That's the way we all feel about it - and for that reason we feel that we are the most worthy class on this earth - that we have accomplished more and intend to do more than any preceding class ever can do. In other words, we are IT. You may not be so sure right now - but wait; you are not yet to be convinced and then! Woe unto him who dares deny that the class of 1911 is not the class - "sans pareil" - the class without equal. Surely the wrath of our protecting gods shall descend upon them.
What have we done to make us such a wonderfully important class? That, friends, you are about to hear.
Just look at the bunch! Did you ever have the good fortune to gaze upon such a lot of beautiful, cheerful and well-behaved girls? And the boys? Of course, we haven't very many, but those we have make up for the lack in numbers. Behold, ladies and gentlemen, future presidents, governors, and present-day jolly and witty boys ever noted for their general good conduct and industry. Boys who are ever willing to do kind favors, no matter how much time or work they may require, witness Chester at the field meet, boys who have hitched their wagons so high that it is utterly ridiculous for the boy of any other class to even dare think of outstripping them. That's what it means to belong to the W. H. S. class of 1911. The girls, you may rest assured, are not a mile behind the boys in their aspirations. Do we not belong to the same aforementioned class? That, friends, in itself, is answer to any question. Only bear in mind that we are THE class. Now, for the proofs.
In the first place - haven't you enjoyed as much of this play as you have seen? Well, Francis Hare wrote it! I wouldn't be a bit surprised if many of those who compose this illustrious and highly appreciative audience tonight, would some day find themselves actors in one of his plays, the plot of which is no doubt already worked out. That's the way Francis does; he isn't a bit lazy, like lots of boys from Bridgeport, Bellaire or Martins Ferry; for instance, he gets a plot and works it out and the first thing a person knows, he is an actor in it. This class play is a good instance.
Then our poets, Chester Eskey and Francis Hare; perhaps you never read any of their poems? We defy anyone past, present or future, to compose verses more fitting or more stirring than have they. (Just read some recently issued Records.) And our girls, too - Rhea and Estelle and Hilda - did you ever read any of their rhymes? Really, some of them could easily pass as works of Milton, or, with a little stretch of the imagination, Shakespeare, even.
And Grace! Didn't you all just enjoy the selection she sang this evening? Isn't her voice wonderful? Do you reasonbly suppose anyone could beat her and do you wonder that since we are able to count among accomplishments, voices like Grace McKee's and Chester Eskey's, that we are convinced that we are the only class.
I often wonder what will next year's football team be. What will they do without Captain Goodwin, Ruble, Pratt and Plummer and Evans, the star players, how they can expect to win any games without them, is more than I can see. Don't you remember, everybody, how stoically Russell bore that awful hurt in his side the first Martins Ferry Thanksgiving game, when we were Juniors? Shall we ever forget that place kick that won the last game? Do you suppose anyone can be found who can duplicate such actions? Well, don't! Of course, as graduates of W. H. S., we naturally hope for the future of the school, but are inclined to be doubtful when we think of the wonderful people we are taking with us.
Our boys are perfect wonders, and no mistake. Bil Loper, our violinist and photographer - did you ever see any of the pictures he has developed? Local photographers may do excellent work, but when Bill gets on the job, he has got them all beat! And Ray Emery, for pure industry and an utter desire and great capacity for work, Ray has got it all over any one boy in any class - Ray Chapman excepted (?) perhaps. And, Albert Carle, did you ever see any one so quiet and unobtrusive. He undoubtedly must have the finest collection of words in the country; he very seldom lets any on them loose. And blush! Goodness, he's as bad as Ruth Mason when it comes to that.
That reminds me for a class for beautiful complexions; well, I can't name all of them, but just look at Henry Bond. He looks like a walking advertisement for Mellin's food. And Ruth Mason - just look at her, and I assure you you will be gazing on one of the most exquisite skins ever seen.
For eloquent speakers - not saying a word about Howard and Elizabeth - we have a-plenty. What would rhetoricals be without Paul, Chester, Edwin, Francis or Russell, and when Mary McNash gets on the stage, oh my, she has got them all beat. Mabel Atkinson, too, is a wonderful speaker, as anyone who has heard her recite can attest. And Mabel is the most hospitable girl in the class; just look how royally we were entertained at her home in the country. Talk about generosity!.
Can any class boast a baby such as ours? Look at her! There sits Regina in all her innocence. Do you suppose any class ever did or ever will, have a child - an infant prodigy - who can go through four years of High School and graduate, as big a baby as she was the day she entered as a Freshman? You can't make us believe that it is possible. Regina is the Infant Wonder of all ages and that's all there is to it.
What would W. H. S. be without the Senior boys on field day? I guess you know who made almost all the points for the school and who by their much running and jumping have made the athletic record of Wheeling High to be known and respected. Who won the class relay this year and last? Why, we did! No other class had a ghost of a chance even. Oh, we are convinced more and more that this 1911 class is the most wonderful class on the whole earth. What do you think about it?.
Just look what we did for the Record! Last year scarcely any interest was taken in our most excellent High School paper - and now, it is on the first-class list. How did we do it? Well, we worked and have been amply repaid. The 1908 Girls' Record was very fine, but the 1909 was better and now the girls of this class of 1911 have the distinction of having issued the very best paper ever put out by Wheeling High School. The Commencement Number is even better. You, Juniors, will have to wake up if you would keep the pace in High School journalism as set by this class.
Speaking of Juniors reminds me: You all have no doubt heard of the really excellent party they had planned giving and how our boys succeeded in breaking it up, to say the least. Well, no other class had ever succeeded so thoroughly in breaking up any party. That surely speaks well for the boys of our class - because they did it in such an orderly way that even the Juniors found pleasure in it.
Nobody likes a knocker. That is sure, but I'll venture to say that everyone here this evening has enjoyed William Litle's paper and that they almost believe, as he pretends to, that we are by far the worst class on the face of this earth; that shows William's ability. Now he doesn't believe any more than the rest of us, the awful things he has said; but he was assigned the part of the class knocker and you can judge for yourself the success he has made of it. Can you name anyone else - excluding, of course, the other members of the class - who could so successfully write on a subject they did not believe? We know quite well that they are mighty few.
Then there are our Commencement speakers: Elizabeth and Howard; they are jewels to be sure. Just wait until you hear them. Other classes may have had clever and interesting speakers, but ours have them beaten and then some. Just wait until tomorrow night, then you'll see. Then our greatest proof will have been given, and you will see the class graduate that is the largest ever receiving diplomas from Wheeling High. Then you shall realize that we are perfectly correct when we say that our class - its playwright, its musicians, poets, scholars, essayists, journalists, speakers, its girls, its boys and its standard as a class, are the very best on this earth. The following lines express my sentiments exactly: