Bert Corcoran Voted Class Optimist in 1922

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

You have probably heard of high school's that vote for Most Likely to Succeed, Most Talented or Most Popular, but have you ever heard of the Class Optimist?  I hadn't, but Kirk's grandfather, Bert Corcoran, was voted that in his senior year.

27 members of Grand Rapids, Michigan Boys' Catholic Central High School held a mock election.  A newspaper article reported the election results in the Grand Rapids Press 25 April 1922 edition on page 11; column 4 and 5.

Can you imagine being voted as the shark, rough neck, woman-hater, or baby?  Things have certainly changed since 1922.  High school's today would never be allowed to use derogatory labels.  The teacher in me noticed that six of the students weren't voted for anything.  I guess it isn't as noticeable in a larger school, but I wonder how they felt about being left out.  Another thing that time has changed, I guess.  They probably didn't give it another thought.

  Here is the clipping:


Twenty-seven members of the junior class of Boys' Catholic Central High school learned Monday how classmates regard them when the annual mock election was held.  The results include:

Most Popular, William Grant;
handsomest, Ronald Chinnock;
shark, James Withey;
class pet, Harold Myler;
class pugilist, Ralph DeVries;
optimist, Bert Corcoran;
pessimist, Charles Guinon;
athlete, Francis Slattery;
fashion plate, Edward Symanski
cutup, August Annerino;
dancer, Michael McCue;
farmer, John Collins;
rough neck, Frank Holland;
woman hater, Joseph Zematis;
bluffer, Wilson Madden;
artist, Leo Van Gorp;
poet, Francis Manikowaki;
chauffeur, Gerald Joyce;
baby, Joseph Morrison;
musician, Archie Foster;
wit, Bernard Morrisey,


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