Black and Gold

by Harvey Blumenthal

“Hail! Hail to U. City High. All Hail to Our Own Gold and Black!”

Everyone knows the words to their high school alma mater—this one’s mine. But more important, this is where my life was saved. This is where I met Sandy Feldman, and where we soon would fall in love. But that’s getting a little ahead of my story. So, for now, let’s focus on our school colors, black and gold.

On game day, we wore white jerseys with black numerals, front and black. Mine was #47. The jersey had black and gold stripes on the sleeves and were tucked into gold pants with thigh pads. Black and Gold pom-poms were waved by cheerleaders wearing black slim-jims and white sweaters with a gold megaphone sewn across the bosom.

We were the U. City Indians. The letterman’s club was the Tribe, and our school newspaper was the Tom Tom. In each monthly issue, one page was devoted to current photos, with the lead titled, “Our Black and Gold in Black and White.”

In the Spring of 1955, Sandy was voted by her classmates to be the sophomore maid at the spring dance. She and the junior maid would attend the senior girl voted Spring Dance Queen. Guess who Sandy’s date was? This photo of Sandy, with me escorting her, appeared in the Tom Tom. She wore a white strapless net formal gown, and I still remember how it rustled when she walked. She also wore long tear-drop crystal earrings that reflected light and called attention to her lovely face.

I thought she was the prettiest girl in school, with her square face, high cheek bones, large expressive gray-green eyes, full sensuous lips— and the cutest little turned up nose. In 1955, I didn’t even know the word sensuous. Some of her girlfriends thought she looked like Grace Kelly; who was I to argue? And that night she carried a large bouquet of roses.

The caption under the photo read, “Don’t they make a lovely couple?” Over 60 years later, this prescient photo remains my all-time favorite, and Black and Gold will always be our colors. 1955—it all happened a million dreams ago.

Editor’s Note: Harvey Blumenthal lost his beloved wife, Sandy Blumenthal, on February 16 of this year. He submitted this article in tribute.

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