Southern Brooklyn

James Madison High School, Class Of 1971


Following last week’s video featuring photos of neighbors around Brown Street and Haring Street between Avenue Z and Voorhies Avenue from the 1970s through the 1990s, we stumbled upon the video above.

Produced in honor of the 40th anniversary of their graduation from high school last year, James Madison’s class of 1971 organized a class reunion, where it screened this video.

The video, titled “The Way It Was,” depicts James Madison High School students 41 years ago. As indicated by the title, much has changed since then. The students of the class of 1971 were given student ID cards made of paper and printed off a typewriter. These highly outdated cards did not contain pictures, and the names of students were hand written onto the cards. The video also shows how the appearance of James Madison High School has changed. The old-fashioned entrance with large pillars standing at its sides has been replaced by modern gates and doorways.

Some pictures feature students studying, laughing, conversing, and fooling around in the hallway and classroom. They show teachers sitting at their desks, teaching, working in the office, and helping students with their classwork. It shows how students in the 70s played football, and wrestled each other onto the dusty ground. In the background, cheerleaders performed their synchronized routines with smiles on their faces.

However, back then, teachers used chalkboards, and classrooms were void of modern technology… and, presumably, sex scandal after sex scandal.

Do you know anyone in the video? Let us know!


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  1.  Mimeograph machine at 9:23. Also, Steve Mekler is all over this video. Didn’t realize he was “the man” in H.S. Met him in college when we were both on the radio station.

  2.  Hi Andy.  I am still “the man.”  See my Facebook page and send me a friend request.   I also have lots of CCNY and SUNY Albany photos from the 1970’s and someday I will get them up on Youtube as well. 

    By the way, I just completed a full photo tour of Madison and am currently working on a slide show presentation of Madison today.  Be on the lookout for it over the next month or so on my Youtube channel!

    Steve Mekler

  3. I saw you there with the camera last week!! I also loved the above video! I cannot wait for the next one!! Great job!!

  4. Interesting.. Brown and Haring? I lived on Brown St. just 3 doors over from Elaine Boosler… Carol King also lived on my block. Brown between Z and Voorhies. Elaine graduated from Sheepshead with my partner. I was in Madison Class of ’65.


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