Notes on The 1985 Argos
by Eric Elfner, Photo Editor

As one of the editors of the 1985 yearbook, I thought I’d share some notes on this effort for anyone who might be interested:

  1. Throughout my time at Pennings, and even before, the yearbooks never came out on time. They’d sit unfinished over the summer and the next year’s editors would scramble to finish the previous year’s before they could work on their own. When Fish, Steven and I agreed to be the editors of 1985, we stipulated that we would not work on 1984 and set a goal to finish ours before everyone left for college, which we did. Mrs. Komsi backed us up on that, and some kind teacher, perhaps Miss Collins, finished 1984 on her own. (Thanks!)
  2. 1985 was the 25th graduating class of Abbot Pennings, so we designated it a 25th Anniversary edition. As it turns out, I discovered that there are ‘Argoses’ (Argi?) going back to at least the 1950s for St. Norbert High School. For the inside jackets, we found an aerial photo of DePere taken around 1960 and a contemporary 1985-ish one to compare. I am scanning this in 2010, which would have been the school’s fiftieth year had it survived.
  3. We copied the Senior photo idea from the yearbook of 1982, our freshman year.  We set it up to have a candid shot of each senior and then put their formal portrait in an insert. It worked pretty well, but it was a pain to get a good candid shot of everyone. Most turned out alright though.
  4. I only could find three major typos in this yearbook. On page 14 we identified Jeff LeMoine as his brother, Greg. On page 24, there is a cool, 25-year-old rendering of Mr. Groves (we asked all the teachers to submit 25yo photos and most did) that was printed upside down (Jostens’ mistake in printing I believe.) And on page 88, we identified an adult talking to the tennis team, as Coach Brimmer. It was not Mr. Brimmer but I don’t know who it was. There may be a few more, but not bad for the days before online editing. (Fish and Dan Lunney had to arrange these all by hand and send them out to a printer.)
  5. Although I took, developed and printed just about every photo in this book, my two favorites were taken by others. Steven’s shot of the audience at the talent show (page 60) was just a joke, but turned out great. And there is a picture of me telling Brian Oettinger not to take my picture on page 7.  I’m glad he did though because I like the shot, especially how Steven is analyzing his returned grade in the background.  I got some good ones too, and stuck some of my favorites on the last 3 pages behind the ads.  I've always been partial to big, candid crowd shots 1, 2, 3.  (More scans from the 1985 Argos Negative files are on the Photo page of the site.)
  6. I always thought Fish’s sense of humor was under-appreciated and was glad to see it well represented in the captions of this book. “Faculty cheer for Mr. O’Connell, students cheer for car fire.” on page 57 is one of my favorites.
  7. There was a lot of editorial freedom in the Lance (APHS Newspaper) and the Argos. Although I’m a bit embarrassed by some of our jokes now, where better to push some limits in a safe environment. My brother, Jon Elfner '88, a high school teacher in Illinois is amazed by how much we got away with back then. One example of this is how many beer cans we snuck into the background of these photos!

If anyone has a recent, comparable aerial photo of the Pennings building with DePere’s new bridge, I’d love to update the 25 year interval photographs.

Eric Elfner
October 2010

Eric Elfner, May 1985, in his darkroom lair in the basement of the APHS band hall.  Note the Anheuser Busch logo, girl poster, beer cans, indoor soccer shoes with the stripes removed, Catch 22 novel and photos of the other editors very carefully strewn about this photo.


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Contact Eric Elfner at elf(at) with additions, corrections or comments on this site.