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Abington High School Class of 1968

June 28, 2002 - number 2

Jill Stange pointed out to me tonight that Tim Bumgarner's name appears in the 1968 yearbook on the "Not pictured" page.  So.  His picture is in the '67 yearbook and his name is in our's, the '68 yearbook.  And you know, either way, it's a sad thing to have lost him.

For those of you who might be interested, I'll give you a little background that I've discovered over the last year or two on how these things happen.

First.  The Alumni Association's databases were created in the early 80s when the school district did a data tape transfer of its records and the association used them to build their initial database.  So.  Any errors in the district's records automatically became the basis for the association's records.

Second.  I've learned that pictures in a yearbook are nothing official.  The pictures (if your memory actually goes back that far) were taken months in advance of graduation.  Anyone whose graduation depended on the final semester's grades could easily have been included in the pictures and then, after final grades came out, found themselves not able to graduate.  For those who could bring their grades up to snuff in summer school it was no problem, they graduated with their class.  There were, obviously, some who couldn't take the courses they needed in summer school or didn't get the grades they needed in SS in time for a diploma with their graduating class.  They either came back the following year or dropped out.

Finally, we don't have access to district records.  Not that I think that they'd be all that much more illuminating than the association's records we do have.  But, when dilemmas like the one with Tim come up, including ambiguous contradictions in press accounts and the records, we need to rely on a little detective work.

So.  I think this is a good example of why it's important for all of us to keep communicating.  Read the emails.  Drag out your yearbook(s).  And, as the song goes "Try To Remember."

Bottom line on Tim?  I think he was scheduled to graduate Class of '67 - his picture is in that yearbook, he was born in '49, early enough that I think he should have been a year ahead of us all.  For some reason he didn't graduate in '67 but in '68.  The newspaper got it right but didn't tell the whole story.  Either way, I consider him "one of ours."  And, regardless of the details, at our age it's "close enough."  So, God Bless, Tim.  Rest easy.

All the best to everyone.

Ed Mullen

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