A Trad Community In Cape Cod


With apologies to Patti Page, if you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, you’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod Community College. Or at least be intrigued by the photos taken on campus from 1961-1966.

We don’t usually drill down to the community college level, but oddly enough, due to the photos time and place, they seem more inviting to the traditionally minded then many current campuses.

Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable was the second college founded in the 15 school Massachusetts Community College system.   It was founded in 1961, and according to its motto, has been a source of “Light, Liberty and Learning” ever since. The college is located mid-cape, near Hyannis, the home of island outfitter Puritan, which advertised in the College yearbook the Foreseer.

In the absence of any facts, and just looking at the pictures, I can imagine that the summer residents have left, leaving just local and regional students who live in dorm housing. A newborn school with old-looking buildings and even older-looking administrators, staff and professors.  Tweed jackets and briar pipes reign supreme. Behind clouds of Burly And Bright tobacco they speak in a brogue reminiscent of the whaling captains of yore. A school too young to have any traditions has beanie-clad freshman do deferential rituals that are surely aped from more establish colleges. There are parties and fall touch-football games.

The yearbook photographer in two photographs sets up a curious juxtaposition, both internally and between them. One photo suggest a college of maidens who shy away from cameras by hiding behind a Playboy magazine. Another photo of a female student’s luggage suggests a two-year party fueled by folk music and White Horse Scotch. Makes me wonder if she felt a pang from the lyrics, “If you spend an evening, you’ll want to stay, watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay,” or whether that’s emotion reserved for those of us who daydream over yearbooks that aren’t theirs. — CHRISTOPHER SHARP






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16 Comments on "A Trad Community In Cape Cod"

  1. Love the guy running with the football at the bottom. Jacket, cap, patch-madras shorts, desert boots and dark socks. Epic!

  2. Wright Hall | October 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm |

    the kid with the football looks like Rooster from 22 Jump Street!

    best-dressed is the kid in the Shetland sweater and canvas deck sneakers with the poor basketball shot …..

  3. Absolutely fabulous posting – both narrative and photos – Christopher!

    +++ Re Christian’s appreciation of the footballer in madras shorts which, in that day, were NOT worn self consciously as I imagine would be the case today.

  4. Vern Trotter | October 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm |

    Cape Cod. Nowadays referred to in Boston, with affection, as the Irish Riviera.

  5. Looks like a bunch of reprobates if you ask me.

  6. I’m sure that’s what they were.

  7. Wright Hall,

    I think that hooper that you mention may be a woman.

  8. Good Post. By the way; the locals call it “Four C’s”. And the South Shore is the Irish Riviera, not Cape Cod.

  9. OCBD- I believe you’re correct. Hips and hair.

  10. Wright Hall | October 6, 2015 at 4:19 pm |

    Ox you’re right haha it’s a lady cager … I still like her Shetland and deck shoes though …..

    WFBjr, I was thinking some of these kids looked a little wild myself, and then I thought of some of the animals I went to school with ….

  11. Great post! Of course the president was a Nickerson.

    Puritan is still worth a visit, Watson’s in Orleans too.

  12. Richard Meyer | October 6, 2015 at 4:38 pm |

    Doesn’t have to be cape Cod. My U. Of Wisconsin yearbook pictures from era are virtually identical. That’s what college students for the most part looked like then.

  13. William Richardson | October 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm |


    I attended a private, and rather expensive, college with a fellow who wore cut off khakis, grey sweatshirts and the lining of a London Fog rain coat – simultaneously. He was hardly a reprobate. Ted Kennedy wore lovely Ivy League clothing and was, without a doubt, a reprobate of the first order.


  14. @Dave, DCG, Mazama Thanks for the praise glad you enjoyed the piece.

    @Richard Meyer seeing your name reminded me I miss the chats on Chipp and green trousers music we used to have on line.

  15. jake morton | October 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm |

    I am reading this in a tiny hamlet in Franche Comte, France visiting from London, and I very much appreciate the opportunity to have enjoyed overhearing your nostalgic exchange between good old alumni from afar. Many thanks to all and to the author for his great work providing the text and excellent collection of photos of ‘back in the day’ which capture and convey the atmosphere of the sixties which seems not so long ago to those of us who were there, then.

    Jake Morton

  16. Remember the old campus downtown like it was yesterday. A great school a great time.

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