It was a pivotal year in our history, and for these graduating studentsas for everyoneit was an uneasy time, to say the least. They had just spent their early teens enduring the meanest years of the Great Depression, some of them having suffered hardships that we of later generations cannot even imagine, and now they were faced with the prospect of a World War that would certainly involve them. (Indeed several of them went off to fight; one did not survive.) Yet none of this is apparent in the text and pictures of The Cliff Echoes. In it they've recorded only the things internal to the school and to their personal relationshipsnicknames, favorite sayings, mottos, the class flower, cutest couple. It's as if no unusual external pressures existed, that things were just as they should be, that Cliffside was an isolated Eden. And perhaps that's a good thing, the best way to remember that moment, their moment, in time.
The surviving members of the class are approaching, if not already in, their eighties. They and their generation have contributed so much and have taught us so many things, we should honor their lives and their memory. What little we know about the life and times of these seniors of 1940, we've appended here, but we'd like to learn much more. If you have information about anyone shown in the yearbooktheir parents, where they live, who they married, their careers, etc.please forward it and we'll include it on these pages.
As in classes that preceded them, and some that followed, the students constructed their yearbook by hand. Although they had the pages of text printed professionally, they then had to paste the photos, many of them made with a snapshot camera, into every copy of the book. Finally, the pages were collated and placed within soft folder covers, then tied with decorative cord. At right is a portion of the cover.
This is a facsimile of the yearbook. Although the elements of the original pages have been rearranged for web viewing, the color, typography and photos on this reproduction are true to the original yearbook's design. Curiously, in the original, the students were not listed in any particular order. We've alphabetized them for your convenience.
The actual copy of the yearbook we've used to produce this facsimile belonged to the late Raleigh Biggerstaff, a member of the class of '40. He was also assistant editor of the yearbook, and it must have been he who played this prank (it couldn't have been accidental): Throughout the book, Raleigh's name is misspelled “Raliegh.”
The book was provided by Raleigh's brother, B.B. (“Buzzy”) Biggerstaff, of Boiling Springs, NC, to whom we're grateful.
Use the Index for direct links to specific individuals and groups.