Senior Hats article by
Joel Aronson in the Daily News
The senior year custom of designing, making, and wearing strange hats was a perfect photo opportunity. Hot from the publication of the Sing! story, I took photos of a few guys with their hats, and sent the photos and captions to the NYC Daily News. The story was published, but most frustratingly, I did not receive any acknowledgement, and my photos were incorrectly credited! In my cleanest chinos, I subwayed to the Daily News' offices to complain. Eventually I got a check for $25. What else to expect from a shmata like that! Anyway, here's the story, its text is on the right. Click on any image to view it larger in a gallery and navigate.
Skull Practice
Wacky senior hats are busting out all over, on the
boys at Madison and Midwood Highs, Brooklyn, and
on girls at Richmond Hill High, Queens. They are cele-
brating departure (with diploma) from high school.
Dolores Boehme,17 (left) of 347 Grove St., Ridgewood,
wears a merry-go-round. Barbara Minary of 95-24 110th
St., Richmond Hill like feathers. - Story on page B 38
Al Tartakoff of Madison High dis-
plays his patriotism and souvenirs.
HS Boys a Bit Loco
With Odd Headgear
What's this about men laughing at women's silly hats?
A group of graduation-happy boys at Midwood High
School, Brooklyn, have topped their traditional senior caps
with "trimmings" that outdo any "silly" feminine cha-
peaux. Flashing lights, a whirring propellor and a toy
locomotive decorate their laugh-getting hats.
"Just for the fun of it," was
the way David Moskowitz, 17, of
1347 E. 17th St., Brooklyn, ex-
plained the rigs atop the caps.
'We have been celebrating the
prospect of getting out of high
school and, for some of us, going
on to college."
Honor Student
Moskowitz, winner of several
scholarships, including a $1,400
State Scholarship, adorned his
senior cap with a model airplane
propellor, turned by a small bat-
tery-driven electric motor. His
creation also blinks a red and
green light which he turns on and
off from switches attached to his belt.
Other Midwood seniors, looking
forward like Moskowitz to get-
ting their high school diplomas
who put something added on their
caps, included Paul Heitner of
1489 5. 29th St., Robert Golden
of 1514 W. 5th St. and Joseph
D'Atri of 1821 Madison Place,
Heitner's hat has two lighted
ping pong bails. D'Atri's displays
a toy locomotive and Golden' s a
midget amplifier.
Golden selected his trimmings
because he is interested in high
fidelity experimenting. He ran
into a problem when school au-
thorities issued a ukase limiting
senior cap decorations to under
four inches in height, he ex-
"The amplifier was about six
inches high, but I've cut it down
to four inches and I think I'll
wear the cap around school
Senior caps, resemnbling a sail-
or's brimmed cap but in the
school colors, are an old custom
in the city's high schools. Some.
however, are dropping the tradi-
tion. Where still used, the caps
are worn at various times during
the senior's final term and serve
no special purpose except to
designate the upper seniors in
their fading high school weeks.
These two photos and captions appeared on the first page of section B with the wrong photo credit, which I corrected here. Al Tartakoff's patriotism display turned true, when I ran into him at National Security Agency in 1958. We were both in the Air Force then - small world!
Click on image to view larger.
Here, the rest of the story on page B 38. The Daily News
(oy! such a shmata!) incorrectly identified Madison as Midwood High. I added that correction here.
Click to view a
larger image.
Below left: Bob Golden poses with his hat in my room - my studio at that time. My Emerson AM radio is on the window sill - no FM at that time. It was probably tuned to WNEW - 11:30, Make Believe Ballroom. Photo was scanned from the original 4x5 sheet-film negative, still in good shape.
Right: Dave Moskowitz runs his hat from his belt controls. This photo was made with a newly purchased Rolleicord.
Click on each image to view larger.