Last week I noticed something in the closet that I hadn’t thought of in years. I have found my “senior cords”.
Senior ropes were unique and once phenomenal, popular among high schoolers.
The senior cords were yellow corduroy pants, skirts and vests. They have been decorated with permanent paint, with your name, the name of your school, your year of graduation, the name of your boyfriend or girlfriend, the names of your classmates, the clubs you belong or cartoon characters with teacher names underneath; everything near and dear to you in high school.
Senior cords were worn to distinguish you from “lower” subclasses and showed that you were a revered senior. They reflected your personality and showed the school that you were unique.
I couldn’t wait to finish my senior lanyards so I could wear them to school. The big thing for the boys was having flames coming up from the pant legs. My friend Carla had a senior corded jumpsuit.
I proudly wore my culottes and vest displaying “I’m a Little Off My Rocker” on the back, with a cartoon character next to my rocking chair. The vest had all my friends names on it. All of my high school accomplishments were displayed in paint for everyone to see and read as I walked through school.
The tradition began to die out in the late 70s as schools began to consolidate and because people began to question traditional involvement in ceremonies and rituals. The fashion just died out, although I hear that a high school or two in Indiana still carry on the tradition.
Finding my senior strings brought back good memories. The dark but laughable realization that I couldn’t fit into my upper ropes anymore.
I could sum up the upper cords as a short-lived event in his life. It had such an impact on us. They allowed us to fit in as a group, but stand out as it was our senior year in high school.
It showed our school spirit, coming and going.
Nancee Harrison is a former columnist for the Greene County Daily World. Visit www.blondeladywithdarkroots.com or email her at [email protected] or send your comments to Nancee, Daily World, Box 129 Linton IN 47441.