Members of the eighth grade graduating class from Trinity Evangelical Lutheran School gathered at the home of Steve Koepper in 1958. They would be the last graduating class from the Arsenal Street location as the congregation built a new school on East 16th Street. Four of the graduates in these photographs went on to Thomas Carr Howe High School in Irvington. While the kids laughed and ate snacks in the dining room, the adult chaperones gathered around a card table in the living room and sipped on some coffee. Everyone is dressed up as they had just come from the formal graduation ceremony. Like many teens in the U.S., they likely kept up with popular culture. The number one song on the radio on June 6, 1958, was "The Purple People Eater." by Sheb Wooley. If they had gone to a movie that year at the Irving Theater then some of these kids might have watched "South Pacific," the top grossing film for the year. As more Irvington families added television sets into their living rooms, some of these teens might have spent some time watching "Leave it to Beaver," "I Love Lucy," "Candid Camera," or the "Ed Sullivan Show." The baseball fans in that dining room likely enjoyed the start of the new Major League Baseball season as they followed favorite players like Willie Mays, Mickey Mantel, and Ted Williams. If they were Yankees fans then they were in for a treat later in the year.
On the cusp of high school, the kids enjoyed a few light moments together in the Koepper family bungalow at 5263 East Tenth Street. They were about to separate and leave their insular world of their smaller school for much larger institutions; however, on this lovely spring day they just had fun.