By Barb King

It was 1959 and Roley City High School was having its fifth class reunion celebration. On a Saturday afternoon the class’s most illustrious graduate, Rock N. Roley, had performed at the municipal auditorium. That same evening, he was to meet with his close circle of friends at Maltie’s Falcon Malt Shop and Café to rock and roll all night.

However, even though the homecoming five years earlier had some things to celebrate, it was marred by its first-ever loss of its big game and by the death of Becky Sue Lamour, which happened on the railroad tracks, where she was struck by a freight train.

Many people were joyous and looking forward to Rock’s performance, but some were anxious and nervous. As activities were to get underway, a cop burst into the café and announced that eight of the classmates are suspects in Peggy Sue’s murder.

They are: Calvin Q. (CU) Layder, a science genius and practical joker, played by Clark Hardy; Dierdre (Dee) C. Deucer, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and Homecoming Queen, played by Barb King; Delbert  (Del) Toyes, a three-sport letterman in football, basketball and baseball, played by Caroline Pope;  Evelyn C. (EC) Leigh,  a very popular cheerleader, played by Annie Shoell;  Joseph (Joe) K. Awledge,  college graduate and manager of Rock N. Roley, played by Eve Mikutowicz;  Penelope (Penny) Lofer, Rock’s twin sister and hometown girl, played by Liz Etie;  Priscilla (Pris) E. Teene,  senior class President and valedictorian, played by Lorna Hardy;  Richard (Rick) C. Alcitrent, wild and rebellious tough-guy, played by Ruth Cox.

The two detectives on the scene were Detective Sergeant  Joe Lightly, played by Kathie Chatlin, and her partner, Officer Fred No-Name, played by Lorraine Bellaro.  They were reminiscent of the old Dragnet series TV show and were superb at ad-libs and keeping things updated with re-caps.

This mystery party, as with all of local Marianne Johnstone’s dinner plays, included characters dressed in styles of the 50’s, with appropriate props and accessories.  The photographer was Vivian McDonald. Three visitors attended:  Jennie Hallander, Jerrie Clarke and LaRene Laris.

Root beer floats  were served during Act One’s introductions, by Linda Adams and Fay Blair.  Acts Two and Three included accusations between the characters. The main meal consisted of sliced lunch meats and cheese on buns with all the fixings, stuffed crab deviled eggs, crab coleslaw and chips and dip.

In Act Four, after guesses were made as to ‘who dun it’, the suspects revealed their involvement in the conspiracy in the deaths of Rock N. Roley and Becky Sue.  It was a different conclusion than previous plays.  At the end, assorted cake slices and ice cream were served as dessert.

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