwith '66

    Answer by Larry Christensen '66: Please allow me to tell you the true story.

    My first year at the school was in 7th grade. Being new in any school can be a traumatic experience, but I am grateful that BYH was different. The classes were small, and some of my classmates helped me to understand the rules and traditions of BYH.

    When Spring of 1962 arrived with bright sunny days, a number of my classmates began to spirit squirt guns and water balloons into the school. They used them surreptiously for a few days.

    But on one memorable day the little water fights exploded into open hallway-to-hallway warfare, primarily involving water balloons. The Arts Building was the central theater of action.

    Being a bit timid, and not knowing how far you could go before being expelled, I did not dare bring any water weapons to school, nor did I risk participating, although I was hit and soaked many times.

    On that day of open water warfare, the bottom floor of the Arts Building was an inch deep and water was literally flowing out the front door by noon.

    I ducked into the restrooms, and when I came out I ran into an angry teacher, Grant Bendixsen, standing in front of me in the middle of the hallway with a large mop.

    "You, Christensen, you helped make this mess, now you mop it up!"

    Wet mop in motion!

    Normally I would have done what any teacher asked me to, but it seemed to me that if I took that mop, I would be admitting that I had been responsible for making the mess.

    "I didn't do it," I protested. "I didn't do any part of it."

    Suddenly I found the business-end of the large wet mop wrapped around my back, the result of a baseball swing by Mr. Bendixsen.

    Instantly furious, I just stood and glared at Mr. Bendixsen. With whatever dignity I could muster, I waded away dripping out the front door, fully expecting to be whacked on the back again. But the second blow never came.

    I expected additional bad consequences, but nothing else happened. It was near the end of the school year, and I vowed not to speak to Mr. Bendixsen again. I regret that now, because I actually liked him as a teacher. Then when he moved on to another school the next year, I was never was able to speak to him again.

    I assumed that the massive water fight was an annual BYH tradition, but nothing on that scale occurred again during the following four years that I spent at BYH.

    Webb and the Camerons

    Wild, Wild Webb

    In the spring of 1963, Fred Webb, our long-time choral director, decided that our class needed to "loosen up" a bit. One day before class Mr. Webb took me and my brother Kim ('64) aside and recruited us to participate in a plan.

    During the class, by pre-arrangement, Kim persisted in talking to a classmate. Mr. Webb warned him a couple of times, and then told Kim to get out of the class.

    As Kim got up to exit the choir room, I jumped up and said, "If he's being kicked out of this class, then I'm leaving, too!"

    Kim and I both stalked out of the room. Mr. Webb followed right on our heels into the hallway, and slammed the door behind him.

    Out in the hallway we ruffled up Fred's hair, pulled out his shirttails, and made his tie and glasses crooked. We thumped against the door and scuffled on the floor as if we were having a fight, then suddenly opened the door and threw Mr. Webb back into the choir room.

    Our spoof tore the house down!! ~~Bruce Cameron '63

    Winter Snow Events

    When I was in BYU elementary school, one of the members of our class was Karen Grow. After snow was on the ground each winter, her father, David Spencer Grow, brought several horses to our school.

    So our experience would be educational, he first taught us several things about horses. For example, he showed us how to determine the ages of the horses by looking at their teeth.

    Then came the part we looked forward to most -- he took a few of us at a time for short sleigh rides. His horses pulled the sleigh around the snow-covered blocks near the school.

    In those days, the city was in no hurry to plow the snow off the streets. When there wasn't enough snow in some years, Mr. Grow brought a wagon to take us for a horse-pulled ride.

    In the winter when the sun was far south in the sky, the tall Training School building cast a big shadow on the street to our north -- 600 North. After a snow storm, the snow on 600 North between University Avenue and 100 East would not melt for days and days, because of that shadow.

    At recess we would go out in that street and play. We would run and slide on our feet. Some of our classmates brought their sleighs from home that we took turns using. We ran and fell on the sleighs "belly grinder" style, taking advantage of the slight slope downward from east to west.

    Advertisement for Flexible Flyer sleds
    Another fun event in the winter took place for several hours before noon on some Saturdays. The place was on the 5th East Hill -- 800 North and 500 East.

    When snow was packed on the roads, the city and BYU would block off 800 North traffic and divert it to 700 North, at 400 East and 600 East, so that we children could go up to the top of the BYU Campus hill and ride our sleighs down the hill across 800 North. If you had a good sleigh, you could slide along almost to 700 North. Most of us only got to 750 or 775 North. ~~Glen L. Miller '61

    The World Series & The Log of a Cowboy

    In high school I often visited used-book stores to see what antique books had come in lately -- I liked to buy inexpensive old books. I remember one titled, The Log of a Cowboy. The cheap cloth cover was dark yellow like deerskin leather, and the pages were also yellow with age. I read it and did not find anything that greatly interested me, so put it on a bookshelf and forgot about it.

    October 1964 arrived, and another World Series was upon us. I was a long-time fan of the New York Yankees, and they were in it again, this time playing the St. Louis Cardinals. From 1960 to 1964, the Yankees played in five consecutive World Series, winning three of them. Unfortunately, the games were played during the day -- that is to say, during my classes at BY High.

    I had won a transistor radio from a radio station the year before, writing an essay about what the Fourth of July meant to me. My problem was how to sneak my radio into classes without getting caught.

    Log of a Cowboy and the 1964 World Series
    The Log of a Cowboy

    The Log of a Cowboy caught my eye -- it was larger than the radio, and thicker. I had always treated books with great respect, but this time I found myself slashing out the type-covered area of most of the inside pages, using a sharp Exacto knife. Only the edges of the pages remained -- it was now a hollow book -- or hollow Log! My radio fit inside perfectly, with room for a candy bar on the side. I found that I needed to glue most of the pages -- what was left of them -- together; otherwise, the contents fell out too easily. I used a small earphone connected to my radio by a wire that I concealed inside my shirt.

    The Yankees won three games, but lost four. It was an exciting Series, and I really enjoyed carrying The Log of a Cowboy with me from class to class. When teachers or fellow students saw the title, they immediately lost interest; it was the perfect book for the job.

    A footnote: My son, Alex, enjoyed the hollow Log book himself, but always wondered about the story that went missing before he was born. He finally tracked down a copy and read it. He says he enjoyed, and recommends it. ~~Larry Christensen '66

    X - Upon Graduation, Time to Exit

    Excellent Teachers

    I attended Joaquin School for my elementary education, then went to Farrer Junior High. I came to BY High in the Tenth Grade.

    An experience with my BY High history teacher, Julia A. Caine, gave me a wake-up call. Never before in my life I received anything less than an "A" on a class assignment, but a paper I submitted to Sister Caine came back marked with a "D".

    I was just standing there looking at the paper with dismay, and wondering what I was going to tell my father. Just then Sister Caine came, stood beside me and put her arm around me. "I know you are surprised, but I know you are not a 'D' student. You'll never get a 'D' in my class again, because I won't accept it. You've got to decide what you're going to do from now on to make your time count."

    From that time on, I became an "A" student. Sister Caine was totally supportive, and later even encouraged me to run for Student Body President.

    What an experience it was to have such good teachers, and also to be elected by the students as their president. I appreciate everyone that I became acquainted with at BY High, but particularly Julia Caine. ~~Sue Collins Speed '55.

    Y - The Y on Y Mountain

    Y'ld Cat Newspapers &tc:

    Brigham Young's High School Student Newspapers
    1891 to 1968

    In 1891, the students of Brigham Young Academy launched a student newspaper. The first high school student publication of Brigham Young Academy was the B.Y.A. Student. It appeared in the fall of 1891, published by the Student Life Department.

    Several other BYA publications, such as The Business Journal and The Normal soon followed, published by and for specific departments within the school.

    The high school students changed the name of the campus newspaper during the 1987-1988 school year. Now called The White and Blue, the paper was published twice a month — on the 1st and 15th.

    Each year a staff of 5 to 9 high school students, who represented various departments around campus, wrote all of the articles. Yearly subscriptions were available for 50 cents at first, but a few months later the price went up to 75 cents a year.

    In format The White and Blue at first resembled the B.Y.A. Student. The layout of The White and Blue was very simple with three columns per page. The first two columns were dedicated to news articles, usually announcements of upcoming events, and the third column featured advertisements. Some student literary contributions were also published. It was all text, with no graphics.

    The White and Blue later assumed a magazine format, and finally settled into a regular newspaper layout.

    When Brigham Young Academy was dissolved in 1903, The White and Blue continued on, now serving the large student body Brigham Young High School, and the smaller group of Brigham Young University students. Each year a top BYH student was selected to serve as head editor/reporter to coordinate the gathering of all high school news.

    In 1921, students felt it was time for another change. A campus-wide campaign began to find a new name for the newspaper. Finally, the name Y News was selected, and it continued on for more than 25 years.

    With a new name came other changes, too. The staff size increased, and they produced more articles for the paper. It was printed weekly instead of twice monthly, the headline style changed, the sheets were larger and of higher quality, and the writing style improved. These upgrades were not without a price. The Annual subscription went up to $2.

    Again, a BY High student reporter/editor to the Y News was selected each year, but the newspaper was becoming more of a college publication, with less room for high school news.

    In 1949 the name of the University student newspaper was changed to The Universe. While BYH students did not serve on the staff, The Universe or Daily Universe, like the Y News and The White and Blue, was always distributed on the Lower Campus and formed part of the daily reading diet of BYH students.

    At some point in the early 1940s, BYH students began to publish a mimeographed newspaper which they dubbed The Banter.

    BYA Student Masthead

    The White and Blue Masthead
    The Y News Masthead

    Y'd Cat student newspaper masthead mid-1950s
    1944 to Mid-1950s
    Y'ld Cat student newspaper masthead early 1960s
    Early 1960s

    Latter-Day Sun student newspaper masthead 1964-64
    Brigadier BYH student newspaper masthead 1965-68

    In 1944 the high school student newspaper name became The Y'ld Cat, and as with The Banter, all of the editorial positions were filled by high school students. Y'ld Cat was deemed a good name and served the high school well for 20 years.

    In 1964, out of the blue, the newspaper staff was asked to suggest a new name. Had we known how long the Y'ld Cat tradition was, we probably would have, or should have, fought to retain the same name, or return to an earlier predecessor. However, a somewhat lame Latter-Day Sun was adopted for the 1964-1965 school year.

    In 1965-1965 the name was changed again, this time to Brigadier, a much stronger name -- the one that continued on until the school was closed in 1968.

    The Brigadier received recognition as an All-American newspaper by the National Scholastic Press Association, the first time a BYH student newspaper had been so honored. Most of the credit belonged to BYH Journalism Adviser 1964-1968, Harold O. (Hal) Williams, for overseeing the publication and having the confidence to submit the application. ~~Larry Christensen '66

    Hal O. Williams
    Hal O. Williams
    BYH Journalism Adviser
    All-American Newspaper Award - Brigadier

    Z - Sleeper Boshard Catches a Few Zzzzs

    Catching Zzzz's

    There were times during my BYH years when I discovered that the hardest thing in the world was to keep my eyes open in class or in church. I like to stay up late studying when everyone else is asleep, when it's quiet and there is no pressure.

    When I was able to stay awake in class but was bored, I occupied my mind by drawing sketches of the people around me. I did not have the gift of humorous caricature that my classmate Karl Thomas possessed, but I enjoyed trying anyway.

    One day in Bro. Wallace Montague's Book of Mormon class, John Boshard was asleep. Bro. Montague stood directly in front of Boshard's desk for a while. Then in his deepest, quiet voice he said, "Whatcha doing, Boshard, praying?" John woke with a start, then joined in laughing with the class.

    I wanted to capture that moment, and it was only a day or two later that I had my chance -- John was asleep again. Mr. LaMoyne Garside, our art teacher, suggested that I turn my sketch into a multi-color linoleum print. It represents, for me, one of my favorite BYH memories of my good friend, John Boshard. ~~Larry Christensen '66

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    (L-R) LeEarl Baker, Ken Smith, Margie Swensen,
    Jim Petty, Dave Thurston and Colleen Kimball.
    BYH ink sketch by Meg Hayes, 1965.

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