Our class was special and the years we spent at school was a unique time in history.
This page is dedicated to popular culture of the time. Go back in time with;
Music, TV, Movies, Sports, Fashion, Technology, Politics, Personalities and more.

Class Stats & Fun Facts

Class Stats:

  • Total Class Roster that was at least part of the four years – 659
  • Graduating Seniors from Commencement Program – 583 + 8 who Graduated end of Junior Year
  • Classmates Located for the 50th Reunion – 342 as of 2/1/22 - (See Classmates who provided Profiles on the Classmates Page.  See Missing Classmates Page for those where a contact has not been found.)
  • Located Classmates still living in Madison (Dane County) – TBD
  • Located Classmates still living in Wisconsin - TBD


Deceased Classmates – 66 - as of 1/1/23 as best as can be determined. (See Memorial Pages for more information) May They Rest In Peace


West History Being Gathered.  See link to article:


Most Common First Names of our Classmates

  • Ann or Anne – 7
  • Barb or Barbara – 8
  • Bill or William – 12
  • Bob or Robert – 14
  • Deb, Debbie, Debby or Deborah – 17
  • Diane, Dianne or Diana – 7
  • Ellen – 6
  • Jan or Janet – 11
  • Jeff – 8
  • Jim or James – 18
  • John or Jon – 20
  • Julie – 9
  • Kathy or Katherine – 10
  • Linda, Lynn or Lynne -13
  • Mark – 8
  • Mary, Mary Beth or Mary Jo – 18
  • Mike – 11
  • Nancy – 14
  • Pat, Patricia or Patti - 7
  • Pete or Petter – 7
  • Richard – 9
  • Scott – 7
  • Steve or Stephen -16
  • Sue, Susan, Suzanne or Suzy – 18
  • Tom or Thomas - 23

Classmates Most Embarassing Moments (From Yearbook):

  • Tripping up the down the staircase.
  • Having my I.D. picture taken - I'm not too cute.
  • Running backwards with a football in gym class.
  • When I got sweaty on a date.
  • When the elastic band on my skirt broke.
  • The day after Tolch's party.
  • Being caught by a teacher in the stairwell by the bandroom when we were in the middle of something.
  • Calling Mr. Keyes Bill.
  • Getting my skirt cuaght on the bannister.
  • Belching in class.
  • Falling off the flag pole after only 8 days, 6 hours and 3 1/2 minutes.

Maize and Blue


Oh let them shout and cheer for Memorial High

And talk of East High’s royal hue,

And let Lafollette preps their banners fly;

We know they’re staunch and brave and true.

But out of all the schools that fight for fame,

There’s only one that will remain,

And that is West High, West High, -- here’s to you!

We will not fail thee, Maize and Blue.

Entertainment of 1972

Billboard's Top 10 Hits of 1972

  1. "The First Time I Ever saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack
  2. "Alone Again (Naturally)" - Gilbert O'Sullivan
  3. "American Pie" - Don McLean
  4. "Without You" - Harry Nilsson
  5. "The Candy Man" - Sammy Davis Jr.
  6. "I Gotcha" - Joe Tex
  7. "Lean on Me" - Bill Withers
  8. "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" - Mac Davis
  9. "Brand New Key" - Melanie
  10. "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" Wayne Newton


1972 Top 10 TV Shows

1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. Sanford and Son (NBC)
3. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
4. Maude (CBS)
5. Bridget Loves Bernie (CBS)
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS)
7. Gunsmoke (CBS)
8. The Wonderful World of Disney (NBC)
9. Ironside (NBC)
10. Adam 12 (NBC)


Memorable Movies from 1972

  • The Godfather
  • Last Tango in Paris
  • Play It Again Sam
  • Jeremiah Johnson
  • Caberet
  • Deliverance
  • The Poseiden Adventure
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex - But were Afraid to Ask
  • Deep Throat (X)
  • Fritz the Cat (X)

The Female Hotties:

  • Adrienne Barbeau,
  • Dyan Cannon,
  • Lynda Carter,
  • Peggy Lipton,
  • Barbra Streisan,
  • Diana Ross

Top Male Hotties:

  • Richard Roundtree,
  • Burt Reynolds,
  • Marlon Brando,
  • Elvis Presley

Top Comedians

  • Martin Mull
  • Don Rickles
  • Lily Tomlin
  • George Carlin


1972 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

History of 1972

  • Ray Tomlinson invented internet based email.
  • Nolan Bushnell founded Atari with an investment of $250.
  • HBO (Home Box Office) was launched by Time-Warner.
  • Chrysler brought electronic ignition to automobiles.
  • Clothes had a lot less static cling in 1972, thanks to the introduction of Bounce dryer sheets.
  • Doritos were introduced nacho cheese in 1972.
  • Carnival Cruise Lines began sailing.
  • Household dish cleaner ‘Dawn’ was released in 1972.
  • George Carlin was arrested in Milwaukee in 1972 for violating obscenity laws. His crime was delivering his “Seven Dirty Words” bit in public.

  • Members of President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign were arrested while breaking into the office of the Democratic National Committee in Washington D.C.’s Watergate Complex.

  • Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam, supporting the communist side of the war, earning the nickname “Hanoi Jane”.

  • Terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian militant group Black September attacked and murdered members of the Israeli Olympic Team at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich.
  • The U.S. Men’s Basketball team loss to Russia in the Basketball final of the 1972 Munich Olympic games was one of the most controversial events in Olympic history. The U.S. team never accepted their silver medals in protest.
  • Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in three straight tennis sets known as "the Battle of the Sexes.".
  • The United States continued to participate in combat in the Vietnam War, primarily with air power to assist the South Vietnamese army, while negotiators in Paris tried to hammer out a peace agreement and withdrawal strategy for the United States.
  • The last military draft lottery is held - The draft was officially abolished in 1973.
  • Apollo 17 becomes the last manned moon flight.  Man has not returned to the moon since.















Costs in 1972

  • The Stock Market breaks 1,000 points for the first time
  • Superbowl ad in 1972: $86,000
  • Average Cost of new house $27,550.00
  • Average Income per year $11,800.00
  • Average Monthly Rent $165.00
  • Cost of a gallon of Gas $0.55 
  • Kodak Pocket Camera $28.00
  • Wrangler Jeans $12.00
  • Ladies Timex Watch from $30.00
  • Ford Pinto $2,078
  • Barbie Doll Designer Collection from $2.85
  • Frisbee $0.94 cents

Memorable Quotes

  • “Hey, Mikey! He likes it!” – Life cereal ad
  • “The mind is a terrible thing to waste” - United Negro College Fund
  • ” It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” - Frank Perdue
  • “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” - Marlon Brando, in The Godfather
  • "Nothing Runs like a Deere” - John Deere ad
  • “Nobody does it like Sara Lee” – Sara Lee

Things from Then That Are only Memories

  • Rotary Phones
  • Shag Carpeting 
  • Short Shorts and Tube Socks
  • Pet Rocks
  • Clackers - Ball banging game that was banned as a safety hazard
  • View Master - For viewing colored disks
  • 8-tracks
  • TV Test Patterns and adjusting TV antenna's
  • Typewriters & White Out
  • Table Trays
  • Ditto Machines
  • Polaroid Instant Photos
  • Aluminum Can Pull Tabs

Pop Culture

  • Maxi dresses, mini skirts, knee socks and patterns happened in a big way.
  • Bill Cosby spoke to kids about drugs... And won a Grammy for it.
  • PONG became the first commercially successful video game.
  • The digital watch made its clunky debut.
  • “Your Mama” became a popular phrase amongst the youth.
  • The word ‘spam’ used in reference to e-communications (commonly emails) comes from a 1972 Monty Python sketch related to SPAM.
  • Burt Reynolds poses nude for the centerfold of Cosmopolitan magazine

Sports Champions in 1972

  • World Series Champions: Oakland Athletics
  • Superbowl VI Champions: Dallas Cowboys
  • NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins
  • U.S. Open Golf Jack Nicklaus
  • U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ilie Nastase/Billie Jean King
  • Wimbledon (Men/Women): Stan Smith/Billie Jean King
  • NCAA Football Champions: USC
  • NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
  • Kentucky Derby: Riva Ridge

Cars of 1972

  • Most Popular Car- VW Beetle (Really?)
  • Muscle Cars - Dodge Charger; Pontiac Lemans; Ford Thinderbird: Pontiac Firebird
  • Cheapest American Cars - Chevy Vega; Ford Pinto; AMC Gremlin; Ford Maverick; Plymouth Duster
  • Most Expensive American Cars - Lincoln Continental Mark IV;Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.
The Summer of "72

MAY 29:

It’s Memorial Day, and “The Godfather” is No. 1 at the box office, where it has been lodged since March 22 when it knocked “Dirty Harry” out of the top spot. It stays there all summer until Aug. 30, when the Goldie Hawn comedy-drama “Butterflies Are Free” took over for a week. But just when you thought it was out, “The Godfather” is pulled back into the top spot for another four weeks.

MAY 29:

Actress Laverne Cox is born. In 2014, she becomes the first trans person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category for her work on the Netfl ix series “Orange Is The New Black.”


“The Godfather” debuted March 22, but it dominated the box office for nearly all of the summer of 1972.




JUNE 1: Alice Cooper releases the album “School’s Out,” which reaches No. 2 on the charts and lifts the band to its long-running success. At the mellower end of the musical spectrum, the Eagles release their self-titled debut and quickly find their own success.

JUNE 1: Fanny, one of the first all-female rock bands, plays the first of nine shows at the Whisky A Go Go in 1972. The band, founded by Filipino American sisters June and Jean Millington, was a favorite among artists such as David Bowie and had an influence on all-female rock bands such as the Runaways and the Go Gos that followed.

JUNE 3: “I’ll Take You There,” a sweetly soulful bop by the Staples Singers, reaches No. 1 on the singles charts.

JUNE 4: Soviet poet Joseph Brodsky is expelled from the Soviet Union and emigrates to the United States. In 1987, he wins the Nobel Prize for Literature, and four years later he is named U.S. Poet Laureate.

JUNE 7: The musical “Grease” debuts on Broadway, launching a ’50s nostalgia kick that brings the movie “American Graffiti” in 1973 and the TV series “Happy Days” in 1974. The musical runs 3,388 performances on Broadway — a record at the time — until closing in 1980.

JUNE 9: The Rolling Stones play the Hollywood Palladium, and over the next two nights also rock the Long Beach Arena and the Forum in Inglewood. Tickets are $6.50, and with that, you also get Stevie Wonder as the opening act.

JUNE 10: “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. reaches No. 1 where it stays for three weeks. A fantastic all-round performer, Davis told people he didn’t like the song — he found it too saccharine sweet — but it’s his only No. 1 single.

JUNE 11: The X-rated adult movie “Deep Throat” opens in theaters and becomes the first pornographic film to get widespread attention with reviews by Variety and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert. Its title also was adopted by the Washington Post as a code-name for one of the newspaper’s most valuable anonymous sources, which is, you know, kind of weird.

JUNE 14: “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” the fourth of the original five movies, is released.

JUNE 16: David Bowie releases “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust,” which doesn’t do much on the charts but in time proves to be one of the most influential albums of the year.

JUNE 21: Directed once again by famed photographer and social justice advocate Gordon Parks, “Shaft’s Big Score!” the second in the series about Richard Roundtree’s private eye character Shaft, is released.

JUNE 22: The one-millionth Ford Thunderbird rolls off the assembly line in Los Angeles, but it’s nowhere near as cool-looking as the 16,155 sold in 1955 when it debuted.

JUNE 25: Led Zeppelin, whose 1972 success was overshadowed by the Rolling Stones, play the Forum in Inglewood and two nights later the Long Beach Arena. The shows are recorded and released in 2003 as the live album “How The West Was Won.”

JUNE 27: The American video game company Atari incorporates in California. In November, it serves up the game Pong.

JUNE 29: The Robert Redford political drama “The Candidate,” which looks at the cynical manipulation of the political system, is released.

JUNE-ISH: Comedians Cheech and Chong release their second album, “Big Bambu,” which took its name from a brand of rolling paper and the LP came with a joke rolling papers, the size of the album cover. The album’s success was no joke, though, as it rose to No. 2 on the charts and was nominated for the Grammy for best comedy album. (The exact day of release in June 1972 is unclear, lost to the fog of time or obscured by the enormous clouds of smoke.)

David Bowie in 1972


Richard “Cheech” Marin, right, and Tommy Chong perform April 5, 1972, in New York.



JULY 1: “Song Sung Blue” by Neil Diamond climbs to No. 1 for one week, becoming his second and last solo No. 1 after 1970’s “Cracklin’ Rosie.”

JULY 7: Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is published as a book, after originating as a loosely fictionalized series in Rolling Stone in late 1971.

JULY 8: “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers reaches No. 1 and hangs out there — leaning on it — for three weeks.

JULY 11: A showdown between world chess champion Boris Spassky and U.S. champion Bobby Fischer begins in Reykjavik, Iceland. Chess doesn’t get this much pop culture attention again until Netflix releases “The Queen’s Gambit” in 2021.

JULY 15: “The Ken Berry ‘Wow’ Show” joins the ABC network summer schedule with then little-known actors such as Steve Martin, Teri Garr and Cheryl Ladd in its cast.

JULY 19: “The Thing With Two Heads” is released in theaters. It’s the story of a racist, terminally ill scientist played by Ray Milland, who wants his head transplanted onto another body so that he can live on. When he comes to after the operation, he’s been attached to an African American man played by former L.A. Rams football star Rosey Grier. Things — including the rudimentary special effects — do not work out as planned.

JULY 21: Comedian George Carlin is arrested at Summerfest in Milwaukee after performing his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” monologue, a bit he’d recorded on May 27 for his “Class Clown” album. You can say most of them on TV today, but we still can’t here.

JULY 29: Actor Wil Wheaton is born in Burbank, California. After starring at 14 in the classic coming-of-age tale “Stand By Me,” he realizes his destiny as an icon of nerd culture with his role as Wesley Crusher in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (and no spoilers, another recent show in the “Star Trek” universe), multiple books, a role as an evil version of himself on “Big Bang Theory,” and much more.

Neil Diamond in 1972


Comedian Bob Hope, left, watches world chess champion Bobby Fischer’s reaction to his move during a rehearsal for a Bob Hope TV special in 1972.


Milwaukee Police officers lead comedian George Carlin off the Summerfest grounds July 22, 1972, in Milwaukee.



AUG. 1: “Bug Suspect Got Campaign Funds” is the headline on the first story written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the Washington Post about the Watergate Scandal. Four years later, their work will not only have contributed to the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency, but it will also see Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman portray them in the 1976 film “All The President’s Men.”

AUG. 6: Geri Halliwell, or Ginger Spice, the eldest of the Spice Girls, is born in Watford, England.

AUG. 14: Producerwriter Jesus Salvador Trevino’s “Yo Soy Chicano” is released. The film is considered the first Chicano-produced documentary on the Mexican American experience.

AUG. 15: Ben Affleck is born in Berkeley, California, though he grows up in and around Boston, where he learns to love Dunkin’ Donuts and Matt Damon, the latter with whom he wins an Oscar for writing “Good Will Hunting.” Later, he wins an Oscar for Best Picture for “Argo” and falls in and out love with J. Lo, and now back in again. Also, he played Batman.

AUG. 19: The live pop music series “The Midnight Special” pilot airs at 1 a.m. on NBC stations. John Denver is the guest host, and performers include Mama Cass Elliott, Argent, Harry Chapin, David Clayton- Thomas, the Everly Brothers, the Isley Brothers, Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstadt and — phew! — War.

AUG. 20: The Wattstax Music Festival is held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where about 100,000 fans pay $1 each to see

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein sit in the Washington Post newsroom in 1973 in Washington.

the Bar-Keys, Isaac Hayes, the Staples Singers and more. One dollar!

AUG. 22: “And Now For Something Completely Different,” the first feature film from the Monty Python comedy troupe, is released in the United States.

AUG. 24: “Hot August Night” is recorded by Neil Diamond at the Greek on this night during his 10 shows at the venue this month. It goes double platinum and becomes one of Diamond’s classic records.

AUG. 27: “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass hits No. 1 for only one week, but they’re still singing about her in that port on a Western bay where she worked layin’ whiskey down.

AUG. 30: “The Last House On The Left,” the first film by horror director Wes Craven, is released. Where exactly is the house? The movie poster helpfully shares its location: “It rests on 13 acres of earth over the very center of hell!” (You have towonderwhatitwouldgoforin this market, though.)

“The Last House On The Left” — director Wes Craven’s first horror release