(More pictures at bottom of page and a recent comment about the Old Warsaw Restaurant and a Canadian "Orchid" DVD featuring our prom picture - Paul Ridenour)
The Prom of Their Lives
The dresses, the decorations, the drive to
the dance: Five couples recall their BIG
By Nancy Kruh / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
That is, until you aren't a teenager anymore, and life
gradually takes on less gargantuan proportions, and
your senior prom turns into something else: a fond
memory of a night that probably wasn't nearly as
significant as you expected it to be.
Yet even in retrospect, prom night is still a big deal -
something that millions of high school seniors are
experiencing in this current prom season.
Since graduating its first class in 1959, Dallas' Bryan
Adams High School has held a grand total of 40
proms. That's a lot of time for big change - in the
clothing styles, the music, the dancing. Yet over those
years, the proms also have maintained a sense of
timelessness - a fact that reveals itself in the misty
memories of five Bryan Adams couples.
THEN: Billy Moses, 17, ROTC company
commander, class of '59. Darlene Duncan, 17, drill
team member, class of '60.
NOW: Bill Moses, 56, Darlene's husband and North
Texas commercial sales manager for Orkin
Exterminating Co., Dallas. Darlene Moses, 56,
bookkeeper for Southern Methodist University
DATE: May 25, 1959
THE BIG INVITE: He: "I said, "We're going to the
prom. I'll pick you up.' "
ATTIRE: He: white-jacket tuxedo; rental: about $25.
She: pink, strapless, hoop-skirted gown of satin,
chiffon and netting. Her mother made it; material cost
CORSAGE: Pink orchid. Cost, he says: "About
BOUTONNIERE: Red carnation. Cost, she says:
TRANSPORTATION: His 1955 metallic-blue Buick
Century with a continental kit (spare tire sportily on
the rear). He: "It was the sharpest car of all East
Dallas." She, drolly: "It was the only reason I went out
DINNER: Sammy's Town House, a long-gone
restaurant on Lower Greenville. He ordered:
"probably steak." She ordered: lobster thermidor.
(He: "She didn't know what it was." She: "It was very
expensive.") Total bill: about $10.
PROM LOCATION: Grand ballroom at downtown
Sheraton Hotel (now Adam' s Mark Hotel)
TICKET PRICE: $6 each
PROM THEME: "Memories"
DECORATIONS: White tablecloths with green
bows and candles
REFRESHMENTS: Punch, cookies, cake, nuts
MUSIC: Colonel Anderson Orchestra, which played,
she says, "the top songs of our class." Among them:
"In the Still of the Nite," " Earth Angel," "Wake Up
Little Susie," "Misty." He: "It was not a good
DANCE: The Casa Linda Low Life. He: "We
virtually developed it. It's indescribable." She: "It's
close dancing and it's fast. The boys loved to race
around the room to see who could get around first."
AFTERWARD: He took her home. He: "Most of the
gals had early curfews. The dance was over at 1
o'clock, and Mama expected you home 30 minutes
BEST PART OF THE EVENING: He and she: the
WORST PART OF THE EVENING: He and she:
that it had to end.
THEN: Ricky Reynolds, 17, football and basketball
player, class of '68. Ginger Jones, 18, member of
drama club and Future Teachers of America, class of
NOW: Rick Reynolds, 47, baseball coach and
study-skills teacher at West Mesquite High School;
Ginger McLean, 47, sixth-grade math teacher at Yale
Elementary School in Richardson.
DATE: May 18, 1968
THE BIG INVITE: She: "We'd been going together
since we were sophomores. It was just kind of
ATTIRE: He: tuxedo with powder-blue jacket and
black pants; rental: "I know it had to be under $20."
She: sleeveless A-line dress of green linen, full-length
gloves and a curly, bow-bedecked hairpiece that was
"pretty awful." Cost of dress: "It couldn't have been
more than $100."
CORSAGE: White orchids with red tips. He doesn't
know the cost: "My mom bought it."
BOUTONNIERE: White carnation. She: "I believe it
came with the corsage."
TRANSPORTATION: A classmate, who was with
his own date, drove them in his dad's 1967
powder-blue Cadillac Coupe de Ville.
DINNER: Ports O' Call, a now-defunct seafood
restaurant atop the old Southland Center downtown
(now part of the Adam's Mark Hotel complex).
Neither remembers more than that.
PROM LOCATION: Sheraton Hotel grand
TICKET PRICE: $8 per couple.
PROM THEME: None.
DECORATIONS: Neither remembers.
REFRESHMENTS: Neither remembers.
MUSIC: Jesse Lopez and his band. He: "It was
awful. Nobody wanted to dance." She: "It was loud
and it was fast, and that's about it."
DANCE: She: "Nobody touched each other. We just
AFTERWARD: He: "I probably took her home."
She: "I don't think going somewhere was the thing to
BEST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Being with
friends." She: "It was probably the first time any of us
got dressed up, and we really felt like grown-ups."
WORST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Her hair."
She: "We had a fight, but that was pretty typical. I
can't remember what we fought about."
THEN: Paul Ridenour, 18, band and choir member
who also participated in drama, class of '78. Cristy
Hazelbaker, 17, drill team member, class of '78.
NOW: Paul Ridenour, 38, EDS programmer, Dallas.
Cristy Boozer, 37, administrative assistant at nuclear
power plant, Russellville, Ark.
Picture not from the newspaper but from the original prom picture
[Digital picture of the original]
DATE: April 29, 1978
THE BIG INVITE: He: "I dated her the whole senior
year. I told her," We're going to go to everything' -
and we did. I probably asked her at her house. I did
ask her plenty of time in advance."
ATTIRE: He: brown tuxedo with ruffled "pinkish"
shirt; rental: about $50. She: peasant-style peach
gown; cost: about $80.
CORSAGE: White orchid. Cost, he says: "I bet I
paid no more than $8 to $10."
BOUTONNIERE: Pink rose. Cost, she says:
"Maybe $2 or $3."
TRANSPORTATION: His dad's yellow 1970 Buick
Electra 225 with white interior.
DINNER: Old Warsaw. He ordered: "Some kind of
steak, baked potato and salad." She ordered: "I
remember it was French, and everything was sautéed
in butter, and everything was overpriced." Total bill:
Old Warsaw - Paul Ridenour, Cristy Hazelbaker, Julece Johnston, and David May
[Picture not in original newspaper article]
PROM LOCATION: Sheraton Hotel grand
TICKET PRICE: $14 per couple, $16 at the door.
PROM THEME: None.
DECORATIONS: Muted shades of brown, peach
and pink; paper flowers in these colors decorated the
REFRESHMENTS: Punch, cookies, finger
MUSIC: Live disco band, Slippery When Wet.
Among the songs: "Jet Airliner," "Boogie Nights,"
"Always and Forever," "Black Magic Woman."
DANCE: Disco style. She: "Paul was good at it. He
had two best friends, and the three of them were just
a hoot. They did the pointing stuff that John Travolta
would do [in Saturday Night Fever]. They had that
down to an art form."
AFTERWARD: The Pyramid Room, Fairmont Hotel.
She: "A friend of mine's parents gave her a really nice
breakfast. We weren't even hungry, but we forced
ourselves to eat." He got her home about 4 a.m.
BEST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "The kiss
goodbye." She: "I liked it all."
WORST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Almost
getting run over getting on Central Expressway after
breakfast." She: "We didn't have any catastrophes."
THEN: Flo Contreras, 17, all-state offensive lineman,
as well as wrestler, discus thrower and shot-putter,
class of '88; Shannon Brown, 18, drill team member,
editor of school newspaper, class of '87.
NOW: Flo Contreras, 27, Shannon's husband and a
tire builder for Goodyear in Duncan, Okla. Shannon
Contreras, 28, bank employee in Duncan.
DATE: May 21, 1988
THE BIG INVITE: He: "I don't think I did it formally.
It was more or less understood."
ATTIRE: He: black tuxedo; rental: about $70. She:
black and white puckered-knit dress with long
sleeves and low scooped back; cost: about $100.
"He bought it for me," she says.
CORSAGE: White and lavender orchids. Cost, he
says: "About $20."
BOUTONNIERE: White rose. Cost, she says:
TRANSPORTATION: He drove her mother's 1985
black Cadillac with a tan top.
DINNER: Mario's. He ordered: baked lasagna. She
ordered: seafood Florentine. "She didn't like it and I
had to eat it," he says. "I wound up giving her mine."
Says she: "I guess "scallops' sounded better than it
PROM LOCATION: Grand Kempinski in North
Dallas (now Hotel Inter- Continental Dallas)
TICKET PRICE: $40 a couple in advance, $45 at
PROM THEME: "Up and Away in '88"
DECORATIONS: In pink, teal and purple; lots of
balloons, with a huge balloon in the center decorated
to look like a hot-air balloon.
REFRESHMENTS: "The champagne-type punch
without the champagne," he recalls. "It came out of a
MUSIC: Provided by a disc jockey. He: "There was
some country, but a lot of top 40." Among the songs:
"Shout" by Tears for Fears and "The Cotton-Eyed
DANCE: "Everyone just got out there and moved
around," he says.
AFTERWARD: Went back to his house. He: "We
laid on the couch, talked and fell asleep." She: "I
probably left around 2 in the morning."
BEST PART OF THE EVENING: He: the grand
march. "It's where they call the names of the
individuals for whatever sport or achievement. I've
always been one for little stupid ceremonies like that."
She: "Just dancing."
WORST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Probably
the fact that we got in a fight. I'm sure we did. We
fought all the time back then. We don' t anymore."
She: "My hair. My mom was out of town, so she
couldn't do it. I tried to do it myself, and it was
NOW: Jeff Carson, 18, class of '98 valedictorian,
member of marching band, soccer team, National
Honor Society and senior council; planning to attend
Duke University. Monica Tatum, 17, member of
marching band, Key Club, National Honor Society,
class of '98; planning to attend University of Texas at
DATE: April 17, 1998
THE BIG INVITE: In a school courtyard. He: "I
needed a date, and it was kind of late, and she didn't
have a date yet. We're good friends, and I just asked
ATTIRE: He: double-breasted black tuxedo; rental:
about $100. She: shimmery, sequined, sleeveless
gown with split up the back; cost: about $170.
CORSAGE: Pink roses and carnations. Cost, he
BOUTONNIERE: Cream-colored baby roses. Cost,
she says: about $10.
TRANSPORTATION: His 1994 red Ford F150
DINNER: Antares atop Reunion Tower. He ordered:
red snapper. She ordered: honey-glazed chicken.
Cost: about $55.
PROM LOCATION: Union Station
TICKET PRICE: $55 per couple
PROM THEME: "Waltzing Through Time"
DECORATIONS: Tables decorated with candles
and cutout silhouettes of two people dancing; ice
sculpture carved into the number "1998."
REFRESHMENTS: Punch, chicken fingers, egg rolls,
MUSIC: Disc jockey spun "a little bit of everything,"
she says. "There were lots of slow dances." Among
the songs: "Truly Madly Deeply, " by Savage Garden;
"All My Life," by Jodeci; "Love Shack," B-52's;
"YMCA," Village People; "Macarena," Los Del Rio.
DANCE: The current nameless kind of free-style
AFTERWARD: Joined three other friends at a
private home. He: "We just hung out there, watched
TV and talked about how the dance went." He took
her to International House of Pancakes for breakfast
and got her home around 9 a.m.
BEST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Being there
with all my friends." She: "Probably the last slow
dance. He's a good slow dancer. He's very reserved."
WORST PART OF THE EVENING: He: "Being
late for our dinner reservations." She: "My feet hurt
the whole night. I tried to pretend they weren't
hurting, but it wasn't helping at all."
© 1998 The Dallas Morning News All Rights
NOTE: The Old Warsaw - On 11/1/2004, Dottie and I celebrated our 18th anniversary when we, quite by accident, ending up eating at the Old Warsaw. I had not been there since my prom. I remember back in 1978 that the tossed Caesar salad for two was $10.00. Today that same salad is $14. I had steak and Dottie had duck. The cost was only $62 before a 20% tip. They still had a pianist and violinist. They played "Sunrise Sunset" for Dottie and me and it was fabulous. So, not much has changed at the Old Warsaw since 1978.
NOTE: In June of 2006, a Canadian emailed me because he is producing a DVD about "How To Grow Orchids" and he wanted to use my prom picture. He found this webpage and wanted to show how orchids are used for special occasions. Small world!
UPDATE: The Orchid DVD was released in September 2006. I am getting two free copies. I decided to send one to Cristy's mother Kay. I called Kay on 9/19/06. She said "Did you know that my great grandfather was David J. Ridenhour?" She gave me some other Ridenhour names. Not sure why she never told me this before. I looked the names up in Melvin Ridenour's Ridenour Database and I found her family. Kay and I share the same 7th great grandparents, Nicolaus "Claus" Reitenauer, I, and his wife Susanna, Cristy's 8th great grandparents. Is it a SMALL WORLD or what? Twenty-eight years later I find out that my senior girlfriend and prom date is my cousin, a very very distant one. Kay now knows about the Reitenauer castle ruins on the Rhine River in the 800 ADs and that Hagerstown, MD, was founded by John Hager and my 6th great grandfather Nicolaus Reitenauer, II. www.paulridenour.com/ridfam.htm
Cristy (Hazelbaker) Boozer - High School Pictures
Cristy (Hazelbaker) Boozer
Before the prom
Bryan Adams band and drill team at a Miami Dolphins half-time performance at the Orange Bowl in 1977.
The band and drill team ate dinner together on Saturday night and I asked Cristy if I could sit with her, which was sort of our first date.
Paul Ridenour and Cristy Hazelbaker
Bryan Adams Band and Belles 1977
[Half-time and watching the other school's band from the football field]
Not only does everyone say this is a cute picture, but she let me know for the first time that she "liked" me even though she was going on a date with Robbie Byers after the game. It was at this moment that we were falling in love with each other. We dated until after we graduated.
[Photo by Richard Barton, Fall 1977]
[Photo by Richard Barton, Fall 1977]
Cristy as a Bryan Adams Belle, 1977
[Homecoming - photo by Richard Barton, Fall 1977]
Cristy loved the color purple and "rats" - with the rat came a small diamond ring as a Christmas present
Cristy in the 9th grade as an officer on the Hill Jr. High drill team called the Lassies.
This was before I knew her. I met her in 10th grade and already had plans to date her our senior year.