Retro Eighth Grade Grad Close Encounter

Knollwood School Class of 2002
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

The Fair Haven Knollwood School grads have always been a styling, close-knit crew — a crew of cohorts that’s always shared many Kodak moments, in pairs, trios, cliques and all together.

Just as photography has evolved from Brownie camera to Instamatic to Polaroid, to phone camera, to full-on professional photo shoots, graduation photo ops have devolved back to single inspired family front lawn shots. That’s where the photo blitz usually began. Now it’s where it ends, too. So, some things never really change — much.

The single shot simplicity is not a retro move, though. It’s a measure to make the best of unprecedented, isolated COVID-19 pandemic graduation times. There is no graduation this year of: before shots with family and friends on graduates’ lawns; to group photos outside the school; to shots with favorite teachers; to snapshots by the river on the timeless Fair Haven Dock; to the graduation ceremony; to after-shots outside the school and (decades ago) in homes; or, in more recent decades, the rite-of-passage walk down Third Street to elementary school where it all started, culminating in a dance. Phew. It’s always been a lot.

Going back to simple and singular for 2020 is making do. Call it a new COVID tradition. And, this year, everyone gets a photo with the superintendent and principal along with family. There’s that.

Though those shots of clusters of friends and classmates that were always somehow involved will be missing this time around.

So, for this and next week, the Retro Pic of the Day will focus on those moments. It will also focus on the graduation fashion trends and faux pas over the years. Yes, you’ve seen some of these doozies before.

Today, the Retro Pic of the Day is a more fashion palatable one, though.

It’s from nearly two decades ago with the Knollwood Class of 2002 — a more fashion-forward group.

The guys basically had a uniform that year. It was definitely dapper. Navy jacket, white shirt, tie and khakis. It wasn’t retro enough for leisure suits or plaid sear sucker. Girls had a lot of curls and up-dos and walked the walk in everything from short designer dresses to gowns. No color code applied.

The graduation venue was the actual school from which the graduates were graduating — Knollwood. As with most Knollwood ceremonies, after the walk, awards, speeches and diplomas, there were those impromptu poses with clusters of friends.

This gaggle of girls and guys from the Class of 2002 took a moment to stand still for a few parents’ pics. Take a look. Recognize anyone? Who were your favorite friends to pose with at graduation? Teachers?

Your outfit?

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management