Class of 1939 is ambitious as ever

The girls of DeGraff High School’s Class of 1939 were an ambitious bunch.


Clockwise from the bottom left, Peggy Gullet, Esther Mohr, Ruby Byler and Doris Prater pose for a photograph with their 1939 DeGraff High School class picture after reminiscing Monday at Green Hills Community. (EXAMINER PHOTO | HALEY COOPER)

Four childhood friends from DeGraff who started school together in a one-room building, grew up together playing basketball and made memories that have lasted a lifetime.

Their own lives later drifted them apart, but they continued to keep in touch as they could. They recently were back together and celebrated their 75th class reunion at the DeGraff High School Alumni gathering June 7.

The oldest member, Peggy Gullet makes sure to travel out of Arizona to get to the alumni gathering every two years. Four other members were there this year: Doris Prater, Lois Jean “Snip” Robbins, Esther Mohr and Ruby Byler. The other remaining members of their class, Jim and Laurie Mae Grandstaff, were unable to attend.

Their class was honored at the alumni gathering with a slide show.

“That’s the first time I had ever sat in front of all the alumni,” said Mrs. Gullet.

Mrs. Gullet, Mrs. Robbins and Mrs. Prater played basketball all throughout high school together.

“We got beat once 8-12 in a tournament game by Belle Center,” said Mrs. Prater. “After that game we were quarantined for scarlet fever.”

Over the years, major differences have taken place in the way basketball is played for girls.

“We used to play half court, our uniforms were satin and the shorts weren’t real baggy like they are now,” said Mrs. Gullet. “They were really nice short shorts. We also played with six players. There were three forwards and three guards. You needed 10 fouls to foul out of a game and five fouls at a half fouled you out for the half. When there was a foul ball there would be a jump ball and we physically jumped for the ball, but you couldn’t bump anyone, or it would be a technical foul.”

When it came to coaching and instruction, the girls weren’t given as much help as the boys.

“Mr. Musser (the boys basketball coach) didn’t think any girls should be playing basketball,” said Mrs. Gullet. The last time she saw him, she said she told him, “‘We girls survived and the boys didn’t.’ ”



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